Good spiritual reading in New Jesuit Review’s latest issue

In the latest issue of New Jesuit Review (issued by real Jesuits!) there is a fine article by my friend Fr. John Gavin, SJ, whom I got to know in Rome.  

Folks, there are good young Jesuits.  Really.

His article is "The Salvation of Souls and the Glory of God"

Here is the beginning:

On January 15, 1544, St. Francis Xavier wrote to his companions in Rome from Cochin, in India, describing his incessant labors on behalf of the people in the region. The great Jesuit missionary was exhausting himself in baptizing, teaching, visiting the sick, and burying the dead. He traveled from village to village, attracting large crowds who sought his prayers and his counsel. His only regret was that there were so few missionaries to respond to the desperate hunger of the people for Christ. He wrote:

Many fail to become Christians in these regions because they have no one who is concerned with such pious and holy matters. Many times I am seized with the thought of going to the schools in your lands and of crying out there, like a man who has lost his mind, and especially at the University of Paris, telling those in the Sorbonne who have a greater regard for learning than desire to prepare themselves to produce fruit with it: “How many souls fail to go to glory and go instead to hell through their neglect!” And thus, as they make progress in their studies, if they would study the accounting which God our Lord will demand of them and of the talent which has been given to them, many of them would be greatly moved and, taking means and making spiritual exercises to know the will of God within their soul, they would say, conforming themselves to it rather than to their own inclinations: “Lord, here I am! What would you have me do? Send me wherever you will, and if need be, even to the Indies!”

St. Francis’ zeal illustrates an essential desire that inspires the mission of the Society of Jesus: the greater glory of God through the salvation of souls. St. Ignatius himself, in a letter to Francis in 1552, confirmed this animating principle when he wrote that he was praying that the people in the East “may leave its infidelity and come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, our salvation, and of the salvation of their own souls.” While the Society may be involved in a variety of apostolates – teaching, parishes, chaplaincy – its efforts always aim toward the magis that leads to the perfection of man redeemed and transformed in Jesus. The connection between the Glory of God and the salvation of souls shapes the formation of the Society’s members and gives all Jesuit apostolates their distinctive character.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Thanks for posting this, Father. There are some great Jesuits out there, doing good work for the Kingdom of God. PRAY for our priests.

  2. Justin from Ohio says:

    I too enjoy this new publication by these faithful Jesuits. It is indeed true, Father Z, that the younger Jesuits are more traditional and faithful to the Church than the 50-somethings and 60-somethings we see running around on college campuses and zealously dissenting from the Church, rather than focusing their zeal on the salvation of souls and obedience to the successor of Peter and the bishops in union with him.

    I also enjoy reading some of the posts over at the Whosoever Desires blog ( which is run by a group of very young Jesuits here in the U.S. They are not as traditional as some readers here would probably like, but they are much, much more faithful and orthodox than many of their elders in the Society of Jesus. I recommend them as well.

  3. Justin from Ohio says:

    Sorry, here’s a better link to Whosoever Desires:

  4. JSBSJ says:

    There is a new spirit blowing through the Society of Jesus. Younger Jesuits have a vision that seems, at least now, quite foreign to those of a prior generation. Nevertheless, keep praying for the conversion of the Society. And, please – for the love of God – do not white-wash all Jesuits the same color. Give credit to those who struggle for the good.

  5. JJMSJ says:

    I agree with JSBSJ.. and I’m a “50-something” faithful Jesuit whose focus in “on the salvation of souls and obedience to the successor of Peter and the bishops in union with him.” The generalized Jesuit bashing is tiresome and wrong.

  6. Mark of the Vine says:

    While the Jesuits’ work in India was commendable, I find it a bit saddening that they were involved in the “supression” of the already existing Syro-Malabar rite/Church.

  7. New Sister says:

    Dear JSBSJ – I’ve been guilty of the “generalized bashing”; I thank you for the rebuke – and shall pray through the intercession of St Ignatius for your order’s renewal and especially for the younger Jesuits you mention.

  8. Justin from Ohio says:


    I too am often guilty of this, and I’m the product of a Jesuit education. However, my strong feelings and anger come from what I see of the most of the Jesuit Universities and high schools here in the U.S. So many have lost their way, especially when it comes to liturgical abuse and obedience to the magisterium. Dissent is the most admired quality in many Jesuit institutions (among both the Jesuits and the lay faculty there).

    Among orthodox and faithful Catholics, most of the Jesuit colleges are no longer regarded as faithful Catholic institutions…as they once were. I will not send my children to a Jesuit school if they continue down this path. I pray everyday for these universities to return to an unapologetic defense of the faith…but given the power that so many dissenting Jesuit and lay professors and administrators have at these schools, it probably cannot happen for a long, long time (if ever).

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