Universal Apostolic Preferences Conference

Myles Cesario ’21     

Religion Editor

The Universal Apostolic Preferences, UAPs for short, are four preferences that the Society of Jesus wishes all its apostolates to keep in the back of their minds in their decisions for the next 10 years. The four UAPs are:

  • To show the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment.
  • To walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice.
  • To accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future.
  • To collaborate in the care of our Common Home.

On May 18 and 19, Jack Carswell ’22, President Booth, and I attended a virtual conference hosted by Fr. Len Altilia, former president of St. Paul’s High School and the current Provincial Assistant for Secondary Education (PASE) for the Jesuits in Canada. The conference brought together schools, organizations, and camps all over Canada that are under the umbrella of Jesuit apostolates that work with young people. People from Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba—all to discuss their institutions’ work to promote the UAPs. All institutions were given the chance to speak on their work and many groups reflected on activities they did before COVID-19 but also how they have shifted gears because of COVID-19.

Some ideas ranged from schools growing their own food, organizations sending letters to government officials, holding virtual symposiums, and others even helping seniors on the computer by allowing them access to a school’s computer lab. But through everyone’s discussion people learned something new, not only about what they could do individually but as part of a larger network, as Jesuit apostolates.

As the conference neared its end, we were asked to think of what comes next. The resounding answer was a desire to remain close and continue work that promotes the UAPs for next year and the years to come. Even though I may not be there next year, I know that the UAPs will leave a lasting impact on the students of St. Paul’s who will in turn take those teachings to the wider Jesuit and Catholic world.

In closing, I would like to thank Fr. Len for hosting such a wonderful conference, to the other Jesuit apostolates for their openness and collaboration and to President Booth for introducing the event to St. Paul’s.

Photo Credit: https://www.jesuits.org

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