Mark Mossa, SJ
Father Mark Mossa, SJ, is a professor of Religious Studies at Loyola University New Orleans. Prior to beginning his new position this academic year, he worked as director of campus ministry at St. Mary Student Parish at the University of Michigan and at Spring Hill College. While at St. Mary, he also taught part-time at the University of Detroit Mercy.
Immediately after his ordination in 2008, he spent several years at Fordham University, where he taught courses in American Catholicism.
He has written several books and articles on spiritual and theological topics, including Already There: Letting God Find You, and Saint Ignatius Loyola: The Spiritual Writings.
He is known for his multidisciplinary approach to ministry and teaching, integrating topics from his studies in literature, philosophy, history and theology and drawing creative connections with contemporary issues and popular culture.
He is a native of Worcester, Mass., and is celebrating 25 years as a Jesuit.
Father Mossa’s Reflection on 25 Years as a Jesuit:
In my life as a Jesuit, I have felt a kinship with the prophet Jeremiah, who once complained to God, “You duped me Lord, and I let myself be duped.” I’m not beyond complaining myself, but for me this is more a statement about the mystery of God’s providence.
I’ve often said that if I knew at the beginning what God had in store for me, I might not have answered the call to be a Jesuit and a priest. But, I let myself be duped and have made peace with letting God surprise me.
As early as the novitiate, I found myself serving in ways I never imagined: with severely disabled children who could not speak, with wayward boys in Mexico who helped me to speak and with a dying woman who asked me to rub her feet.
I wrote then: “If my answer was not yes, then it was time for me to leave all this and go home. Because if I couldn’t do this, then I couldn’t possibly be a Jesuit, I couldn’t possibly be a priest. Because what I was trying to be, what I had to be, was someone who does rub feet.” This was but the first test.
With every new obstacle, challenge, surprise and opportunity that the Lord has sent my way, my response, inexplicably at times, has still been yes. This is not because of any special strength on my part.
Rather, I have discovered that wherever I am sent, whether I feel I am succeeding or failing, God always uses his gifts in me in profound ways that I never saw coming.
When I look back and see all the extraordinary moments and people that God has placed in my life at every stop, I find myself eager for the surprises of what God will dupe me into next.