The new Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ.
In Interview with America Magazine, Superior General Says Jesuits Can Be Models of Reconciliation

December 4, 2016 — In a world of conflict, deeply in need of the mercy frequently implored by Pope Francis, Jesuits can be agents of reconciliation and dialogue, the Society’s new Superior General Father Arturo Sosa, SJ, said in an exclusive interview with America magazine.

Fr. Sosa, elected superior general of the Society of Jesus on Oct. 14, told America’s editor-in-chief Father Matt Malone, SJ, that he believes far-flung Jesuits can be models of the benefits of discernment, adaptability and “the very rich experience of … multiculturality” for the church and the world, especially in those regions of conflict where Jesuits are present. He spoke with Fr. Malone in Rome on Nov. 28.

Fr. Sosa, born in Caracas, Venezuela, is the first Jesuit from Latin America to be elected superior general. His election comes as the church is experiencing its first Latin American pope. He suggested this historic moment represents an invitation “to see the Latin American church” and the progress it has made since Vatican II.

“Jorge Mario Bergoglio — Pope Francis — and myself, we’re sons of a church and a living church. The Latin American church has made a very nice process after Vatican II. We were formed in that process—the pope and myself — in different points in Latin America.”

That mutual historical experience, he said, “takes very seriously the faith of the people … takes very seriously the community life as the base of the church life, takes very seriously the respect for the other and very seriously tries to make the social justice a practical commitment of the church, of the Society.”

Fr. Sosa said that Pope Francis understands very well the role of religious life in the church. “So for the Society it’s really an opportunity to be used. The pope knows very well how he can use the Jesuits and the Society of Jesus in service of the church.”

On Nov. 26, just a few days before Fr. Malone spoke with Fr. Sosa, Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ, a former superior general, passed away in Lebanon. Fr. Sosa said Fr. Kolvenbach “opened the Society to dialogue with all the cultures, especially the inter-religious dialogue … he was very aware of the importance [other traditions] — different from the Latin tradition — in the church."

“During his 25 years as general, the Society became a real multicultural body of the church,” Fr. Sosa added.

Fr. Sosa told Fr. Malone that after the shock of being elected superior general he quickly came to feel at peace with the decision of his brother Jesuits, partly because of his confidence in the system of discernment applied by Jesuits to the election.

“It’s a time of praying, of discernment, of dialogue among the electors,” he said of the election process, which he described as a deeply spiritual experience, of “being in the hands of God.”

“If we take seriously that the Spirit talks in the election … that gives me peace,” he said. “It was not my desire; it was not my plan; I didn’t want to do that. So it’s really like a call from the Spirit through my brothers, the Society. So I suppose the same Spirit that made that movement and the brothers who put me here will help to move on in the Society’s mission.”

He likened this experience of acceptance to the Ignatian sense of spiritual consolation. “It’s not a superficial happiness. It’s a feeling that you are really in the hands of God and you want to do his will.” [Source: America magazine]





Recent News

January 20, 2020 – “Dare to care,” encouraged Fr. Jim Lefebvre in an interview with the Canadian Jesuits magazine. This is also the central theme tying together the latest edition.

January 10, 2020 – “I’m tired of only hearing about Haiti’s problems in the news. We have problems but we aren’t a problem.” That is the plea that the Superior of the Jesuits in Haiti, Jean-Denis Saint-Félix, SJ, makes on the 10th anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck the country in January 2010.

January 10, 2020 – Last November the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat in Rome marked its first fifty years with a Jubilee gathering. Dozens of global delegates came together for a week of celebration, networking and discernment.

Father Gábor Kiss died at 11:30 am on December 23rd at René Goupil House in Pickering, Ontario (Canada). He was in his 96th year, and was in religious life for 74 years. His life of service can best be expressed by his usual reply: “I strive to do the best possible.”

December 13, 2019 – Caring for our common home is one the new Universal Apostolic Preferences. How exactly do we go about doing this? Fr. John McCarthy's job is to encourage all Jesuits and their colleagues in the Province to imagine different ways of working towards this preference.

December 20, 2019 – The Advent season is often filled with beautiful stories of solidarity. This year, one such story takes place at St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s Newfoundland, part of the Jesuit Schools Network.

December 13, 2019 – It was in the sanctuary of Loreto, Italy that, last March, Pope Francis dedicated all the vocations to the Virgin Mary and signed the apostolic exhortation written in response to the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.

view all news

Search news

Publications

CJI Mission News

Canadian Jesuits

Campion's Brag



Centre de spiritualité Manrèse

Prenant appui sur l’importance qu’Ignace accordait à son expérience personnelle de ...