When a vowed man in the Society of Jesus receives the mission to “pray for the Church and the Society” there is indeed a pause in his day. As nurse companions, we have seen them in their preparation for years to accept this assignment to pray for the Church as a whole, as well as the Society of Jesus. It may not be what their hearts desire or their friends believe is necessary. Many Jesuits feel that they still have much more to do and are not ready, but the mission is a mystery at times. What will this change bring?
It is a privilege to walk with Jesuits in these transitions. One man shared that “Praying is not about my achievements. It seems to be more about why I joined the Society. My desire to serve others at all costs, speak for the voiceless, challenge the heart of the powerful.
|Jane Glynn-Nass, RN, BSN, (right) escorts Fr. Thomas McShane, SJ, to his new room at the St. Camillus senior Jesuit healthcare community.|
“Every week, members of the St. Camillus and Colombiere senior Jesuit healthcare communities pray over intentions submitted through JesuitPrayer.org, an online ministry of the Midwest Province.”
Prayer is one of God’s most powerful weapons. They are called to heal this world and ready it for tomorrow’s Church with their prayer. They have proven and prepared their hearts to give voice to the petitions and needs of others. Now they must surrender themselves to be the vessel that pours out hopes and fears to the Lord.
This move to praying for the Society and the Church is not necessarily easy or natural because of where they have been. Those of us in the role of Jesuit caregiver see the men perhaps vulnerable, but always serving, even serving the caregiver in ways a Jesuit may not even realize. The interaction between a Jesuit and caregiver is grace-filled; often the caregiver receives much more than is given.
The Colombiere and St. Camillus senior Jesuit healthcare communities live their prayer each day as they are humbled with health challenges and share their spirit and wisdom. The communities are holy places of prayer, reflection, and care. For some it is a place for recovery, for others it is not a Jesuit’s final home, but a place to prepare for his heavenly home forever.