The Jesuit Commitment

Apostolic Goals of the Jesuits of the US West Province

Blessed Sacrament Church is part of a larger whole. It is one of the ministries of the Jesuits of the US West Province whose apostolic goals are as follows:

  1. To foster partnership in our Ignatian Spirituality.
    • Collaboration with our lay colleagues is crucial to the success of our ministries, and discernment of God’s will is an essential characteristic of our way of proceeding.
  2. To Serve in Solidarity with the Poor.
  3. To serve the diversity of the peoples in our Province.
    • To adapt the message of the Gospel to reach all ages, all cultures and all ways of life by way of preaching, teaching, worship, and ministry.
  4. To evangelize contemporary culture.
    • To examine and identify what is of God in the culture and keep it, and what is not of God and let it go.

To learn more about the Jesuits of the US West click here.


Parishes of the Society of Jesus

W

hen issues arise that significantly affect the Society of Jesus, Jesuit representatives from all 80 provinces representing 112 nations in six continents meet as a universal body to discern, deliberate, and articulate matters related to the mission, the structure, and the identity of the Order. These are called General Congregations. Here are some key quotes from the documents of GC 35 (2008) that relate to Jesuit parishes:

#22 Jesuits in North America are dealing with the challenges of new forms of cultural and economic deprivation. They work in close cooperation with many others to influence the complex structures of society where decisions are made and values shaped.

#26 Jesuits are never content with the status quo, the known, the tried, the already existing. We are constantly driven to discover, redefine and reach out for the magis. For us frontiers and boundaries are not obstacles or ends, but new challenges to be faced, new opportunities to be welcomed. Indeed, ours is a holy boldness, a certain apostolic aggressivity, typical of our way of proceeding.

#33 The commitment of the Society (of Jesus) is to a radical life of faith that finds expression in the promotion of justice for all.

#34 Being “friends in the Lord,” then, means being friends with the poor, and we cannot turn aside when our friends are in need….”God has always been the God of the poor because the poor are visible proof of a failure in the work of creation.”

#36 …Our Jesuit mission touches something fundamental in the human heart: the desire to find God in a world scarred by sin; then live by his Gospel in all its implications.

#39 The service of faith and the promotion of Justice…must be the integrating factor of all our ministries…also of our inner life as individuals, as communities, and as a worldwide brotherhood.

#42 …Justice can truly flourish only when it involves the transformation of culture, since injustice’s roots are imbedded in cultural attitudes and in economic structures.

#51 The promotion of justice has been integrated…in pastoral work and social centers, in educating “men and women for others,” (and) in direct ministry to the poor.

#331 The Society of Jesus acknowledges as a grace of our day and a hope for the future that laity “take an active, conscientious, and responsible part in the mission of the Church…

#337 …We offer Ignatian spirituality as a specific gift to animate the ministry of the laity. This apostolic spirituality respects the unique spirituality of the individual and adapts itself to present needs; it helps persons to discern their call and “in all things to love and serve the Divine Majesty.”

#342 Each work must be guided by a clear mission statement which outlines the purposes of the work and forms the basis for collaboration in it… Programs are to be provided and aided to enable the lay to acquire greater knowledge of Ignatian tradition & spirituality.

#373 …we invite all Jesuits, as individuals and through their institutions, to align themselves in solidarity with women…by explicit teaching of the essential equality of women and men in Jesuit ministries… by supporting the liberation movements which oppose the exploitation of women and encourage their entry into political and social life…by appropriate presence of women in Jesuit ministries and institutions… by the genuine involvement of women in consultation and decision-making in our Jesuit ministries…by the use of appropriately inclusive language in speech and official documents…by the promotion of the education of women and, in particular, the elimination of all forms of illegitimate discrimination between boys and girls in the educational process.

#422 A parish is Jesuit if, committed to the pastoral goals and policies of the local church, it also participates in the apostolic priorities of the Society of Jesus…As central to its life, the parish gathers as a community to celebrate its joys, struggles, and hopes–in the Word, in the Eucharist, and the other sacraments–in well-planned, creative, & enculturated ways. A parish becomes an evangelized & evangelizing community committed to “justice & reconciliation” and makes its popular devotions relevant to contemporary needs.

Footnotes

  1. Magis refers to the philosophy of doing more, for Christ, and therefore doing more for the universal good. It is an expression of an aspiration and inspiration common in Jesuit circles. To learn more, click here.