Jesuit Faculty Chair
Born 64 years ago, Gabriel Mmassi is a Jesuit priest from Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, and a member of the East African Province of the Society of Jesus (AOR). His formation journey began in the Jesuit Novitiate in Lusaka, Zambia in 1983, followed by philosophical studies in Kinshasa, Zaïre (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). After a year of regency in Dodoma, Tanzania, he transferred to Hekima College, a Jesuit school of Theology in Nairobi, Kenya. Here he was ordained to the diaconate in April 1992, before moving on to the JSTB in California, USA, in the same year to obtain a licentiate in theology. Fr. Mmassi was ordained a priest in Detroit, MI in 1993. His doctoral studies took him from the JSTB under Prof. T. Howland Sanks to the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., where he worked with Prof. Joseph Komonchak, and again at JSTB with Prof. Sanks.
Along the way, Fr. Mmassi has been entrusted with the following mission experiences: he was Editor-in-Chief of Hekima Review (Hekima college, 1991-1992); taught theology at the following locations: Hekima College, Nairobi, Kenya, 1998-2003; Institut de Théologie de la Compagnie de Jésus, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 2003-2005, where he was also spiritual director of the “Institut”; Hekima College, 2006-2012, also serving as Registrar, 2007-2009, and Rector, 2009-2012; was visiting lecturer at St. Augustine College, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2008; Adjunct Professor at JST-SCU, Berkeley, CA, 2012-2013; Prefect of Studies at the Collegio Internazionale del Gesù, Rome, Italy, 2013-2019; and Associate Professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, from 2013 to present. Presently, he is at Loyola Maryland University as a visiting Endowed Jesuit Chair for the academic year 2023-2024.
Fr. Mmassi participated/held the following workshops/conferences: Pratique de l'Oecumenisme en Afrique, Dakar, Sénégal, 2005 (workshop); conference on Philosophy/African Philosophy and the Future of Africa, 2007, with an article, “The Role of a Public Intellectual in an African Context”, St. Augustine College of South Africa, Johannesburg, RSA, subsequently published/same title); Conference on Theology: Local Ecclesiologies in Dialogue, 2009, with an article: “Palaver: A Challenge for African Church Leadership”, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, California, USA (published in AFER (African Ecclesial Review, 2&3 (June -September 2010):173-188); conference on the Second African Synod, 2010, with a paper: “Scourge of Corruption: Transparency and Accountability as a Means to a Reconciled, Just and Peaceful Church and Society”, Jesuit School of Theology, Hekima College and book chapter in Agbonkhianmeghe, E. Orobator, edited by Reconciliation, Justice, and Peace. The Second African Synod (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2011); conference on Secularism, 2011, with an article: “Secularism in the Face of African Traditional Religions” (subsequently published/same title); “The African Bishops the eve of Vatican II: Toward an authentically African Church” in Grace and Truth (2012, South Africa); Inculturating the Church in Africa. Bishops Recommendations, 1960 and 1990, Blessed Hope Publishing 2018; “Ecclesia in Africa: twenty-five years on the awakening of conscience”, conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University (November 2019), then chapter of a book (May 2021, Pontifical Gregorian University); “A centenary of ecclesiological itinerary at the Pontifical Gregorian University (Part 1). From the Church as the mystical Body of Christ to the post-conciliar Church: a view of Sebastian Tromp and Angel Anton" (Gregorianum, 2020)
“A centenary of ecclesiological itinerary at the Pontifical Gregorian University (Part 2). Towards legitimate diversity and the transmission of Revelation in the Church: a view by Francis Sullivan, Angel Anton, Salvador Pié-Ninot, William Henn and Dario Vitali” (Gregorianum, 2021). Finally, Fr. Mmassi's areas of interest include: African Theology, inculturation, Vatican II, Ecclesiology, Eschatology, Ecumenism, Theology and Artificial Intelligence.