In celebrating the 500th anniversary of the conversion of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the Australian Jesuit Province is hosting the International Ignatian Ecospiritual Conference (IIEC 2022) online from 25 to 30 April 2022 and is an invitation to ecological conversion.
With Ignatius’ deep desire for conversion in the Spiritual Exercises, the IIEC 2022 seeks to encourage a deeper “ecological conversion” through a contemplative experience in Nature in different parts of the world that will lead to reconciliation with Creation.
IIEC 2022 is an opportunity to share with others who have a commitment to caring for our common home and is a time to contemplate our connection with the Presence that is God in Nature, which fills us with desire to recommit our lives to reconciliation with Creation.
IIEC 2022 is framed on Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, providing the theological underpinning for the conference. The Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) of the Society of Jesus for the next 10 years are also critical references for the Ignatian family, particularly on the collaboration to care for our common home.
And in the Australia Jesuit Province, the announcement of the UAPs led to the development of the Province’s Apostolic Plan (2019-2024) that includes a priority to heal humanity and our world, as well as their 2021 Laudato Si’ Action Plan Framework. The Australian Jesuit Province also formed its Reconciliation with Creation Committee that provides leadership and support to the ministries in the Province and ensuring commitment to caring for our common home across the Province.
Pope Francis reminds Christians directly in Laudato Si’ on the essential need for an ecological conversion if we are to respond meaningfully and with depth to the ecological crisis:
“The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast.” For this reason, the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion. It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an “ecological conversion” whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience. (LS 217)
For more information, please go to the IIEC website.