News Detail
Jesuit Father Kevin O’Brien
“I think all of us in religion would do better when we listen first.”
Jesuit Discusses Faith in America on Morning Joe

Jesuit Father Kevin O’Brien, vice president of mission and ministry at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., recently appeared on the talk show Morning Joe, where he discussed faith in the United States.  He addressed a recent Gallup Poll that found 77% of people said religion was losing its influence in the country. “I think what the churches, synagogues and mosques need to do is get back to the basics. In our case, to preach the Gospel and focus on what we’re most deeply about,” he said.

Fr. O’Brien said he takes his cues from Pope Francis. “His style ... is really about getting back to basics. … He’s preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He’s talking about the poor. He’s talking about helping people finding meaning in their lives. He’s inviting people to encounter Jesus and for the Christian that’s a very attractive message.”

Fr. O’Brien also addressed a 2012 Pew Forum survey that found 1 in 5 adults are not affiliated with any religion. Most described themselves as spiritual but not religious.

That’s a call for religious to listen to that longing of those people, according to Fr. O’Brien. “They’re longing for God. I think we do better when we listen first to what that longing is about and then share our tradition.”

As for getting people back into the church, Fr. O’Brien said it’s a call to humility. “The churches must be in a more listening posture: that is to invite and to welcome ... I think the reason why Pope Francis has spoken to so many people across religious traditions is that he is a humble man and he’s in a listening posture.

“I think all of us in religion would do better when we listen first,” Fr. O’Brien said. “I think this pope is leading the way. Frankly, for me, he’s making me a better priest if I follow his example.” 


Recent News

April 29, 2016 — The Ecuadoran Jesuits are seeking support to respond to the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that violently shook Ecuador, leaving nearly 700 people dead, roughly 16,600 injured, and many missing.

April 28, 2016 — In 1838, high-ranking Jesuits affiliated with Georgetown University sold 272 slaves to pay off debts, a tragic chapter in the school's history.

April 26, 2016 —As a Jesuit-inspired school, Mother Teresa Middle School in Regina, Saskatchewan, aims to instill the values of Jesuit education in the minds and hearts of its students.

April 26, 2016 — Fr. Gonçalves will succeed Fr. François-Xavier Dumortier, SJ, on Sept. 1, 2016.

April 22, 2016 — Today is Earth Day, and Jesuit high schools, universities, parishes and ministries are living the call to action put forth by Laudato Si’.

April 19, 2016 — The French Canada Jesuit Province’s Relations magazine has been awarded the Lyse-Daniels 2016 Excellence Award from Impératif français.

April 16, 2016 — Pope Francis' five-hour visit to Greece ended with him offering safe passage to Italy to 12 Syrian Muslims, half under the age of 18.

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 - 5/2/16

America - 4/25/16

America - 4/18/16



White House Jesuit Retreat Center
The White House Jesuit Retreat Center is located on a beautiful 80-acre campus on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in St. Louis.