Pope Francis appointed Jesuit Father Juan Antonio Guerrero (Spain, 1959) Prefect of the Holy See’s Secretariat for the Economy, a service he will begin to carry out in January of next year, reported the Holy See on Thursday, November 14, 2019.
At present, the 60-year-old Spanish priest, in addition to being General Councillor, is the Father General’s Delegate for the Inter-Provincial Roman Houses and Works.
“I hope to contribute to the economic transparency of the Holy See, and to help to use efficiently the goods and resources that are at the service of the important evangelizing mission of the Church,” said the new Prefect, who succeeds Australian Cardinal George Pell in the post.
“As a Jesuit, it is a joy to receive a mission directly from the Pope. It is a privileged way to realize my vocation, Father Guerrero said to “Vatican News.” “The obedience I profess has always led me along unexpected paths, led me where I would never have dared to venture. And so, I am grateful. Obedience is, for me, a privileged place of encounter with the Lord.”
“Trying to be with the Lord”
“Personally, it seems that everything always changes in my life, but in reality, almost nothing changes,” explained Father Guerrero. “In the end, we always do the same, the ‘one thing’: trying to be with the Lord. Thanking Him so much for the blessings received, and putting all that we are and have at His service and that of His Church.”
Father Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, received the news with joy. “When the request of the Holy Father came to me, I welcomed it with openness and availability,” he said and he asked the Holy Father that this appointment not be associated with the Episcopate, so that, after finishing his mission, Father Guerrero could return to his normal life as a Jesuit.
From Mozambique to Rome
After six years as Provincial of the Province of Castile in Spain, in 2014 he was sent to Mozambique where he worked as an economist and project coordinator.
In 2017, before completing his third year in Mozambique, he was called to Rome for the missions he currently carries out: those of being a General Councillor and the Father General’s Delegate for Roman Houses and Works entrusted to the Society of Jesus by the Holy See.
“’Surprise’ was the word that came to mind when I was called from Mozambique to Rome to be the Delegate of the Father General,” he aid to Vatican News.“This call was something completely unexpected. Initially, it filled me with anxiety, and I felt quite numb. But I welcome it with humility, with confidence in the Lord and in the team that is already working in the Secretariat for the Economy. I will collaborate in the service of this mission by offering the best of myself,” he continued.
The Father General’s Delegate
As the Father General’s Delegate for the Inter-Provincial Roman Houses and Works, Father Guerrero is the Major Superior of 360 Jesuits, who come from 69 Jesuit Provinces around the world. 150 are in formation, and the other 210 carry out their mission in Pontifical and Roman institutions, points out “Vatican News.”
Father Guerrero has been working on the project to integrate the three academic institutions in Rome (the Gregorian, Biblicum, and Orientale). He leaves the project while it is still in process. He has also been involved in other governance missions: in addition to his present ones, he was the Provincial of the Jesuit Province of Castile with over 600 Jesuits, overseeing a good number of works. It was his responsibility to allocate scarce resources, always keeping Gospel values in mind, and he contributed to the process of integrating and reorganizing the Jesuits Provinces in Spain.
Doctorate in Political Philosophy
Father Guerrero was born in Merida, Spain in 1959. He studied with the Salesians and the Jesuits. While at University, he lived in the Claretian College. He joined the Society of Jesus when he was20 years old. He studied in Spain, Brazil, France, and the United States. He graduated in Economics (1986), Philosophy (1993) and Theology (1994).
Between 1994 and 2003 he was Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at the Pontifical University of Comillas. He discontinued working on his Doctorate when he was appointed the Novice Master for Spain. He served in this mission for five years, after which, in 2008, he was appointed Provincial of the Province of Castile in Spain.