July 5, 2017 — Jesuits West, the newest province of the Society of Jesus in the United States, came into existence July 1 and will serve 10 Western states. The new province, which reunites the former California and Oregon Provinces, will continue the Jesuit tradition of going to the margins of society to provide education, spirituality and justice wherever it is needed most.
Under the leadership of Provincial Father Scott Santarosa, SJ, and a cadre of Jesuit and lay leadership and volunteer partners, Jesuits West is a broad network of approximately 100 ministries and works offering education through universities, high schools and elementary and Nativity schools; Ignatian spirituality through parishes and retreat and spirituality centers; help and guidance to the poor and marginalized through social ministries; education and training for the next generations of Jesuit priests and brothers; and care of senior and infirm Jesuits who have dedicated their lives to the service of others.
|Gonzaga University in Spokane is one of five Jesuit universities within the Jesuits West territory.|
"We're trying to force ourselves to creatively respond to new needs that the world is presenting us and new ways of serving the Lord," Fr. Santarosa said. "It raises all kinds of questions. Why are we doing what we're currently doing? Are there better ways to do it? Should we still be at these works or should there be some other works that we could be doing? Ultimately, it's a question of trying to make us more responsive to the Kingdom of God."
The 10 states served by Jesuits West are Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Utah, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii.
"I think it gets to something that former Superior General Fr. (Adolfo) Nicolás wrote to me," Fr. Santarosa said. "He wrote, 'The purpose of the restructuring is broadening our apostolic horizons, forming new initiatives. It's starting new works. It's looking at new ways of being in our existing works. It's finding new ways to creatively reach out to young people. It's forming new networks.' Ideally, a province is a discerning body, answering the question, 'Where is God calling us collectively as religious men in this particular geographic area?'" [Source: Jesuits West]