“We want very much to walk together with you toward wholeness and healing.”
We want very much to walk together with you toward wholeness and healing.
Father General spent much of the month of August
in the United States, first at the Assembly of the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU). He then took time to visit his fellow Jesuits and
their communities in the eastern United States. But another important moment of
his stay in North America was his visit to Pine Ridge, South Dakota, where
since the late 19th century Jesuits have accompanied the Lakota
He met with teachers and students at the Red Cloud Indian High School, experienced Lakota culture at the Heritage Center, and met with community leaders. Considering the current tense climate between Native Nations in North America and church leaders who have been involved in government residential school programs where young “Indians” were removed from their roots, from their families even, Father Sosa felt it necessary to confront these difficult issues.
did so in a speech in which, after introducing himself simply as ‘Arturo,’ the
first child of a Venezuelan family, he told the story of how he had chosen to
become a Jesuit. He said: “I will tell you who I am. I am not the Pope. I am
not a politician. I am not a person with riches or power. I am a simple Jesuit
who wants to walk with Jesus, poor and humble, and with others like you who
seek the reign of Wakhan Tanka,
whether in Christian or in traditional Lakota ways.” Here are some excerpts
from that speech.
As Jesuits walk with others the pathway to God, as we walk with those whom others have pushed aside, as we accompany the young, as we collaborate in care for our common home, we again and again are invited into an intercultural encounter. We Jesuits do not want ... we have never wanted ... to live in a world that has a single, homogenous, global culture. Nor do we want simply to live side-by-side with people of different cultures. (...)
We Jesuits have learned and continue to learn much from you about courage and compassion, about respect and resilience, about strength and generosity, about demanding that civil governments defend the poor and the vulnerable instead of oppressing them. You show us what it means to walk “the good red road.”
As we look back over the road that we have already traveled together, we find many reasons to be grateful. I have heard about Father Buechel, who studied your language with great care and produced a Lakota grammar and dictionary. He taught us Jesuits how to hear God speaking to us in the Lakota language. Even more remarkable is the example of Black Elk, a holy man of the Lakota who is now honored by Catholics everywhere as a teacher and model of holiness. I have also been inspired by the changes in the educational and pastoral ministries at Red Cloud and St Francis over the past several decades, changes that flow from a renewed appreciation of the richness of the Lakota culture.
But when we look back over the road that we have traveled we see that Jesuits also took some very wrong turns, especially by accepting the American government’s oppressive educational regulations that took children from their families, from their language, and from their culture. (...)
On behalf of the Society of Jesus, I apologize for the ways in which St Francis and Holy Rosary Missions and boarding schools were for decades complicit in the U.S. government’s reprehensible assimilation policies, trying to eradicate your culture. I ask for your forgiveness for that and for any other abuses that any of you or your ancestors suffered.
I also want to express the support of the Jesuits for the Truth and Healing process that is now underway. Earlier today I met with some of the Lakota participants in that process. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. We want very much to walk together with you toward wholeness and healing.
Fr. Arturo Sosa, Superior General, has appointed Fr. Enric Puiggròs Llavinés as the new Provincial of Spain. The announcement to the Province was made on Thursday 9 March, adding that Fr. Puiggròs would take office in June 2023.
The year 2023 marks the second year of the Commission on the Role and Responsibilities of Women in the Society of Jesus. In the past two years, the Women’s Commission has conducted various activities to respond to the call of Father General Arturo Sosa...
Lent is an invitation to prayer and reflection - a time to discern who we are and what we are called to be. To enter into that prayer we must also look at the people and experiences that formed us.
Father Arturo Sosa, Superior General, has nominated Fr. Dalibor Renić as the next President of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials (JCEP).
Collaboration continues at break-neck speed at the General Curia, with an impressive number of back-to-back workshops, formation sessions, and conferences. From February 6 to 10, some fifteen Jesuits - all recently appointed treasurers of their respective Provinces...
Father General Arturo Sosa has appointed Father Sebastian Šujević as the next Provincial of Croatia.Fr. Sebastian is aged 44 and comes from the city of Rijeka, Croatia. He grew up in a Jesuit parish in his native city, where he also attended the Salesian High School.