Fr General’s visit to Milwaukee: inspiration for greater love and service

By James Pribek, SJ | Marquette University

Fr. General Arturo Sosa visited Milwaukee on Sunday, 7 April, bringing much consolation to the Jesuits and apostolic leaders of the area. The weather was not very springlike, but the occasion was lively, warm, and inspiring.

Accompanied by the Provincial and the socius of our Province (UMI – United States Midwest), and two of his Assistants from Rome, Fr. General traveled from Chicago to Milwaukee. The day’s events began with a midmorning mass with the Jesuits at the St. Camillus Community. Fr. Paul Shelton of the Province Vocation Office pronounced his final vows at this Eucharist, after which Fr. Sosa joined the community for lunch.

His group then travelled across town to the O’Brien Jesuit Residence at Marquette University, where he met and conversed with the presidents and board chairs of Marquette University, Marquette High School, Nativity Jesuit Academy, and Christo Rey High School, along with the director of Oshkosh Jesuit Retreat House and the pastor of Gesù Parish.


After a short break, Fr. General moved from the living room to the O’Brien Community chapel, where he addressed members of the Marquette, Arrupe, and Oshkosh Jesuit communities for over an hour, and took questions afterward. He began by recalling his fond friendship with the late Brad Schaeffer, our former Provincial who died recently. Topics moved on to include the Universal Apostolic Preferences, the intellectual apostolates, our observance of poverty, international solidarity and cooperation, and collaboration not as something we do, but as something we embody. In response to a question about Fr. Arrupe’s beatification cause, Fr. Sosa updated us on the recent submission of material to the Vicariate of Rome. All were impressed by Fr. General’s command of English, his energy, and his physical stamina over what must have been a long day of speaking and interacting with hundreds of Jesuits and lay leaders.

A social hour followed in the O’Brien community room, and then an elegant dinner for the assembled Jesuits. Even though we had heard Fr. General’s call to greater adherence to poverty, we also wanted to provide him and his party with the finest hospitality we could. If the length of time we spent at table was any indication, Fr. General’s words and witness had fed us abundantly and inspired us to greater love and service. We certainly saw that the Society’s governance is in good hands and were humbled that Fr. General wished to meet us and hear about our work to further God’s kingdom in the Milwaukee area.

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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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