Be With Us in Caring

Sep 19, 2023 | Faith in Action, Jesuits, Ministries, Spiritual Life

This parish-wide initiative lines up beautifully with the worldwide work of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).

In a recent letter to all Jesuits, Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Jesuits quoted the most recent General Congregation – or GC36 –  (the highest governing body in the Jesuits – there have been 36 since the order’s founding in 1540). Both documents describe a transforming encounter with the mercy of God as being at the heart of Ignatian spirituality This encounter with the mercy of God moves us to a generous personal response. “The experience of the merciful gaze of God on our weakness and sinfulness humbles us and fills us with gratitude, helping us to become compassionate ministers to all. Filled with the fire of Christ’s mercy, we can inflame those we meet.” (GC 36, Degree 1, paragraph 19).

As with all ministries of the Society of Jesus, Our Lady of Hope Parish seeks to be a place where everyone can encounter the profound mercy of God and where all will be moved to act with compassion in the world.

How do we show this care and compassion?

We do so by “Living the Eucharist, and Becoming a Beacon of Hope.” In the brochure that we recently sent out, we describe three activities that help us to show this care and compassion:
1. Coming to Know Jesus as a Friend
2. Celebrating God’s Love For Us
3. Feeding, Connecting, Healing.

In inviting others to come to know Jesus as a friend or to deepen that friendship, we hope to invite everyone to a transformative encounter with God’s mercy. We celebrate that transformative encounter throughout our lives – from 39 baptisms to over 80 services for those who have died. The twenty-seven ministries, close to 100 liturgical ministers, the many donations to charity and the service provided through organizations like the Knights of Columbus give evidence that the encounter with the merciful love of God has elicited a generous response from many in our parish. In the Society of Jesus we often describe these ministries as cura personalis – translated care of the whole person.

On the fourth page on the inside of that brochure we include information on income and expenses. Very often people think that issues like dollars and sense are secondary to the work of cura personalis. In the Society of Jesus, this fourth page is a part of what we call cura apostolica – translated care of the organization or apostolate. The Jesuits see Our Lady of Hope Parish as an apostolate.

Care for Mission: People, Communities, and Organizations

In 2020, Arturo Sosa, SJ, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, wrote a letter to the whole Society entitled “Care in the governance of the life-mission of the Society in this era of change.” In this letter, Fr. Sosa emphasized the need for unity between cura personalis and cura apostolica. Fr. Sosa traces both our care for one another and our founding institutions to that transformational encounter with God’s mercy described in the GC36. From the very founding of the Society of Jesus by Ignatius Loyola, we have had one single cura that is care for our mission. This care for mission focuses on persons, communities, and works. Care for the whole person and care of the organization must be united for us to carry out the mission.

We invite you to be with us in encountering the merciful love of God. We invite you to be with us in a generous response to that encounter. We invite you to be with us in living the Eucharist and becoming a beacon of hope. We invite you to join us in caring for one another (cura personalis) and caring for Our Lady of Hope Parish that helps to facilitate this encounter and to make this encounter available to all (cura apostolica).

Fr. Brian Conley, S.J.

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