November 6, 2019 — Fr. Thomas P. Greene, SJ, has been named the next provincial of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern (UCS) Province by Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus. Fr. Greene will assume his duties on July 31, 2020.
In his letter announcing the next provincial, Fr. Sosa wrote that Fr. Greene “is known as a prayerful Jesuit with a love for the poor, availability for mission, and ease in collaboration. … [He] has demonstrated the leadership skills that the province needs at this moment as … it puts a new apostolic plan into action.”
Fr. Greene currently serves as provincial assistant for international ministries and as Jesuit superior of the Jesuit Community of Belize in Central America. He previously served as the rector (superior) of Bellarmine House of First Studies at Saint Louis University, from 2014 until his appointment to Belize in 2017. He represented the UCS Province as a delegate in 2016 at the Society of Jesus' 36th General Congregation. From 2010 to 2014, Fr. Greene was Secretary for Social and International Ministries at the Jesuit Conference of the United States in Washington, D.C.
“I am humbled to be asked to serve as provincial of the U.S. Central and Southern Province, especially in light of the fine Jesuits who have led our province over the years,” Fr. Greene said. "I look forward to working with my Jesuit brothers and lay colleagues to advance the mission of the Society.”
A native of New Orleans, Fr. Greene holds a Juris Doctorate in civil law (Loyola University New Orleans), as well as graduate degrees in philosophy (M.A., Loyola University Chicago) and conflict resolution (M.S., Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska). He completed his Master of Divinity degree at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California.
Prior to entering the Jesuits in 1997, Fr. Greene practiced law in New Orleans. He was a founding member in 2007 of the Jesuit Social Research Institute of Loyola University New Orleans. His ministries have included the legal representation of detained immigrant children and asylum seekers in Chicago, Houston and New Orleans.
Fr. Greene succeeds Fr. Ronald A. Mercier, SJ, who has served as provincial of the UCS Province since its creation on July 31, 2014. Fr. Mercier will work closely with Fr. Greene during the coming months. Following Fr. Greene’s installation next summer, Fr. Mercier will begin a sabbatical.
A Jesuit provincial is the leader of a province, a geographic area of governance. There are five provinces within the United States. The provincial, sometimes referred to as the provincial superior, is responsible for overseeing the mission of the province and caring for the Jesuits who belong to the province. Provincials generally serve a six-year term.
The UCS Province works include six colleges/universities; 12 secondary and pre-secondary schools; 14 parishes; five retreat houses; and four centers that provide training in Ignatian Spirituality. [Source: USA Central and Southern Province]