Fifty Jesuits from around the Caribbean and South America gathered January 14–18 for a ‘Shared Social Concerns’ seminar aimed to deepen knowledge of Guyana and its place in the Caribbean Jesuit Mission, and expand the current understanding of common issues of concerns and how they impact Jesuit apostolic work and the lives of Caribbean peoples.
Participants came from Venezuela, Guyana, Brazil, Miami (USA), Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. This is the second such seminar, with the group having first met January 2017 in the Dominican Republic. The venue was the Regency Hotel, Georgetown.
A Catholic Standard article by Guyanese participant Joel Thompson SJ said that the meeting was also a chance for the Jesuits from the Caribbean countries to have face-to-face interactions while getting to know each other.
Topics covered during the seminar included Guyanese politics, economics, history and culture, migration, ecology, and youth. “Although each country is different, the understanding is that there are shared areas of concern and opportunities for greater collaboration across borders. Working in an integrated way as Jesuits in the Caribbean allows for a deeper understanding of some of the challenges facing the region,” the Standard reported.
Thompson reported that one of the “most enriching and moving parts” of the seminar was listening to Jesuits from Venezuela and Puerto Rico share about the economic and environmental problems their countries are facing and how they are responding with joy and hope in the face of these challenges.