Fr. Bradley Schaeffer, SJ In Rome
|Jesuit leaders from around the world are gathered for the Society of Jesus' 35th General Congregation (GC 35) in Rome starting on January 7th. Among the delegates to the congregation are Fr. Bradley Schaeffer, SJ, who served as Assistant Principal at St. Xavier High School in the 1980's. Fr. Schaeffer, who was elected to represent the Chicago Province Jesuits at the province's congregation in January 2007, is one of two delegates from the province, the other being Chicago Province Provincial Fr. Edward Schmidt, SJ.
The 225 delegates from around the world, which include 34 Americans, are charged with three tasks, none of which can be handled by the regular governance of the Society. First, they will elect a new Superior General to lead the Society of Jesus worldwide. The current Superior General, Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ, was elected at the 33rd General Congregation in 1983. Second, the group will consider changes to the Society's structure of governance. Third, the congregants will likely write and publish documents to address contemporary questions. These documents will likely have wide-ranging effects on the direction of the Jesuit order and its apostolates, such as St. Xavier High School. Some specific areas of consideration include Jesuit identity, mission in the context of globalization and marginalization, ecology, vocation promotion, and Jesuit cooperation with the laity.
The historic meeting could last anywhere between one and three months. In order to attend Fr. Schaeffer took a temporary leave from his current assignment as Rector of Weston Jesuit School of Theology which is located in Cambridge, Mass. Prior to his current assignment Fr. Schaeffer served as the President of the National (American) Jesuit Conference and as Provincial of the Chicago Province.
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