News
Fr. Luke Hansen, SJ
Fr. Luke Hansen, SJ, on the Role of Women in the Catholic Church

By Philippa Hitchen

March 8, 2018 — Today marks International Women’s Day, an event marked in countries around the world to celebrate progress in moving toward equality for women in all areas of political, social, and economic life.

Father Luke Hansen, SJ, worked at a women’s federal prison in California as a deacon, a ministry which, he says, significantly affected the way he sees the role of women in the Church.

Fr. Hansen says his long Jesuit formation brought him into contact with women as spiritual directors and university professors. Women, he says, have already taken on leadership at the parish and diocesan level, but one place where they have a less prominent role is in the Vatican. It is an important issue, he adds, “for me to see a greater presence of women in Vatican.”

Commenting on the recent appointment of two new female undersecretaries at the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, Fr. Hansen says there has been incremental progress. He mentions also the director of the Vatican museums and the first female rector of a pontifical university, but adds these examples “should never be used as an excuse to think we’ve done enough or that the presence of women in strong enough in Curial leadership.”

We have to remain persistent, Fr. Hansen says, and ensure that qualified women are considered and hired when employment opportunities open up. It’s a process that we must keep moving forward, he says.

Fr. Hansen also speaks about his experience serving as a deacon in the federal women’s prison near Oakland, California, an all-female Catholic facility. That experience, he says, “gave me the opportunity to see women ministering to each other, consoling each other, supporting each other in really powerful ways, in ministerial ways.”

He also talks about the stories of sexual violence that he heard, bringing home the reality of how women are treated differently and “are oppressed in every country in the world.” Such inequality, he says, has terrible consequences in women’s lives, and has impacted his views about women in society and the Church. "We have to think about the messages we’re sending when women are systematically excluded from certain roles in the church,” he concludes. Listen to his full interview here. [Source: Vatican News]

To read Fr. Hansen's reflections on sacred encounters on his Jesuit journey, click here.





Recent News

May 24, 2018 — IVC Chicago was recently recognized in a resolution honoring local Chicago service organizations at a Cook County Board Meeting.

May 23, 2018 — Silence can be golden, but it also can be scary. Just ask Frs. Gillick and Carlson, longtime Creighton University priests who regularly direct silent retreats.

May 21, 2018 — Jesuit Superior General Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, capped off the second day of his trip to Canada with a visit to Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland, Ontario, which honors six Jesuits and two lay martyrs from the 17th-century missions.

May 14, 2018 — The Heider Family has made an $8 million gift for the building of a new student learning commons in honor of Fr. Timothy R. Lannon, SJ.

May 11, 2018 — The university hosted its fifth annual climate change conference in March.

May 10, 2018 — Lucas Schroeder has been named as the next principal of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, effective July 1, 2018.

May 7, 2018 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Father Howard J. Gray, SJ, who died at 12:15 p.m. on May 7, 2018, at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, Mich. of complications from a car accident. He was 87 years old. May he rest in peace.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Jesuits Spring 2018

Jesuits Fall/Winter 2017

Jesuits Summer 2017



Jesuit Retreat House of Cleveland
Nestled in the urban landscape of Parma, Ohio, the Jesuit Retreat House of Cleveland is “a place of peace in the forest.”