As the largest male religious order of the Catholic Church, the Society of Jesus is present in virtually every country in the world, currently organized in roughly 100 Provinces and Regions. In addition to being present to most local churches and cultures, the Society is an international body, and has always sought ways to strengthen our ministries via international collaboration.
One form of that collaboration is the close relationship between two Provinces that we call twinning. The Central and Southern Province is twinned with the Central American Province. Practically, this means that the two provinces share manpower and resources where that is possible. Jesuit novices from the Central and Southern Province frequently study Spanish in Nicaragua, and some young Jesuits from Central America have worked in schools in the Central and Southern Province.
In addition, in our day the Society has created structures called Conferences which bring together Provinces in major geographical areas so that they might work together more effectively, both within Conferences and among Conferences. Finally, the General Curia in Rome, guided by our Superior General, Most Reverend Arturo Sosa, SJ, coordinates the worldwide work of the Society.
International Jesuit ministries seek to nurture hope in places that would seem to offer little of it. Jesuit Refugee Service sponsors schools and other services for children who often spend years in refugee camps.
There are also primarily spiritual ministries carried out by the worldwide Society of Jesus. These include the Apostleship of Prayer, a global prayer group with daily online offerings. The apostleship has been called “the pope’s own prayer group,” because it also circulates his personal intentions — on behalf of priestly vocations, for example, or mutual respect among world religions. Another spiritual ministry is the Christian Life Communities, a Jesuit-sponsored lay association that has nurtured small, faith-sharing groups in some 60 countries.
In addition, the Society of Jesus has crucial responsibilities in Rome on behalf of the Universal Church. Particularly significant among these is the education and training of future Church leaders. The Jesuits carry out this task at a number of institutions including the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and the Pontifical Oriental Institutes. Those three now serve more than 3,500 students from 120 countries on six continents. The students are preparing for service as priests, sisters, religious brothers, and lay leaders. They have a strong impact on the Church: graduates of the three institutions include one fourth of the world’s current bishops and half of the cardinals who voted in the most recent papal conclave.
Jesuits from this province are actively involved in many of the international ministries.
For more information about the provinces and Assistancies throughout the world, please visit the Jesuit Curia, the global headquarters of the Society of Jesus, located in Rome.