A new Jesuit province, created through fusing the French and Belgian-Luxemburg provinces, was founded on the 30th of July. It will be called “the French-speaking Western European Province”. This new province is both an administrative reshuffle and “a spiritual renewal”. There will be a large celebration involving around 700 people, including 220 Jesuits from France, Belgium, Luxemburg and Greece. It will be held in Namur from the 29th to the 31st of July.
The new province will be made up of 532 Jesuits divided into 42 communities in France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Greece and Mauritius. They will be governed by a “Provincial”, the name given to the governor of a Jesuit province. In this case it will be Father François Boëdec (55). He will be helped by two Auxiliaries and assistants.
The new team will be based in Paris, but there is also a Provincial branch planned for Brussels. Father Boëdec was elected by the Jesuit General Superior, Father Arturo Rosa, in November 2016. Father Boëdec will have to look after the society’s well-being and make sure the Jesuit way of life is adhered to. “By enlarging our territory, there will obviously be new things to discover, partnerships we can now imagine that we might not have thought possible before. The creation of this province will completely change the Provincial’s role”, Father Boëdec said.
As well as being an administrative move, the fusion of these two provinces is also a spiritual renewal. “We will have to think about how we can best fulfil the mission we have been given. This may be creating things, developing areas, as we are in a period of great change in Europe. The mind must be open to current realities”, he added. The Society of Jesus is a Catholic order made up of nearly 16,000 Jesuits from all over the world. Nearly 4,000 of them are from Europe.
Maria Novak (Source: Belga)