We are the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits, a Roman Catholic order of priests and brothers founded nearly 500 years ago by a soldier-turned-mystic, Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
In the vision of our founder, we seek to “find God in all things” and dedicate ourselves to Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, or the “greater glory of God” and the good of all humanity. We do all of this in grateful collaboration with others who share our values, including laypeople who are part of the extended Jesuit family.
With roughly 16,000-plus priests and brothers worldwide, we are the largest male religious order in the Catholic Church. We are pastors, teachers, chaplains, doctors, lawyers, and astronomers, among many other roles in the Church and society. In our varied ministries, we care for the whole person: body, mind, and soul. In all our activities — especially our educational ministries, we seek to nurture “men and women for others.”
Jesuits draw on the rich tradition of Ignatian spirituality and reflection. In our retreat centers, parishes, campus ministries, and other settings, we offer resources to all who want to discern God’s presence in their lives. At the same time, we aim to be “contemplatives in action,” people who bring Ignatian spirituality into the wider world. That includes our work on behalf of global justice, peace, and dialogue.
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.
Our collaboration with the laity flows from our personal relationships with Christ. We see ourselves as companions of Jesus, and we invite others to join us as friends in the Lord. Together, we build up the body of Christ.
With our friends and partners, we also reach out to a broadly diverse world because that is where God is. From experience and reflection, we know that meaning, value, and divine purpose can be discovered “in all things.”