Fr. Benjamin Gonzalez, SJ, from the Cuba Province of the Society of Jesus, is the formator of the 3rd probation process, tertianship, in Cuba. He was invited as the retreat Director for the Spanish group during the 70th Congregation of Procurators. The Spanish group has a group of 24 procurators. The Jesuits chosen from the different provinces for the Congregation of Procurators are those who carry out the implementation of the General Congregation (GC) 35.
According to Fr. Gonzalez, he feels very good since he has a group of Jesuits who are very qualified spiritually and are doing the spiritual exercises with much dedication.
‘For me it is a challenge because there are Jesuits from different countries and cultures including Latin America, USA, Japan, Korea, Romania as well as Spain. It is also a challenge because many of them are real experts in giving the spiritual exercises. At the same time they are humble and welcome any suggestion. In addition, they are enthusiastic and love the Society of Jesus.’
To Fr. Gonzalez, the center of the spiritual exercises is always an encounter with God to make us more open to devote ourselves better to the service of others. At the same time, the spiritual exercises develop in us a new sensibility to perceive how God acts in the midst of culture which is disenchanted and superficial. He explains that from this contemplation springs love for the world and desire to build a more just and human society from the commitment to the marginalized and excluded.
Although is his first time to visit Nairobi, and Africa in general, Fr. Gonzalez eagerly explains that he is ‘very interested in knowing a bit of Africa. This is because the culture of our people in the Caribbean has deep creative roots in these lands. It is so full of life and future.’ Fr. Gonzalez is in Nairobi until 9 July 2012.
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