The “Pope Francis Effect” on Jesuit Vocations

cbsJesuit Father Chuck Frederico, vocation director for the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces, recently reported a 65% increase in potential candidates to the Society of Jesus since Pope Francis was elected pontiff in March 2013.

“Prior to the day that the Holy Father was appointed, we were receiving, on average, one or two inquiry forms a week,” Fr. Frederico told CBS News in a segment published this week. “Since the Holy Father has been elected, we have had five to nine inquiry forms a week, and we’ve had an average of 10-14 participants at our Come and See events.”

During the last year, Pope Francis, former provincial of the Jesuits in Argentina, has received worldwide attention for his concern for the poor and compassion for those on the margins of society – two cornerstones of the Society of Jesus. Jesuits undergo an intensive formation process that takes, on average, between 10-14 years, consisting of deep spiritual direction and discernment, as well as in-depth theological and philosophical studies.

“Really it’s the omnipresence of Pope Francis, and the fact that people like him and know that he’s a Jesuit that makes people more interested in finding out about the Jesuit order,” said Fr. James Martin, SJ, editor-at-large of America magazine.

To view the CBS News segment titled, “Pope Francis Reeling Men into the Jesuit Order,” click here.

To learn more about Jesuit vocations, visit


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