MISSION AND MINISTRY | On July 1, 2017, the former Oregon and California provinces of the Society of Jesus in the United States merged to form the new Jesuits West Province. Jesuits West spans ten Western states and encompasses dozens of Jesuit works, including parishes, retreat centers, social ministries, high schools, and universities such as LMU.
Recently, representatives of those works gathered at LMU to reflect on how to collaborate to realize the new province’s vision to “be a community of Jesuits and apostolic partners formed by the Gospel and the Spiritual Exercises to expand Jesus’ ministry of healing, reconciling and teaching in service of the diverse peoples of the West.”
Among the weekend’s highlights was the keynote speech delivered Aug. 11 by Provincial Father Scott Santarosa, S.J. Joseph Wakelee-Lynch, editor of LMU Magazine, was in the audience that morning and shared this reaction to Father Santarosa’s inspiring address on his Editor’s Blog:
Easy to imagine for most of us are the challenges that come with change. Old ways provide the comfort of the familiar; new ways, the fear of the unknown. The Jesuits and their institutions — their works, as they call them — are no more immune to that fear than are the rest of us. Scott Santarosa, S.J… offered hope by way of the ever-useful biblical analogy of new and old wineskins: “… No man pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does so, the wine will burst the skins and both wine and skins will be lost. No, new wine is poured into new skins” (Mark 2:22). The boundaries of the new province are the new wineskins, he explained. “We have to fill them with new wine,” he said. Then came the hard, but exciting, part: “The new wine is the byproduct of our willingness to take risks.”