Recently, the Provincials of Latin America met,
virtually. They looked at how the Society of Jesus could continue to serve even
better the people of the countries where the Society is involved. As elsewhere
in the world, Jesuits in Latin America are known as educators. Their networks
of institutions at all levels, including, of course, the network of Fe y Alegría that was born in Latin
America, are often at the heart of the commitments of the various Provinces and
CPAL (Conference of Provincials of Latin America and
the Caribbean) therefore felt particularly challenged by Pope Francis’ request
to sign what he called the “Global Compact on Education.” In fact, Francis
wrote a handwritten letter to the Jesuit Provincials of the region in this
regard. He told them that he had confidence in them to move forward with this
project, which invites the collaboration of families, governments and schools.
Recalling that this idea of a compact for education is not new, the Holy Father
believes that now is the right time to give it new life. He adds, “Certainly,
it is not a question of a simple renewal but of recreating (...), of proposing
a path of personal and social integration where the harmonious language of
mind, heart and hands calls for a harmonious activity between school, family
He unveiled this initiative during an intervention at
the Pontifical Lateran University on 15 October 2020.Here are a few key sentences from his speech:
“We consider education to be one of the most effective
ways of making our world and history more human. Education is above all a
matter of love and responsibility handed down from one generation to another.
As such, education is a natural antidote to the
individualistic culture that at times degenerates into a true cult of the self
and the primacy of indifference.
Today, there is need for a renewed commitment to
education (...). The goal of this educational investment, grounded in a network
of humane and open relationships, is to ensure that everyone has access to a
quality education consonant with the dignity of the human person and our common
vocation to fraternity. It is time to look to the future with courage and hope.
May we be sustained by the conviction that education bears within itself a seed
of hope: the hope of peace and justice; the hope of beauty and goodness; the
hope of social harmony.”