Fr Arturo Marcelino Sosa Abascal, SJ, superior general of one of the world’s largest religious orders of the Catholic Church is in Goa to participate in the Jesuit Conference of South Asia (JCSA).
The JCSA which is on till February 28 at Pedro Arrupe Institute, Raia, is a meeting of the Jesuit Provincials from South Asia that includes India and its neighbouring countries, namely Nepal and Sri Lanka. The superior general will address all the provincials at the meeting.
Following this, Fr Sosa will visit some institutions and works of the Goa Jesuit Province. He will also address the Jesuits, their families, collaborators and benefactors at a special Mass at the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa on February 26. Fr Sosa will then undertake a short visit to Belgaum, which is a part of the Goa Jesuit Province.
The visit of the superior general has generated a lot of enthusiasm among the Jesuits of the Goa Province.
“Our Fr General’s visit is being looked on as a time of grace for us. Our hopes are that he will continue to inspire us and challenge us to do our very best for the people whom we are called to serve,” said Fr Roland Coelho, SJ, Jesuit Provincial of the Goa Province.
“Perhaps, he will shake us out of a tendency towards complacency and mediocrity. We, the Jesuits of the Goa Province, eagerly await Fr Sosa’s arrival, it being his first trip to Goa,” Fr Coelho added.
The Society of the Jesus, whose members are known as the Jesuits, is one of the world’s largest religious orders of the Catholic Church. It also has the largest number of saints (54) and Blesseds (154).
Fr Sosa is the 31st superior general of the Jesuits. He hails from Venezuela and is the first Latin American to lead the Society of Jesus.
He has a doctorate in political science from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Fr Sosa earlier held the office of the Provincial of Venezuela. He was elected as superior general on October 14, 2016 by a General Congregation. The General Congregation, the highest governance body in the Society, elects the superior general to govern the Society on a day-to-day basis along with his counsellors and other governing structures of the Society.
A superior general is elected for life and the General Congregation comprises Jesuits and representatives for each province from around the world. The Jesuit Order was founded by St Ignatius of Loyola, a Spanish former soldier, in 1540 and there are approximately 16,000 Jesuits all across the world, with their headquarters in Rome.