In December 2014, upon the birth of the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus, I reminded Jesuits from Maine to New Jersey of a calling that came directly from St. Ignatius Loyola, one among so many others that actively apply to the Society of Jesus today. After being wounded in a battle at Pamplona, he had a powerful religious experience while recuperating in his family home in Spain. Echoing Ignatius’ conversion, I called my brother Jesuits to recognize that there is beauty in change, and that, sometimes, even things that we might consider obstacles can reveal new, creative ways to flourish.
Indeed, our new province has flourished in so many ways during the first year of its existence.
Education and social justice leaders across a wide range of Jesuit works in the province are inspiring students, parishioners, and others to collaborate in the service of mission. Volunteers have spent hundreds of hours visiting senior Jesuits at the two province health care centers; these are priests and brothers who, over decades, collectively served the Church and the Society in more than 35 countries.
Our Jesuits in formation are presented with a powerful experience of Ignatius' mission of going out into the world to find Christ by working with and learning from the poor. It’s a mission that, despite an ever-changing world, remains appealing to more and more people. Twenty-eight Jesuits were ordained priests in the U.S. and Canada this year, the highest number in 15 years, including four men who were ordained at the Fordham University Church in June: Fathers John Peck, SJ, and Sean Toole, SJ (both of the Maryland Province), as well as Fathers Dennis Baker, SJ, and Brent Otto, SJ (both of the Northeast Province).
This digital annual report features these highlights and many more. It is a new, first-rate media publication designed to express our gratitude for your support and show you, in creative and even dramatic ways, how your support inspires us and changes the lives of so many people throughout our region. At the same time, we have embraced Pope Francis’ challenge in this year’s papal encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, by using technology to better care for our natural resources.
As you explore this report, I invite you to consider the ways in which you have connected with the Jesuits this year. Whether you’ve attended Mass at one of our parishes, taken part in the Spiritual Exercises at a retreat center, or attended an alumni event at one of our schools, be assured that, together, you are part of the Ignatian family.
With your help and with God’s blessings, we will continue to accomplish so much. Please know that I remain grateful for your financial and prayerful support of our various ministries and missions. Thanks to you, the fruit of our work will continue to flourish throughout and even beyond our new province.
Sincerely in Christ,
Very Rev. John J. Cecero, SJ
Provincial, USA Northeast Province