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Jesuits are restless to evangelize, Pope says in Mass at Jesuit church in Rome

Catholic World News - January 03, 2014

Celebrating Mass on January 3 at the Gesu, the Jesuit church in the heart of Rome, Pope Francis said that the Jesuit order is marked by a “restless” spirit—“a restlessness that is also apostolic, so that we never tire of proclaiming the kerygma, of evangelizing with courage.”

“Without restlessness we are sterile,” said the first Jesuit Pontiff in his homily. The Mass was celebrated to mark the canonization of St. Peter Faber, the first companion of St. Ignatius in the Jesuit order. The Pope’s concelebrants included Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and Father Adolfo Nicolas, the superior general of the Society of Jesus. Challenging the Jesuits in the congregation, the Pope asked:

Are we consumed by zeal? Or are we mediocre and satisfied with our theoretical apostolic plans? Let us always remember that the strength of the Church does not reside in herself or in her organizational capacity, but is instead concealed in the deep waters of God.

Repeatedly identifying himself as a Jesuit, the Pope said: “We are men who live in tension. We are also contradictory and inconsistent men—sinners all, but men who want to walk under the gaze of Jesus.” He cited the words of St. Peter Faber: “never in this life may we seek a name that does not bring us back to that of Jesus.”

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jan. 12, 2014 1:53 PM ET USA

    The Pope judges "the tree" before any substantial fruit has been produced.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jan. 03, 2014 3:55 PM ET USA

    I hope Pope Francis is right here, and I freely admit that he is in a position to know more than I. That said, with counted exceptions -- exceptions involving men with extraordinary gifts and great dedication to the Church's mission -- most Jesuits I know of are hardly restive with a spirit to evangelize. Some, in fact, are seemingly doing everything in their power to make sure the Church fails in its attempts to evangelize.

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