News Story

By Tracey Primrose

GC 36’s Canadian and U.S. Delegates Meet in St. Louis for Crucial Planning Session

by Tracey Primrose

October 26, 2015 — In the 16th century, St. Ignatius Loyola founded one of the world’s first multinational organizations, the Society of Jesus. In October of 2016, the Jesuits will choose Ignatius’ successor in Rome at General Congregation 36, or GC 36 for short. Although the 215 GC 36 delegates representing Jesuit provinces and regions around the world don’t meet for another year, the work of the congregation has already begun.


At a planning session in St. Louis, four Jesuits were elected to leadership roles at General Congregation 36: (from left) Fr. David Ciancimino, Fr. Tim Kesicki, Fr. John McCarthy and Fr. Mark Ravizza.

While the election of a new Jesuit superior general to replace the retiring Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, who has served since 2008, will be the congregation’s main headline, equally important is the Ad Negotiam or business side of the meeting. This is the part of the congregation that addresses the De Statu, or state of the Society, and the part that produces decrees charting the Society’s future course.

In St. Louis last week, the 33 delegates representing Canada and the U.S. met for the first time and made several important decisions regarding the Ad Negotiam portion of the congregation. Over the course of the next year, the delegates will have a unique opportunity to prayerfully consider the Society’s current state and, more importantly, its future. And that discernment and preparation will happen before the official proceedings begin, which is something new in congregation history.

In earlier congregations, the documents that frame the meeting were not disseminated until shortly before the delegates met in Rome, and the key committee members were not selected until that point. In 2014, however, Fr. Nicolás approved the new Formula, the manual for a General Congregation created by St. Ignatius himself nearly half a millennium ago. Now much of the work of the congregation can be done long before the first plenary session.


The delegates gathered for Mass during the meeting in St. Louis.

As Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, explains, “We’re not waiting till we get there, we’re starting those conversations now.”

The work of the congregation will be shared by four committees. Each committee will have six members, representing the six Jesuit Conferences around the world. At last week’s delegates’ meeting, committee representatives from Canada and the U.S. were elected, using, once again, guidelines dating back to Ignatius.

Although strict rules forbid campaigning or lobbying, there was time prior to the election for the murmuratio, quiet one-on-one conversations, where delegates consider the strengths of the 33 possible candidates from Canada and the U.S.

Eight of the 33 delegates had also served at GC 35, so they were familiar with the murmuratio. But for first-time delegate Fr. Tom Greene, SJ, it was all new. “It was moving to hear the eight talk about their experience of the murmuratio before the election of Fr. Nicolás. There was a stillness and poignancy when they spoke, and you could see that the process still had a strong emotional resonance as a sacred time of Jesuits discerning together.”

Of his fellow delegates, Fr. Greene, said, “I couldn’t be happier with the men we chose. These are very talented Jesuits, and they will serve the Society well in preparing documents and coordinating the Congregation.”

When the murmuratio concluded, votes were cast, and four delegates were chosen for leadership roles.

Fr. Kesicki was elected to serve on the GC 36 Coordinating Committee, the entity responsible for planning and running the congregation.


Jesuits gathered in St. Louis last week to begin preparing for General Congregation 36.

Fr. Mark Ravizza, SJ, will serve on the De Statu Societatis Committee, which will examine the state of the Society today, including identifying what’s working well and where there are opportunities for growth and renewal. Fr. Ravizza is the director of Jesuit Mission and Ministry at Casa Bayanihan at Ateneo de Manila in the Philippines and has also served as an associate professor of philosophy at Santa Clara University in California.

Fr. David Ciancimino, SJ, will serve on the Commission on Renewal of Governance for Mission. He currently serves as the president of Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York, and is the former provincial of the New York Province Jesuits.

Fr. John McCarthy, SJ, will serve on the Commission on Renewal of Jesuit Life and Mission. Fr. McCarthy is the socius (assistant) to the provincial for the Jesuits’ English Canada Province and also serves as the province’s director of formation.

