These are exciting times, as we eagerly await Pope Francis’ first historic visit to the United States! On his journey to our region this September, Pope Francis will not only address elected officials and diplomats in New York and Washington, D.C., he will also pray and worship with interreligious groups, children and immigrant families, religious men and women and even prisoners at a correctional facility.
In his spirit, words and actions, the Pontiff calls us to proclaim the Gospel to those on the margins. Since the days of Ignatius, Jesuits have heeded the call to find God in all things and to serve others through mission and ministry.
In this issue of JESUITS, we focus on how our parishes, outreach programs, schools and universities are living the Magis – the Jesuit concept of the more – by helping others overcome adversity. Whether responding to the needs of unaccompanied children, advocating for migrant families fighting for their homes, offering life skills and services to the homeless, or teaming with Catholic Charities to assist refugees with nothing but the clothes on their backs, our motivations stem from St. Ignatius’ simple quote, “Love is shown more in deeds than in words.”
We have so much to celebrate in our provinces and across the country. Four men from the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces were ordained to the priesthood in June, along with twenty-four others from provinces throughout the U.S. and Canada. This is the highest number of ordained priests in fifteen years. Nine other Jesuit priests pronounced final vows this year, finalizing their commitment and membership in the Society of Jesus. What a joyous occasion during this appointed Year of Consecrated Life by Pope Francis.
Through our longstanding commitment to education, the Jesuits have equipped countless individuals with tools for sharpening intellects and creating better lives for themselves and their families. In this issue, we recognize women, particularly, who have assumed leadership positions in some of our Jesuit schools. These women play an enormous role in shaping today’s students into people of conscience, compassion, and competence. Like our brother Jesuits, they view their service as a vocation.
We hope that these articles will inspire you to find your own avenues for service. We ask for your continued prayers for the many men and women who actively devote their lives to helping others in the spirit of the Ignatian mission. We are grateful, as always, for your help with our ministries and your generous support, and we ask that you continue to hold the Jesuits in your daily prayers.
Sincerely in Christ,