Universities of Discernment for Reconciliation

In attendance at the symposium were recognized personalities and experts in the field, and dozens of experiences in peacebuilding and reconciliation were shared

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The International Symposium on Ignatian Reconciliation closed yesterday with an speech by Fr. Joseph Christie, SJ, soon to be the next Secretary for Higher Education of the Society of Jesus.

This three-day Symposium, prepared by the Universidad Pontificia Comillas (Comillas Pontifical University) and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Pontifical Javieriana University), also included well-known figures such as Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Arturo Sosa, SJ,  Bruno Marie Duffé, Secretary of the Vatican Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, Michael J. Garanzini, SJ, President of AJCU, and the Rectors  of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana  Fr. Julio L. Martínez, SJ, and Fr. Jorge Humberto Peláez Piedrahita, SJ, respectively.

The Symposium respresented a valuable synthesis of theoretical and practical points of view by recognized experts in the field, and presented nearly 50 consolidated experiences on peacebuilding and reconciliation, in territories or with specific communities around the world, carried out by institutions, and involving works, affiliated with the Society of Jesus.

At the Opening Session, Fr. General Superior Arturo Sosa, SJ highlighted the importance of the main issue discussed at the Symposium: “The topic selected has such an enormous significance that it is impossible not to approach it from the perspective of University Institutions identified with the mission of reconciliation and justice fomented by the Society of Jesus”, he stated vigorously. Superior General Fr. Sosa invited Jesuit institutions to be «universities of discernment for reconciliation», aligned with the Church and all people of good will in the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus. This orientation also receives the support of Pope Francis Himself.

This challenge, as the Secretary for Higher Education of the Society of Jesus recalled during the closing ceremony, «puts the Ignatian spiritual root of common discernment at the center of the mission of reconciliation.» Christie also invited the participants to continue working on a “reconciliation network”, which after the closing of this Symposium was launched to respond to the challenges that have arisen.. Ultimately, the purpose is that «we co-create this Mission together,» he added.

This «reconciliation network» will be activated today at a networking meeting, so that the learning community of reconciliation practices may continue at the Assembly of the IAJU (the International Association of Jesuit Universities), which will take place in Boston in August 2022.

This Symposium, in summary, brought to the forefront the importance for all of us to become better agents of reconciliation in a violent and unjust world, now exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Symposium on Video

Numerous sessions of the Symposium may be found here

In the next few days all of the presentations will be offered in their entirety on this same link