His commission will look at how Jesuit communities intersect with Jesuit mission. “We’re being asked to look at how we live as friends in the Lord, what’s the energy and dynamism in our communities that will sustain the mission work. Fr. General has focused on integration between Jesuit life and mission and how we organize our own lives in community to support that and make it more effective.”

Although Fr. McCarthy is an inveterate meeting attender, this was no ordinary gathering. “I found it very consoling. Over the last several years, I’ve been working closely with colleagues in the United States and Mexico, and you leave these gatherings with a sense of a much broader Society. To meet so many fine men and learn about their experience was very gratifying on many levels.”

The commissions will consider the many hundreds of postulates or suggestions that have been submitted to the congregation from Jesuit provinces and regions around the world. A postulate typically addresses either apostolic priorities or governance in the Society of Jesus. For instance, a postulate might ask how the Society of Jesus is responding to Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’.

According to Fr. Kesicki, the change in the Formula for a General Congregation is exciting. “In the past, the delegates didn’t start examining issues until they arrived in Rome. Because the commissions are meeting over the course of the next year, not only do they have time to consider topics, they can bring in outside experts who can advise them on solving complex issues. You’re not bound by the expertise in the congregation. This is widening the net with a 21st century approach.”

Fr. Kesicki said that the delegates approach the upcoming congregation with generosity and faith. “They are eager to engage their brothers and to offer the expertise of our own Conference to the whole Society. This is the first time a congregation has begun with a Jesuit pope, and the Society has a great desire to join the church in serving the vision and witness of Pope Francis.”

Do you want to learn more about vocations to the Society of Jesus? Visit www.jesuitvocations.org for more information.

Fr. Michael J. Garanzini, SJ

USA Delegate
Chicago Province
Fr. Michael J. Garanzini, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Michael J. Garanzini, SJ, Secretary for Higher Education for the Society of Jesus and chancellor of Loyola University Chicago, is a delegate for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36.  Before becoming chancellor at Loyola, Fr. Garanzini served as president for 14 years, from 2001 to 2015. Prior to leading Loyola, Fr. Garanzini was a professor of psychology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and before joining Georgetown, he was a visiting professor at Fordham University in New York.

Fr. Thomas H. Smolich, SJ

JRS Delegate
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)
Fr. Thomas H. Smolich, SJ

JRS Delegate

Fr. Thomas H. Smolich, SJ, international director of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), is a delegate for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. Prior to his role at JRS, Fr. Smolich served as the president of the Jesuit Conference. He also served as provincial of the California Province Jesuits from 1999 to 2005.

Br. Guy J. Consolmagno, SJ

USA Delegate
Maryland Province
Br. Guy J. Consolmagno, SJ

USA Delegate

Br. Guy J. Consolmagno, SJ, is a delegate for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. A Maryland Province Jesuit, he is currently an astronomer at the Vatican Observatory and president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Br. Consolmagno obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He obtained his Ph.D. in planetary science from the University of Arizona in 1978.

Fr. J. Thomas McClain, SJ

Rome Delegate
Jesuit Curia, Rome
Fr. J. Thomas McClain, SJ

Rome Delegate

Fr. J. Thomas McClain, SJ, general treasurer of the Society of Jesus at the Jesuit Curia in Rome, is a delegate for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Detroit Mercy; a Master of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University; and a master's degree in German language and literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to his current appointment, Fr. McClain served as the pastor of St. Mary’s Student Parish and director of Catholic campus ministry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor from 2005 to 2009, and as president of Regis High School in New York City from 1996 to 2004. He was treasurer of the Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus from 1992 to 1996.

