(Washington, D.C., December 3, 2014) — On the feast of St. Francis Xavier, the patron saint of missionaries and one of the first companions of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, the Society of Jesus is celebrating a significant milestone: the establishment of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.
Founded in 1972, the Jesuit Conference, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., was formed to represent the Society of Jesus in the United States so that American Jesuits could effectively address national and international needs while providing a national voice and a platform for cooperation.
Today, Father General Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, has expanded the Jesuit Conference’s reach by approving the creation of a new organization, the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. Like the Jesuit Conference, the new organization’s scope will include: advocacy around social justice issues, including immigration and poverty; liaison staffing to the two Jesuit provinces in Canada and seven Jesuit provinces in the United States; and work on key focus areas, including pre-secondary, secondary and higher education at Jesuit institutions, Jesuit formation and vocation promotion.
The Jesuit Conference’s President, Father Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J., said, “Today on the feast day of St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit known for always having his sights set on the future, we are grateful that Fr. General has approved our new Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. The Provincials of Canada and the United States have worked closely together for many years, so this step comes as no surprise. Forming a new Conference recognizes the success of that cooperation, acknowledges our shared history and anticipates the opportunities for further collaboration in the mission that awaits us.”
About the Society of Jesus in Canada and the United States
Founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius Loyola, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church. Jesuit priests and brothers are involved in educational, pastoral and spiritual ministries around the world, practicing a faith that promotes justice. In Canada and the United States, there are 30 Jesuit colleges and 81 pre-secondary and secondary schools with a shared goal of developing competent, compassionate and committed leaders in the service of the Church and society. Jesuits minister in parishes and at retreat houses and serve as chaplains at prisons, hospitals, nursing homes and in the military. In Canada and the U.S., the Jesuits are represented by the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, headquartered in Washington, D.C. For more information on the Society of Jesus, visit http://www.jesuits.org.