The IAJU International Conference on Ignatian Reconciliation took place virtually in May 2021. The symposium, co-organized by Pontificia Universidad de Comillas and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, included participation by experts in the fields of peacebuilding and reconciliation.
During General Congregation 36, it was declared that "reconciliation" should be the hallmark of our ministries and our institutions. What are some ways that universities have contributed toward the process of peace and reconciliation? What can Jesuit institutions do to contribute to peace and reconciliation within the communities in which they find themselves?
The symposium represented a valuable synthesis of theoretical and practical points of view by recognized experts in the field, who presented nearly 50 papers and case studies on peacebuilding and reconciliation, in territories or with specific communities around the world, carried out by institutions affiliated with the Society of Jesus.
Recognized experts in the field of reconciliation attended the IAJU International Conference on Ignatian Reconciliation; dozens of ideas on peacebuilding and reconciliation were discussed.
The International Symposium on Ignatian Reconciliation closed on the May 12 with a speech by Fr. Joseph Christie, SJ, who will soon be the next Secretary for Higher Education of the Society of Jesus.
This three-day Symposium, hosted by the Universidad Pontificia Comillas and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, also included well-known figures such as Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus,; Msgr. Bruno Marie Duffé, Secretary of the Vatican Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development; Fr. Michael J. Garanzini, SJ, President of IAJU and AJCU; and the respective rectors of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Fr. Julio L. Martínez, SJ and Fr. Jorge Humberto Peláez Piedrahita, SJ.
The Symposium represented a valuable synthesis of theoretical and practical points of view by recognized experts, who presented nearly 50 papers and case studies 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 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 promoted by the Society of Jesus.”
Fr. Sosa previously invited Jesuit institutions to be "universities of discernment for reconciliation,” aligned with the Church and all people of good will through the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus. This designation also receives the support of Pope Francis Himself.
The challenge to seek justice and reconciliation, as Fr. Joseph Christie, SJ recalled during the closing ceremony, "puts the Ignatian spiritual root of common discernment at the center of the mission of reconciliation." Fr. Christie also invited the participants to continue working on a “reconciliation network,” which was launched after the closing of this Symposium to respond to the challenges that have arisen. Ultimately, he added, the purpose is that "we co-create this Mission together.”
This new "reconciliation network" was activated to ensure that a learning community of reconciliation practices may continue at the next IAJU Assembly, which will take place in Boston, MA in August 2022.
This Symposium brought to the forefront the importance for all of us to become better agents of reconciliation in an unjust world, now exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Symposium on Video
All sessions of the Symposium may be found here.