Fr. Douglas W. Marcouiller, SJ

USA Delegate
Jesuit Curia, Rome
Fr. Douglas W. Marcouiller, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Douglas W. Marcouiller, SJ, General Counselor and regional assistant for the USA Assistancy at the Jesuit Curia in Rome, is a delegate for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. He previously served as provincial of the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus. He received a bachelor's degree from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, in public and international affairs in 1975; a master's degree in international relations from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1978; a Master of Divinity from the Weston School of Theology (now the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry) in 1986; and a doctorate in economics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994. Before serving as provincial of the Missouri Province, Fr. Marcouiller taught economics as a professor at Saint Louis University.

Fr. James E. Grummer, SJ

Rome Delegate
Jesuit Curia, Rome
Fr. James E. Grummer, SJ

Rome Delegate

Fr. James E. Grummer, SJ, General Counselor for the Society of Jesus and assistant ad providentiam at the Jesuit Curia in Rome, is a delegate for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. He was appointed assistant professor of history at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1989 and served as the rector of Campion House, a Jesuit formation community at Creighton, from 1989 to 1991. In 1991, he became the rector of the Jesuit community at Creighton Preparatory School, but returned to teaching at Creighton University in 1994. The next year, he became socius (assistant) to the provincial of the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus. He was named provincial of the Wisconsin Province in 2001. In 2005, he was appointed General Counselor and Regional Assistant to the Superior General of the Jesuits for the United States Assistancy.

Fr. L. Orlando Torres, SJ

USA Delegate
Central and Southern Province
Fr. L. Orlando Torres, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. L. Orlando Torres, SJ, is a delegate from the Central and Southern Province for the Society of Jesus’ General Congregation 36. Originially from Puerto Rico, Fr. Torres serves the Jesuit Curia in Rome.

Fr. Mark A. Ravizza, SJ

USA Delegate
California Province
Fr. Mark A. Ravizza, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Mark A. Ravizza, SJ, is a delegate from the California Province for the Society of Jesus’ General Congregation 36. He is the director of Jesuit Mission and Ministry at Casa Bayanihan at Ateneo de Manila in the Philippines. He has also served as an associate professor of philosophy at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. He earned his doctorate from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Fr. Chi V. Ngo, SJ

USA Delegate
California Province
Fr. Chi V. Ngo, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Chi V. Ngo, SJ, is a delegate from the California Province for the Society of Jesus’ General Congregation 36. He is a retreat and spiritual director at the Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos in Los Altos, California. Formerly, he served as the provincial assistant for formation and vocations for the California Province. He earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and a Master of Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California.

Fr. John W. McCarthy, SJ

Canada Delegate
English Canada Province
Fr. John W. McCarthy, SJ

Canada Delegate

Fr. John McCarthy, SJ, is a delegate from the English Canada Province for the Society of Jesus’ General Congregation 36. He is socius (assistant) to the provincial, director of formation, and doing research and writing in ecology. He received a bachelor’s degree in forest tree biology from the University of New Brunswick, a master’s degree in soil science from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and a Ph.D. in boreal forest ecology from the University of British Columbia. He is author of the book “Do Monkeys Go to Heaven? Finding God in All Creation."

Fr. Timothy P. Kesicki, SJ

Canada and USA Delegate
Canada and the United States
Fr. Timothy P. Kesicki, SJ

Canada and USA Delegate

Fr. Timothy P. Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, is a delegate for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. Prior to assuming his current role at the Jesuit Conference, Fr. Kesicki served from 2008 through 2014 as the provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus. Earlier, he served for eight years as the president of St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. His formation as a Jesuit included philosophy studies at Loyola University Chicago, theology studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California, and studies in educational administration at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York.

Fr. Michael F. Weiler, SJ

USA Delegate
California Province
Fr. Michael F. Weiler, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Michael F. Weiler, SJ, provincial of the California Province, is a delegate from his province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. Prior to his current assignment, he was director of Jesuit novices in Culver City, California. Fr. Weiler entered the Jesuits in 1975, and following his ordination to the priesthood, he spent a year in Mexico and Central America learning Spanish. He then worked at Dolores Mission Parish in East Los Angeles for two years. Fr. Weiler next completed a Doctor of Psychology degree and then went to Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California, where he worked in the Center for Psychological Services and taught in the counseling psychology program.

