July 2022 – Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Mark A. Lewis, SJ, rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Father Lewis, a member of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern (UCS) Province, has served as academic vice rector of the Gregorian, a Jesuit-run, ecclesiastical university, since 2019. His term as rector will begin on Sept. 1, 2022.
Father Lewis served as provincial of the former New Orleans Province from 2008 to 2014, when the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province was created. He has taught church history at the Gregorian since 2017.
A native of Miami, Fr. Lewis earned a Bachelor of Arts in history and philosophy from Spring Hill College before entering the Society of Jesus at Grand Coteau, La., in 1980. After completing a Master’s in Philosophy at Saint Louis University, he taught at Jesuit High School in Tampa (1984-1987). He studied theology at Regis College in Toronto, Ontario, receiving the licentiate in 1991.
Following his priestly ordination in 1991, Fr. Lewis completed doctoral studies in history at the University of Toronto in 1995, writing his thesis on “the social impact of the Jesuit College in Naples, 1552-1600.”
He spent ten years in Rome, six (1998-2004) as director of the Jesuit Historical Institute in Rome, coordinating the research of a team of Jesuit historians. During these years, he began teaching at the Pontifical Gregorian University, in the Faculty of Ecclesiastical History.
He has taught at Regis College in Toronto; Loyola University, Chicago (Rome Center); Rockhurst University; John Carroll University; and Spring Hill College (2005-2008). At Spring Hill, he taught history, while also serving as the New Orleans Province archivist. He left Spring Hill when he was named provincial in 2008.
He has published several studies on the history of education in the Society of Jesus.