Father Arturo Sosa's Visit

Fr. Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, traveled from Rome to visit.
He came to experience first hand how the Lakhota and Jesuits are working together in missions on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge reservations. During his visit, he met with students, staff, community members and Tribal leaders. He expressed his support for the Truth and Healing Initiative. During his visit, he stated "I also acknowledge the failings of Jesuits in the area of interculturality. We Jesuits made grave mistakes in our participation in the government’s educational system that took children from their families, from their language, from their culture. Thirty years ago, when Fr. Kolvenbach, my predecessor as Jesuit Superior General, visited here, he noted how through the process of colonization, the life of the Lakota people was dramatically and harshly changed, and how your people have struggled and suffered some of the worst effects of man’s inhumanity to man." He added: I realize that we, as Jesuits, have at times been the source of some of that pain. For that we are deeply sorry.”

I would like to reaffirm those words and sentiments here. On behalf of the Society of Jesus, I apologize for the ways in which St Francis and Holy Rosary Missions and boarding schools were for decades complicit in the U.S. government’s reprehensible assimilation policies, trying to eradicate your culture. I ask for your forgiveness for that, and for any other abuses that any of you or your ancestors suffered. And I want to express the strongest support for the work all of you now involved in these missions are doing to try to restore the language and lift up the culture with which Wakan Tanka has gifted your people.



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