Switzerland: Jesuits Leave Bern

Source: FSSPX News


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The departure of the Jesuits was announced on February 9 by the Catholic Church in the canton, the parish, and the suburbs of Bern, after 82 years of presence of the Society of Jesus in the city. The main reason specified by the press release from the Swiss Province of the Jesuits is “the ever growing lack of human resources” in the Order, which demands “reflection upon the way we operate.”

The press release indicates that the chaplaincy for the students, entrusted to the Jesuits, will carry on its activity with a “competent and committed” team. Discussions between the Church at the national level, the parish, the deanship, and the Swiss Jesuits are already underway to find a new team responsible for the chaplaincy for students. Discussions also took place with the pastoral services in Bern.

On January 1, 2008, the Society of Jesus numbered 18,815 members, among them 13,305 priests and 1,758 brothers, 2,925 young Jesuits being trained, and 827 novices. The Swiss Province introduces itself thus: “We are 59 Jesuits and form a very disparate group: the eldest is 96 and the youngest 34. Of course, the average age is rather high, but some young men have dared to undertake the adventure and join us. Some are German-speaking, others French-speaking. We are mostly priests, but we also have a group of lay brothers. (Sources: apic/jesuites.ch)