News Detail
The new Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ.
In Interview with America Magazine, Superior General Says Jesuits Can Be Models of Reconciliation

December 4, 2016 — In a world of conflict, deeply in need of the mercy frequently implored by Pope Francis, Jesuits can be agents of reconciliation and dialogue, the Society’s new Superior General Father Arturo Sosa, SJ, said in an exclusive interview with America magazine.

Fr. Sosa, elected superior general of the Society of Jesus on Oct. 14, told America’s editor-in-chief Father Matt Malone, SJ, that he believes far-flung Jesuits can be models of the benefits of discernment, adaptability and “the very rich experience of … multiculturality” for the church and the world, especially in those regions of conflict where Jesuits are present. He spoke with Fr. Malone in Rome on Nov. 28.

Fr. Sosa, born in Caracas, Venezuela, is the first Jesuit from Latin America to be elected superior general. His election comes as the church is experiencing its first Latin American pope. He suggested this historic moment represents an invitation “to see the Latin American church” and the progress it has made since Vatican II.

“Jorge Mario Bergoglio — Pope Francis — and myself, we’re sons of a church and a living church. The Latin American church has made a very nice process after Vatican II. We were formed in that process—the pope and myself — in different points in Latin America.”

That mutual historical experience, he said, “takes very seriously the faith of the people … takes very seriously the community life as the base of the church life, takes very seriously the respect for the other and very seriously tries to make the social justice a practical commitment of the church, of the Society.”

Fr. Sosa said that Pope Francis understands very well the role of religious life in the church. “So for the Society it’s really an opportunity to be used. The pope knows very well how he can use the Jesuits and the Society of Jesus in service of the church.”

On Nov. 26, just a few days before Fr. Malone spoke with Fr. Sosa, Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ, a former superior general, passed away in Lebanon. Fr. Sosa said Fr. Kolvenbach “opened the Society to dialogue with all the cultures, especially the inter-religious dialogue … he was very aware of the importance [other traditions] — different from the Latin tradition — in the church."

“During his 25 years as general, the Society became a real multicultural body of the church,” Fr. Sosa added.

Fr. Sosa told Fr. Malone that after the shock of being elected superior general he quickly came to feel at peace with the decision of his brother Jesuits, partly because of his confidence in the system of discernment applied by Jesuits to the election.

“It’s a time of praying, of discernment, of dialogue among the electors,” he said of the election process, which he described as a deeply spiritual experience, of “being in the hands of God.”

“If we take seriously that the Spirit talks in the election … that gives me peace,” he said. “It was not my desire; it was not my plan; I didn’t want to do that. So it’s really like a call from the Spirit through my brothers, the Society. So I suppose the same Spirit that made that movement and the brothers who put me here will help to move on in the Society’s mission.”

He likened this experience of acceptance to the Ignatian sense of spiritual consolation. “It’s not a superficial happiness. It’s a feeling that you are really in the hands of God and you want to do his will.” [Source: America magazine]





Recent News

January 15, 2018 — In honor of a great man, here are 31 inspirational Martin Luther King Jr. quotes.

January 12, 2018 — Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School has selected Fr. William Verbryke, SJ, as its 12th president.

January 10, 2018 — Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola, the Jesuit secondary school in San Juan, Puerto Rico, has appointed Fr. Timothy A. Howe, SJ, to serve as the school’s next president.

January 8, 2018 — Jesuit Father Anthony J. Corcoran was installed as apostolic administrator of Kyrgyzstan on Dec. 17.

January 5, 2018 — Brendan Coffey, SJ, a Jesuit in formation, is featured in a news report on vocations in the Catholic Church.

January 3, 2018 — Michael D. Johnson, Ph.D., has been named as the 25th president of John Carroll University.

January 1, 2018 — In the early days of 2017, the newly elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Father Arturo Sosa, SJ, helped set the stage for a year that will be very much remembered for the Jesuits’ care for people at the margins.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 11/13/17

America 10/30/17

America 10/29/17



Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago
Located 80 miles north of Milwaukee, the Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago welcomes men and women of all faiths to its silent preached and directed retreats.