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Please, Help Us Make More Jesuits!

“I love the Jesuits!”

I probably hear those words more than any others as I travel in our province and, thanks to our international ministries, throughout the world.

“I love the Jesuits, too!” is my snappy response, which sometimes gets a laugh. If we have a moment, I love to hear a stranger’s story about how they made their connection to the Society of Jesus. 

When you say you love the Jesuits–if your connection is through one of our works–it’s likely that you are a faithful supporter of the ministry where you encountered us. The bond between you and the place where you met the Jesuits is important, and we are so grateful that you support those important works. What many people don’t realize is that Jesuits are assigned (missioned) to the places where they work.

It’s actually a very involved process to get Jesuits ready to be sent out for ministry. Some say Jesuits are “created” by the Midwest Province, whose mission is fourfold:

• We find men who are drawn to religious life, and help them answer God’s call.

• We form and educate those men for ten or more years at a cost of more than $50,000 per man, per year, or $500,000 each.

• We place them in our works–where they meet people like you. In some cases, we even create new works with them.

• Finally, after a Jesuit has spent a lifetime in service, we provide for care and comfort in his final years.

It may come as a surprise that none of these costs are borne by our institutions. That’s by design. Our schools and universities are independent ministries, concerned with the costs of the work they do. But it creates a significant challenge: how does the province pay its costs–how do we make more Jesuits?

The good news is that we have friends and benefactors–many, but not enough–who understand the difference between our Jesuit works and the mission of the province. Simply put, the Midwest Province creates Jesuits. That’s where we need your help.

I know that our generous benefactors give to many worthy causes, not just Jesuit works. If I could appeal to you to hold a place in your heart for the work of the province–the place where Jesuits are made–I would be most grateful. Won’t you help us make more Jesuits?

Yours in Christ,
Very Rev. Karl J. Kiser, SJ
Provincial, USA Midwest Society of Jesus