Jesuit Conference Announces National Tertianship Program for Jesuits
Tags: Jesuit Conference, Jesuit Father Thomas Smolich, Tertianship
After completing theological studies and some years of ministry, Jesuits complete their formal formation of prayer, guidance and studies with tertianship, a time of spiritual renewal and ministry with the poor. After the tertianship period, the Jesuit is called to final vows in the Society of Jesus.
In a May 6th letter to all U.S. Jesuits, Jesuit Conference President Father Thomas H. Smolich announced a change to tertianship procedure, with the creation of a national tertianship program. This transitions away from current practice of tertainship programs being coordinated by each province.
May 6, 2011 -Feast of St. José María Rubio
Dear Brothers of the United States Assistancy,
We are guided by the confidence that by combining human and financial resources from a wider geographic area we can achieve greater flexibility in maintaining relationships with existing apostolates and provide greater opportunities for innovation. (Responding to the Call of Christ, p.12)
Throughout the process of Assistancy Strategic Discernment (ASD), the Provincials of the United States Assistancy have made the stewardship of human and financial resources an important dimension of our ongoing discernment. This dimension clearly impacts our formation, and the joining of province programs into regional and national communities and curricula has clearly benefitted our men in preparation for life in the Society.
For the past few years, the provincials have been discerning the future of tertianship programs in the United States, and last year decided to transition existing province-based tertianships into a single program sponsored and staffed by the Assistancy. I am happy to announce that Father General has approved the selection of Fr. Charles Moutenot (NYK) as the Director of this new program. He will be assisted by Fr. Michael Harter (MIS).
Charlie and Mike bring a wide range of experience to this new assignment. Charlie has worked with men in first studies at Fordham, served as Rector at JSTB, and has been engaged in offering the Spiritual Exercises in many forms. He will be leaving his post as Director of the Loyola House of Retreats in Morristown, NJ. Mike has offered the Spiritual Exercises to novices, priests and lay men and women, and his most recent assignment as Missouri Province Socius gives him extensive experience in our way of proceeding. He will continue serving as Editor for Review for Religious.
The provincials have asked Charlie and Mike to design a program which meets the needs of contemporary tertians, one which also responds to Fr. General’s call for a greater depth of spirituality for members of the Society. Concretely, they will lead three tertianship cohorts every two years. A long program will begin in fall 2012; a two-summer program is slated for 2013-2014, with the next long program beginning in fall 2013. The dates, location and details of the programs will be announced during the summer.
On behalf of the members of the Jesuit Conference, let me extend our gratitude to Charlie and Mike for taking on this new assignment. This is also an opportunity to express our appreciation to current and past tertian directors in the United States. Your generous service and guidance have inspired many of us and have provided us a firm foundation for the future.
Please join me in praying for our new directors and for all those engaged in Jesuit formation throughout the world.
Sincerely in Christ,
Thomas H. Smolich, S.J.
Jesuit Conference of the United States