News
Jesuit Superior General Encourages Women's Voices to be Heard in Church and World

March 10, 2017 —  Father Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, joined women and men from around the globe for Voices of Faith, an annual event held in Vatican City to mark International Women’s Day on March 8. He told those gathered that “if we are honest, we acknowledge that the fullness of women's participation in the church has not yet arrived.”

Fr. Sosa gave the opening address at the conference, which celebrated and encouraged the need for women's voices to be heard in the church and in the world. Organized by Voices of Faith, Jesuit Refugee Service and the Fidel Gotz Foundation, the event’s theme was “Stirring the waters: Making the impossible possible.”

Although Pope Francis has voiced his support for broader participation of women's voices in the decisions of the Catholic Church, Fr. Sosa said, “that inclusion, which would bring the gifts of resilience and collaboration even more deeply into the church, remains stymied on many fronts.”

 

“No one is more resilient that women building and supporting the church in the poorest parts of our world,” he said.

Fr. Sosa said the participation of women is also necessary in positions of leadership, especially in areas of conflict such as the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Colombia. While it is hard to imagine peace, “can we have the audacity to dream that women and men working together will bring peace to these countries?” he asked.

He praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel, calling her “the most courageous and visionary leader in Europe during this time of phenomenal forced migration.”

Fr. Sosa also cited the example of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, for bringing peace and reconciliation “to her war-torn country in a way that most men thought would be impossible.”

He concluded by quoting St. Francis of Assisi: “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” Fr. Sosa said it was in that spirit that they gathered “to listen to Voices of Faith, to hear stories of resilience, collaboration and inclusion. We have more than started. We will not stop.”

The event featured several guest speakers, including Dr. Mireille Twayigira, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, and two sisters who are refugees from Homs, Syria, and work with Jesuit Refugee Service helping others forced to flee violence in their homeland.

Among the presenters at a panel discussion was Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobbying organization that sponsored the "Nuns on the Bus" tour in the United States.

Sister Campbell explained it was “essential for women to work for peace” and social justice, particularly for the poor and the marginalized, and she praised Pope Francis' efforts to bring their plight to the forefront of Catholic social teaching.


Sister Simone Campbell (right) speaks during the Voices of Faith gathering. (CNS photo/Massimiliano Migliorato, Catholic Press Photo)

“­­We rejoice in Laudato Si' that (says) care for the earth and care for the poor come from the same reality of exploitation of both and that until we learn to end the exploitation, we will not care for those at the margins, we will not care for our earth. And that is what moves me in such a deep way,” she said.

To read the full text of Fr. Sosa’s address, click here.

[Sources: Jesuit Curia, CNSNational Catholic Reporter]


Recent News

Father John A. Brady, SJ, longtime seminary and high school teacher and parish priest, entered into God’s peace March 15 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, Calif. He was 98 years of age, a Jesuit for 80 years, and a priest for 67 years.

Father Stephen V. Sundborg, SJ, has been re-appointed to a fifth five-year term as president of Seattle University by the university’s board of trustees. The board also took actions to strengthen the university’s socially responsible investing policies.

Although National Catholic Sisters Week ends March 14, Women’s History Month continues through the remainder of March — and the women honored by various Jesuits could certainly be counted among those making history, in small but deeply meaningful ways.

Gonzaga University is among the nation’s best-value universities for students seeking outstanding academics and superb career preparation at an affordable price with generous financial aid, The Princeton Review announced.

For a record-setting 10th consecutive year, St. Ignatius Parish School (Sacramento) has won the Diocese of Sacramento’s Junior High Academic Decathlon. The team, is comprised of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.

Four members of the Jesuit network gave voice to the voiceless at a Capitol Hill briefing on criminal justice, environmental justice, immigration, and poverty March 2 on Capitol Hill.

Father Charles “Chuck” E. Schmitz, SJ, entered into God’s peace February 18 at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, Calif. He was 78 years old. A devoted priest and religious, “Padre Carlos” opened wide his heart to the needs, hopes, dreams, fears, and faith of the Spanish-speaking peoples of the Northwest.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Mission Magazine - Fall 2016

Mission Magazine - Spring 2016

Mission Magazine - Summer 2015


Update
Winter, 2016

Update
Fall, 2016

Update
Summer, 2016


Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos
The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos has offered prayerful solitude and inspiring vistas to those seeking spiritual rejuvenation since 1925.