Friday, November 16, 2012

Jesuits To Reduce Provinces Down To Four In The United States

Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Curiously enough, while I was in Atlanta making my retreat, the General of the Society of Jesus, Very Reverend Adolfo Nicolás, changed the boundaries of the New Orleans and Maryland Provinces.  South Carolina and Georgia, previously part of the Southern Province, will, on January 1, 2013, come under the jurisdiction of the Maryland Province.  This change is part of the realignment of the American Jesuit provinces that will occur in the next decade.  
Although individual Southern Jesuits have long worked in South Carolina, Jesuit presence in Georgia has been more of a corporate presence.  In 1887 the bishop of Savannah offered the New Orleans Mission a former seminary, Pio Nono College, for use as a house of formation if the Jesuits would agree to staff a local parish.  The Jesuits came to St. Joseph’s parish in Macon, where they stayed more than seventy years.  Pio Nono College became the novitiate and juniorate, until a totally destructive fire in 1921 led to the removal of the house of formation to St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. 
In Augusta the Jesuits ministered at Sacred Heart parish for almost seventy-five years.  During the first twenty years, the Society of Jesus conducted Sacred Heart College, a high school.
  In suburban Atlanta the mother of Father John Schroder, S.J., one of our retired Jesuits, donated the family’s summer estate on the Chattahoochee River to the New Orleans Province for use as a retreat house.  For six decades Ignatius House has offered the Spiritual Exercises to the people of Georgia and has provided the Archdiocese of Atlanta and individual parishes a place for prayer and meetings.  This ministry will continue with the Maryland Jesuits.
Eventually there will be four Jesuit provinces (administrative divisions) in the United States instead of ten.  The entire east coast, except for Florida, will be one province, with the combining of the New York, Maryland, and New England Provinces.  The south central United States will consist of the Missouri and New Orleans Provinces, including Florida.  The north central section will be composed of the Chicago, Detroit, and Wisconsin Provinces.  The Oregon and California Provinces will make up a western province including Alaska and Hawaii.
Our province has shrunk in size in other decades as well.  North Carolina, part of the Maryland Province since the nineteen thirties, was once a stark mission region staffed by Southern Jesuits.  Even Oklahoma, now attached to Missouri, was once Southern Jesuit territory.
The Maryland Jesuits once had the most unusual legal name in the United States: the “Roman Catholic Gentlemen of Maryland,” dating from the Suppression of the Jesuits in 1773.  Those priests in the Colony of Maryland incorporated themselves under that title to prevent the expropriation of Church property.  As of now, we Southern Jesuits have the most unusual legal title, the “Catholic Society for Religious and Literary Education.”
As our Jesuit journey continues, let us remember that all of us—all of us—are on pilgrimage from the Lord to the Lord.  Let us pray for one another especially at the Sunday Eucharist.  Please pray for us Jesuits as we seek to serve the Lord and the Lord’s Church.

In the Risen Lord,

Fr. Donald Hawkins, S.J., Pastor
Link (here)


Anonymous said...

The Holy Spirit has a way of extinguishing religious communities and movements that have outlived their usefulness to the Body of Christ, or that have become cancerous tumors on the Body.

Anonymous said...

It makes sense to reduce administrative overhead, and give young members more companions.

But there's a problem with Jesuit leadership already, and how they deal with problems. They treat people badly. Will this improve? Really?

Maria said...

Fr. Paul Shaughnessy SJ in his review of "Passionate Uncertainty:

"As I get older, I find myself less church centered," says a senior academic. The hero of McDonough and Bianchi's story, the passionately uncertain Jesuit, like a man separated from a wife of thirty years, preserves an icy courtesy in referring to his spouse and fulfills the bare minimum of social duties. He may be convinced that he has arrived at the best possible truce given his rocky personal history; but no young man--at least no young man with real options--chooses to give his life to a truce. It is a lonely senescence. Here and there are rumors of courage, devotion, even faith. But the passionately uncertain Jesuit finds himself enclosed in a small corner of a small world, with the waning consolations of sodomy and single-malt whiskey, tottering down the corridors of an increasingly ominous twilight.

He also indicates that "the number of priests who jump ship each year roughly equals the number of entering novices; the number of Jesuits who die annually is twice as high as either."

This was back in 2002.

Maria said...

Well said, 4:52 PM. Books will be written in the years to come about the evil that infiltrated the Society and how they sought the desstruction of our Holy Mother.

Maria said...

I have long wondered why the Holy Father and Blessed John Paul II refrained from intervention. I think I found the answer in this review of the book "Passionate Uncertainty" by Fr. Paul Shaughnessy SJ:

Are the Jesuits Catholic?
A review of "Passionate Uncertainty."
Jun 3, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 37 • By PAUL SHAUGHNESSY SJ
Weekly Standard

"SO, IF THE SITUATION in the Society of Jesus is really as McDonough and Bianchi describe it in "Passionate Uncertainty," why doesn't the pope intervene and make radical changes? Two reasons suggest themselves. On the one hand, the attitude of Pope John Paul II towards religious congregations, female as well as male, is somewhat Darwinian. He is content to let the healthy groups prosper--Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity are a parade example--while letting the unhealthy ones die out of their own accord, like sick caribou amid the permafrost. On the other hand, recent popes have judged the political cost of intervening to reform failing congregations as excessive in view of the likely benefits to be gained. A close analogy can be drawn with the moles that surfaced in the British Secret Service in the 1950s. Their treachery was known long before action was taken against them; bit by bit they were denied access to sensitive material, simply so that they'd have less to betray. In the same way, and for the same reasons, the popes have declined a dramatic showdown with the new Jesuits, preferring instead, without calling attention to the fact, to give the really important business to more dependable agents."

Read the rest here: