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

July 18, 2016 — More than 2,000 MAGIS pilgrims are embarking on “Ignatian experiments” across four countries.

July 17, 2016 — 2,200 pilgrims arrived in Lódz for the opening of MAGIS 2016, a program of service and faith-sharing approximately a week and a half preceding WYD.

July 13, 2016 — Fr. Thomas Stegman, SJ, has been named dean of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

July 12, 2016 — Five years ago, Fr. Larry Kroker, SJ, was named honorary chief of a native tribe — an honor he received because of what he and the Jesuits have done spiritually for native people.

July 12, 2016 — More than 2,000 young adults from all over the world who are involved in Jesuit ministries will gather in Poland for MAGIS 2016.

July 11, 2015 — During Independence Day weekend a group of U.S. veterans gathered at the White House Jesuit Retreat in St. Louis to reflect on God’s presence in their military experience.

July 7, 2016 — Celebrate the life and spirituality of the founder of the Society of Jesus through 31 Days with St. Ignatius.

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 - 7/18/16

America - 7/4/16

America - 6/20/16



Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos
The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos has offered prayerful solitude and inspiring vistas to those seeking spiritual rejuvenation since 1925.