What is a General Congregation?
General Congregations are the supreme legislative body of the Society of Jesus consisting of major (“provincial”) superiors and locally elected representatives. It is called to elect a new superior general when the previous one dies or resigns and/or to address major issues confronting Jesuit works and Jesuit life. There have been 35 such congregations in the more than 450 years of the order. The most recent General Congregation met from January to March 2008 to accept Peter-Hans Kolvenbach’s resignation at age 80 and to elect his replacement, Adolfo Nicolás. (jesuitresource.org)
The Jesuit’s Communications Committee provides three suggestions of how to “participate” in General Congregation 36:
- Subscription to the GC 36 newsletter
- The Committee invites all Jesuits, the staff in our works, the members of groups associated to the Society in our province to subscribe to the GC 36 Bulletin. It is easy to do by visiting the homepage of the Congregation at http://gc36.org (Newsletter – Subscription – Make sure to choose your language first, top right corner, before subscribing). Be aware that subscriptions are open but that the website will be fully operational only in September.
- Distribution of the newsletter and promotion of social media accesses
- The Committee invites our contacts to befriend the GC 36 Facebook page and use the Twitter feed. A link to the variety of social media outlets can be found at the bottom of http://gc36.org All of you are important collaborators in our efforts to publicize the life of the Congregation.
- Promotion and the Use of the Oratory
- The Committee asks that we promote and use the Oratory, the virtual “prayer room” (http://gc36.org – click on “prayer room”). There you will find the daily prayers used in the aula by the Congregation members. Inspiring photos and videos to accompany your prayer will also be proposed. Moreover, the oratory will be open to receive the prayers from our audience, prayers that people can suggest for the members of GC 36 and for all those who will want to be associated with them through prayer.
Prayer for General Congregation 36:
God our Father, almighty and merciful, You sent Your Son Jesus, Your living Word,
to save the human race by His life, death, and resurrection,
and You send Your Holy Spirit to inspire and accompany Your pilgrim Church on earth.
With confidence, we pray for the Society that bears the name of Jesus:
Grant the 36th General Congregation openness to hear your Spirit
so that we may live for the greater glory of your name,
faithful to our history and the example of the saints who have gone before us.
Give us the spirit to serve beneath the banner of the Cross on behalf of Your Church,
a profound love for the world You have created and entrusted to Your people,
the grace to see with Your eyes the beauty and suffering of our sisters and brothers,
hearts that beat in union with Your heart, loving You and serving You in all things.
We ask all this through Jesus, the Savior who sets us free. Amen.
Mary, Mother of the Society of Jesus, intercede for us.
All you Saints of the Society, pray for us.
– Father Severin Leitner, S.J.
Stay tuned for program opportunities to discuss the significance of this historic event.