With the July 1 launch of Jesuits West, a new province which reunites the Oregon and California provinces into one stronger entity, planning continues for an important workshop in August.
Jesuits West is convening Jesuits and apostolic partners of all province works for two days in August to reflect thoughtfully and prayerfully on how-individually and collaboratively-each apostolate will embrace commitments that flow from the Jesuits West Vision, Mission, and Values Statement. This statement is the culmination of a four-year process of gathering input from Jesuits and apostolic partners around the province on the vision, mission and values that should guide the new Province in light of the outcomes of General Congregation 36.
The workshop will focus on a process of prayerfully discerning how we can collaborate as apostolic works and sectors to respond to the greatest needs in each region, guided by the new province vision, mission, and values.
The workshop, Leading and Collaborating for a New Epoch: Jesuits West Province Workshop 2017, will take place at Loyola Marymount University August 10-11. Jesuit superiors, directors of works, lay partners, board chairs, and advancement directors from each apostolic work will attend. It is expected that 250 representatives will participate in the workshop.
The workshop is envisioned as the first of three over a three-year period. Future workshops will build on commitments made in August, involving further work on collaborative staffing, collaborative funding, and other topics that emerge for the new province.
"Jesuits West has been a long time in the making and it will soon come to fruition," said Oregon Provincial Father Scott Santarosa, SJ, who will become the provincial of Jesuits West.The new province will include approximately 530 Jesuits in 10 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Jesuits West will serve an estimated 100,000 individuals yearly through its five universities, 18 secondary and pre-secondary schools, four social ministry apostolates, 14 parishes, two retreat centers, a novitiate, and a health care and retirement center for senior priests and brothers.
The coming together of the two provinces has been long planned as part of the Society of Jesus worldwide province consolidation initiative. In the U.S., where there were once 10 provinces, by 2020 there will be just four: Central and Southern, East, Midwest, and West. The coming together of the Oregon and California provinces represents a rejoining. The two provinces were together until 1932 when the Oregon Province was established.
Much of the blending of the two provinces has been taking place, in some cases, for several years. The provinces have jointly operated a Formation program for the education and training of Jesuit priests and brothers since 2011. Provincial assistants for higher education, secondary education, healthcare, and other areas have been filled by Jesuits and lay partners across the two provinces. In some cases, the positions have been consolidated from two positions to one to reflect the coming of the new province.
Jesuits West administration will be spread throughout its geographic region with the provincial and Socius, Fr. Mike Bayard, SJ, based in the Portland curia, and Treasury, Advancement, and Communications offices based in Los Gatos, Calif. Major gift officers will be located in the Northwest, Northern California, and Southern California.