The Medellin Congress (2013)
The Colombian city of Medellin hosted the eighth World Congress of Jesuit Alumni from 14 to 17 August 2013.
The theme “Jesuit Education and social responsibility: how can we serve?” was an invitation to the participants to reflect about ways of putting the fruit of their education at the service of the society.
Various key-note speeches developed this topic in the fields of economy, ecology, education… Father General Adolfo Nicolás S.J. opened the congress with a brilliant and original address on main issues of Jesuit education. Some ‘experiments’, i.e. days of encounter and social work were organized for young Alumni previous to the Congress.
The World Union of Jesuit Alumni, gathered in congress in Medellin from 14 to 17 August 2013:
- Warmly thanks Father General Adolfo NICOLAS SJ, for his presence at the congress, for his presidency of the opening eucharist and for his stimulating encouragement to the actions of the alumni and assures him of its support for the pursuance of his mission and of its availability to carry out any task he would like to entrust it with.
- Thanks the ASIA Ignaciana of Medellin for its efforts to achieve a congress characterized by the excellent service of the organizing staff, an atmosphere of warm friendship and the high quality of its key-note speeches.
- Deeply moved by the death of its former president Fabio TOBON and of its current president Thomas BAUSCH, hails the absolute integrity and total dedication which they ceaselessly showed in accomplishing their task in accordance with the deep sense of service that they drew from their Ignatian commitment and assures their families of its sympathy and of its prayers.
- Assures Francis, bishop of Rome, of its affection and of its support for his efforts to reform the Church in order to make it more faithful to the Gospel, in particular:
- Freer from the temptation of power and wealth
- Governed on the basis of collegial responsibility of the bishops of the world
- Giving to lay persons, particularly women and young people, a place worthy of what they can bring to evangelization
- More sensitive to all forms of oppression and violence
- More caring for the needs of the poor
- Acting for closer relations among all Christian churches in a common announcement of Jesus Christ and among persons of goodwill of all creeds and cultures in order to foster peace and fraternity
- In a word, careful for the hopes of men and women of our time.
- Recalling its resolutions of the 2009 congress inviting the alumni of the three countries of the area of the African Great Lakes to start among them a process of truth and reconciliation and asking for the creation of a Jesuit higher education institution in the area,
- hails the good implementation of these resolutions, thanks to the remarkable efforts of the alumni association of Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, supported by several jesuit fathers and by the Union’s vice-president Alain Deneef
- rejoices in particular at the progress of the project of a business and public administration school in Bujumbura
- decides to make all efforts to carry out these two commitments up to their full accomplishment.
- Agrees to create a more effective network among jesuit alumni and others in the global jesuit family, integrating online tools in ways that people can share their needs, skills, time or resource availability
- Agrees to look for funds allowing talented but economically disadvantaged students to benefit from jesuit education, with the provision that beneficiaries will repay this investment in the form of service to the community
- Agrees that future congresses should have other ways of group participation and interaction, for example a pre-viewing of some conferences on video in order to have more time for discussions, and/or possibilities to examine the follow up of previous résolutions.
- Pledges to better communicate about its goals, governance and accomplishments, in order to better inform its members, inspire more alumni to become involved and help the wider jesuit network to be more aware of what is happening globally.
- Pledges to contribute to the broader renovation of jesuit pedagogy, in line with Fr General’s call, both for children and adults.
- Asks attendees to the congress to inform at least four other alumni about what happened there and to commit themselves to its values and ideals.
- Pledges to look for ways to involve more young alumni in its governance, activities and congresses.
- Expresses the strong wish that all future congresses include youth experiments, whose results will be presented to the general assembly.