Slavery, History, Memory and Reconciliation Project

"Confronting SLU's History with Slavery"

October 4, 2019 - Saint Louis University (SLU) student newspaper The University News covered the progress of the SHMR Project in an interview with Jonathan Smith.

SLU President for the The St. Louis American

September 18, 2019 - Dr. Fred Pestello, president of Saint Louis University (SLU), wrote in The St. Louis American about the the SHMR Project.

Jesuits seek descendants of slaves who helped establish SLU

September 5, 2019 - Clara Germani for the St. Louis American interviews SHMR Project team members and discusses their findings.

Painful history and reconciliation

August 2, 2019 - Jennifer Brinker of the St. Louis Review reports on the SHMR Project and its findings.

Exploring and Telling the Story of Families and a Nation

July 22, 2019 - The last 12 months have been a time of growth for the Slavery, History, Memory and Reconciliation (SHMR) Project, created to learn more about the lived experiences of the men, women and children enslaved by Jesuits in the 19th century.

Walking on Hallowed Ground

April 1, 2019 - On a clear, cool day in March, a small group of Jesuit colleagues made a somber journey. The group visited several locales to visit sites of significance to the early Jesuits in St. Louis and to the people enslaved by those Jesuits.

Project Coordinator Committed to Dialogue

March 6, 2019 - The Slavery, History, Memory and Reconciliation Project (SHMR) gained a new project coordinator. Laura Weis, Ph.D., joined the initiative in January.

Province Begins Process of Reconciliation with Acknowledgment of Sinfulness

June 8, 2018 - More than 130 members of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province gathered in St. Louis for Province Day, to learn more about the province’s history of slaveholding.

200th Anniversary of Saint Louis University

July 22, 2018 - Though not often remembered, six Jesuit owned slaves traveled west with the Jesuits from Baltimore in 1823 and worked on a farm in Florissant, Missouri, which eventually became Saint Louis University.

2018 Project Status Report

May 2018 – Read the project status report, including its historical findings and commitment to learning more.

Remarks of Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, at Liturgy of Remembrance, Contrition and Hope

April 18, 2017 – Read Fr. Timothy Kesicki's remarks on behalf of the Society of Jesus in the United States, at the Georgetown University Liturgy of Remembrance, Contrition and Hope.

Saint Louis University Joins USS

November 14, 2018 – In partnership with the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province, Saint Louis University joins the Universities Studying Slavery (USS) consortium.

Statement on the History of Jesuit Slaveholding in UCS Province

September 19, 2016 – Read the initial statement from the Jesuits USA Central and Southern (UCS) Province, which began the process of researching the history of Jesuit slaveholding in what is now UCS Province.


Follow the SHMR Project on Social Media




SHMR Project Research - Preliminary Findings
Jesuit Colleagues Respond to History of Jesuit Slaveholding

Home About Us What We Have Learned Family Histories Where Do We Go From Here Connecting with Descendants Updates
Contact Us

Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House
Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House, located in Grand Coteau, La., has provided a beautiful setting for retreats since 1938.