What an amazing and inspirational year 2015 has been for our two Jesuit provinces! Everyone is still riding high on the excitement of having our Jesuit Pontiff, Pope Francis, in our midst this September. How incredibly blessed we were that his first visit to America came through the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces. As he celebrated Mass in Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia, he drew crowds far and wide by the hundreds of thousands. His appearances, including his address to Congress, his prayer service at the 9/11 Memorial, and his participation at the World Meeting of Families, just to name a few, engaged millions of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Our coverage of these events via social media garnered more than a thousand new followers on our Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/JesuitsEast.
For Jesuits, the pope’s visit was a wonderful opportunity to shed light on our mission of service to those in need. His Jesuit background couldn’t have been more fully and beautifully expressed, as he chose to interact with the forgotten and marginalized in each city, rather than only with dignitaries. He captured the hearts of so many, creating the opportunity for them to draw closer to Christ. What better way to live the spirit of St. Ignatius!
Pope Francis named 2015 the Year of Consecrated Life, and while in Washington, he paid a special visit to those following their call to religious life. How extraordinary it was that during this year devoted to vocations, 28 Jesuits were ordained to the priesthood throughout the U.S. and Canada, the highest number in 15 years. Please pray for a continued calling of candidates to the Society of Jesus and for those already in formation.
We hope you enjoy this issue of JESUITS as we recap how the pope’s visit transcended cultures and generations, enlightening all those who experienced his charisma – Jesuits included!
And, as always, we thank you for your continued prayers and support of our many ministries, the formation of our future priests and brothers, and the care of our senior Jesuits. May the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones during this season of Christmas and throughout the New Year.
Sincerely in Christ,