The blending of the Oregon and California province websites is nearly complete. The finished website will launch on Sunday, July 31, Feast Day of St. Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus. The two provinces are forming a new province, Jesuits West, in 2017. The combining of the two websites is one in a series of steps to bring the two provinces together.
Jesuits West will represent a return to the roots of the two provinces which separated from a single province in 1932. As a new, larger province, Jesuits West will have a geographic territory that includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The new province will maintain the same hallmarks for which the Jesuits have come to be recognized, including work in education, Ignatian Spirituality, parishes, retreat centers, and social ministries to the poor and disadvantaged.
The planning for the new province has been in the works for many years as part of the Society of Jesus’s worldwide province realignment plan. In the United States, this means that while there were formerly 10 provinces, there will be four – West, Central and Southern, Eastern, and Midwest – by 2020.
"We have been preparing very carefully to form the new province of Jesuits West. In most ways, this new, larger province makes us better,” said Oregon Province Provincial Fr. Scott Santarosa, SJ, former pastor of Dolores Mission Parish in Los Angeles, who will become provincial of Jesuits West on July 1, 2017. “I believe that at the sector levels, among them the parish, high school, and university levels, we are getting stronger. Our Jesuits and lay partners have enjoyed the expanded numbers of quality people with whom they can collaborate in these ministries. People are excited for Jesuits West to become official next year, but the truth is it's already a reality."
“One thing we want to make sure that people understand is that we will continue our work in service to the people of God,” said Fr. Mike Weiler, SJ, California Province provincial. “We expect that this change in our province boundaries will be seamless to the people we serve. Jesuits are not going away. Yes, there are fewer of us than a generation ago, but we remain committed to continuing the work of our founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola.”
In recent years, Jesuits from both provinces have been missioned to leadership roles in the other province. And, for many years, the provinces have operated a joint Novitiate and Formation program for the education and training of future Jesuit priests and brothers.
The blended website will present full lists of Jesuits West ministries, news, events, Jesuit obituaries, as well as news from other Jesuit works around the world and updates on initiatives of Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope.