On Thursday, September 15, 2022, during his apostolic journey to Kazakhstan, Pope Francis met with 19 Jesuits working in the Russian Region of the Society of Jesus. The appointment was set for 9 a.m. at the apostolic nunciature, but the pope showed up early at 8.45 a.m. In the hall, where chairs were placed in a circle, the regional superior, Fr. Bogusław Steczek, presented the activities of the Jesuits in these words:
“Holy Father, we are your confreres of the Russian Region of the Society of Jesus. We work in three countries: Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan. There are about 30 of us from 11 countries. In Belarus we live where the Society survived its suppression in the 18th century. These Jesuits made a great contribution to the revival of the Society in 1814.
We work in the city of Vitebsk, where we have a parish. The bishop recently consecrated a church dedicated to Saint Ignatius. In Russia we are in Moscow, where we have an Institute of Higher Formation named after St. Thomas. We also publish a Russian edition of La Civiltà Cattolica. The superior and director of the Institute is also the secretary general of the Catholic Bishops Conference in Russia.”