Although organized into different local and national jurisdictions, the Society of Jesus is essentially a global community.
The 16,000-plus Jesuits worldwide come from 112 countries and belong to approximately 80 provinces, but the order has “a universal character that transcends” these boundaries, according to one official Jesuit declaration. We are called on “to go anywhere across the geographical and cultural frontiers where there is need of working with Christ” for the glory of God.
We are united in our diversity and increasingly global in our gaze.
“The world is our house,” said the early Jesuit Jerome Nadal. He was referring, on one level, to the world outside of churches and monasteries, but also to the multitudes of God’s people and the expanse of human cultures. As Jesuit leaders explained at their General Congregation in 2008, “The entire world becomes the object of our interest and concern.”
As a missionary order, Canadian and American Jesuits and their lay partners are going forth into that global house.
We are working with our counterparts in Africa to address structural causes of war and dislocation, through such programs as the new Peace Institute at Hekima College in Nairobi, Kenya. We are joining with Indian Jesuits to help cultivate a culture of dialogue and reconciliation among religions in that country. We are organizing aid and pastoral support for Iraqi refugees who have streamed into Jordan, resettled by agencies such as the Jesuit Refugee Service.
We’re partnering with educators, pastoral workers, health professionals, environmentalists — and many others across the continents.