Posts Tagged ‘Jesuit Father Thomas Greene’

Jesuit Father Tom Greene on Immigration Reform and the Role of the “Pesky Priest”

On Capitol Hill, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee finished wading through more than 300 amendments to the 800+ page proposed comprehensive immigration reform bill yesterday, approving an overhaul of the country’s immigration laws with a 13 to 5 vote. As the bill now moves to the Senate floor, there’s new and renewed enthusiasm for immigration reform.

Last week, the nine U.S. provincials of the Society of Jesus in the United States sent letters to Congress and the Obama Administration calling for “fair, just and humane” immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for the 11 million. The provincials made a similar appeal in 2011.  Currently, the provincials are attending a Jesuit Conference board meeting in El Salvador, where they will explore this complicated issue in greater depth.

In a wide-ranging interview with National Jesuit News, Jesuit Father Tom Greene, Secretary for Social and International Ministries for the Jesuit Conference, discussed his hopefulness regarding immigration reform, the provincials’ commitment to the 11 million and the role of the “pesky priest” in the ongoing debate.

To get involved in the Jesuit Conference’s advocacy efforts to build a more just, fair and humane immigration system sign up for our advocacy alerts by clicking here.

A Powerful Witness: Jesuit’s Ten-Year Ministry of Accompaniment and Empowerment at Hopeworks ‘n Camden

Founded more than a decade ago by Jesuit Father Jeff Puthoff and the pastoral teams of several local parishes, Hopeworks ‘n Camden is a transformative and holistic ministry of empowerment for the youth of inner-city Camden, which offers technology training and job opportunities, coupled with academic support and formation.

Jesuit Father Tom Greene, Secretary for Social and International Ministries at the Jesuit Conference (SIM), SIM Policy Director John Kleiderer and SIM Programs Director Amy Newlon were privileged to visit with Fr. Puthoff, the staff and youth of Hopeworks. Below are their reflections:

Under Puthoff’s leadership, Hopeworks has evolved in its ten-years of existence, expanding its programs to offer not only technology training but also comprehensive “literacy” programs that help youth complete high school, and get into college.  The technology and literacy programs are augmented by a counseling and formation program that helps young people to overcome barriers which impede their success.  Amy Newlon, Director of Programs for SIM, was very impressed with how adaptive Hopeworks is in its programming.  “Hopeworks saw that there was a critical need affecting the youth they serve – unsafe, insecure, or unsupportive housing with limited personal space.   As such Hopeworks opened a new residential community – the C.R.I.B. (Community Responding In Belief ) that provides a safe, respectful, celebratory and structured atmosphere where Hopeworks youth can and do succeed.”
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School of the Heart: My Tertianship in India

Jesuit Father Tom Greene, Secretary for Social and International Ministries at the Jesuit Conference recently returned from his Tertianship in India.

For those unfamiliar, Tertianship is a step in the Jesuit’s formation process, usually to be made after ten to fifteen years after the novitiate and at the end of the Jesuit’s professional training. St Ignatius called it a ‘school of the heart’. It is a time in which the tertian deepens his own commitment to the Society and Jesus.

Fr. Greene sat down with National Jesuit News to talk about his time in India, and his desire to go deeper into the School of the Heart.

Jesuits Urge their Partners to Join Them in Immigration Reform Letter Sign-On Effort


This summer, the Jesuits in the United States took the rare step of sending a joint letter from all ten of their Provincial major superiors across the country to the president and to each member of Congress seeking immediate and comprehensive immigration reform.  Understanding that in order for such reform to be enacted there must be a national demonstration of support; they are urging Jesuit communities, ministries, institutions and Ignatian-affiliated groups to join them in speaking out for the least among us by asking their members of Congress to act now in enacting comprehensive immigration reform for the nation.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time that ten provincials have come together and signed a letter requesting legislative action on a particular issue. This speaks volumes about the current state of U.S. immigration policy and the critical need for reform. It also shows that this is a nation-wide issue and not limited to certain states. The system is broken and the provincials’ letter recognizes this,” said Jesuit Father Thomas Greene, secretary of social and international ministries at the Jesuit Conference of the United States in Washington, D.C.  “Today, 180 schools, parishes, retreat houses, Jesuit communities and other institutions have signed on to the provincials’ letter. Their response has been very encouraging and it is clear to me that people are tired of immigrant bashing and want to stand up for the immigrants they live in community with – the people with whom they live, work and study.”

Across the country, Jesuit-affiliated groups and institutions are adding their signatures in support of comprehensive immigration reform that is fair, just and humane. At Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas, in addition to endorsing the institutional sign-on letter, students and faculty were asked to add their names to a large four foot by six foot poster of the Jesuit provincials’ letter to Congress. With over 100 signatures, the letter is being mailed to the White House this Monday. This Sunday, members of Jesuit-sponsored works in Southern California and Arizona are joining together in prayer at Dolores Mission parish in Los Angeles to add their voices to those wanting immigration reform enacted immediately. During the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice being held November 13 – 15 in Washington, D.C., participating schools, universities, colleges and parishes will be asked to add their signatures of support during the group’s Advocacy Day.

With the goal of having 200 institutional signatories signed-on by All Saints Day on November 1, Jesuit groups are being asked to join in the effort and add their voices to the call for Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform for the nation today.