Letter from the Editor
Deanna I. Howes, Director of Communications, AJCU
This month’s issue of Connections focuses on the ways that our institutions are helping young men on our campuses who experience a calling to enter the Society of Jesus. Although their numbers have declined across the world, Jesuits continue to make an impact on millions of people through their leadership of an array of apostolates, including nearly 200 colleges and universities. And, of course, there’s our Jesuit Pope! Truly, the Society of Jesus received no better exposure to a global audience than it did during Pope Francis’ election in 2013.
Here in North America, the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States has launched a website for those interested in formation: beajesuit.org. You will learn more about the Conference’s work in this issue of Connections in an article by Rev. Drew Kirschman, S.J., the Coordinator for Vocation Promotion for the USA Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus. A second innovative website for those interested in formation, The Jesuit Post, is run by young Jesuits, one of whom, Mr. Garrett Gundlach, S.J., has contributed an article about his call to the Society.
While the Society has long attracted novices fresh out of college, one of its newest members is Rev. Tom Curran, S.J., who serves as president of Rockhurst University. In 1984, Fr. Curran was ordained a priest in the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. For nearly thirty years, he often considered entering the Society of Jesus, but it was not until 2012 that he began the process of becoming a Jesuit after discerning “that joining the Society would give him an opportunity to grow closer to God” (Rockhurst). Earlier this month, Fr. Curran professed his final vows at the end of a Mass on May 2nd at St. Francis Xavier Church in Kansas City, MO. We congratulate Fr. Curran and offer him our continued prayers.
Rockhurst and its twenty-seven fellow members of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities are proud to support the students who are drawn to the Society every year. With ordinations set to take place this spring at the churches on several of our campuses, we believe the timing couldn’t be better for this issue of Connections. We hope that you enjoy learning more about vocation promotion, and that you keep all of our Jesuits in your prayers.
Best wishes for a wonderful summer!
Deanna I. Howes
Director of Communications, AJCU