Georgetown University, Jesuits apologize for roles in sale of slaves

Jessica Tilson, descendant of the Hawkins, Hill, Scott, Butler and Diggs family lines, delivers remarks at the dedication ceremony of the Isaac Hawkins and Anne Marie Becraft halls April 18 at Georgetown University in Washington.

WASHINGTON — Georgetown University and the Society of Jesus' Maryland province apologized April 18 for their roles in the 1838 sale of 272 enslaved individuals for the university's benefit.

More than 100 descendants attended a morning "Liturgy of Remembrance, Contrition and Hope" that the university created in partnership with descendants, the Archdiocese of Washington and the Society of Jesus in the United States.

Orphans no more: A reflection on the election of Jesuit superior general

Election day — finally! (No, not the U.S. elections, the Jesuit superior general.) The overcast weather in Rome didn't lessen our enthusiasm. Though Mass was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. — at the Church of the Holy Spirit, across the street from our Curia — many Jesuits already had taken their places by 7:10 a.m., quietly praying about the events ahead. No one took this lightly.

Jesuits called to reconcile humanity with God, new superior says

ROME — Jesuits are called to face the challenges of today's world and contribute toward "reconciliation among human beings and, at the same time, a reconciliation with God and creation," said Jesuit Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, the newly elected Jesuit superior general.

"This is a great call to reconciliation. The kingdom of God cannot be present, cannot exist among us if we do not understand each other, if we do not recognize each other as people, if we do not try to have a situation in which the world can live in peace," he said.

Jesuits elect Venezuelan as new head of order

Jesuit Father Arturo Sosa, right, new superior general of the Society of Jesus, greeted the previous superior general, Jesuit Father Adolfo Nicolas, after Father Sosa's election in Rome Oct. 14. Father Sosa, 67, is a member of the Jesuits' Venezuelan province.

ROME -- Jesuit Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, 67, a member of the Jesuits' Venezuelan province, was elected the first non-European superior general of the Society of Jesus.

The 212 voting delegates to the Jesuit general congregation elected Father Sosa Oct. 14. He succeeds Father Adolfo Nicolas, 80, who had asked to resign because of his age.

Pope Francis was informed of the election of Father Sosa before the Jesuits announced it publicly.

Jesuits discern election of new superior general

Jesuits pray during the opening session of a meeting in Rome Oct. 3 to elect a new superior general. The previous day Father Nicolas, the order's voting delegates, and Jesuits living in Rome celebrated Mass at the Church of the Gesu, before the tomb of their founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola.

ROME — Jesuits gathered in Rome to elect a new superior general were invited to draw on "the audacity of the improbable" during a Mass to open their general congregation.

The order's voting delegates, the outgoing Jesuit superior, Father Adolfo Nicolas, and Jesuits living in Rome celebrated the Mass at Rome's Church of the Gesu Oct. 2, before the tomb of their founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Effort to assist parish, schools in Belize makes progress

Something as simple as having fans in classrooms in Belize makes a big difference. The fans donated by St. Louisans are used at St. Martin de Porres School in Belize City, but there's much more to come.

Volunteers assisting the Jesuits of the Central and Southern Province in St. Louis and supported by St. Louis University are focusing on improving the quality of life in the Central American nation. The initial emphasis on education is seen as the most enduring solution to problems of drug-gang violence, unemployment and family stability.

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