Society of Jesus
Society of Jesus (also known as Jesuits)
The Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) was founded in 1540 at a time when the Church was going through a turbulent time with the Protestant reformation, renaissance etc. Jesuits, placed at the service of the Church and the Roman Pontiff, served the Church and defended the faith very successfully and they continue to do so even today. The early Jesuits Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Diego Laynez, Peter Faber, Jerome Nadal, Alfonso de Polanco, Gonsalves da Camara, Francis Borgia etc. were high intellectuals and yet profoundly spiritual and committed to evangelization. Fired by the power of the Spiritual Exercises, the Society of Jesus continued to attract many brilliant men of calibre, compassion and commitment. Jesuits took the Gospel message to various corners of the world. Their only motive was the Greater Glory of God (AMDG) and the greater good of the people. The Society was suppressed in 1773 due to political compulsions, but restored on August 7, 1814. The Society of Jesus has over 16, 000 members at present.
The Society of Jesus has produced outstanding missionaries, educators, administrators, scientists, artists, linguists, academicians, psychotherapists, preachers, philanthropists, philosophers, theologians, social activists, saints, Spiritual Gurus, bishops, cardinals, pioneers and so on. Besides the early Jesuits, we find, Mateo Ricci, John Berchmanns, John de Britto, Robert De Nobili, Constantine J. Beschi, G. Manley Hopkins, Teilhard de Chardin, Arnos Paathiri, Constant Lievens, Karl Rahner, Carlo Martini, Avery Dulles, CamilBulcke, Jerome D’Souza, Anthony De Mello only to name a few.
The outstanding Jesuit of our day is the Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina who was elected Pope Francis on March 13, 2013.
The Society of Jesus was founded for the care of souls and defence of the Faith of the Church. Charged by the spirit of ‘sentire cum ecclesia’ (feeling/thinking with the Church) and a special bond of Mission [Obedience] to the Roman Pontiff, the Society of Jesus continues to live out creative fidelity in serving and defending the Mother Church, even if it has to suffer in the process. Finding God in all things, the Society of Jesus accepts any apostolic involvement which will bring Greater Glory of God (Ad MaioremDei Gloriam- A.M.D.G) and greater good to more people. In the words of Pope Paul VI and repeatedly endorsed by Pope John Paul II (now a saint) and Pope Benedict XVI: “Wherever in the Church, even in the most difficult and extreme fields, in the crossroads of ideologies, in the front line of social conflict, there has been and there is confrontation between the deepest desires of man and the perennial message of the Gospel, there also there have been, and there are, Jesuits”. Right from its inception the Society of Jesus has excelled and continues to excel in imparting quality education forming the citizens of tomorrow to be persons of Competence, Compassion and Commitment through the well-established educational institutions. Moreover, reading the signs of the times the Jesuits gladly take up Parish/Pastoral ministry, Social and village animations, Mass/Social Communication service, Academic researches, Intellectual pursuits and whatever brings glory to God and wellness to people. Reinterpreting our faith in God – which manifests itself concretely in and through Justice and Reconciliation- the Jesuits follow their Master and Lord in the option for the poor and the deprived whoever they are and wherever they are found. The Jesuits have taken up much seriously the eco-concerns (as recommended in the ‘Laudato Si’) and the preservation of the universe- a gift from the Creator God.
Superior General: Rt. Rev. Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, SJ
Generalate Address: Curia SocietatisIesu, Borgo S. Spirito 4 – 00193 Roma, Italia
South Asian Assistancy & POSA
Today the Jesuits work in 84 Provinces/Regions and Missions spread in more than 130 countries. For the administrative vantages the entire congregation is divided into six administrative units called Assistancies. The South Asian Assistancy, which includes 18 Provinces (Andhra, Bombay, Calcutta, Darjeeling, Delhi, Dumka-Raiganj, Goa, Gujarat, Hazaribag, Jamshedpur, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Madurai, Patna, Pune, Ranchi, and Sri Lanka) and 2 Independent Regions (Nepal and Kohima), has a strength of more than 4012 Jesuits. These Jesuits work even beyond the geographical, cultural, social and intellectual frontiers to meet the apostolic challenges.
The leader of the South Asian Assistancy is called Provincial of the South Asia (POSA) and he is the coordinating provincial of the Conference JCSA (Jesuit Conference of the South Asia).