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GC 36 – Responding to New Calls and Urgent Needs

Coetus Praevius meeting, Rome, August 31st to September 12th 2015.

The Preparatory Commission (Coetus Praevius) for GC 36 met in Rome from Monday 31st August until Saturday 12th September. The task of the group was to draw up an agenda for the upcoming General Congregation. 


The group examined 146 postulates which came in from all over the Society. Topics included the renewal of our community and individual lives, our mission, and governance of the Society. 

“It was a daunting task being faced with all those postulates” said Fr. Marcouiller.  “We were helped enormously by the analysis done here ahead of time in the General Curia by a variety of people. My heartfelt thanks to all who helped so wonderfully with that background work.”

Call of the Eternal King

Father General asked that each Province and Region discern the three Calls that the Eternal King is giving to the Society. The Commission looked at the 242 calls received in answer to this request.  It drew up a meditative document which provides a context for the entire year ahead and for study of the different issues arising. 

“It was very inspiring to see all the energy in the Society and to hear all the different issues and proposal,” said Fr. Nicolás. “There really is a sense that the Spirit is moving.  Province and Regional Congregations somehow were able to stretch beyond their Province or Regional boundaries, to think about the worldwide situation and present new ideas.  That creativity is hugely impressive.” 


In preparation for GC 36, the group decided to establish two commissions which will address:

  • The Call to a Renewal of Jesuit Life and Mission 
  • The Call for Renewed Governance for a Renewed Mission

Our hope is that GC 36 can give an integrated vision of our Jesuit life and mission and can propose governance structures to support and develop it. Membership of these commissions will be chosen at the upcoming meetings of each of the six Conferences. Those meetings will also study the document (Relatio Praevia) drawn up by the Preparatory Commission.

“We feel that the Society does not want many documents or new decrees from the next Congregation” said Fr. Tim Kesicki, S.J., Jesuit Conference President of Canada and the United States. “We hope that what will emerge is a better sense of the linkage of the many areas in which we work: education, intellectual ministry, pastoral ministries, spirituality, refugees and migrants. Can the Congregation help to develop a sense of how these help us to evangelize? And how can it promote a sense that this mission, in turn, is linked to our individual and community lives?” 

This is the first time that a General Congregation begins at Conference level. The aim is to try to ensure that any material produced will be of high quality and that when people arrive in Rome in 2016 for the plenary session, already a lot of the homework will have been done. A shorter and more effective plenary session of the Congregation may result. 

An important part of the meeting of the Preparatory Commission was the daily Eucharist and daily prayer together.  These were simple but profound – a chance to pray together for the Society and the Church; a chance to appreciate the enormous work done at Province and Regional level; a chance to pray for the needs of the world and the Church, a chance to build an atmosphere of discernment. Towards the end of our meeting, we celebrated a Mass at the rooms of St Ignatius, asking him to intercede for us and for the entire process of the Congregation.

The work of the Preparatory Commission is now over and the GC Co-ordinating committee will take over from December 1st. A letter from Fr General, with more information, will be issued in early-mid October.

Rome – September 15th, 2015. 

Meetings of Conference Electors

Africa and Madagascar (JESAM)
8th and 9th October, Nairobi
North America
15th-18th October, St. Louis
Europe and the Middle East (CEP)
19th, 20th, 21st October, Rome
Asia Pacific (JCAP)
19th - 22nd October, Manila
Latin America and the Caribbean (CPAL)
November 2nd to 5th, Santiago de Chile 
South Asia
November 3rd to 10th, Pune

List of Coetus Praevius Members

Fr. General Adolfo Nicolás, Douglas Marcouiller (Moderator), Paul Béré, Jorge Cela Carvajal, John Dardis, Stefan Dartmann, David Fernández Dávalos, Thomas P. GreeneTimothy P. Kesicki, Michael Lewis, Antonio F. Moreno, George Pattery, Francis Xavier Periyanayagam, Mark Raper. 



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