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October 2023

JST Dean Orobator greeting Pope Francis who is seated in a wheelchair, during the Synod on Synodality

JST Dean Orobator greeting Pope Francis who is seated in a wheelchair, during the Synod on Synodality

Jesuit School of Theology Dean A.E. Orobator, S.J.,  Attending Synod on Synodality in Rome Oct. 4-29

Synod members aim to discern prayerfully how the Holy Spirit is leading the Church to meet contemporary challenges.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 3, 2023—Agbonkhianmeghe E. (“Bator”) Orobator, S.J., the new dean of Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, will be among the 364 voting members at the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops meeting this month in Rome. 

The gathering—known as the Synod on Synodality—brings together bishops, archbishops, cardinals, priests, religious, and over 100 lay women, men, and young people invited by Pope Francis, to consider in dialogue and shared discernment how the Holy Spirit is leading the Church to meet contemporary challenges and needs. The members will meet this month and in October 2024, after which they will provide suggestions to Pope Francis for a possible papal publication on synod findings. 

“From the outset, Pope Francis has expressed his wish for the synod to be an experience of hospitality, one that would allow people who feel alienated from the church or banished to the peripheries of the church’s pastoral care to rediscover a place where they can call home and feel they truly belong,” said Orobator. The Synod “is a common space of listening, dialogue, and discernment. The most important protagonist in this space is the Holy Spirit, just as the most important disposition is a prayerful and respectful attentiveness to what the Spirit is saying to the church as a community of discernment.”

About Dean Orobator 

Fr. Orobator became dean of JST-SCU in August, after having served as president of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar. As JCAM President, he was an active participant in the African continental phase of the synodal process, and leads the African Synodality Initiative.   He is known internationally for his scholarship and talks on ecclesiology—the study of the Church—as well as theological ethics, human rights, and human dignity, especially the fuller participation of women in the life of the Church. 

Media wishing to interview Fr. Orobator or other experts from Santa Clara and JST should contact Deborah Lohse ( (408-768-6898/cell) of Santa Clara University or Preston Carmack ( or 541-908-1696/cell) of the Jesuit School of Theology. 

About the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University
The Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, located in Berkeley, California, is a preeminent international center for the culturally contextualized study of theology. Its mission is to inspire and prepare men and women to become leaders in the Church, academy, and society, serving others through a faith that does justice. Rooted in the Catholic and Ignatian tradition, JST-SCU educates and trains Jesuits, religious, ordained, and lay students from across the United States and from 40 other countries for lives dedicated to ministry and scholarship.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University is a private Jesuit, Catholic University in the epicenter of Silicon Valley, infusing ethics and social consciousness into a rigorous cross-disciplinary education for its nearly 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students.  

Media Contacts
Deborah Lohse | SCU | dlohse@scu.edut | 408-554-5121
Preston Carmack | JST-SCU | | 510-549-5041



JST, Press Release
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Dean Orobator saying "Grazie mille" (a million thanks) to His Holiness, Pope Francis, at the first day of the Synod on Synodality in Rome.