Dear Friends in Christ,
As you are reading this letter, many of you may be starting to settle back into a few normal routines while others remain in a reality that is still mostly shutdown. So much apprehension and uncertainty has consumed our lives this year already. We are aware of so many who are struggling, and we pray that a new dawn is on the horizon, one that brings us back together physically and spiritually.
Now more than ever, we invoke God to wipe away the darkness of anxiety, allowing us to be guided by the light of Christ and to trust in God’s promise of new life. Over the last few months, our Jesuit provinces have been in a place we don’t often find ourselves, a place that saw our schools closed, parishes empty, and the halls of our retreat centers giving new meaning to the word “silent.”
Jesuits are used to going forth—going out into our cities and the world—going where the need is greatest. Recently, however, serving the greater good has meant doing something that goes against the very fabric of Jesuit mission—keeping away from others. We know you have experienced this same sense of frustration. We long to gather for Mass together once again, to celebrate the sacraments and to engage more directly, less virtually, in companionship and service. Caring for our elderly and infirm Jesuit brothers has been especially challenging during this pandemic, and we mourn the loss of the six who succumbed to the coronavirus. While they had lived full lives serving God and others, it still hurts to have lost them so abruptly.
In our quiet, more contemplative moments, we may have been reminded of God’s reassuring command … “Be still and know that I am God.” This spring has certainly given the two of us an opportunity to profit from that stillness, by reflecting ever so gratefully on our past six years as provincials. So much joy—so many challenges—all gifts from God. With your unfailing support, we have seen our two East Coast provinces grow together, side-by-side in so much of our work. On July 31, we will officially become one new, united province—the Jesuits of USA East. We are looking forward to that day, confident that our missions and ministries will continue to flourish under the seasoned and collaborative leadership of our successor as provincial, Fr. Joseph O’Keefe, SJ.
Indeed, this summer cannot come soon enough! We pray that it will be a time of much needed refreshment and renewal for all of us.
Sincerely in Christ,
P.S. If you would prefer to donate by mail, please make your check payable to Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus. You can mail your donation to:
8600 LaSalle Road, Suite 620
Towson, MD 21286