Loyola graduate to become the head of the Jesuits in the South and Central regions of the U.S.


The Rev. Thomas P. Greene, S.J. (right) travelled to Rome to study social justice. Greene was named a provincial superior Nov. 6. Courtesy of Robert Ballecer.

Rae Walberg

On Nov. 6 one of Loyola’s own, the Rev. Thomas P. Greene, S.J., was named provincial superior for the Central and Southern regions of the United States.

Greene was chosen from a terna, a list of names of potential candidates, by a group of 12 Jesuits, to be considered by the Rev. Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the worldwide Society of Jesus.

Sosa said he appointed Greene because he stood out as someone who has “a love for the poor, availability for mission and ease in collaboration.”

Currently, Greene works as the assistant provincial for international ministries and served as Jesuit superior in Belize.

Prior to this experience, he was heavily involved in social justice work.

“I began representing asylum seekers in Chicago during my philosophy studies. This led me to field work in a refugee camp in Malawi and later to representing detained unaccompanied minors in Houston,” Greene said.

During Greene’s ministry in the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola, he became an avid advocate for immigrants rights and was given a platform as Secretary for Social and International to advocate on a national level.

“It has been very rewarding to work on behalf of displaced peoples,” he said.

The Rev. Justin Saffron, S.J. said that Greene’s line of work in social justice along with a background in law and past experiences has made him an outstanding candidate.

“He has the gifts that will allow us to continue to move the province forward,” he said.“So I think those characteristics coupled with an easy personality and a person that clearly can create a vision and can get the support of others are some of the reasons that led to his appointment.”

As the provincial superior, Greene said he, is responsible for cura personalis (care of the men of the province), cura apostolica (care for the apostolates) and care for the mission of the Society.

Daffron said that Greene would also work alongside University President Tania Tetlow to oversee funding for Jesuit projects at Loyola.

“In some sense he’s a connector of people and resources,” he said. “So for example, President Tetlow had an interest in planning a retreat for her faculty and staff and wanted to know how the province might be able to help with that. He would put her in contact with other leaders that work with Ignatian spirituality.”

As a newly named provincial, Greene said he is not sure what his ministries’ relationship with Loyola would look like.

“I would first need to meet with them and hear about their communal and apostolic lives,” he said. “However, Loyola is a great university with fine leadership, so I look forward to seeing how the UCS Province can collaborate with Loyola.”

In the wake of Greene’s leadership, Daffron said he feels confident in his leadership.

“We’ve known each other since I entered the Jesuits in 1985 and I can’t think of a better person to be the next provincial,” he said. “I think of Tom as a good friend and a great Jesuit and someone who will serve the Jesuits and the church well in this new role.”

Greene is scheduled to assume the position Jul. 31, 2020, from the first provincial superior of the Central and Southern regions, the Rev. Ronald A. Mercier, S.J.