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

May 23, 2016 — Jesuit Superior General Father Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, recently spent a week in El Salvador, meeting with Jesuit provincials from the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

May 20, 2016 — Fr. Jeffrey Puthoff, SJ, will become St. John's Jesuit High School & Academy's 11th president.

May 19, 2016 — The "Click to Pray" app makes it easier for people around the world to pray for the pope’s monthly intentions.

May 16, 2016 — The Center, founded by Cardinal Bernardin and Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, is celebrating its 45th anniversary.

May 11, 2016 — Over 90 representatives of Jesuit social ministries from more than a dozen countries gathered in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, last month to discuss social justice issues.

May 11, 2016 — Three prominent Jesuits are among the crop of commencement speakers addressing newly minted grads at Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S.

May 9, 2016 — Fr. Garanzini was given the Ignatian Solidarity Network's Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award.

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 - 5/23/16

America - 5/16/16

America - 5/9/16



Sioux Spiritual Center
The Sioux Spiritual Center, nestled amid the hills of western South Dakota, is the heart of the Diocese of Rapid City’s efforts to develop native clergy and leadership on the reservations.