On Jan. 7 at the Jesuit General Curia in Rome, David McCallum, S.J., vice president for mission integration at Le Moyne, received a new mission from Arturo Sosa, S.J, superior general of the Society of Jesus, that will result in him overseeing development and coordination of a new formation program for senior Church leaders.
The mission of the Institute for Discerning Leadership, a project of the International Association of Jesuit Universities and the General Curia’s Office of Discernment and Apostolic Planning, is to help support Pope Francis’ vision for the reform and renewal of the Church through the process of discernment and co-creative synodality. His new role will start in May 2020 and be half-time, allowing him to continue his work at Le Moyne.
Fr. General Arturo Sosa S.J., wrote, "I appreciate Father McCallum’s willingness to reduce the time devoted to his service at Le Moyne College, where his work is greatly appreciated, to take on a project that may serve a more universal good. David is already familiar with this project having played a central role in the past year's pilot program that was offered to leaders of religious communities and Vatican dicasteries."
The work will be based at Le Moyne, and collaborate internationally with partners from Georgetown University, ESADE, and the Gregorian University in Rome. "This is an honor, a privilege and the fulfillment of a dream," said Father McCallum. "The program will address the skills, mindsets and knowledge needed to help lead the Church in a more participatory way in accordance with the wishes of Pope Francis."
"This work - to help discern and develop better leadership skills for senior church leaders - will be an enormous gift to the Society of Jesus and the broader Church," said Le Moyne President Linda LeMura. "I am thrilled that Father McCallum has received this tremendous honor."
Among the initial tasks necessary to establish this initiative will be recruitment of faculty, development of teaching teams, production of an on-line platform and assistance in fundraising to support the program. It will also involve scheduling initial meetings with leaders of the six regions of the Society of Jesus - the U.S./Canada, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and India - to invite them to become part of the process. The institute will run two cohort based programs in Rome this year, one in English and one in Spanish.
“Priority will be initially given to senior church leaders at the Vatican, General Superiors of other religious orders, as well as prominent lay leaders,” said Father McCallum. “One of our goals is to foster integration of the spiritual, managerial and financial dimensions of leadership. Another is to promote Pope Francis vision of a Church that goes out to the margins, a pastoral Church that reveals the infinite and unconditional love of God, a God of endless mercy.”
Shown above is Father McCallum and Superior General Father Sosa, in front of a portrait of St. Ignatius of Loyola.