Fr Provincial Vincent Pham Van Mam, SJ, in a letter written to the whole Province on 28 March 2020, proposes a 1-year preparation for the 400th anniversary of the canonization of Saint Ignatius and Saint Francis Xavier.
First of all, Fr Provincial informs that the Ignatian year will last 14 months, from 20th May 2021, the date of Ignatius’ injury during the Battle of Pamplona, to 31st July 2022, the feast of Saint Ignatius in the liturgical calendar, and that the 400th anniversary of the canonization of Saint Ignatius will be celebrated on 12th March 2022. Next, he stresses the purpose of the Ignatian Year when he writes:
“The purpose of the Ignatian Year is to recall the blessed moment of St Ignatius’ conversion in which God invited him to follow Jesus Christ and to deepen and derive greater spiritual fruits from his pilgrimage so that each Jesuit might ‘see all things new in Christ’ in his own pilgrimage.”
Fr Mam invites the Province’s members to take this opportunity to let God transform our life-mission when we commit ourselves to the call to our personal, community, and institutional conversion. He also emphasizes that the motto chosen for this celebration: “To see all things new in Christ” reminds the Jesuits that they need to be transformed by Christ.
In his letter, Fr Provincial proposes some practices to prepare and celebrate this Ignatian Year, such as reflecting on the conversion of Saint Ignatius, both at a personal level and a communal level; organizing proper activities and programs for laypeople of Jesuit-run parishes to help them to understand the life and mission of St Ignatius; holding workshops and seminars on the Ignatian spirituality and discernment, etc.
At the end of the letter, Fr Provincial mentions necessary steps to organize the Provincial Congregation to elect the Province’s representatives to join the 71st Congregation of Procurators, which will take place in Loyola from 16th to 22nd May 2022.
Chinh Tran, SJ