The International Meeting of Kairos is a project born in Bari, Italy by the Community of Jesus during the Great Jubilee of the year 2000. Kairos was inspired by ecumenical experiences gained during more than three decades of relations between representatives of Churches and Ecclesial Communities in Bari and around the world. Kairos is an expression of a new breath of the Holy Spirit in the Community of Jesus that has forged fraternal ecumenical relations internationally. In 2016 the first Kairos gathering in the United States was held in Augusta, Georgia.
The meeting of Kairos cannot be considered a simple ecumenical event among many, but it should be considered a new ecumenical Pentecost. Bari has been called an ecumenical city par excellence by the testimony of Bishop Nicholas of Myra. Because of the presence of the Basilica dedicated to Nicholas, Bari is considered a Holy City of the Churches of Eastern Europe. It has for centuries been a destination of pilgrimage by the faithful, especially from the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches and, more recently, by the Christian Communities of the Reformation and the Anglican family, all seeking to restore Christian unity.
The Community of Jesus has become an active and constant presence in the ecumenical movement with a tendency for a real ministry to the reconciliation of Christians. The Community drew inspiration and support in the early 1980’s from the Evangelical Pentecostal charismatic movement. It was a pioneering experience at that time and really astonishing. Over the years, almost like a new ecumenical Pentecost founded on fraternal love, the common prayer and the constant murmur of the Spirit, the activities of the Community of Jesus have grown increasingly abroad.
It was as if this new Pentecost exploded where the Community, through its missionaries, arrived to take the gospel of reconciliation among Christians in the Americas, Europe and Asia. There have been radical changes mentally and in attitudes among Christians of various confessions, changes that were previously unthinkable. It was and it is a kind of miracle that occurred and still occurs suddenly and to the general surprise of all. In addition, for over a decade, the Community has started an international dialogue with representatives of Messianic Judaism.
The spiritual ecumenism indicated by the Second Vatican Council is accomplished through the experience of a strong presence of the Holy Spirit, which is manifested in ever new and extraordinary ways in the starting of the prophetic mission. Participation in the meeting of Kairos representing various Churches and Christian Communities is one of the concrete gestures of the unity in the diversity, which testifies to the ecumenical journey undertaken with the universal Church for the realization of the desires of the heart Jesus “that all may be one so that the world may believe”.