News Detail
Jesuits Name Fr. William J. Kelley, S.J., New Secretary for Social and International Ministries

April 9, 2014 — The Society of Jesus in the United States has announced that Father William J. Kelley, S.J., has been named the new Secretary for Social and International Ministries at the Jesuit Conference. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Jesuit Conference is the liaison office that coordinates the national work of the Jesuits, the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church. As secretary for Social and International Ministries, Fr. Kelley’s responsibilities will include coordinating and supporting the Jesuits’ social justice work in the U.S. and networking with international justice ministries. Fr. Kelley assumes his new role in the fall of 2014.

Currently serving as the provincial assistant for pastoral ministries for the California Province of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Kelley’s life as a Jesuit has been defined by his care for those who are at the margins, especially those from Latin America. 

Originally from Philadelphia, he first met the Jesuits as a student at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, and following his 1973 graduation, Fr. Kelley entered the Maryland Province Jesuits. Always interested in international ministry, Fr. Kelley was missioned to Chile in the late 1970s to serve for two years as a teacher at the Colegio San Mateo in Osorno.  After obtaining a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Fr. Kelley returned to Chile to study at the ILADES Latin American Institute of Doctrine and Social Studies in Santiago.  Following ordination in 1985, he returned to Chile for 2 ½ years to work in a parish in Santiago. After several years of graduate studies at Stanford, Fr. Kelley served in parish ministry for nearly 15 years in Jesuit churches in North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey. Much of his parish work has been devoted to ministering to Hispanic and urban congregations and accompanying those who are struggling with issues surrounding immigration.

“As I look back over my life as a Jesuit, the single most important thing that ever happened to me was the opportunity to go to Chile early on, which helped shape everything that came later.  I’ve found myself always seeking opportunities and assignments that would bring me into contact with Hispanic people,” said Fr. Kelley. “The years of working in parishes have helped me see the needs of those we minister to, especially in terms of immigration and the impact of poverty. This position perfectly encompasses everything that gives me life, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

Father Thomas H. Smolich, S.J., president of the Jesuit Conference, said, “In addition to his many years of parish ministry, Fr. Kelley brings solid academic credentials to his new role heading our office of Social and International Ministries. His extensive experience in Latin America will be extremely important as the Society of Jesus continues to put our work for faith and justice at the forefront of everything we do.”

Fr. Kelley replaces Father Thomas Greene, S.J., who will next serve as rector of the Bellarmine House of Studies, a Jesuit formation center in St. Louis. Of Fr. Green’s tenure, Fr. Smolich said, “I am profoundly grateful for the contributions of Father Tom Greene.  “He brought energy, focus and leadership to our advocacy efforts and because of his work and devotion to social justice, we’ve made tremendous strides in the last four years.”


Recent News

May 20, 2015 — The vocational call came early for Jesuit Father Jonathan Haschka — when he was just a freshman at his Jesuit high school.

May 18, 2015 — Nearly 300 Jesuits will gather at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles this June — all Canadian and U.S. Jesuits currently in formation and their provincials.

May 12, 2015 — Jesuits are responding to the earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25 and has killed over 4,000 people.

May 15, 2015 — Tiny, a three-legged golden retriever born with a deformed right front leg, has a new prosthetic leg thanks to a computer science class at Xavier University.

May 13, 2015 — Jesuit Father Richard McGowan is nicknamed “Padre Pecado” — the “Priest of Sin” — due to his status as a leading expert on the economics of alcohol and gambling.

May 12, 2015 — Last year, 21 Jesuits in Canada and the U.S. were called to final vows, and many took the opportunity to reflect on the greatest blessing of their Jesuit vocation.

May 11, 2015 — Nativity Preparatory School, a Jesuit middle school, has transformed the lives of young men with a tuition-free, first-class education since its founding in 1990.

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 - 5/25/15-6/1/15

America - 5/18/15

America - 5/11/15



Loyola House of Retreats
Loyola House of Retreats is located on 30 acres of beautiful lawns, gardens and woodland in a quiet section of Morristown, N.J.