Who are the Jesuits

The Jesuits (also known as the Society of Jesus) are an international religious order of men within the Catholic Church.   The Order was founded in 1540 by St Ignatius of Loyola and his nine companions.  Today we are 18,000 priests and brothers present in over 100 countries.  Jesuits in Britain work as parish priests, chaplains, teachers, academics, writers, doctors, spiritual directors and artists. 

Following the vision of our founder, we seek to "find God in all things." We reach out to a diverse and flawed world because that is where God is.  We draw on the rich tradition of Ignatian spirituality to help ourselves and others to discern God’s presence in our lives. As contemplatives in action, we bring this spirituality into the wider human context as we strive for social justice, peace and dialogue.

In all our actions we seek to promote the “Greater glory of God” with the emphasis on the word “Greater” (Magis in Latin). In all situations we try to discern the path which will serve God and those in need in the best way possible.  We do this gratefully in collaboration with those who share our values, including many lay people who are an integral part of our extended Jesuit family. Together we build up the body of Christ.

In our schools we seek to nurture "men and women for others." In our pastoral ministries, we care for the whole person: body, mind, and soul.

As members of a religious order, Jesuits take three vows: of poverty, chastity and obedience,  plus a fourth vow of obedience to the pope in regard to worldwide mission. 

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“Wherever in the Church, even in the most difficult and extreme fields, at the crossroads of ideologies, in the social trenches, there has been and there is confrontation between the burning exigencies of man and the perennial message of the Gospel, here also there have been, and there are, Jesuits.”

Pope Paul VI Addresses the 32nd General Congregation of Jesuits, 3rd December, 1974.

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religious order, Catholic, 1540, St Ignatius, brothers, priests