Although the first objective of the novitiate is not study, the different courses are part of our life, helping to deepen some aspects of the Society and the life of the Jesuit.
This Monday and Tuesday Father Remondini, a Jesuit from the community of Turin, came to talk to us about the social apostolate of the Society of Jesus. We had two intense days, with so much richness, inspiration and thoughts for reflection.
On Monday morning we started from the roots, which is the experience of Saint Ignatius, then we briefly saw how this area has developed over the centuries: what were the most important moments and the people who made the changes. We continued with the situation of our days, seeing some Italian but also foreign examples. We made acquaintance – in addition to the various institutions and realities – with a method, a process of Ignatian pedagogy, which can be used in many areas. During the course it was not only Father Remondini who spoke, but also we could share our experiences, express our questions, opinions, doubts. This also brought a lot of color. A particularly beautiful moment of the day was watching a film together after dinner, which presented a very interesting and particular reality, the life of the people of a small village in the Amazon region, in Bolivia, where an Italian missionary has been working for many years.
The second day was no less rich than the first, indeed.
The focus was on human relationships which are the most important part of social activity and where the heart of this ministry can be found. Also because usually we are not sociologists, and often we cannot even solve a problem, but what we can give, what we can do is to be present in the situation, to listen, to accompany – and in that way grow something within the other and equally within ourselves. Speaking of the last and the poor of our society, very legitimate but not simple questions have come up, to show that alongside the beauty there are always many challenges and difficulties, even complex ones. At the end of the day we closed with a sharing of our reflections.
I am personally very grateful for this course, which helped me to discover many things. I will definitely take them with me, trying above all to put them into practice.