November 15, 2016 —
Yesterday in Rome, the nine Jesuit provincials of Canada and the U.S. had their
first meeting with newly elected Superior General, Father Arturo Sosa, SJ. The
provincials comprise the board of the Jesuit Conference, the organization that
represents the Society of Jesus in Canada and the U.S. and handles matters of
governance. The provincials are among the 215 delegates to General Congregation
36, which began on October 2 and concluded on
November 12. Before the Jesuits leave Rome, Fr. Sosa is holding similar
meetings with the provincials who comprise the other five conferences around
Father General Arturo Sosa (front row, center) met with the Jesuit provincials of Canada and the U.S. Photo by Itua Egbor, SJ.
primary agenda of the meetings was for Fr. Sosa to learn more about each of the
six conferences and discuss items unique to each conference.
major theme in the meeting with the provincials of Canada and the United States
was the relationship with the General Curia — the Society’s headquarters in
Rome — and with the provinces in North America. Many major decisions in
the Society are made by the Superior General, such as the appointment of
provincials, rectors and superiors; the approval of final vows; the opening and
closing of Jesuit communities and apostolic works; as well as financial
reporting and other business. As Fr. Sosa develops his General Counsel in Rome,
he will do so in coordination with the conferences and provinces.
Photo by Itua Egbor, SJ.
from Venezuela, Fr. Sosa knows the Americas well and the relationship between
the Conference of Latin American Provincials with Canadian and U.S. provincials.
In May 2016 these two
conferences met in San Salvador to outline common goals in preparation for
the General Congregation. During the meeting,
the provincials examined a wide range of issues, from the needs of migrants and
educational opportunities for the poor to environmental protection and the
rights of native people. The group also discussed ways to increase
Now that the
Congregation has concluded, the provincials revisited some of these goals with Fr.
Sosa. The two conferences in America will continue their strong collaboration,
particularly in the area of Jesuit formation and in regions such as the
Caribbean where both conferences work together.
there was not much discussion of specific apostolates, they did discuss the
effects of the recent hurricane in Haiti and the conference’s role in
accompanying the Jesuits in Haiti at this time. According to Father Timothy
Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S., “The
meeting was an open and uplifting exchange of ideas and plans. The provincials
and I are eager to work with our new General and aid his assistance of the global Society.”
Photo by Itua Egbor, SJ.
Father Scott Santarosa,
SJ, provincial of the Oregon Province said, “I liked and appreciated his open
and clear style. I’m impressed with his decision to meet with every conference
to ask us what we need from him and to tell us what he needs from us.”
members of the Congregation are all making their way home to their respective
provinces. The provincials of Canada and the U.S. return with the experience of
GC 36 and some clear initial directives from their new Superior General.