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August 17, 2022 — From August 14-16, the Jesuits West Province’s Apostolic Planning Steering Committee met at the province curia in Portland to begin work shaping what will be the next 12 to 15 months of the broadly consultative and prayerful process the province will engage in.

Apostolic Planning Steering Committee members met in Portland, August 14-16. Ryan Rallanka, SJ, not pictured.

In true Ignatian fashion, the meeting started with a prayer followed by faith sharing, where committee members were asked to use their memory and imagination to contemplate the “happy beginning” of their ministry. The question recalls Jesuit Superior General Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ’s Ignatian Year letter that said, “It is good to remind ourselves that the wound Ignatius suffered in Pamplona was not so much a happy ending, but rather a happy beginning. Conversion consists sometimes of great moments of change, but it is also a never-ending process.”

Fr. Sean Carroll, SJ, provincial of Jesuits West, visited with the group to talk about his hopes for the process and his sense of urgency that the province listens to God and discerns together where we are being invited to go. Fr. Carroll also celebrated Mass for the group at the curia’s Chapel of the Holy Trinity at La Storta.

The Steering Committee spent most of its meeting discussing the first phase of apostolic planning: Conversation and Consultation. During the fall, the province will engage in a wide range of spiritual conversations in communities, in works and, perhaps, in regions. What’s learned during this time of information gathering will form the basis for the next phase of apostolic planning: Deliberations and Discernment.

The meeting was convened and facilitated by Fr. Ed Fassett, SJ, Jesuits West’s treasurer and the provincial’s delegate for apostolic planning, and Charlie Kelley, the consultant who led the then-U.S. Assistancy through its own strategic discernment.

The Steering Committee includes: Jack Bentz, SJ, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Hollywood, California; Erick Berrelleza, SJ, assistant professor of sociology at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California; Erin Brigham, chief mission officer at the University of San Francisco; Bill Muller, vice president for mission and identity at Brophy College Preparatory, Phoenix; Bryan Pham, SJ, assistant professor of law, supervising attorney, Indian Law/General Public Practice Clinic, Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington; Tracey Primrose, provincial assistant for communications, Jesuits West Province; Ryan Rallanka, SJ, chaplain and faculty member, Seattle Preparatory School; Cindy Reopelle, principal, Gonzaga Preparatory School, Spokane, Washington; David Romero, SJ, young families and outreach coordinator, Christus Ministries, Los Angeles; Will Rutt, executive director, Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center, Seattle; and Bob Ryan, principal, Brophy College Preparatory, Phoenix.

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