The 36th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus has elected Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, of the Venezuelan Province, Superior General. Father Sosa is the 31st successor to St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Society of Jesus in 1540.
He is the first non-European and the first Latin American to head what is today the largest religious order of men and brothers in the Catholic Church. He was born in Caracas, Venezuela, on November 12, 1948. He has had a long career in teaching and research. He was a professor and a member of the Foundation Council of the Andrés Bello Catholic University and for 10 years he was the rector of the Catholic University in Táchira. He did most of his research and teaching in political science and published several works about the history and politics of Venezuela.
Pope Francis told the Jesuits on the occasion of the canonization of Peter Faber, “We must ask ourselves, do we have great vision and impetus? Are we also daring? Do our dreams fly high? Does zeal consume us? Or are we mediocre and satisfied with our ‘made in the lab’ apostolic programmers?” In selecting Father Sosa, a political scientist and former provincial of the Jesuits in Venezuela, the Jesuits saw in him these very qualities.
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