A Close Look at Jesuit Order Uncovers a Rich History and Challenging Future

By Jones, Arthur | National Catholic Reporter, February 19, 1993 | Go to article overview

A Close Look at Jesuit Order Uncovers a Rich History and Challenging Future


Jones, Arthur, National Catholic Reporter


ROME - The most important part of Jesuit Father John J. O'Callaghan's job, he admits, takes the least amount of time. As one of four general assistants at the Jesuit curia, his job, and theirs, is to supervise the actions of the order's father general - on behalf of all Jesuits.

It was an unusual experience, said O'Callaghan, 61, when elected to his position in the mid- 1980s, to kneel before the father general in front of the society and take a Latin oath warning the father general that, "I will impeach you if necessary.' It has not been necessary. Indeed no Jesuit general has been removed from office, though one, a long time ago, probably left office one step ahead of impeachment.

Periodically, the four general assistants (the others are Fathers Michael Amaladoss, Simon Decloux and Joao MacDowell) meet to discuss the health and actions of their boss, Jesuit Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, but otherwise their work comprises administration and travel, meetings and projects.

But being in Rome, at the church's administrative center, provides some sharp perspective.

"It's only since living in Italy," said O'Callaghan, "and hearing the Italians talk about the Old World and the New World, that I've realized that the New World is not just a one-time historical fact.

"The New (World) has very little history. That means it is ignorant of many things, but it is also unburdened by a lot of the past. We've not suffered a lot, we haven't been around to see something like the Balkans, a thousand years of hatred all of a sudden unleashed."

And further, he said, "I've come to think that America is much more allied, North and South, than the U.S. is allied, East and West, with Europe."

The Americas live in the present and the future, said O'Callaghan.

"The sad thing is we don't profit from the past," he said. "But what I certainly find in Italy is that they live in the past, just a little in the present, and not much in the future at all."

The Jesuit axis, by comparison, he explained, given the diminution in First World numbers, is shifting to the East and South: from the U.S., the largest assistancy with 4,500 Jesuits and a high median age, to India with 3,200 Jesuits and a low median age; and from Western Europe, with practically no vocations, to Indonesia, Chile, Argentina and Korea, with their many novices.

"It's not a new problem," said the general assistant, who entered in Chicago in 1949 with a class of 45 (the current total for the United States is 66 novices), "but it has begun to obtrude on our consciousness. At the crass financial level, at many (U.S.) universities, it is not just that the salaried Jesuits are not able to give back to the universities a fair amount as they have always done, it is that those salaries are not beginning to pay the expenses of the community - because the numbers of retired teachers are higher and the salaried teachers lower."

In terms of the Society of Jesus, he said, Europe is going to cede to other parts of the world "because there just aren't any more Europeans the way there once were."

O'Callaghan has recently spent time in Indonesia, "where the church is booming and the Catholic population is growing faster than the general population. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

A Close Look at Jesuit Order Uncovers a Rich History and Challenging Future
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.