CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 8 December 2018

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Pedro Arrupe’s cause for sainthood underway

SPAIN (Agencies): Father Pedro de Arrupe Gondra, the 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits), who led the Jesuits from 1965 to 1983, is in the process of being beatified. 
 
Cardinal Angelo de Donatis, the Cardinal Vicar of Rome has given the diocese of Rome approval to open the process of his beatification, announced Jesuit Superior General Arturo Sosa, S.J. at a meeting in Bilbao, Spain of Jesuits and lay associates involved with the International Association of Jesuit Universities.
 
Born in 1907 in the Basque region of northern Spain, Arrupe went on to medical studies at the University of Madrid with plans to become a doctor. His plans were dramatically altered during a visit to the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. Witnessing the hundreds of pilgrims seeking healing at the famed waters of the holy locale, Arrupe decided that he would become a spiritual healer and servant of God. Arrupe joined the Society of Jesus in 1927.
 
He was ordained in 1936 and moved to Japan in 1938 to work as a missionary. For the next 26 years, Father Arrupe served as parish priest, master of novices, vice provincial, and the first provincial of the multi-national group of Jesuits who served in Japan.
 
Father Arrupe was the master of novices at the Jesuit novitiate in Hiroshima, Japan, on 6 August 1945, when the United States dropped an atomic bomb, almost entirely destroying the city. Father Arrupe had been a medical student before entering the Jesuits, and he utilised his medical skills in the service of the wounded and the dying, transforming the novitiate into a makeshift hospital for over 200 severely harmed Japanese civilians. He later called the atomic attack “a permanent experience outside of history, engraved on my memory.” 
 
Father Arrupe served as superior general of the Society of Jesus from 1965 to 1983. The Jesuits were the largest Catholic religious order in the world at the time which numbered over 30,000 members around the world. Arrupe's famous 1973 address to Jesuit educators and students, “Men for Others,” has become a central guiding document for Jesuit education today. Arrupe was “a man of truth rooted in Christ and dedicated to mission,” Father Sosa said, “whose greatest miracle is that we are here today.”
 
Arrupe suffered a stroke on 7 August 1981, and soon after resigned as superior general. He died on 5 February 1991. His influence on the Society of Jesus can be seen in the countless apostolates, residences and other Jesuit initiatives (as well as those embracing the Ignatian charism) that bear his name today.

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