Posts Tagged ‘Jesuit Curia’

After Nearly Two Decades in Rome, U.S. Jesuit Has Unique Global Perspective on the Society

Jesuit Father Frank Case

Photo via Gonzaga Magazine

Father Frank Case is an American Jesuit with a vision of the international whole of the Society of Jesus. He spent 18 years in Rome, where he received an education in the Society’s global works.

In 1990, Fr. Case became regional assistant representing U.S. Jesuits to Father General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach. In 2005, he was named general secretary, the Society’s No. 2 position. Six days a week, he and other advisers met with the Father General for briefings on Jesuit matters from all over the world.

Fr. Case, who now serves as vice president for Mission and Identity at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., shared some of his insights on the global Society of Jesus.

“Africa was marvelous to watch. With our Oregon Province twinned with Zambia, we still have about five men from our province in Zambia,” he said. “There are a lot of young provincials in Africa … It’s neat to see them take ownership of their society and of the African Church, which is burgeoning, full of life and vitality.”

As for Asia, India has the largest population of Jesuits in the world – more than 4,000 of 18,000 Jesuits worldwide, according to Fr. Case. Vietnam sees healthy Jesuit growth, he says, with 20 to 40 vocations per year.

China has two often-polarized strands of the Catholic Church, the government-run Catholic Patriotic Association and the underground Church, explained Fr. Case. In a sign of its trust of the Jesuits, Fr. Case said, the Chinese government asked American Jesuit universities to collaborate in creating a U.S.-style MBA program in Beijing. The program began in 1998 and thrived until publicity of its successes upset the unusual arrangement. Yet China continues to tolerate a Jesuit presence, Fr. Case said.

When Fr. Case arrived in Rome, the fall of the Iron Curtain was still reverberating.

“When the Berlin Wall collapsed,” he said, “we had [Jesuits] coming out of the woodwork. In one case, two blood brothers were Jesuits, and neither knew about the other. That was the level of secrecy needed all through Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and Lithuania. One Jesuit was a nuclear physicist in Lithuania. He sat on the equivalent of the Russian atomic energy commission, and certainly no one knew that he was a Jesuit.”

Read more of Fr. Case’s insights in the story by Marny Lombard at Gonzaga University Magazine’s website.

U.S. Jesuit Appointed to Curia in Rome

Jesuit Father Gerald BlaszczakJesuit Father Gerald Blaszczak, who is currently Vice President for Mission and Identity at Fairfield University, has been appointed to serve as Secretary for the Service of Faith at the Jesuit Curia in Rome by Jesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás.

Among Fr. Blaszczak’s new responsibilities will be the promotion within Jesuit ministries of “dialogue and reflection on the relationship between faith and reason, culture and moral issues and also between the Church and society.” He will also coordinate the Secretariat for inter-religious dialogue and work with the six conferences of the Society worldwide on Ignatian spirituality and pastoral work.

Blaszczak said he was “humbled by the scope of my new job,” and that he was also excited by the possibilities. “I am eager to be involved in projects which I deem so valuable and which have been so close to my heart throughout the years of my Jesuit ministry.”

Jesuit Superior General Announces Restructuring of the Society of Jesus’ General Curia

Pope Benedict XVI and Father General Adolfo Nicolas

Pope Benedict XVI and Father General Adolfo Nicolás

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Jesuit Superior General Adolfo Nicolás announced last month a major restructuring in the Society of Jesus’ governance structure at the General Curia in Rome.

In a letter sent to the whole Society, Father General explained that the changes will occur in three ways; a restructuring of the secretariats at the General Curia, instituting a commission on the Society’s Mission, and creating a reflection group for continued discernment of mission.

“With the help of the General Counselors, we are restructuring the Secretariats. The structure that has been in force till now has primarily been organized according to apostolic sectors.”

The reorganization of the secretariats will break the focus on apostolic sectors and instead focus on the important dimensions of the Society’s mission, which should be present in all apostolic sectors. The General Curia will now have Secretaries for the Service of Faith, the Promotion of Justice and Collaboration with Others.

Father General explained that much of the ordinary governance such as admission to final vows and appointment of superiors will stay the same. The changes being made were in fact prompted by the 35th General Congregation and meetings with major superiors in the Society.

“The changes we are introducing concern primarily our capacity to address issues related to our mission, with the flexibility, depth and creativity required at this moment of history and the life of the Church,” wrote Fr. Nicolas.

To read the full letter from Father General, and specifics on the restructuring, visit the [Jesuit Curia]

Jesuit Superior General Announces Restructuring of the Society of Jesus' General Curia

Pope Benedict XVI and Father General Adolfo Nicolas

Pope Benedict XVI and Father General Adolfo Nicolás

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Jesuit Superior General Adolfo Nicolás announced last month a major restructuring in the Society of Jesus’ governance structure at the General Curia in Rome.

In a letter sent to the whole Society, Father General explained that the changes will occur in three ways; a restructuring of the secretariats at the General Curia, instituting a commission on the Society’s Mission, and creating a reflection group for continued discernment of mission.

“With the help of the General Counselors, we are restructuring the Secretariats. The structure that has been in force till now has primarily been organized according to apostolic sectors.”

The reorganization of the secretariats will break the focus on apostolic sectors and instead focus on the important dimensions of the Society’s mission, which should be present in all apostolic sectors. The General Curia will now have Secretaries for the Service of Faith, the Promotion of Justice and Collaboration with Others.

Father General explained that much of the ordinary governance such as admission to final vows and appointment of superiors will stay the same. The changes being made were in fact prompted by the 35th General Congregation and meetings with major superiors in the Society.

“The changes we are introducing concern primarily our capacity to address issues related to our mission, with the flexibility, depth and creativity required at this moment of history and the life of the Church,” wrote Fr. Nicolas.

To read the full letter from Father General, and specifics on the restructuring, visit the [Jesuit Curia]