“The Jesuit is a servant of the joy of the Gospel” (Pope Francis to General Congregation 36, November 2016)

Who we are

The Society of Jesus was founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius Loyola and his companions. The Jesuit mission is a mission of reconciliation, working so that women and men can be reconciled with God, with themselves, with each other and with God’s creation.

Our History

The Society of Jesus was founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius Loyola with the approval of Pope Paul III. Ignatius Loyola had gathered around him an energetic band of well-educated men who desired nothing more than to help others find God in their lives. It was Ignatius’ original plan that the Jesuits be travelling missionaries who would preach and administer the sacraments wherever there was the hope of accomplishing the greater good. Since its foundation the Order has grown from the original ten to more than 16,000 Jesuits worldwide.

 
 

Recent General Congregations

Following the call of Vatican II, General Congregation 31 returned to the original inspiration of St Ignatius and the early companions. Led by Father General Pedro Arrupe, there was increasing stress on personal prayer and a deep renewal of community life. General Congregation 32 in 1975 following the call of the Synod of Bishops emphasised the close link of serving faith and promoting justice. General Congregation 33 elected a new Superior General and outlined that dialogue with cultures is essential to any evangelisation. General Congregation 34 did a profound reflection on many aspects of Jesuit life as well as updating our norms and legislation. General Congregation 35 saw the resignation of Father General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach after 24 years, and issued an important document on Jesuit identity “A Fire that Kindles other Fires”. General Congregation 36 elected Father Arturo Sosa as Superior General, the first to serve in that capacity from Latin America.