From Caracas to Rome: The Story of Arturo Sosa

sousaAn interview with the new Superior General of the Society of Jesus Rome, October 16, 2016. Two days after his election, the communications team of General Congregation 36 sat down with Father General Arturo Sosa to discuss his life and thought. The conversation introduces the new Superior General in a way that is more personal, to Jesuits and the wider Ignatian family around the world. On being elected General of the Society Like all the electors, I arrived at the congregation asking myself who would be the best candidates for the job of General, and obviously, I did not have myself on the list. The first day of murmuratio 1 , I began to gather information about the delegates I thought were good candidates. The second day I began to sense that some delegates were asking about me or had asked about me. The third day I began to worry because the hints were much more direct, and the fourth even more so. In the final three days I spoke with 60 persons, and many were already asking me about my health. So I began to get the idea, though I was still praying that the companions would take seriously what Saint Ignatius says about entering the election without a predetermined decision. As I saw the votes on the date of the election, things became clearer to me, and I had the profound intuition that in this case I have to trust the judgment of the brothers because I don’t trust my own. If they elected me, there was a reason, and I would try to respond the best that I can. In this election I believe that importance was placed on my experience in both local and international work, and I have no doubt that these last years in Rome have something to do with that. But more importantly, I understand that I am one of many Jesuits in the Society of Latin America who have tried to put into practice what the congregations of the last forty years have decreed. I understand this election as the confirmation of the direction that the Society began to take in the time of Arrupe. I understand the election as a confirmation of the need for us to continue on that path.

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