In our July Newsletter issue we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the wounding of St. Ignatius at the battle of Pamplona.
The month of July is a special one for us AJAN as a Network. It marks the closure of the Ignatian Year: 500th anniversary of the conversion of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the society of Jesus (Jesuits).
The Ignatian Year was announced by Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus to be celebrated in the Jesuit works around the world. It began with the launching ceremony led by Fr General in Rome on May 20, 2021. Every Jesuit Province and Region also organized a launching ceremony the same day. The theme of this jubilee year was “Seeing all things new in Christ”.
According to Fr. Ismael Matambura, AJAN Director, Celebration of the Ignatian year across the network through the lenses of AJAN, was focused on “Seeing all Things New in Christ through Youth-led Initiatives and creativity.” This is a way of reappropriation of the general theme. The 500 years of Ignatius’ conversion became an opportunity for the network to think through an Ignatian approach to the pandemic and to guide the engagement of the field affiliate Centers by investing in the youth for a well-rounded healthy generation and Africa free of AIDS and inequalities.
In his message to the Jesuit fraternity in Africa and all over the world during the marking of the end of the Ignatian year on 31st July 2022, Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator SJ, President of Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar said “The diversity and creativity of this Ignatian Year has brought renewal to the Society of Jesus across the world. Jesuits and collaborators tried new and innovative things; they have discovered new apostolic opportunities to deepen the life-mission of the Society of Jesus. The richness, energy and creativity ought to be harnessed for the ongoing renewal of the Society of Jesus in provinces, regions, communities, apostolates, networks, etc.”
He continued by stating that, “As we formally conclude the Ignatian Year, may this feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola mark the true beginning of the Ignatian Year. May every year become an Ignatian Year – a time and season of never-ending creativity; a graced opportunity to live up to the best of our traditions and ways of proceeding, always reminding ourselves that Jesuits and partners in mission “are never content with the status quo, the known, the tried, the already existing. We are constantly driven to discover, redeﬁne, and reach out for the magis. For us, frontiers and boundaries are not obstacles or ends, but new challenges to be faced, new opportunities to be welcomed. Indeed, ours is a holy boldness, ‘a certain apostolic aggressivity,’ typical of our way of proceeding” (GC 34, d. 26, no. 26). May St. Ignatius intercede for us that God may grant us this grace of seeing all things new in Christ now and every moment of our life-mission. Let the Ignatian Year begin!”
God continues to invite each of us to act in new, bold ways that reconcile our world, bringing about justice, peace, care and compassion. AJAN dreams of creating a more Caring and Compassionate African generation full of hope and committed to Protect the planet.
For this Ignatian Year, AJAN’s fruit of the reflection is the launching of common activities across the Network that promote the youth, and that assure the youth are right at the center of our mission and solutions as inspired by Ignatius conversion. In this regard, AJAN youth to youth initiatives Project carried activities in various countries, they will be reported in a special AJANews issue.
Por, Dennis Owuoche
Communication and Research Officer.
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