Looking back at the just concluded Tempo Forte - Fr. George Pattery, SJ 

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(11-Sep-2017)

The inscrutable and untranslatable Roman Curial expression - Tempo forte - of Father General's enlarged council, happened again in the mild warm weather of September. It has infused fresh air into us all.
‘Imaginative leadership and strategic thinking' sum up the spirit of the proceedings. ‘Imagination' is a key word for Ignatius; probably in our usual dichotomous way of thinking, we forget to apply imagination to governance; similarly, Ignatius was strategic in his ways, including that of the Spiritual Exercises - strategy of initiating a process of transformation that is unending; a strategy of initiating a team that would share a universal vision. Strategic thinking introduces more than logical arguments.
In the Tempo forte, we discussed ways and means of initiating processes to involve the Society in apostolic planning and in reorganizing the central governance - both of them mandated by GC 36. While accessing models available around us, we searched for refreshing ways through ‘spiritual conversations' engaging both heart and mind to listen to our interior movements and to share views and perspectives.
It appears to me, that different dimensions of reconciliation are emerging. Reconciliation that remains the over-arching thrust of our mission aligning life-mission (a hyphenated expression favoured by Father General). In a world where a ‘normalization of hatred ideology' and a polarization in the name of religion, is prevalent, reconciliation is being retrieved even by civil society (including the world of art) as a viable response - revisiting the experiment of the ‘half-naked fakir' (Mahatma Gandhi)! ‘Servants of Reconciliation and Justice' is a challenge and an opportunity for us to mend our binary ways.
The urgency and freshness of our ways is promising. The six Conferences in the Society are moving, probably at six different ‘paces', underlining the variety and the richness of plurality of the creative Spirit - that is the conclusion, we, the six presidents arrived at, at the end of a separate meeting of the conference presidents.