News
Students from De Smet Jesuit High School (St. Louis) spent Thanksgiving break volunteering in Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Recovery Update

When three hurricanes impacted four schools in the USA Central and Southern Province, many people responded with gifts and prayers. Strangers reached out with generosity and compassion, and school communities banded together, looking out for one another. The Jesuit schools in Houston and Tampa are doing well, though some families are still displaced. Colegio San Ignacio in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is striving for normalcy in abnormal conditions as Puerto Rico struggles to recover.

The Jesuit schools and parish in San Juan were hit hard by Hurricane Maria but reopened within two weeks, showing remarkable resilience as they depended on generators and bottled or filtered water. They relied on generators for nearly four months. After 128 days, 68% of Puerto Rico (about 1 million people) had their power restored, including the Jesuit schools, parish and community. However, more than 450,000 remain without power, especially in rural areas.

This province received more than 600 gifts, totaling nearly $540,000, to aid the people of Puerto Rico. The Jesuits in Puerto Rico have used those funds to make structural repairs, replace equipment and purchase and maintain generators. Perhaps more importantly, the gifts helped provide financial assistance to faculty, staff and others who needed help. Just clearing up the debris around the school campus cost more than $300,000.

Cristo Rey Thank YOu

In Houston, both Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School and Strake Jesuit College Preparatory School were the beneficiaries of a tide of goodwill. Thanks to donations, Strake Jesuit and Cristo Rey provided clothing, transportation, temporary housing, furniture, appliances and other necessities to families in need. 

In addition to individuals, more than 50 public and private schools and colleges/universities from across the country reached out to Cristo Rey to offer support, allowing the school to help more than 60 students, alumni, faculty, staff and their families. 

Strake Jesuit received donations totaling $352,105, which it used to fund a financial aid program. Fifty-one Strake Jesuit students remain displaced from their homes.

In all three communities – Houston, Tampa and Puerto Rico – the grace and generosity of the students, faculty, staff and families has been remarkable. Even those whose homes were damaged or destroyed have reached out to help others. Some students distributed water, groceries and cleaning supplies, while others offered their labor to muck, tear down and build back up again. Just returning to school to be together was an important step in healing.

De Smet Volunteers on Roof
De Smet Jesuit High School volunteers repair a roof in Puerto Rico damaged by Hurricane Maria.

The broader Jesuit family has demonstrated what community is meant to be. Many of the gifts to help the people of Puerto Rico came from donors in Houston. Strake Jesuit families responded early in the Puerto Rican crisis by sending water purifiers to Colegio San Ignacio. Students from De Smet Jesuit High School (St. Louis) flew to Puerto Rico in November to clean out houses, repair roofs, tutor kids and plant mangroves. Seniors at St. Louis University High School spent three weeks in January restoring sports facilities for children and removing debris from roofless homes. Belen Jesuit in Miami also sent students, and more schools have trips planned. 

Throughout these challenging months, the Jesuit school communities have felt a strengthening bond with the Jesuit family at large, thanks to intentional acts of solidarity. In Puerto Rico in particular, the generosity of many has enabled the Jesuits to accompany those who have suffered. They will continue to support the recovery efforts with an even greater commitment to share the gifts of the Jesuit mission. 

If you would like to donate to aid recovery in Puerto Rico, you can do so through this page on our site. Please indicate "Hurricane Reovery" in the comments section. 





Recent News

June 13, 2018 — Jesuit organizations, including the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology, are "appalled at this ill-conceived decision."

This year, five Jesuits of the USA Central and Southern Province will be ordained to the priesthood during two liturgies, one in St. Louis and one in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

May 31, 2018 — The Jesuits of Canada and the U.S. join our brother Jesuits and the Nicaraguan bishops in denouncing recent violence in Nicaragua.

The Jesuits of the USA Central and Southern (UCS) Province have joined with the Jesuit Conference and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities to endorse the Catholic Climate Declaration.

May 26, 2018 — Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S., discusses some of the highlights of the provincials’ time with Father General.

May 25, 2018 — Yesterday, Fr. Sosa continued his 12-day trip in Canada with a full day in Montreal.

May 24, 2018 - Ronald Rebore will become the next associate provincial assistant for secondary and pre-secondary education for the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province. He replaces Pete Musso, who has served in the role for the past four years.

view all news

Search news

Publications






Ignatian Spirituality Institute

Rooted in the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, ISI shapes participants in principles of Ignatian Spirituality through academic study and experiential formation.