In a letter dated 29 May 2020, the Provincial of the former Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus announced his decision to close the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth, effective August 2021. You may read the Provincial’s letter, accompanying FAQs, and Br. Derby’s letter of response here.
While we are sorrowful at the decision, we are focused on the remaining time of ministry here in Wernersville. The Jesuit Center will continue to offer retreats and other programs for spiritual renewal, and to host groups, through August 2021. You can see our 2021 program calendar here.
Located on the basement level of the Jesuit Center, the Arrupe Room is a newly renovated lounge designed as a comfortable getaway spot for retreatants. Named after Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, the room features a variety of different seating options that are perfect for cozying up with a good book. The room is especially popular with the variety of high school groups the Center welcomes during the fall and winter seasons.
Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ first entered the Society of Jesus in 1927 and was ordained in 1936. After his ordination he travelled to Japan to begin his missionary work, which included giving aid to the victims of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. In the midst of his term as the Superior of the Jesuits’ Japanese Province, Fr. Arrupe was elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus in 1965. Arrupe’s position as the 28th Superior General extended until 1983, when he was forced to resign after suffering a debilitating stroke. Fr. Arrupe died on February 5th, 1991.
On Tuesday, February 5th, 2019, 28 years to the day after his death, Fr. Arrupe’s cause for beatification was officially opened by the Vicariate of the Diocese of Rome. During his tenure as Superior General, part of his work included guiding the Society through the changes made after Vatican II. This work, among everything else in his life, will be intensely examined during his cause for beatification and possible canonization.
By Andrew Dotter, Assistant to the Registrar