Fr Arturo Sosa at the UCAT in Venezuela

Special contribution by Jesús Gerardo Díaz

Táchira is an area in Venezuela where, in the main, religious, simple and hard-working people live. On 26 June 2023, a memorable event took place in Loma del Tejar, the headquarters of the sixty year-old Catholic University of Táchira: it was the Jesuit Superior General’s Canonical Visitation to the university. The last such visitation occurred 25 years ago. The person who made this visit was none other than Fr Arturo Sosa. He had been the Rector of the University for ten years, a time of both challenge and achievement. The visit celebrated 100 years of education and development in Táchira, two words framed the occasion: gratitude and love.

Fr General’s first meeting was with the staff, the workers, administrators and employees of the institution. Each member of staff had the opportunity to meet Fr Sosa, their friend and companion on much of their journey. Gratitude predominated, when all the good things received and the times of shared effort were remembered. Then, at lunch, Fr General greeted, with great affection, the directors of the Jesuit works which operate in the Colombian-Venezuelan border area. These ministries fall under the umbrella of Apostolic Ignatian Border Network (RAIF).


This network came together for the occasion. RAIF consists of schools and universities; provides services to care for migrants, spiritual care, and vocational training: RAIF also promotes a culture of citizenship and peace. The Parish of San Camilo de Lelis is part of RAIF. Fr General had the opportunity to hear first-hand from those who are involved in these works. He heard about the processes and activities, focused on development, which form the basis of each of these ministries. Attention to the needs of the most vulnerable people, those who have been, and are victims of unjust political, economic and social structures, stands at the core of RAIF ministries. These structures have made the development of a dignified life for the inhabitants of these lands very difficult.

In the same venue, Fr Arturo also met with a group of young people. These are members of the various apostolic teams that provide leadership formation based on the ethos of the Society of Jesus. Together they work to reconstruct the social order, so that people may heal the relationships within themselves, with each other, with their environment, and, hence, with their Creator. Fr General listened to the needs and desires of these young people, and he also took note of the initiatives and concrete service which they provide to the best of their abilities. Their dedication is based on compassion, and on a commitment to transform their environment, so that healthy and equitable relationships may be fostered and flourish.


Late in the afternoon, the degree of Doctor in Law, Honoris Causa was conferred and invested on Fr Sosa. Mario Moronta, the Chancellor of the University, recalled Arturo Sosa as a deep, complex, and creative thinker, focused on the greater good of people in all situations. On his part, the Rector, Fr Javier Yonekura, congratulated Fr Sosa, and highlighted how he fittingly deserved the honour bestowed on him. Fr Javier sincerely thanked Fr Arturo for all the benefits he has brought to the university, and the good – especially in the quest for justice and peace – which he continues to pursue now as Superior General. In his response, Fr Sosa reflected on the need to act in, and from the material and human situation in which one finds oneself; on the importance of education; as well as on the desire to use the law as a means to transform reality. The law can do this by generating new structures which “promote, respect and defend the dignity of human life”.

In each meeting, Fr General encouraged and comforted his hearers, and he confirmed that the Society of Jesus would continue to accompany the works situated on the Colombian-Venezuelan border. He expressed his deep gratitude for the generous dedication of so many people as they actualize their shared mission. The best possible preparation to meet the current challenges is a willing, generous spirit. He highlighted that acting out fraternal love allows the building up of the Kingdom of Justice for the Greater Glory of God.

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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