St. Ignatius Loyola founded the Jesuits as a missionary order, envisioning a Society of priests and brothers committed to serving God’s people where needs are greatest. Today, Jesuits and their collaborators remain on the frontiers of mission and ministry, providing spiritual care to men, women and families at the margins of society.
Each U.S. province has affiliated works in other parts of the world.
Jesuits from New England have had a long relationship with the Caribbean island-nation of Jamaica, with priests assigned to that island since 1926. Currently, the Jamaica community has its own regional superior who oversees the operations of Jesuits from the Northeast, Canada, and Jamaica. The mission includes schools, chaplaincies and parishes, the Jamaica Centre for Religious Development, social and agricultural works, and other ministries in service of the local church.
Iraq and Jordan
Jesuits from New England have had a presence in Baghdad, Iraq, since 1932, when Jesuit leaders were asked by the Holy Father to establish a high school there. Eventually, a university was also established, but in the late 1960s, the schools were nationalized by the government, and Jesuits were expelled from the nation. A strong network of alumni from the schools continues to meet and hopes for a return of the Jesuits to Baghdad. In 2005, Jesuits began to offer language instruction and spirituality support at the Chaldean Seminary in Northern Iraq.
Since 1987, a community of Jesuits from New England has also offered lay leadership development and spirituality programs to the Christian community of Jordan at the Jesuit Center and has pastored Sacred Heart, the English-speaking parish that serves many overseas workers – both in Amman, Jordan. The Jesuit Refugee Service also provides additional activities for Iraqi and Syrian refugees at the Jesuit Center.
After the Second World War, Jesuits from New York were given responsibility for Jesuit works in what were then the United States Trust Territories in the Pacific – ministries located in what is today the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, the U.S. Territory of Guam and the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Jesuits serve in pastoral ministry on the islands and staff two high schools in the Federated States of Micronesia, Xavier High School, on Chuuk, and Yap Catholic High School, on the island of Yap. Jesuits live in two communities and additionally serve as hospital chaplains and administer the sacraments at St. Mary’s Parish, a deacon-led parish on Yap.
The headquarters of the Society of Jesus (known as the Jesuit Curia) is in Rome, Italy, where many spiritual, educational and administrative works support the operation of the international Order. Jesuits from New England and New York have a long tradition of sending men to these ministries and to the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and the Pontifical Oriental Institutes, which educate and train future Church leaders.
A Jesuit may be sent anywhere in the world to serve the people of God. Northeast Jesuits are also sent on mission to other provinces around the world, such as Nepal, Brazil, Tanzania, Mozambique, Egypt, Lebanon, and the Philippines.