Pope Francis to Jesuit educators: “Keep Jesus at the heart of your mission”

The International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education (ICAJE) convened in Rome, from 21 to 24 May, to address significant topics for Jesuit Secondary and pre-secondary Education. Attendees included representatives from the six Conference networks that form the Jesuit Global Network of Schools (JGNS), the General Coordinator of Fe y Alegría, members of Educate Magis, the Secretary for Secondary and Pre-secondary Education and the Assistant to the Secretariat.

Special Highlight: Audience with Pope Francis

On Friday the 24th, the meeting participants had an audience with Pope Francis. The purpose was to express the commitment of the Jesuit Schools to support and promote the New Global Compact of Education launched by Pope Francis. We also presented the Pope with a copy of the document Jesuit Schools: A Living Tradition in the 21st Century, and a special edition of the Educate Magis Global Map of the Schools.

As part of this encounter, the Pope shared an inspiring speech in which he expressed his gratitude to the Society of Jesus for its work in the schools, highlighting the immense evangelizing potential of education that St Ignatius and his companions soon realized. He emphasized that Jesuit education must keep Jesus at its center, integrating the Gospel into the schools and “accompanying young people so that they discover in service to others and in academic rigor the construction of the common good”. Pope Francis reminded us that Fr Arrupe’s call for “educating people for others” means to define education by “its humanizing results and not its economic results”. The Pope praised the effort to turn education from a personal success mindset to one that focuses on collective well-being, advocating for a shift from the culture of ‘I’ to the culture of ‘we’. He stressed that true education involves leading by example and urged educators to accompany and develop their students, especially those at the margins of our societies. Finally, he highlighted the importance of the upcoming JESEDU-Jogja2024 Seminar in deepening the meaning and connection of the first Universal Apostolic Preference and the others: “without a true relationship between educators and the Lord, none of the rest is possible”.


Here are some of the key discussions and presentations held during the meeting:

• Each ICAJE member delivered a presentation on the current state of Jesuit education in their region, focusing on the preparation for the II Seminar JESEDU-Jogja2024, engagement with Educate Magis, and the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in education. The reports highlighted the enduring impact of the pandemic, including long-term changes in educational practices and strategies for fostering resilience among schools. ICAJE members also shared their proposals on initiatives for enhancing inter-regional collaboration, sharing best practices, and establishing spaces for joint reflection.

• The Secretary for Secondary and Pre-secondary Education shared updates on various projects and initiatives, emphasizing their alignment with the Universal Apostolic Preferences and their ongoing support to global educational collaboration.

• Through spiritual conversation and discernment, the participants reflected on ways for Educating for Faith in the 21st Century. This dialogue builds on the topics that a group of Jesuit educators from around the world will be discussing in the Global Seminar JESEDU-Jogja2024, that will take place in June 2024 in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. Fr James Hanvey, Secretary of the Service of Faith, participated in this conversation. Still on topics related to the Jogjakarta encounter, the organizing committee updated the group on the programme and could receive valuable feedback.

• The representatives of Educate Magis also presented updates on their projects, emphasizing their role in building an online apostolic community of Jesuit educators. They also gathered the participants’ considerations to better meet the needs of the network and enhance its offerings.

• A session was dedicated to the PCCP Project (Promotion of a Consistent Culture of Protection). John Guiney SJ and Sandra Racionero, the promoters and guides for the PCCP Project had the opportunity to share the details of the programme and the way it could have an impact in our schools.


And to conclude...

The meeting concluded with a Eucharist in the “rooms of Ignatius”, where St Ignatius of Loyola spent his final years. Fr José Mesa, the Secretary for Education stated, “This meeting was pivotal in reinforcing our mission as a global network. The topics we addressed are crucial for the future of Jesuit education, and ICAJE remains a vital force in our journey toward becoming a universal body with a universal mission.”

After the Eucharist, the participants went to St Ignatius Church asking, before the tomb of St John Berchman’s - patron of the Jesuit Global Network of Schools -, for strength and perseverance in our service to the mission of the Society entrusted to us by the Church.

Share this Post:
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.

Related Posts: