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In the United States the Jesuits have historical ties to 28 colleges and universities and 61 high schools.The degree to which the Jesuits are involved in the administration of each institution varies.As of 2016, 12 of the 28 Jesuit universities in the US had non-Jesuit lay presidents.Worldwide it runs 322 secondary schools and 172 colleges and universities.The society is characterized by its ministries in the fields of missionary work, human rights, social justice and, most notably, higher education.It operates colleges and universities in various countries around the world and is particularly active in the Philippines and India.

Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.In the words of one historian: "The use of the name Jesus gave great offense.Both on the Continent and in England, it was denounced as blasphemous; petitions were sent to kings and to civil and ecclesiastical tribunals to have it changed; and even Pope Sixtus V had signed a Brief to do away with it." But nothing came of all the opposition; there were already congregations named after the Trinity and as "God's daughters".In 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first Jesuit to be elected Pope, taking the name Pope Francis.(although they are surpassed by the Franciscan family of orders of Friars Minor, Capuchins, and Conventuals).From this came "Society of Jesus" (SJ) by which they would be known more widely.

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