The Society of Jesus has undergone a restructuring process to correspond with the needs of its apostolic mission and its available resources. Some 350 Jesuits who work throughout Southern Africa will now fall under a single province – the Southern Africa Province. The new province is headquartered in Zambia and Fr. Leonard Chiti SJ was installed as its provincial on 25 March 2021. The full press release follows below.
The Society of Jesus joyfully announces the formation of a new Southern Africa Province
Today Fr General Arturo Sosa, the Superior-General of the Jesuits in Rome, suppresses the Region of South Africa and the Provinces of Zambia-Malawi and Zimbabwe-Mozambique, and instituted a new province, the Southern Africa Province, consisting of the countries of Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. There are approximately 350 Jesuits currently living in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe who are now part of the larger Province of Southern Africa. The new leader of the Jesuits in Southern Africa is Fr Leonard Chiti SJ, who will be installed at a Mass this evening at 5.30pm (CAT). This celebration will be livestreamed from the Chapel of the Holy Name of Jesus in Lusaka, Zambia. Anyone who is interested in joining this celebration virtually may do so by watching the recording of the livestream at https://bit.ly/SAPInauguration.
We are often asked why the Society of Jesus is restructuring. The answer is that we want to be more effective in our service of the Gospel. Southern Africa is not unique in this respect. Over the last decade we have restructured many of our provinces around the world. Restructuring helps us to share and use our resources more effectively for the mission of the Society and broadens our apostolic horizons. It is our hope that our cultural diversity is able to enrich our mission of justice and reconciliation. This new province of Southern Africa is especially diverse as it spans nine countries across a vast territory whilst recognizing English and Portuguese as its official languages. The head office of the new Province is now based in Lusaka, Zambia.
The Society of Jesus is a religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church. The Society was founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius Loyola and his companions. The mission of the Jesuits worldwide is one of justice and reconciliation, working so that women and men can be reconciled with God, with themselves, with each other and with God’s creation.
Contact: Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