Fr. Thomas D. Stegman, SJ

USA Delegate
Wisconsin Province
Fr. Thomas D. Stegman, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Thomas D. Stegman, SJ, is a delegate from the Wisconsin Province for the Society of Jesus’ General Congregation 36. He is currently chair of the ecclesiastical faculty and a professor at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He holds a master's degree in philosophy from Marquette University in Milwaukee, and a Master of Divinity degree from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology (now the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry). He also earned a Ph.D. in New Testament studies from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to his teaching and research responsibilities, Fr. Stegman enjoys giving lectures and workshops for parishes and dioceses.

Fr. Scott R. Santarosa, SJ

USA Delegate
Oregon Province
Fr. Scott R. Santarosa, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Scott R. Santarosa, SJ, provincial of the Oregon Province, is a delegate from the province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. Prior to his current appointment, he was pastor at Dolores Mission Church, a Latino parish in East Los Angeles. After graduating from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California, he spent a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and entered the Jesuits in 1989. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2000 and then worked for five years at Verbum Dei High School, an inner-city school in the Watts section of South Los Angeles, as a religious studies teacher and a campus minister. He also served as the vice president for development and communication for two years and as the acting principal for another year.

Fr. Hung T. Pham, SJ

USA Delegate
Central and Southern Province
Fr. Hung T. Pham, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Hung T. Pham, SJ, is a delegate from the Central and Southern Province for the Society of Jesus’ General Congregation 36. He is an assistant professor of Ignatian spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. Fr. Pham holds a bachelor’s degree in math, chemistry and biology from Regis University in Denver; a master’s degree in philosophy from Saint Louis University; and a doctorate in Ignatian spirituality from Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid. He taught at St. Louis University High School and worked for the Jesuit Refugee Service of Asia Pacific, training math and science teachers in the Burmese refugee camp in Northern Thailand.

Fr. Brian G. Paulson, SJ

USA Delegate
Chicago-Detroit Province
Fr. Brian G. Paulson, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Brian G. Paulson, SJ, provincial of the USA Midwest Province, is a delegate from his province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. Before his current position, he was president of Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago for 11 years and then served as rector of the Loyola University Chicago Jesuit Community. He also served as vocations director for the Chicago Province from 1993 to 1998. Fr. Paulson earned a bachelor’s degree in international economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C., before joining the Jesuits in 1981, and he later earned a master’s degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Fr. Thomas J. Lamanna, SJ

USA Delegate
Oregon Province
Fr. Thomas J. Lamanna, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Thomas J. Lamanna, SJ, is a delegate from the Oregon Province for the Society of Jesus’ General Congregation 36. He is superior of the Jesuit Community at Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma, Washington, where he also teaches social studies. Prior to that, he was the novice director at Ignatius House in Culver City, California. He also serves as a province consultor.

Fr. Thomas P. Greene, SJ

USA Delegate
Central and Southern Province
Fr. Thomas P. Greene, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Thomas P. Greene, SJ, is a delegate from the Central and Southern Province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. He is the rector of First Studies at St. Louis University. From 2010 to 2014, Fr. Greene was Secretary for Social and International Ministries at the Jesuit Conference. He was a founding member of the Jesuit Social Research Institute of Loyola University New Orleans in 2007. His ministries have included the legal representation of detained immigrant children and asylum seekers in Chicago, Houston and New Orleans.

Fr. Robert J. Geisinger, SJ

USA Delegate
Chicago-Detroit Province
Fr. Robert J. Geisinger, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Robert J. Geisinger, SJ, is a delegate from the Chicago-Detroit Province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. Fr. Geisinger serves in the Vatican as the Promoter of Justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Previously, Fr. Geisinger served in Rome as general procurator for the Society of Jesus.

