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Jesuit Frs. Brian G. Paulson (left) and Thomas A. Lawler are provincials of the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Provinces.


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From the Provincials

Dear Friends, 

In this season of Thanksgiving, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, it is fitting that the theme of this issue of Partners is “Gratitude.” Gratitude is at the heart of Saint Ignatius’s spirituality and vision for the Society of Jesus. And it is the bond between the Jesuits and those we work with and serve. 

After recovering from battle injuries, Saint Ignatius traveled through Spain as a pilgrim, and spent time in prayer near Manresa. There, his heart was moved with gratitude and his vocation confirmed by the love of God he encountered through the scriptures, especially in the words and deeds of Jesus. After weeks of prayer, Ignatius discovered new insights into the Christian way of life. He meditated on the transformative power of God’s love, which pours out life to every living creature. He prayed about God’s love, which is showered on the world like water from a fountain and invites a response from the one who is loved. 

For Ignatius...
For Ignatius, gratitude expresses itself through service. “Love ought to show itself more in deeds than in words,” he wrote in his journal. “Love consists in a mutual sharing of goods between those who love each other.” He then prayed about how to respond to such a loving God who shares so much with us. These are some of the insights and graces that eventually became part of his Spiritual Exercises. It is the founding vision and inspiration of Ignatius that has inspired Jesuits through the years, and that continues to move the hearts of men and women today throughout the world.

In this issue of Partners magazine, you will meet young Jesuits in the Midwest in early training (or as the Jesuits call it, formation). Like Ignatius, these men have heard the call of Christ and have contemplated God’s love. They are drawn by a strong desire to follow Jesus as a companion and friend in sharing the Gospel message of God’s transforming love for the world. You also will read about some of the new generation of leaders of our Jesuit schools, formed and shaped by the same vision and inspiration of Saint Ignatius, and eager to make that encounter with Christ possible through the work of Jesuit education.

We also remember, after 25 years, the story of the Jesuits from El Salvador and their coworkers who laid down their lives in love and service

Love ought...
aswitnesses to God’s love and justice in the midst of danger and violence. Our mission to embody “a faith that does justice” continues around the globe and, as represented through our cover story, in our 126-year-old ministry at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in western South Dakota. 

We all know by now that the Jesuit schools, parishes, retreat ministries, and outreach to the poor and marginalized owe their success not just to Jesuits, but to the dedicated men and women who share the vision and dream of Saint Ignatius to “set the world on fire” with God’s love. The Jesuits of the Midwest are grateful for your friendship and for the many ways you join us in making possible the ministries of the Society of Jesus here in this country and overseas.

Sincerely yours in Christ,


Fr. Brian Paulson, SJ - Signature


Fr Thomas Lawler, SJ - Signature

Fr. Brian G. Paulson, SJ 
Provincial, Chicago-Detroit Province

Fr. Thomas A. Lawler, SJ 
Provincial, Wisconsin Province










Click here for Partners Fall/Winter 2014 Index





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Creighton University Retreat Center
Located 45 miles east of Omaha, Neb., in rural Iowa, the Creighton University Retreat Center is situated on 154 wooded acres on the Nishnabotna River.