Building off observations from a previous decree, the delegates of the 31st General Congregation use this following document to call for the establishment of a commission to develop “an overall review” of apostolic ministries in the Society of Jesus. The intention of the commission, according to the decree, is “to promote the better choice of ministries and some long-range planning.” The commission was to be created by the provincials, and the provincials also received the responsibility to “decide on the reorganization and promotion of ministries and to determine whether or not, if conditions have perhaps changed, further studies by the commission are needed.”
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1. To promote the better choice of ministries and some long-range planning, a commission should be set up as an aid to the provincial and under his authority.
2. The task of this commission will be, after careful study, to advise on an overall review of ministries. This will involve making suggestions as to which ought to be kept or dropped and which ought to be renewed or begun for the first time. We should always keep in mind social conditions and pastoral programs, the supply of apostolic forces that is at hand or hoped for, the more pressing needs, and the help which ought to be given Father General for more universal works.
3. The provincial should appoint to such a commission those Jesuits who have sufficient experience in the ministries of the Society, and also experts in those special disciplines (e.g., pastoral theology and the sociology of religion) that are of greater importance for a reconsideration of the matter. If it is necessary, experts from outside the Society, even lay persons, should be called in at the right moment.
4. When the commission has in due time gathered its information, it should place before the provincial the conclusions of its investigation and deliberate on them in a meeting together with the consultors of the province at least once a year.
5. After everything has been considered in this fashion, it will be the task of the provincial to decide on the reorganization and promotion of ministries and to determine whether or not, if conditions have perhaps changed, further studies by the commission are needed.
6. In order to achieve a more effective coordination of the apostolate in a given region, boards of provincials, where they already exist or where it might seem good to set them up, can be greatly helped by a similar interprovincial commission linked with the provincial commissions. In regions that are sufficiently homogeneous, a single interprovincial commission can be instituted in place of commissions for the individual provinces.
Original Source (English translation):
Jesuit Life & Mission Today: The Decrees & Accompanying Documents of the 31st–35th General Congregations of the Society of Jesus, ed. John W. Padberg. St. Louis, Mo.: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2009, General Congregation 31, Decree 22, “The Commission for Promoting the Better Choice of Ministries,” pg. 146 [380–385].