Fr. Joseph M. O’Keefe, SJ

USA Delegate
Northeast Province
Fr. Joseph M. O’Keefe, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Joseph M. O’Keefe, SJ, is a delegate from the Northeast Province for the Society of Jesus’ General Congregation 36. He currently serves as the director of the Center of Ignatian Spirituality and a professor at Boston College. He holds a doctoral degree in administration, planning and social policy from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Fr. O'Keefe earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts; a master’s degree in French literature from Fordham University in the Bronx, New York; and a Master of Divinity from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

Fr. Ronald A. Mercier, SJ

USA Delegate
Central and Southern Province
Fr. Ronald A. Mercier, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Ronald A. Mercier, SJ, provincial of the Central and Southern Province, is a delegate from his province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. Prior to his role as provincial, Fr. Mercier taught ethics at Saint Louis University and earlier served as the executive director of the Jesuit Collaborative in Boston, a network linking ministries in Ignatian spirituality from North Carolina to Maine. Fr. Mercier earned a bachelor’s degree in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and a master’s degree in history from Columbia University in New York City.

Fr. Michael C. McFarland, SJ

USA Delegate
Northeast Province
Fr. Michael C. McFarland, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Michael C. McFarland, SJ, is a delegate from the Northeast Province for the Society of Jesus’ General Congregation 36. He is treasurer for the Northeast Province. Previously, he was president of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, from 2000 to 2012. Prior to that he served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where he was also a professor of computer science. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Fr. Thomas A. Lawler, SJ

USA Delegate
Wisconsin Province
Fr. Thomas A. Lawler, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Thomas A. Lawler, SJ, provincial of the Wisconsin Province, is a delegate from his province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. Previously, he served as the vocations director for the Wisconsin Province and served as assistant director at the Sioux Spirituality Center, a Jesuit retreat center and ministry training program for Native American Catholics in South Dakota. Fr. Lawler entered the Society of Jesus in 1987 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1999. His degrees include a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, and a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago.

Fr. Herbert B. Keller, SJ

USA Delegate
Maryland Province
Fr. Herbert B. Keller, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Herbert B. Keller, SJ, is a delegate from the Maryland Province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. He served as president of Scranton Preparatory School in Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2015, making him the school's longest-serving president. He also served as principal of Scranton Prep and of Saint Joseph's Preparatory School in Philadelphia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy from Fordham University in New York and a Master of Divinity degree from Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts (now the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry).

Fr. Robert M. Hussey, SJ

USA Delegate
Maryland Province
Fr. Robert M. Hussey, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Robert M. Hussey, SJ, provincial of the Maryland Province, is a delegate from his province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. Prior to his position as provincial, he served for six years as pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel Church, a diverse parish in Raleigh, North Carolina. Fr. Hussey, who entered the Jesuits in 1989 and was ordained a priest in 2000, has a Ph.D. in economics from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and is fluent in Spanish. He served on the faculty of ILADES/Georgetown University Graduate Program in Economics in Santiago, Chile, and was on the economics faculty at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. While at Georgetown, Fr. Hussey was also involved in pastoral work on campus and Hispanic ministry at a local jail.

Fr. Gabriel Côté, SJ

Canada Delegate
French Canada Province
Fr. Gabriel Côté, SJ

Canada Delegate

Fr. Gabriel Côté, SJ, is a delegate from the French Canada Province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. He is the director of Villa Saint Martin, a spiritual center in Montreal.

Fr. David J. Collins, SJ

USA Delegate
Maryland Province
Fr. David J. Collins, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. David J. Collins, SJ, is a delegate from the Maryland Province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. He currently serves as an associate professor of history at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and as a vocation promoter for his province. A native of Washington, D.C., Fr. Collins' Jesuit training and doctoral studies took him to Philadelphia, Boston, Munich and Chicago, among other places. He returned in 2004 to join the history department at Georgetown University.

