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Dear Friends,

On March 19, along with the Universal Church, the Society of Jesus celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of The Blessed Virgin Mary. It may surprise some of you that St. Joseph is actually the principal patron saint of the Jesuits, and countless other religious orders.

In speaking of St. Joseph, Pope Francis comments,

“Often in life, things happen whose meaning we do not understand. Our first reaction is frequently one of disappointment and rebellion. Joseph set aside his own ideas in order to accept the course of events and, mysterious as they seemed, to embrace them, take responsibility for them and make them part of his own history. Unless we are reconciled with our own history, we will be unable to take a single step forward, for we will always remain hostage to our expectations and the disappointments that follow.”

The Holy Father’s commentary seems especially given what we have lived through over the past few years. It is hard to understand the suffering that so many have endured, the losses that so many have suffered, the hardships we have all faced due to the pandemic. It has been truly difficult to find comfort and see the grace of God working through the pandemic.

Since we will never understand, the Holy Father encourages us to “set aside” the question “why did this happen” and our own ideas, and instead learn and grown from the experience, as did St. Joseph, so we can all move forward as the people of God.

The Jesuits are most grateful that you have decided to be partners in the mission. Your support is essential to the continuation of Jesuit ministry. Let us all pray that, through the intercession of St. Joseph, that we can continue to move forward, having learned from our history, but not be held hostage by it.


Barry J. Leidl
Director, Advancement

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