Jesuit Superior in Jordan Discusses Ministries & Returning to Iraq
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
Fr. Michael Linden, SJ
Jesuits have historically been known as a missionary order and Jesuits today still minister in places around the globe. Since 1987, a community of New England Jesuits has offered faith formation to the Christian community of Jordan through the Jesuit Center in Amman and has pastored the English-speaking parish Sacred Heart which serves many immigrants to Jordan.
Fr. Michael Linden, SJ, is the superior of Jesuits in Jordan and Iraq. He explains that the Jesuit Center exists for the “formation of Christians and others who want to work and discover more about their discipleship for Jesus Christ.” Operating much like a diocesan pastoral center would, the Jesuits offer programs and training in Holy Scripture and discipleship. Youth and young adult Christians are formed in their own Christian heritage and Christian pilgrimages are organized to explore the roots of the faith. The Center is also the home for the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Jordan, which ministers to the needs of the many Iraqi, Syrian, Sudanese, Somali, and other refugees and immigrants who now make Jordan their home.
In a recent video, Fr. Linden explains the ministries of the Jesuits in Jordan as well as their elation at the recent election of a Jesuit to the papacy. Watch his video message.
Fr. Provincial Myles Sheehan, SJ (second to left) meets with (left to right) Fr. John Predmore, SJ, pastor of Sacred Heart, the Papal Nuncio for Jordan and Iraq, Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, and Fr. Michael Linden, SJ, superior of Jesuits in Jordan and Iraq.
Fr. Provincial Myles Sheehan, SJ, visited these Jesuit ministries in Amman, Jordan in February 2013. He met with Fr. Michael Linden as well as the Papal Nuncio for Iraq and Jordan, Archbishop Giorgio Lingua.
But the ministries in Jordan are not Fr. Linden’s only focus. In his role as assistant to the Provincial of New England for international ministries, Fr. Linden is working to find ways to restore the Society of Jesus’ apostolic works and ministries in Iraq. In 1932, the Holy Father asked the New England Jesuits to go to Baghdad, Iraq to set up a high school, Baghdad College. They later also founded Al-Hikma University. The Jesuits were sent out of Iraq in 1969 due to a changing political scene. In an interview with JIVAN, a magazine of the Jesuits in India, Fr. Linden discusses his views on the possibility of Jesuits returning to international ministry in Iraq and what types of work they might take on. Read the full interview from JIVAN.
Learn more about the works of the Jesuits in Jordan and Iraq from the community’s website at JordanJesuits.org.