(Washington, D.C, March 11, 2014) — On March 13, Pope Francis will conclude the first year of his papacy, and the Jesuits, the religious order of priests and brothers who count Pope Francis as one of their own, have reason to celebrate. In the U.S., the Jesuits are reporting a surge in vocation inquiries since Pope Francis’ election.
Men interested in exploring the possibility of joining the Jesuits first make contact with the religious order through regional vocation offices, and those offices are all reporting a significant uptick in vocation inquiries — anywhere from a low of 67% to a high of 116% along the East Coast.
Father Chuck Frederico, vocations director for the Jesuits of the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces, said his office has been flooded with inquiries in the last year. “We’ve been hearing from a tremendous number of young men who have no experience with the Society of Jesus, which isn’t typical because so many of our vocations come from men who have attended Jesuit high schools or colleges,” said Fr. Frederico. “But these men are new to the Jesuits, and they are inspired by the Holy Father. They’re excited about the Catholic Church and, because of the example of Pope Francis, they want to learn more about the Jesuits. It’s been a tremendous gift.”
About the Society of Jesus in the United States
Founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius Loyola, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church. The Jesuits operate 28 colleges and universities, 54 high schools and 67 parishes in the United States and engage in a variety of ministries. As religious, Jesuits commit themselves to observe vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in practicing a faith that promotes justice. For more information on the Society of Jesus in the United States, visit www.jesuits.org.