By Honore Onana Olah, SJ
On February 5, all Jesuits and their collaborators around the world were invited to join in prayer on the occasion of the official opening of the process for the cause of beatification Fr. Pedro Arrupe Gondra, SJ.
Indeed, from Rome, Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, invited Jesuits around the world to participate in the opening session however possible. The ceremony took place at the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran in Rome at 10 A.M. UTC and Fr. Rigobert Kyungu, SJ chanted the “Vieni Spirito Creatore di Taize.”
In another hand, Fr. Pascual Cebollada, SJ, the postulator of Fr. Arrupe’s cause, invited all Jesuit communities that same day, to celebrate the Eucharist, at their convenient time, in thanksgiving for the life of the “former Superior General on the 28th anniversary of his death”.
It is in this sense that many Jesuits communities around the world, including Hekima Jesuit Community, celebrated a Mass. Fr. Festo Mkenda, SJ., during his homily explains more about the life of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, and his commitment to Africa. His major works, he said, are noted for his commitment to the sick during the bombing of Hiroshima in Japan and refugees through the creation of JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service).
“Probably today, added Fr Festo, Arrupe gave one of the best definition of inculturation”. Indeed Arrupe, SJ, wrote a letter on the Solemnity of Pentecost in 1978 to all members of the Society of Jesus on the issue of inculturation. According to him, Inculturation can be seen as “one of the best services which the Society of today can render in the cause of evangelization”.
On the website of the Society of Jesus in Rome, it is written that Pedro Arrupe, SJ, was born on November 14, 1907, in Bilbao, Vizcaya (Spain). He joins the Society of Jesus on January 25, 1927 at Loyola, Guipúzcoa (Spain), after experiencing as medical student some miracles in Lourdes. He was ordained priest on July 30, 1936, in Marneffe (Belgium). Arrupe was elected 28th General Superior of the Society of Jesus on May 22, 1965. And on September 3, 1983, the General Congregation accepted his resignation as Superior General, who had served in the post for 18 years and 4 months, the first 16 years in good health, the last two in silence and prayer.