Jesuit Education: Embracing the New Frontiers A Continuous Pilgrimage Jose Mesa SJ Secretary for Secondary Education
Colloquium Goals 1. To meet as a global network to respond together to the current challenges, especially the challenge to become a more effective apostolic network. 2. To reflect together on the Jesuit Mission and Identity today to better respond to our apostolic frontiers.
The Colloquium This should be the beginning of a generous response to develop our potential as a school network to assist our mission today. This potential cannot be advanced without important changes in our schools. Many of our schools are strong: strong academics, sound education of the whole person and more… But there is a temptation…
Fr. Arrupe in 1980: I caution… about the danger of inertia. It is absolutely essential that [we] become more aware of the changes that have taken place in the Church and in the Society, and aware also of [our] need to keep pace with these changes… That Jesuit community which believes that its school has no need to change has set the stage for the slow death of that school; it will only take about one generation. However painful it may be, we need to trim the tree in order to restore it to strength. Permanent formation, adaptation of structures in order-to meet new conditions, these are indispensable.
Fr. Kolvenbach in 1986: The Lord is asking of us the courage to follow the path of renewal. All of us are aware of the rapid evolution going on in the world, in society and in the culture. Education, the school, is profoundly immersed in this evolution and this means that we must be engaged in a continuous adaptation. To consider ourselves outside of history is equivalent to declaring ourselves dead (...) The courage to be innovative implies that we can neither remain fixed in praising the achievements of the past nor endorse change for the sake of change. Every change must be the result of careful research, accepting the risk which change always implies.
New Context according to GC 35 We live in a global world of growing interdependence Important decisions are made at a global level.
Our Context, GC 35: In this world of instant communication and digital technology, of worldwide markets, and of a universal aspiration for peace and well-being, we are faced with growing tensions and paradoxes: we live in a culture that shows partiality to autonomy and the present, and yet we have a world so much in need of building a future in solidarity; we have better ways of communication but often experience isolation and exclusion; some have greatly benefited, while others have been marginalized and excluded; our world is increasingly transnational, and yet it needs to affirm and protect local and particular identities…
Fr. Adolfo Nicolas SJ Globalization of Superficiality Train our students to become whole persons of solidarity Globalization is not an idea is a fact. What is our response?
GC 35: In this global world marked by such profound changes, we now want to deepen our understanding of the call to serve faith, promote justice, and dialogue with culture and other religions in the light of the apostolic mandate to establish right relationships with God, with one another, and with creation.
Challenges in Globalization Globalization of Solidarity Globalization of Cooperation Globalization of Reconciliation In our humanist tradition: All the well-being of Christianity and of the whole world depends on the proper education of youth. Fr. Ribadeneira
Networking We are in a Kairos moment that demands imagination, generosity and new ways. Today Jesuit networking could be defined as a way of proceeding apostolically through networks that better enable global and regional cooperation at the service of the universal mission, raising the apostolic structures to a new level of agency with global (or regional) impact, and therefore connecting persons and institutions to act as a global and interdisciplinary body, in collaboration with others.
Characteristics of Jesuit Networks 1. Mission & Identity as the axes 2. Adequate leadership – link with governance 3. Specific and clear purposes 4. Multi-tracking, interdisciplinary, cross-sectorial approach 5. Promote internal participation and collaboration 6. Sufficient resources
How to respond? Faithful to our tradition of responding to times, places and people This Colloquium is an opportunity to begin This is a cultural change We need to find creative ways to face the challenge Use our imagination to go to our own frontiers.
Jesuit Schools Reason for schools: the apostolic fruit Schools – social institutions with an inner good. Schools places for pietas, virtue, knowledge and science Our tradition: religious education, academics and integral education There is no excuse for not having strong academics, formation of the whole person and faith formation.
How to respond? Dialogue with others Educators School associations Parents Alumnae Education leaders and researchers Meaning of good education and schooling
Fr. Diego de Ledesma SJ 1. Schools supply people with many advantages for practical living; 2. They contribute to the right government of public affairs and to the proper making of laws; 3. They give ornament, splendour, and perfection to our rational nature; 4. Most important: they are the bulwark of religion and guide us most surely in the achievement of our last end.
Educating the Whole Person Strong academics Education to all dimensions of human life Working for Justice Caring for the Environment Contribution to education of our faith Magis: using our imagination to new depths Pope invites us to reach our frontiers…
Jesuit Schools Not enough to offer high quality education alone. Strong Jesuit schools: mission driven Men and women for others and with others Tension between being Jesuit and being Schools This tension can be a source of depth
What makes a Jesuit School Jesuit? At least: 1. A mission driven community 2. A world affirming education 3. Educating the whole person 4. Cura personalis 5. Concern for the poor/marginalized 6. Service to the Gospel and the Church