As you probably already know, on 20 May 2021 the Society of Jesus and the Ignatian family will begin the worldwide celebration of the Ignatian Year, as we commemorate the conversion of Saint Ignatius.
On that day, 500 years ago, St Ignatius was wounded by a cannonball while defending Pamplona. For him, it was a major failure and a change of plans in what he envisioned for his future, full of riches and worldly exploits. However, this failure turned out to be only apparent. It started a process of conversion, which led Ignatius to have bigger dreams, no longer centred on himself, but rather on God. It helped St. Ignatius to see all things new in Christ
Celebrating is not an end in itself. We celebrate this year to remind us of the daily opportunity to experience a new conversion and to live a transforming experience. It is a call to allow the Lord to reveal to us a new enthusiasm, interior and apostolic, a new life, new ways of following Christ.
Precisely, Father General warns us: “St. Ignatius is not the centre of this Ignatian Year. He is the means by which we need to go to Christ. Christ should always be in the centre of this Ignatian Year. If we do not fix our eyes on Him during this year, then this anniversary does not make sense for us.”
With this in mind, a large virtual meeting was held at the beginning of 2021 in which Fr Arturo Sosa shared his hopes and dreams for this year. More than 120 people from all over the world participated, willing to work together: Ignatian Year coordinators of the different Jesuit Provinces, representatives of Jesuit Conferences, representatives of several female Ignatian congregations, and of CVX-CLC (Christian Life Community), etc. Father General expressed his joy for the active participation of the whole Ignatian family: “It is my hope and desire that we can work together among the entire Ignatian family to celebrate this year, rediscover our roots and thus renew ourselves and our outlook to the world.” We are all called to collaborate in this celebration: Jesuits, lay people, youth, religious and those who, from other beliefs or human convictions, participate in the same struggle.
In this meeting, some projects that the Curia is developing for the Ignatian Year and examples designed in the different Provinces were shared, and some tools were proposed to make possible a better collaboration. This webinar encourages all of us to push forward the preparations for the Ignatian Year, to collaborate to make this celebration more fruitful, to engage in new opportunities, in even broader and more optimistic dreams.
The whole year will continue to be guided by the Universal Apostolic Preferences 2019-2029. As Father General reminds us, “assimilating them means conversion for each one of us, for our communities, our institutions and our apostolic works. We ask for the grace of a real change in our day to day life-mission.”