Updated: Jun 8, 2018
Midwest Jesuits and Co-workers with Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J.
Jesuits and co-workers in Native ministry from around the U.S. and Canada met in Regina, Saskatchewan May 27-30. The group met to discuss common challenges and “best practices” in ministry, as well as to meet with the General Superior of the Jesuits, Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J., from Rome.
Fr. Sosa listened to representatives from three Jesuit provinces that are committed to serving indigenous people—the Western U.S. Province, the Midwest U.S. Province, and the Canadian Province which on July 31 will be created from the English-Speaking and French-Speaking Canadian Provinces. After listening he shared his reflections.
He addressed the challenge of serving people who are experiencing “historical trauma.” Remembering past injustices can lead to anger and conflict or can become an excuse for current dysfunction. Our challenge, Fr. Sosa said, is “to make history a memory and not a weight,” something that prevents people from moving forward. How can the past be part of a healing process? Memory is important. Past injustices must not be forgotten. They need to be remembered so that the mistakes of the past are not repeated.
Fr. Sosa also said that “the preservation of culture is the preservation of the Face of God.” With these words he echoed Pope Francis who recently said: “Each culture that receives the Gospel enriches the Church by showing a new aspect of Christ’s face.”
The following Jesuit ministries were represented at the meeting:
St. Francis Mission, Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota Holy Rosary Mission/Red Cloud Indian School, Pine Ridge, South Dakota Rocky Mountain Mission, Pacific Northwest (WA, ID, OR, MT) Jesuit Missions to the Yupik People of Alaska Anishinabe Spiritual Center and Missions in Manitoulin-Sudbury Region, Ontario Thunder Bay, Ontario Parishes Kateri Native Ministry, Ottawa, Ontario Campion College, Regina, Saskatchewan