Friday, January 25, 2013


January 25, 2013
Conversion of Paul the Apostle
Dear Friends of the Vocation Office,
Fr. General Nicolás has used this phrase "Called to the Frontiers" quite a bit since he was elected the Superior General of the Society of Jesus at the 2008 Jesuit governance meeting GC35. His phrase ignites plenty of conversation around the globe in Jesuit works, Jesuit and Lay Colleague conversations, not to mention in Jesuit dining rooms. However, this phrase also captures the attention of those outside the Jesuit world amongst folks looking to join us and folks both inside and outside the Church looking to watch what we do. The word frontier has a rich ability to identify those areas in our world, our culture and our church that exemplify new realities or new possibilities to respond to Christ. Or, as Pope Benedict also proclaimed at that same GC35: " reach the geographical and spiritual places where others do not reach or find it difficult to reach."

When a candidate today discerns a vocation to the Jesuits as priest or brother, his understanding of Fr. General's phrase and how it pertains to the Society's mission in the Church is crucial. When a colleague of the Society of Jesus signs up to work alongside of us, her or his understanding of this phrase is essential. When a Jesuit discerns in prayer with his provincial what his next mission will be, his capturing of the essence of this phrase makes all the difference. The frontiers can be in the halls of a school or a classroom, in the nave of a parish church or in the soup kitchen, in the depths of a retreat or during a busy persons retreat. Frontiers exist all around us, they are those opportunities to discern more deeply where God is and how Christ is calling out of us the use of our gifts to love and serve the world.

No one ever claimed that the frontiers were an easy place to be. No one ever proposed that following Christ's call was easy. All that anyone connected with the Society of Jesus and her beautiful mission and history claimed was that it was through Jesus, with Jesus, and in Jesus.

In Christ,  
Frederico Signature   

Fr. Charles A. Frederico, SJ
Vocation Director

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