The Australian Province is expecting hope and wisdom from Father General

It was one of the trips that had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But now Fr Arturo Sosa is back on the road to visit the Australian Province for the first time, and take part in the JCAP (Jesuit Conference of Asia-Pacific) Assembly of Major Superiors. Ahead of the General’s visit, we asked the Provincial of the Australian Province, Fr Quyen Vu, to tell us what his Jesuit companions and mission partners are expecting from this encounter with the Superior General. Fr Vu also told us about his Province and the challenges it faces. He even shared, on a more personal level, what sustains him in fulfilling his task of spiritual animation and apostolic leadership for the immense territory of his Province. Here are some highlights from that interview.

Quyen Vu, Father General has just arrived; what are you and your whole Province hoping for from this visit?

Fr Sosa’s inaugural visit to Australia is eagerly anticipated. We believe that Fr Sosa’s visit will bring encouragement, hope, and words of wisdom to our Province. His comprehensive understanding of the global mission of the Society of Jesus will offer valuable insights, helping us discern where our presence is most needed and how we can effectively serve God’s people in today’s world. There is another specific expectation we have in mind: Fr. General’s intimate engagement with the Synod on Synodality, along with his proximity to the Vatican, will offer valuable insights into how we can effectively serve both the universal Church and, more specifically, our local church in Australia.


You’ve been in office as Provincial for three years. What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian Province at this point in its history? What portrait of the Australian Province will you present to Father Sosa?

The major strength is lay collaboration, so important given the decreasing number of Jesuits available to manage our ministries. Through this collaboration, we have gained significant insights from our lay partners, who exhibit high levels of professionalism and a deep commitment to our mission and spirituality.

Of course, we must recognize our weaknesses: for instance, if collaborating with lay colleagues brings numerous benefits, there might be a downside when some Jesuits experience feelings of marginalisation due to this evolving dynamic. In the complex landscape in which we live, some Jesuits find themselves grappling with questions surrounding Jesuit identity. They ponder the significance of declaring a work as Jesuit when it is managed by a company or corporation with minimal, if any, Jesuit involvement. I would add that the decreasing size of our Jesuit communities might adversely impact community life. Related to this last point, I am mindful, in the context of an aging Province, of not placing additional burdens on my Jesuit companions who have already given so much. The shortage of Jesuit personnel is a pressing issue.

More personally, what energises you in your leadership role, what encourages you to pursue the mission day by day?

In my role as Provincial, I find great inspiration in observing the unwavering dedication of both Jesuits and lay partners to our mission of bringing Christ to others. It’s heartening to witness the shared commitment to delivering the Good News and instilling hope, particularly among those marginalised in our society. The embodiment of the Magis spirit, characterised by a wholehearted devotion of time, talents, gifts, and financial resources not for personal gain but for the benefit of others, is truly uplifting. Witnessing their zeal and passion not only revitalises me but also empowers me to carry out my responsibilities as Provincial with vitality and dynamism.


Can you identify a “grace” that you have received during these years?

Over the past three years, I’ve been blessed with several graces, foremost among them being the acceptance and incredible support from my Jesuit brothers. The Province Congregation, retreats, and assemblies conducted during this period have been warmly embraced, garnering significant appreciation from my fellow Jesuits. This has undoubtedly been the most significant grace bestowed upon me in this role. I am grateful to God for this amazing and unforeseen grace.

And I am inspired by the verse of St Paul to the Romans: “We know that all things work for good for those who love 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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