Jesuits name Fr. Greene provincial

By Clarion Staff

Father Thomas P. Greene, a New Orleans native, will be the next provincial superior of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province (UCS). He was appointed on Nov. 6 by Father Arturo Sosa, superior general of the worldwide Society of Jesus.

Father Greene will assume his duties on July 31, 2020.

In his letter announcing the next provincial, Father Sosa wrote that Father Greene “is known as a prayerful Jesuit with a love for the poor, availability for mission and ease in collaboration. … (He) has demonstrated the leadership skills that the province needs at this moment as … it puts a new apostolic plan into action.”

Father Greene, 56, currently serves as provincial assistant for international ministries and as Jesuit superior of the Jesuit Community of Belize, Central America. He previously served as the rector (superior) of Bellarmine House of First Studies at Saint Louis University, from 2014 until his appointment to Belize in 2017.

From 2010 to 2014, Father Greene was secretary for social and international ministries at the Jesuit Conference of the United States in Washington, D.C.

“I am humbled to be asked to serve as provincial of the UCS Province, especially in light of the fine Jesuits who have led our province over the years.” Father Greene said. “I look forward to working with my Jesuit brothers and lay colleagues to advance the mission of the society.”

Jesuit High graduate

Father Greene graduated from Jesuit High School in New Orleans, Loyola University and Loyola University School of Law. Prior to entering the Jesuits in 1997, he practiced law in New Orleans. He was a founding member of the Jesuit Social Research Institute of Loyola University New Orleans in 2007.

He has graduate degrees in philosophy (M.A., Loyola University Chicago) and conflict resolution (M.S., Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska). He completed his master of divinity degree at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California.

His ministries have included the legal representation of detained immigrant children and asylum seekers in Chicago, Houston and New Orleans.

Father Greene succeeds Father Ronald A. Mercier, who has served as provincial of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province since its creation in 2014. Father Mercier will work closely with Father Greene during the coming months. Following Father Greene’s installation next summer, Father Mercier will begin a sabbatical.

A Jesuit provincial is the leader of a province, a geographic area of governance within the Society of Jesus. There are five provinces within the U.S. The provincial is responsible for overseeing the mission of the province and caring for the Jesuits who belong to the province and  generally serves a six-year term.

The process of naming the  provincial began eight months ago, when members of the province were asked to discern in their communities what specific needs the province has today and will have in the future, and what characteristics a good provincial would have.

The UCS Province’s works include six colleges/universities, 12 secondary and pre-secondary schools, 14 parishes, five retreat houses and four centers that provide training in Ignatian Spirituality.

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