Fr. Sosa (left) and Fr. Kesicki
A Historic Moment with Father General in North America

Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, is on a 12-day visit to Canada. This past week, he took part in a meeting that included the Jesuit provincials of Canada and the United States. In this reflection, Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, discusses some of the highlights of the provincials’ time with Father General. 

May 26, 2018 — “Saint Ignatius of Loyola had a strong devotion to la Nostra Signora Della Strada (Our Lady of the Way); he prayed to her not only when he was walking in different countries, but also when he was in his office in Rome.” These were the opening words of Father General Sosa’s homily to the provincials at their recent meeting in Montreal of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, which represents all Jesuits in those countries. As the 31st successor to Saint Ignatius, Fr. Sosa invited the provincials to reflect on how Our Lady has been helping us to follow her Son. This was Fr. Sosa’s first visit to our Conference since being elected Superior General in October 2016, and the provincials welcomed his spiritual and fraternal wisdom during these important days together.


There are six Jesuit Conferences in the world and Fr. General meets with three of them a year. His participation in our Spring meeting comes at an important time in our Conference as we continue to implement the strategic realignment of provinces. We met in Canada, which will form one province from two this summer. During his time with us, Fr. Sosa also visited Jesuit houses and ministries in Montreal.

Fr. General joined most of our sessions and held individual conferences with each of the provincials. The visit gave him an opportunity to engage in our important discussions as well as express his vision for the Society of Jesus today. In his remarks to us, he commented on our ongoing discernment of Universal Apostolic Preferences for the Society. He reminded us that we are looking for apostolic orientations which will bind the many Jesuit ministries around the world in light of the needs of the world.

These Apostolic Preferences will help Jesuits and their partners to make important choices for ministry in the next 10 years. He then directed us to reflect on the pressing issues now facing our world: a crisis in human rights; religious and ideological fundamentalism; the challenge of migration; and the ongoing inequalities between nations. He reminded us that the mission of the Society is its service to the Church and the Holy Father whom we vow to serve. He also commented on vocation promotion, emphasizing the need for Jesuit brothers along with candidates for priesthood.

The agenda for the provincials’ meeting focused on three primary themes: reconciliation, the apostolate of higher education and the future of Jesuit formation. For over a year the Society in the United States has been engaged in a process for dialogue with descendants of Jesuit slaveholding. As part of this process, three African-American Jesuits accompanied us in a reflection on racism within our own ranks and in the larger world. This reflection flowed from the recent Jesuit General Congregation’s call for reconciliation with humanity and with God. The provincials in the conference are also preparing for a joint meeting with presidents of Jesuit colleges and universities in the fall of 2019. These joint meetings occur every three to five years and focus on the future of Jesuit higher education. This summer there will be an international meeting on Jesuit higher education in Bilbao, Spain, and this will inform our future planning. Finally, we spent some quality time on our review and planning of the intellectual formation of Jesuits.

A parting image for the provincials at the end of the meeting was an image from Fr. Sosa’s homily. Preaching on the chapter nine of Mark’s Gospel, he emphasized the passage, “Everyone will be salted with fire.” He urged us to remember that we are not salted with fire once and forever. This allegory for conversion is a process whereby we need to keep on the fire, he said. “We need to take care of the friendship with the Lord that makes being an apostolic body possible.”





Recent News

December 6, 2019 – Fr. Julien Harvey, SJ, was a great Jesuit intellectual from Quebec. Though he passed away in 1998, his ideas and ways of proceeding — refusing simplification, listening, dialoguing and concrete proposals — have proven to be prophetic.

December 6, 2019 – Since the beginning of his papacy, Pope Francis has repeatedly come back to the importance of process and discernment in beginning a shift towards change and the transformation of the Church.

November 30, 2019 – We express our solidarity with the women of Fanm Deside in Haiti.

On November 25, in the early afternoon, Fr. Fernand Jutras, SJ passed away at the Richelieu infirmary. He was in his 78th and in religious life for 59 years. From 1971 to 2016, he carried out different ministries and professional activities in Montreal.

November 29, 2019 – On my way to Rome, I was skeptical and critical. I thought to myself: here is another celebration to swell our ego and justify our helplessness. I was comforted by the idea that I would enjoy as a tourist. But I was surprised!

November 29, 2019 – From November 9 to 14, 2019, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Canada team hosted its simulation exercise "A Journey in Exile" three times in three different locations. The exercise is a role-playing experience that puts participants in the shoes of a refugee.

November 21, 2019 – Even as “a twenty-year-old for the fourth time,” Fr. Michel Lefebvre, SJ, is kept busy either sitting on the Board of Directors or performing marriages and baptisms for former students of the Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, where he worked for over 45 years. Here are extracts from a moving interview.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Campion's Brag

Relations Mai 2019

Canadian Jesuits



Manresa Jesuit Renewal Centre
Since 1946, Manresa has welcomed retreatants to grow closer to God on 21 beautiful acres in ...