Pedro Arrupe, S.J.

Inspiring a Faith that Does Justice

Pedro Arrupe, S.J., was the 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, serving from 1965 – 1983. Fr. Arrupe was a man of great spiritual depth with a profound commitment to justice that permeated the work of the Jesuits. On February 5, 1991, Fr. Arrupe passed away but he left a legacy of ministry and leadership grounded in Christian faith that seeks to do justice.

As we commemorate his death and celebrate his life, the following are resources that can help us appreciate his contributions to the Society of Jesus, the Church, and the World.



Pedro Arrupe: Essential Writings
Kevin F. Burke, S.J.

In Him Alone … Our Hope
Pedro Arrupe, S.J.


Today: Arrupe’s Anniversary
James Martin, S.J. | America Magazine | 2009

The Creative Fidelity of Pedro Arrupe
Vincent O’Keefe, S.J. | America Magazine | 1997

Pedro Arrupe, Jesuit Chief for 18 Years, Dies at 83 (Obituary)
New York Times | 1991


Pedro Arrupe: His Life & Legacy
Georgetown University (42:58)

The Story of Pedro Arrupe: Founder of Jesuit Refugee Service
Jesuit Refugee Service (1:49)

Remembering Fr. Pedro Arrupe
Jesuit Conference of Canada & the United States (5:48)


Prayers (Attributed)

Fr. Arrupe’s Legacy

to live a “faith that does justice”

At Jesuit universities in the U.S., service, justice, and immersion related programs inspire students to be people of both faith and justice.

PICTURED: John Carroll University students participate in an immersion experience in Latin America

Fr. Arrupe, considered by many to be the “second founder” of the Society of Jesus, has a legacy that cannot be easily defined. However, it is safe to say that every individual affiliated with a Jesuit institution today has in some way been impacted by his vision. They have been touched by his passion for a Christian faith  where a commitment to social justice is imperative.

Fr. Kevin Burke, S.J., spoke about about Fr. Arrupe’s legacy during a 2007 lecture at University of San Francisco’s Lane Center, describing him as a someone whose life “serves as a parable of contemporary Christian discipleship.” Burke went on to identify Arrupe as one of his top four “greatest 20th century Catholic leaders,” a group that also included Blessed Archbishop Oscar Romero, Blessed Mother Teresa, and Pope John XXIII.

At the same time, it is also necessary to acknowledge Fr. Arrupe’s humanity and the many ways that he was a product of his times and training. He had shortcomings of temperament and experience, and at times expressed views that seem antiquated today. Nonetheless, his life still speaks to us as a powerful model of faithful Christian witness.

Fr. Arrupe’s influence can be seen most prominently in Jesuit Refugee Service, an organization he established in 1981 to be an international effort of the Jesuits to accompany, serve, and advocate with refugees across the world. Today JRS has more than 1,400 lay, Jesuit and other religious staff who work to meet the education, health, social and other needs of nearly 950,000 refugees and IDPs, more than half of whom are women. JRS serves refugees in approximately 50 countries, providing assistance to those including refugees in camps and cities, individuals displaced within their own countries, asylum seekers in cities, and people held in detention centers. They serve refugees regardless of race, ethnic origin or religious belief. The U.S. arm of JRS is JRS/USA, an organization that focuses on education and advocacy on the realities that refugees face across the globe, as well as stewarding resources to international refugee assistance location.

However, Fr. Arrupe’s impact extends well beyond the establishment of just one organization. If you were to visit a Jesuit university, high school, parish, or social ministry anywhere in the world, you would likely encounter signs of his influence, in both overt and more subtle ways.

At Jesuit universities in the U.S., you can find Fr. Arrupe’s name on many social justice education programs including Wheeling Jesuit’s “Arrupe Scholarship,” a service and leadership program designed to challenge students to become leaders on campus and in the community; and John Carroll University’s Arrupe Scholars Program, a mission-based scholarship and learning opportunity tailored specifically towards creating leaders for social action. Numerous Jesuit universities have also named their social justice/service immersion programs after Fr. Arrupe, including Boston College, College of the Holy Cross, and University of San Francisco. Several outreach programs at Jesuit universities are also named for Fr. Arrupe, including Santa Clara University’s Ignatian Center weekly outreach program.

Other programs have integrated Fr. Arrupe’s charism into academic disciplines, such as Saint Joseph University’s Pedro Arrupe Center for Business Ethics. Founded in 2005, the center equips business students to critically reflect on ethical issues in their profession, with the goal of shaping the direction of their careers. The most recent initiative to be inspired by Fr. Arrupe is Loyola University Chicago’s Arrupe College, the world’s first Jesuit community college. The college will provide students with the same liberal arts core curriculum classes offered at Loyola University Chicago, but at a more affordable cost. Arrupe College has committed to helping 2,275 earn associate’s degrees by 2025. To meet the goal, Arrupe must admit around 200 students each year.

Like their higher education partners, Jesuit high schools have also adopted Fr. Arrupe’s name for various programs and initiatives. Perhaps the most notable of these is Arrupe Jesuit High School, a Cristo Rey Network high school in inner-city Denver. Using the Cristo Rey corporate work-study model, Arrupe Jesuit lives out Fr. Arrupe’s commitment to those who are marginalized by offering a college preparatory education to approximately 380 students, 78% of of whom qualify for the federal free/reduced lunch program. And at Xavier High School in New York City, the Arrupe Society student service and social justice organization works directly with the poor and creates opportunities to learn about justice issues. In addition, hundreds of Jesuit secondary school students across the country participate in the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s Arrupe Leaders Summit each year. The three-day/two-night social justice leadership program offers students a space to grow their social justice and faith-based leadership while networking with peers from around the country.

Of course the most notable impact of Fr. Arrupe on Jesuit educational institutions, as well as their students and graduates, is likely his historic “Men for Others,” speech. The address was offered to European alumni of Jesuit schools in 1973 and is now commonly known as “Men and Women for Others,” to recognize the presence of women in Jesuit secondary and higher education. Fr. Arrupe coined phrases that have become iconic in the Jesuit educational experience — most significant likely being the title, “Men and Women for Others.” It would be impossible to visit a Jesuit school in the U.S., or anywhere in the world without encountering some configuration of these famous words. However, it should be noted that Fr. Arrupe challenged alumni even further, calling them not just to be partners in the Jesuit call to service but to be agents of justice. Linking work for justice to the promotion of faith, he said, “we cannot, then, separate action for justice and liberation from oppression from the proclamation of the Word of God.” Over forty years later these challenge institutions and individuals to respond to the invitation to live out a “faith that does justice.”

While the world has lost Fr. Arrupe in his body, his spirit remains strong in the hearts and minds of those impacted by these programs, and the countless more influenced by his life.

Pedro Arrupe: His Life & Legacy

produced by Georgetown Univesrity