Have you ever been in a meeting where some participants remain adamant about their position without taking time to listen to others? Or have you been part of a group that had to make an important decision but didn’t know how?
In the 1980s, Canadian Jesuits (notably John English, SJ), religious sisters, and lay people brought their experience of the Spiritual Exercises and personal discernment to a group context. This discernment in common allows organizations, religious or not, to become more aware of their identity, their raison d’être, and their mission, and thus to conduct their work in a coherent manner with the help of personal reflection, time, and space for each person to speak, actively listen, and use an Ignatian framework, among other tools.
“It’s really a legacy that the province has developed,” says Xavière Sister Laurence Loubières, a legacy that has been renewed in recent years with the creation of the Service of Discernment in Common, where she serves as director. This service is geared toward religious organizations but will be available to the business world, among other sectors, as well. Let’s take a closer look at this process.