discernment

Delegates at Stonyhurst group photo
Last week saw over 90 Jesuits and 40 lay co-workers gather at Stonyhurst College for a conference entitled “Working in Partnership with the Universal Apostolic Preferences”.It is the first time that such a large number of lay partners in mission have joined the Jesuits in a collaborative discernment. Lay people included head teachers from our Jesuit schools, parish council members, and staff working in leadership roles in spirituality, finance, safeguarding, communications and social justice...
Pope Francis has said, ‘Today the Church needs to grow in discernment, in the ability to discern.’ His reforms are motivated by a desire for a more discerning Church, whether at the level of the bishops’ synods, in the local Church, or in the pastoral accompaniment of individual Christians. Above all, he has emphasised that the faithful ‘are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations’.About sixty people gathered at St Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre in North Wales...
Universal Apostolic Preferences logo
         Earlier today, Fr General Arturo Sosa SJ announced four new Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) of the Society of Jesus for the next ten years. An “Apostolic Preference” is a “priority for discernment”, in which we recognise the calls made to us by the Holy Spirit as we read the signs of the times. The four UAPs are as follows:1.  PROMOTING DISCERNMENT AND THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISESHelping people find Jesus Christ and follow Him.We...
Franck Janin SJ with participants from Drongen, Ireland, Scotland and Wales
From the 3rd to the 5th January colleagues from the spirituality centres and wider spirituality mission programmes across the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Low Countries gathered to learn more about communal discernment and its applications.The meeting, organised by the Peter Faber Group (Roger Dawson SJ, Piaras Jackson SJ and Bart Van Emmerik SJ) and hosted by Oude Abdij, Drongen aimed to deepen familiarity of communal discernment among those working in spirituality. Representatives came...
Nick Hanrahan reflects on his vocational journey with JRS and his hopes for the synod on young people. Hundreds of bishops from around the world will gather this month to participate in the 15th Ordinary Synod of Bishops. The Synod will examine ‘Young People, The Faith and Vocational Discernment’; a topic that, as a young Catholic, has prompted me to reflect on what faith and discernment means to me.My own faith came alive through an experience that made me realise for the first time that...
Photo by xflickrx at flickr.com
In October 2018, bishops of the Catholic Church will gather in the Vatican to discuss ‘Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment’. Fr Giacomo Costa SJ, Special Secretary for the Synod of Bishops, describes the unique preparation for this meeting and says that the renewal of solidarity between the generations must be a priority for the Church and the whole of society. The Church is preparing for another synod: the XVth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be held...
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After the discovery of the empty tomb, the disciples had only one instruction to follow in the midst of their fear and uncertainty: go to Galilee. That is still an instruction to us today, says Brian Purfield, because we are in the same place as the disciples: ‘This is where we live: after the resurrection but before the return, entrusted with a message that is wonderful, but the import of which we do not quite understand.’ Where is our Galilee, and how do we get there? As a general rule,...
Pope Francis
13 March 2013 was the date of the historic election of the first Jesuit pope. Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ took the name of Francis and in the five years since, he has captured headlines, imaginations and hearts worldwide. Nicholas Austin SJ looks at one of the foundation stones of Francis’ papacy and, indeed, his life as a Jesuit: discernment. What, according to Pope Francis, does it mean to be a discerning Christian? When Pope Francis was asked, in the famous interview published by Thinking...
Photo by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash
A new audio resource, Women of God, Women of the Cross, from the Jesuits in Britain introduces you to the women who encountered Jesus during his passion. Using our senses to enter into their stories as we listen to them is not an end in itself, says Gemma Simmonds CJ. The application of the senses, as Ignatius calls it, is an instrument of prayer and discernment, and one that extols faculties that have been – and, too often, still are – associated with women and disparaged. Of all the ways...
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
The writings of Ignatius of Loyola are not the only texts to which we can turn as we seek to understand and practise discernment. The authors of the New Testament, as they sought to explore what it meant for God to have revealed himself in Christ, had plenty to say about how we can discover where God is, and is not, at work in our lives. Nicholas King SJ identifies certain passages that can aid our Lenten study of discernment. The pope is currently asking the Church to do something at...

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