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Who are the Jesuits?

The Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits, are a Roman Catholic order of priests and brothers founded nearly 500 years ago by Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The Society of Jesus is made up of geographical territories called “provinces.”

Each province has a superior who is simply called “the Provincial”, and who, in turn, reports directly to the central Jesuit government or “curia” in Rome, headed by the Superior General or “Father General.” The Jesuits and Jesuit ministries in Portland are part of the USA West, or Jesuits West, Province. Our current provincial is Fr. Sean Carroll, S.J. The current Superior General is Father Arturo Sosa, S.J.


St. Ignatius (center) with his companions St. Francis Xavier (left) and St. Peter Faber (right), three of the founding members of the Society of Jesus.

Father General Arturo Sosa, SJ

As members of a religious order, Jesuits take three vows — of poverty, chastity, and obedience — and a fourth vow of obedience with regard to mission. In other words, Jesuits must be ready to accept whatever mission the pope requires, a vow that is reflective of our broader dedication to the universal Church and to the greater good of all people from all faiths and cultures.


The current mission and work of all Jesuit ministry is centered around our Four Universal Apostolic Preferences:

  • Showing the way to God through Spiritual Exercises and Discernment

  • Walking with the Excluded

  • Accompanying Youth

  • Caring for our Common Home

You can learn more about the Jesuits at:

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