News Detail
President Obama Appoints Jesuit Father Thomas Reese to Commission on International Religious Freedom

June 11, 2014 — President Barack Obama has named Jesuit Father Thomas J. Reese as the newest member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which serves as an advisory panel to the federal government on protecting religious freedom abroad.

Fr. Reese joins three fellow Catholics on the commission: chairman Robert P. George, a bioethicist and Princeton University professor; James Zogby, the founder and president of the Arab American Institute; and Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard University law professor and former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. Former commission members include Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Bishop William Murphy and Most Reverend Ricardo Ramírez.

“Religious freedom is a fundamental human right of every person on earth,” Fr. Reese wrote in his latest column, “Faith and Justice,” for the National Catholic Reporter. “It is easy to forget about religious freedom when policymakers are so focused on national security, economic issues and other human rights that religious freedom is forgotten,” he wrote.

Fr. Reese, who will serve a two-year term on the commission, is currently a senior analyst for the National Catholic Reporter. Previously, he served as a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., from 2006 to 2013 and from 1988 to 1998, after first joining the Center as a visiting fellow in 1985. He was editor-in-chief of America magazine from 1998 to 2005 and an associate editor from 1978 to 1985. Fr. Reese entered the Society of Jesus in 1962 and was ordained in 1974. He received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Saint Louis University, a Master of Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.

“I am grateful that these talented and dedicated individuals have agreed to take on these important roles and devote their talents to serving the American people. I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years,” Obama said in a statement. [Sources: National Catholic Reporter, Catholic Sentinel, The White House]

Recent News

November 26, 2015 — On this Thanksgiving Day, we share with you an Examen prayer of gratitude, adapted by Marquette University Campus Ministry.

November 24, 2015 — A record-breaking 1,600 students and young adults gathered for the 18th annual Ignatian Family Teach for Justice Nov. 7-9 in Washington, D.C.

November 19, 2015 — The Jesuit Conference is urging Congress to oppose efforts to suspend the U.S. refugee resettlement program or restrict funding for refugees.

November 18, 2015 — As director of the Office of Vocation Promotion, Br. Michael Breault, SJ, is working on vocation outreach that's adapting to meet contemporary realities.

November 16, 2015 — Fr. Schlegel died Nov. 15 in Omaha at age 72 after a 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

November 16, 2015 — Pope Francis held a private audience to commemorate the organization’s 35th anniversary.

November 13, 2015 — In a recent speech in Washington, D.C., Linda LeMura, president of Le Moyne College, expressed her commitment to running a Jesuit university in the modern era.

view all news

Search news

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 - 11/30/15

America - 11/23/15

America - 11/16/15

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.