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

Dear Friends,

What an extraordinary time it is to be part of the Jesuit mission! This October, we traveled to Rome with Jesuits from all over the world for the Society of Jesus’ 36th General Congregation (GC36). This historic meeting was the 36th time the global Society has come together since the first General Congregation in 1558, nearly two years after St. Ignatius died. General Congregations are always summoned upon the death or resignation of the Jesuits’ Superior General, and this year we came together to elect a Jesuit to succeed Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, who has faithfully served as Superior General since 2008. After prayerful consideration, we elected Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, SJ, a Jesuit priest from Venezuela.

Father Sosa is warm, friendly, and down-to-earth, with a great sense of humor that puts people at ease. He has offered his many gifts to intellectual, educational, and social apostolates at all levels in service to the Gospel and the universal Church. One of his most impressive achievements came during his time as rector of la Universidad Católica del Táchira, where he helped the student body grow from 4,000 to 8,000 students and gave the university a strong social orientation to study border issues in Venezuela.


   

(From left) Jesuit Frs. Brian Paulson, Arturo Sosa, and Thomas Lawler, in the garden of the Jesuit Curia in Rome following Fr. Sosa’s election as 31st Superior General of the Society of Jesus (Photo by Fr. Don Doll, SJ)

The Jesuits in Venezuela have deep love and respect for Fr. Sosa, and we are excited as we embark on this new journey under his leadership, while remaining ever mindful that our efforts only bear fruit by God’s grace.

In addition to this important election, GC36 served as an opportunity to take the pulse of the Society’s work in the world and discern new ways we might continue to serve the greatest need in the years ahead. Following his election, Fr. Sosa — who is the first Latin American Superior General —emphasized our Ignatian call to have the “audacity [to] … seek not only the improbable, but the impossible, because nothing is impossible for God ...” He went on to say that our top priority must be to work for reconciliation in the world. “We have to strive for reconciliation between human beings, reconciliation with God, and reconciliation with the created world,” he explained.

A sense of new beginnings and exciting horizons is also evident at home. This August, 15 new novices entered the Jesuit Novitiate of St. Alberto Hurtado in St. Paul, joining 15 second-year novices. In addition, nine novices pronounced first vows and went on to first studies. Please join us in praying for all these Jesuits as they respond to God’s call.

We hope you enjoy the many news items and articles featured throughout this issue. Thank you for your support and prayers. As always, know that you remain in our prayers as well.

We invite you to enjoy the many news items and articles in this issue, and we thank you for your prayers and work on behalf of our shared community.

Sincerely yours in Christ,


Fr. Brian Paulson, SJ - Signature


Fr Thomas Lawler, SJ - Signature









Click here for the Fall-Winter 2016 Jesuits magazine index





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Father Ed Sthokal, SJ, had never considered becoming a retreat director; he never even specifically trained for it. The plan for the young Jesuit was to teach English literature, perhaps go on to run a university department in the field. So how did he end up spending 58 years as a retreat director at Demontreville Retreat House in Lake Elmo, Minnesota?

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Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House
The Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House is located on the shores of Lake De Montreville in Lake Elmo, Minn.