Message for Christmas and New Year

Dear Alumna, dear Alumnus,

On the eve of the feast of the birth of the Redeemer, I was thinking about the universal character of his message of peace, directed at all men of good will.

This message makes of all men a great brotherly community, even if division is alas well rooted among us.

In this great body there is this very small body of Jesuit alumni in the world, perhaps 10 million Alumnæ and Alumni. But this group is dear to us because we are part of it and because we have the weakness to believe and sometimes pretend to think that it can, if it wants to, make a difference in the affairs of the world.

The training received in our Jesuit schools, from the hands of the fathers themselves, or from the lay people who work with them or sometimes in their place, is a precious asset that has not been shared by all. To make these received talents fruitful is like a duty for us who think of us as a modestly apostolic body.

Our individual initiatives for and with our brothers, in our families, our circles of friends, our companies, our associations, our educational institutions or our political groupings are welcome and are known and recognized by the one who is right to do so.

But in this complex world of ours, the action, even decided and brilliant, of an individual is rarely enough to make things happen. Making things happen together has become a compelling obligation. This supposes to federate and to carry out our projects in network.

In a manner that is not fortuitous, the 36th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, meeting in Rome in October 2016, highlighted networking as one of its watchwords, alongside that of discernment, whose it follows from, and that of collaboration, of which it is one of the forms.

The Christmas peace can help us in this discernment and the resolutions of the New Year can lead us to collaboration.

May 2018 be a year in which the ties of a denser network of former students between themselves and with others are woven a little more strongly for the advent of a world a little more just and a little more radiant as the image of the Savior Child.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for 2018 to you, to the Alumni and to all of those with whom we do and we can network!

Alain Deneef
World Union of Jesuit Alumni


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