Paths of Hospitality: A retreat to walk with hope

01 July 2024|Alberto Ares

The Jesuits who participated of the event.
Download this Resource

In the framework of the “Paths of Hospitality” initiative, we held a spiritual retreat in Belgium under the title: PATHS OF HOSPITALITY: A retreat to walk with hope.

Held between May 30 and June 2 at La Pairelle, Centre Spirituel Ignatien in Namur, Belgium, it was an invitation to walk the Paths through three stages: Gratuitousness, Vulnerability and Encounter, with a proposal to pray while walking with migrants and refugees.

The retreat was attended by the Jesuit community where the Jesuits whose mission is associated with the Conference of Jesuit Provincials in Europe live.

There are many paths that migrants and refugees continue to be forced to take. Situations of violence and armed conflict; impoverishment and inequality; lack of access to livelihood resources; and climate change are forcing 120 million people to move around the world. Of these, more than 37 million are refugees in countries other than their country of origin.
Migration has become a crossroads of history, bringing diversity, creativity and richness to our societies. However, it is also becoming in some contexts a scapegoat for social ills.

Europe is facing a key period with the implementation of a Migration and Asylum Pact that puts human rights at the external borders at risk. In other regions of North, Central and South America, barriers and walls are being erected to prevent human beings fleeing horror from building a life project.

Through #PathsOfHospitality we want to create a future with hope.

For the Society of Jesus, forced migration has been a global priority of our apostolic work for decades. Within the diverse responses and approaches, Hospitality has emerged and has been recognized as a central and cross-cutting factor, not only with regard to Jesuit action but particularly when it comes to the interaction between migrants and transit communities and destinations.

In the retreat, we were invited to pray with this virtue that is deeply rooted in our Christian tradition: hospitality. An invitation through three steps: gratitude, vulnerability and encounter.

At the beginning of the retreat, it was proposed to take a break to become aware of this important encounter with the Lord and with so many people who are on the way today in so many places in the world.

We began the retreat with the prayer “In your presence”, placing ourselves in the presence of the Lord, listening to Psalm 139.

Take a moment to breathe and become aware of God’s gaze of love upon you …
No matter how you might be feeling in this moment, pause to remember.
that God has created you,
that God cares for you,
that you were created from love, and for love.

The retreat was led by Alberto Ares, and we provide here a guide with all the retreat materials so that you can invite your teams and communities to pray and continue walking with hope.