The Egied Van Broeckhoven School, a new educational and social project in Molenbeek

Brussels, capital of Belgium and centre of power of the European Union. There is prosperity and cultural richness, but also backwardness and deprivation. There is vitality, but the social tensions are also real. Brussels - in the middle of Europe - is a border area, it is a region that needs caring commitment. In the field of education, there is a capacity shortage due to increasing numbers of students, and especially the weakest, those who drop out.

The school board of the Flemish Jesuit colleges in Brussels has therefore taken the initiative to establish a new school in Molenbeek, one of the most disadvantaged municipalities in Brussels. The Egied Van Broeckhoven School, which will open its doors in September 2023, is named after a Jesuit worker-priest who shared his life in the 1960s with the city’s most vulnerable and poor, often factory workers but also young North African immigrants looking for work and a new life. Unfortunately, he died at an early age in an accident while working in a steel factory. The project is supported by Cebeco - the umbrella organisation for Dutch-speaking Jesuit education in Flanders and Brussels - and by the Jesuit Order of the ELC Region.


The Ignatian Pedagogical Project, in its updated version of 2015, is the guideline for the Egied Van Broeckhoven School. The school wants to form conscious, competent and compassionate people who will each in their own way take responsibility in tomorrow’s society. Like Egied Van Broeckhoven, the founders of the school share the Ignatian conviction that God’s love, goodness and beauty can be found in every place and among all people, so also in Brussels and in the often maligned Molenbeek.

The new school wants to be a home for all young people who show an interest in this innovative project, regardless of their social or ethnic backgrounds, or the nature of their abilities. Within the domains of STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and Society & Welfare, the school will offer general, technical and vocational courses. There should be no ‘social walls’ in the Egied Van Broeckhoven School. By taking part in joint projects, students with a general-theoretical education, a technical orientation and a vocational education will learn to work together and a mutual enrichment will arise. They will learn from each other how they can become ‘men and women for others’, agents of change in an environment and a society in need of hope and reconciliation. The school’s motto will therefore be ‘En todo amar y servir’.


The road to this new school project is not a smooth one. Social support for the project must be obtained, substantial financial resources must be raised, the school must be built, brick by brick. The space available is already being used for social projects that benefit the city, while awaiting the necessary expansion. Even while developing its project, the school already wants to be relevant to the neighbourhood and the people living there.

In an official document from the Society of Jesus about the Jesuits’ education project we read, “The belief in God’s love for the world makes Ignatian pedagogy a pedagogy of hope. This world, in which beauty and happiness are intertwined with suffering and sorrow, has not been abandoned to its fate.”

The pedagogy of hope takes concrete form in a new school project that involves the ELC Region and the Ignatian family as a whole. The ELC Region thus wants to contribute to a world of beauty and happiness, in a place that needs it, and to engage young people in nurturing this hope for themselves, being who they are, in the concrete and actual context of Brussels.

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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