26 February 2017 : A newsletter of the Australian Jesuits

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Ignatian Conversations: Fr Mark Raper


In the latest of our podcast series, Ignatian Conversations, Catherine Marshall talks with Fr Mark Raper, President of the Jesuit Conference of East Asia and Oceania.


Click here to listen to the podcast interview.


Taking time out on his visit to Australia for the Province Gathering in July, Fr Raper spoke to Catherine Marshall about how following in St Francis Xavier's footsteps has inspired him in his work.


Fr Raper says Francis Xavier was sent to Asia with the mission to evangelise in China, yet died a failure in that task, his prayers for help seemingly unanswered.


Yet in the year of his death, Matteo Ricci was born. Although other Jesuits would also try and fail before him, Ricci eventually made it into China.


‘Francis Xavier's prayer was heard. In a totally different way than he expected and after many failures', says Fr Raper. ‘I feel very encouraged in all my failures that maybe things work another way.'


With more than 5,500 Jesuits now in Asia, he says the journey and effort of the Jesuits in the region remains essentially the same as it was in Xavier's time.


‘We're all following in Francis Xavier's footsteps. Our task is bold. It's to put more emphasis on reaching out than on consolidation.'


Click here to listen to the podcast interview.




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