It is often difficult to narrow this cover letter to one page, and this is certainly true at this time as we enter a new year, a new decade, and soon a new USA East Province. So much has happened in 2019 to lead us to this historic moment, and so many exciting developments are on the horizon for 2020.
Last year, the canonization process began for Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, a former Superior General for the Society of Jesus who challenged Jesuits to be leaders in the service of faith and justice in the world. After extensive dialogue with fellow Jesuits and lay partners from around the globe, our current Father General, Arturo Sosa, SJ, promulgated four new Universal Apostolic Preferences that will guide our mission for the coming decade. These preferences include showing the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises; walking with the poor and those on the margins in a mission of reconciliation and justice; accompanying young people in the creation of a hopefilled future; and collaborating in the care of the earth, our common home. These preferences represent points of inspiration for all future discernment about our lives and ministries as Jesuits with our colleagues in mission.
On July 31, 2020, the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces will come together canonically to create the USA East Province. This collaboration as the largest province in the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States will include approximately 650 Jesuits, 11 colleges and universities, more than 20 secondary and pre-secondary schools, and over 20 parishes and retreat centers—all with a continued mission to serve the Church and the People of God.
We wish to extend our immeasurable gratitude to you and to all who have supported the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces in preparation for this soon-to-be-created province. We will continue to serve you, our communities, and most especially those who have been forgotten in the world, with the same joy and humility as our founder St. Ignatius Loyola.
May Christ’s peace be with you and your family in this new year.