Matt Malone, S.J. is traveling abroad this week. Michael Rossmann, S.J., is the editor of The Jesuit Post.
Just over three years ago, my friend Paddy called and asked if I wanted to be part of a new website that would deal with sacred and secular issues and everything in between. He envisioned it being about Jesus, politics and pop culture; about the Catholic Church, sports and Socrates.
We wanted to talk about religious stuff with our peers without appearing like religious weirdos. We wanted to discuss serious topics but also not take ourselves too seriously. We wanted to speak to a younger generation in a way that most Catholic media did not.
And so The Jesuit Post was born.
Speaking with our peers—young or young-ish adults—and using a variety of digital media, The Jesuit Post (or TJP) offers a Jesuit, Catholic perspective on the contemporary world. We aim to show that faith is relevant to today’s culture and that God is already at work in it.
When The Jesuit Post is at its best, we talk about topics like the attacks in Paris and Kenya or #BlackLivesMatter but also reflect on the life lessons learned from Bob Ross or the phone calls you get in your 20s. Sometimes we talk explicitly about God or church or Jesus; most of the time we write about what it means to be human today. It might not look like the evangelization of a previous era, but it speaks to our peers in a way that is relevant to our time.
Our guiding principle springs from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola: write “as one friend speaks to another.” We write as we would speak to others in Jesuit community: funny while still serious, deeply profound and yet light and accessible.
TJP is a project of Jesuits in formation. Nearly all the contributors are not-yet-ordained Jesuits studying theology or philosophy or working in our Jesuit ministries.
By keeping TJP a project of Jesuits still in formation—younger Jesuits savvy about pop culture and social media—we know that even while the people behind the project constantly change as we move along in our Jesuit training, we can keep a fresh voice.
This spring we announced a partnership with America Media, publisher of America. At TJP young Jesuits in formation will still have editorial control over what and how we decide to write. In other words, we will keep that fresh voice. But now, with America Media as our publisher, we’ll have the institutional backing and professional mentorship to ensure The Jesuit Post remains a unique voice in the Catholic media landscape for a long time to come.
We can learn much from an institution with as much experience as America. America Media can learn a thing or two from The Jesuit Post about how people communicate today and about what matters to younger generations of Catholics and people on the frontiers of faith.
Instead of existing as two separate Jesuit entities that might talk past each other, we now have the opportunity to enrich each other. We have already collaborated on articles and promoted each other’s content.
If you have not seen us, please check us out at thejesuitpost.org. While we aim to speak to our fellow young adults, the “young at heart” are most welcome.
In looking back at the phone call asking me to be part of The Jesuit Post, I could not have expected that during my theology studies, the final stage of our formation before priestly ordination, I would be working with brother Jesuits on a project that reaches people all over the world. These past three years have been fantastic. The future, with America Media, looks even better.