Fr. James G. Gartland, SJ

USA Delegate
Chicago-Detroit Province
Fr. James G. Gartland, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. James G. Gartland, SJ, is a delegate from the Chicago-Detroit Province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. He is the rector of the Blessed Peter Faber Jesuit Community at Boston College and serves on the Board of Trustees at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Previously, he served as president of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago from 2004 to 2012. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, master’s degrees in philosophy and religious education from Loyola University Chicago, and a master’s in divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California.

Fr. Joseph S. Costantino, SJ

USA Delegate
Northeast Province
Fr. Joseph S. Costantino, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. Joseph S. Costantino, SJ, is a delegate from the Northeast Province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. He served as president of Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York from 2013 to 2015. Prior to that, he served as pastor of the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Manhattan from 2006 to 2013. He has also served as director of vocations in the New York and Maryland Provinces and as executive director of the St. Ignatius Retreat House in New York. He earned a master's degree in philosophy from Fordham University in New York and a Master of Divinity degree from Weston Jesuit School of Theology (now the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry).

Fr. David S. Ciancimino, SJ

USA Delegate
Northeast Province
Fr. David S. Ciancimino, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. David S. Ciancimino, SJ, is a delegate from the Northeast Province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. He currently serves as the president of Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York. Prior to this role, he served as the provincial of the New York Province Jesuits from 2008 to 2014. He is a graduate of Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, and the Weston School of Theology (now the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry), with master’s degrees in theology and divinity. He also holds a New York State certification in secondary education administration from Canisius College. He taught religion, Spanish and French at Canisius High School from 1989 to 1995; served as director of admissions from 1989 to 1992; and was principal from 1992 to 1997. Fr. Ciancimino then served as headmaster of Xavier High School in New York City from 1997 to 2004. He was then appointed assistant to the New York Jesuit provincial from 2004 to 2008 before being named provincial.

Fr. John J. Cecero, SJ

USA Delegate
Northeast Province
Fr. John J. Cecero, SJ

USA Delegate

Fr. John J. Cecero, SJ, provincial of the USA Jesuits Northeast Province, is a delegate from his province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. He received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1996. Following an internship at the Boston Veterans Affairs Hospital and a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in substance abuse treatments at Yale University’s Department of Psychiatry, Fr. Cecero spent 15 years as a professor of psychology at Fordham University in New York (1998-2013). From 2007 to 2013, he was also rector of the Spellman Hall Jesuit Community on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus.

Fr. Peter Bisson, SJ

Canada Delegate
English Canada Province
Fr. Peter Bisson, SJ

Canada Delegate

Fr. Peter Bisson, SJ, provincial of the English Canada Province, is a delegate from his province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. Previously Fr. Bisson served as socius (assistant) to the provincial and as the director of the Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice in Toronto. He also served as an assistant professor of religious studies at Campion College at the University of Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan. His work in ministry has included prison and hospital chaplaincy, ministry to the handicapped and refugee advocacy. Fr. Bisson’s education includes a doctorate and master’s in theology, as well as master’s degrees in divinity, philosophy and religion.

Fr. Jean-Marc Biron, SJ

Canada Delegate
French Canada Province
Fr. Jean-Marc Biron, SJ

Canada Delegate

Fr. Jean-Marc Biron, SJ, provincial of the French Canada Province Jesuits, is a delegrate from his province for the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 36. Prior to his appointment as provincial, he served as director of the Manresa Spirituality Centre in Quebec City, was a master of Jesuit novices for 10 years and was director of the magazine Relations. He also served as director of the Jesuit Social Center, the Center of Justice and Faith, in Montreal. Fr. Biron, who has a bachelor’s degree in pastoral theology and a master’s degree in education, has been active in spiritual accompaniment. He has offered retreats in the areas of spirituality and the relationships between spirituality and social issues since 1994.

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