The Society of Jesus is a community of priests and brothers dedicated to the service of God and the Church for the betterment of the world around us. Whatever our ministry — from university to parish to the service of the poor and refugees, our work is always for the glory of God and the help and salvation of souls.
Whether teaching, preaching, giving the sacraments, accompanying the poor or refugees, giving the Spiritual Exercises or praying for the Society, our voices are as varied as the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, but our message is the same: to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbours as ourselves.
Basic Jesuit Formation varies from Jesuit to Jesuit. Some men take as many as 13 years to become a priest, and then several more years to reach tertianship, the last stage of formal Jesuit formation. It is only after tertianship that a Jesuit takes his final vows.
Increasingly we are finding that to serve the mission effectively today, formation is needed in other areas as well. We encourage Jesuits to come together regularly to share, learn from each other and collaborate in circles such as those for formators, novice masters, scholastics and brother; and vocation promotors. We also organise programmes to foster understanding of two major religions in Asia Pacific – the Asia Pacific Theological Encounter Programme (Dialogue with Islam) and the East Asia Theological Encounter Programme (Dialogue with Buddhism).
In 2011, the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific released a detailed document on formation for Jesuits for this part of the world. Entitled “Forming a Contemplative in Action: A Profile of a Formed Jesuit for Asia Pacific”, the document addresses three major questions – What does a formed Jesuit look like? What specific issues does initial formation need to address? What competencies a formed Jesuit for Asia Pacific needs to have mastered? [More about the Profile]
To a young man who wishes to be a Jesuit, I would say
“Stay at home if this idea makes you unsettled or nervous. Do not come to us if you love the Church like a stepmother rather than a mother. Do not come if you think that in so doing you will be doing the Society of Jesus a favour.”
“Come if serving Christ is at the very centre of your life. Come if you have broad and sufficiently strong shoulders. Come if you have an open spirit, a reasonably open mind and a heart larger than the world. Come if you know how to tell a joke and can laugh with others and … on occasions you can laugh at yourself.”
Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ
Superior General 1965–1983
If you wish to know more about the Jesuits or are considering applying to the Society of Jesus, please contact a vocation director.