January 3, 2014 — Today, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Church of the Gesù in Rome with fellow Jesuits for the feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, which is also the official start of the yearlong commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Society of Jesus. The Jesuits in the U.S. are planning a number of events throughout the year to mark the bicentennial of Pope Pius VII’s order to restore the Society of Jesus, which had been suppressed in 1773.
Pressured by the royal courts of Portugal, France and Spain, Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society, causing Jesuits throughout the world to renounce their vows and go into exile. The suppression lasted for 41 years, until the Society’s restoration on August 7, 1814.
“I pray that our grateful commemoration of this 200th anniversary of the Society’s reestablishment might be blessed with a deeper appropriation of our way of life and a more creative, generous and joyful commitment to give our lives in service for the greater glory of God,” said Jesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus.
Anniversary events in the U.S. will include a speakers’ bureau with Jesuit and lay collaborators. Speakers include Jesuit Fathers Tom Lucas, Mark Lewis, Gerald McKevitt, John Padberg and Thomas Worcester and Drs. Emmett Curran of Georgetown University, Robert Maryks of Boston College and Jonathan Wright of Durham University in the United Kingdom.
In addition, there will be two academic conferences. The Boston College conference, “Jesuit Survival and Restoration: 200th Anniversary Perspectives from Boston and Macau,” will take place June 11-15, 2014, and will examine aspects of the history of the restoration in east-central Europe/Russia, China and the United States. Loyola University Chicago’s conference, “Restored Jesuits and the American Experience,” will be held October 16–19, 2014.