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Fr. Pedro Arrupe and the Jesuit’s Mission

The “Decree 4: ‘Our Mission Today: The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice,’ General Congregation 32 (1975)” explains in detail the understanding of Jesuits regarding their mission and service of faith and connection to justice. Notably, one of the main points the author makes is service of faith directly correlates with justice. The argument presented is that reconciliation with God requires resolution among people. The Jesuit’s mission is to promote a life “in which the justice of the Gospel shines out in a willingness not only to recognize and respect the rights of all” (4). Thus, their service in faith is to preach the necessity of living righteously by avoiding egoism and self-seeking. Another important point made regards the current challenges that compel the Jesuits to change the mission to address them. The author argues that economic, social, and political challenges are now institutionalized, and their responsibility is to be the advocates of “the voiceless and the powerless” (9). The writer’s arguments are crucial as it points clearly to the focus of the mission and the understanding of the challenges of contemporary society.

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In “Pedro Arrupe’s Mysticism of Open Eyes,” Kevin Burke examines the life of Fr. Pedro Arrupe and the reasons Jesuits celebrate him. While a great part of the writing talks about the life of Fr. Arrupe, the author makes two critical points why Fr. Arrupe is an iconic Jesuit figure. Firstly, the author claims Fr. Arrupe played a crucial role in encouraging and approving the transfer of Alma College to Berkeley, California. Burke claims the move “was no mere geographical move” since it transformed the status of the institution to an international theology center (3). Hence, Fr. Allupe’s inputs remain crucial to every community member of the Jesuit Schools of Theology at Berkeley. Secondly, Jesuits hold Fr. Arrupe in esteem due to his significance for theology. According to the author, Fr. Arrupe was not an ordinary theologian; instead, he “exercised an indirect influence on theology.” Fr. Arrupe’s impacts contributed to the development of new religious culture following Jesuit practices. Thus, the point is crucial as Fr. Arrupe’s personality inspired both the spiritual and non-religious individuals in society, making him a contemporary religious icon.

Within the text, the author compares Fr. Arrupe to notable religious figures such as Francis of Assisi and Ignatius Loyola due to the immense changes that occurred in society and church during his time. However, the idea that Fr. Arrupe is sometimes referred to as the “second founder” of Jesuit perplexes many. Regarding the statement, what exactly are the characteristics of Fr. Arrupe that qualify him to earn such a big title. Individuals such as Francis of Assisi did and influenced remarkable things during their existence but have not been likened to founders of any religion. Therefore, it is crucial to discuss such an issue to understand the contribution of Fr. Arrupe to Jesuit culture and religion in detail.

Since the author of “Decree 4” explains how the Jesuits intend to address justice through their mission of service for faith, how can they assist people in dealing with other pressing issues outside their area of focus? For instance, the world is currently facing an immense environmental challenge in terms of climate change and global warming, which promotes disparities among people. Even though social, economic, and political issues are the main objectives of the Jesuits, reconciliation among populations cannot be achieved if some individuals are hard hit by adverse environmental conditions.


Burke, J, K. (n.d.). Pedro Arrupe’s mysticism of open eyes. Jesuit School of Theology.

Portal to Jesuit Studies. (1975). Decree 4: Our Mission Today: The service of Faith and Promotion of Justice. Boston College Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies.

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