The Society of Jesus dates back to 1540 when Saint Ignatius Loyola founded the order. The Society is comprised of a merchant order of clerks that serve both Jesus and the Pope. Many faithful undergo Jesuit training but not all become priests. But those who do are dedicated to apostolic work under a religious rule that often relies on alms in order to continue their work’s missions. There are many roles that consume the duties of a Jesuit priest, and each one is defined by regulated guidelines structured around their faith.
One of the many roles a Jesuit priest must fulfill is the taking of the four sacred vows. These include chastity, poverty, obedience and obedience to the Pope with regard to mission. The vow of chastity prohibits a priest from having carnal knowledge of another person, while the vow of poverty requires him to live only on meager offerings. A Jesuit priest may not indulge in items of luxury. The vow of obedience to the Pope demands special attention to the Pontiff in regards to various missions that mirror the ones from the apostolic letters.
Often a Jesuit priest will teach secondary and pre-secondary classes. They believe that by teaching they are sharing the gifts God gave them and are contributing to the mission of the school while sacrificing their time to labor for Jesus and the Pope. According to Gonzaga University, the Jesuits have believed that having a higher education is the best method for reaching a meaningful life filled with service and leadership. By teaching, a Jesuit priest is fulfilling his role as a nurturer of the faith that is enriching the minds of future generations.
Leading A Community
A Jesuit priest is responsible for taking on the role of a community leader. Jesuit communities are bonded for the sake of apostolic work. But community members also live together in order to offer one another support. Members of the Jesuit communities also challenge one another to grow and inspire each other to meet difficult challenges. According tit he Jesuits, the balance of community for service and for mutual growth and development must be displayed evenly on the scales. The Jesuit priest helps to make sure there is order and balance within his community.
Jesuit priests work with deacons, laity and religious persons in more than 70 parishes across the United States. These churches are found in numerous locations that include inner city neighborhoods, academic centers, business districts, rural areas, suburbs and Native American reservations. A Jesuit priest is responsible for maintaining effective communication between the parish and the unique and diverse people in the area. Knowing how to communicate to various types of community members will enable a successful ministry.
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