On behalf of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials (JCEP), I am pleased to welcome Agnieszka Baran as the new JECSE Director. I am sure that with her the network is in good hands, and that she can also count on the close support of a competent and committed Deputy Director, Brian Flannery, and Steering Committee, as well as on the trust of the European education delegates. I wish her much joy and consolation in her mission. May the Holy Spirit assist and guide her.

I would also like to thank Ilse Dekker most warmly for the three years (and a bit more) that she has spent at the head of JECSE. Under her leadership, the network became more aware of itself, of its strength and potential, and took on a whole new dimension with several new and creative initiatives. We will miss her very much. We wish Ilse the best for her future and God’s blessing.

Franck Janin SJ, president JCEP

In the presentation below Agnieszka Baran addresses to all JECSE members and colleagues.

Dear colleagues, Dear JECSE members,

It is a great honour for me, but also a big challenge, to start to work at JECSE. I am grateful for entrusting me with this important mission. I can assure you that I will do my best to serve our Jesuit schools network in the best possible way. I will try to follow in the footsteps of my two great predecessors Marie Thérèse Michel and Ilse Dekker – who thanks to their wisdom and commitment developed JECSE-network so wonderfully.

Some of you know me from different JECSE and Educate Magis events. For those of you who do not know me yet, I’m happy to shortly introduce myself. My name is Agnieszka Baran, I came from Kraków, city in the southern part of Poland. I grew up in a large, wonderful family of many generations. Nowadays I am living in a village near Kraków, enjoying the opportunity to admire the beauty of nature – the Lord’s creation – every day.
I am a psychologist and I also graduated from pedagogical studies. I gained my first professional experience working with the long-term unemployed people. Then for many years I was working in a non-governmental organization acting to support middle-aged and elderly people. I am also an academic teacher and trainer – specializing in memory trainings and leading workshops on developing psychological competences. From 2013 I am working in the KOSTKA Public Jesuit High School in Kraków as a school psychologist and a coordinator of international projects.

I’ve come to know JECSE in 2016. Then for a fist time I was able to attend remarkable conference organized by Marie Thérèse Michel in Manresa, entitled “Looking with confidence to a new day called Tomorrow’’.  Since then, thanks to the support of my school’s Principals, I have regularly participated in the formators meetings, conferences, trainings and other events organized by JECSE and Educate Magis. All of those experiences have been very important to me, both on professional and personal level. They were a meaningful source of Ignatian inspiration, an important signpost in everyday work with young people. They built the feeling that we are part of a long living tradition and a unique network of Jesuits schools.

I feel deeply grateful that I will be able, together with all the education delegates, to continue this important work: to promote Jesuit education in Europe in creative fidelity to the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. I hope that together we will be able to help our Jesuit community to rethink how we live, work and relate to the people we serve – as Father General Arturo Sosa SJ encourage us to do so.

At the end, I would like to quote my compatriot, the great Pole, Pope John Paul II. As he began his mission, which was far greater than mine, he said “I do not know if I will be able to explain myself well in your — in our — Italian language. If I make a mistake, you will correct me!”. I also humbly ask you to correct me if I make a mistake, not only in English.

Christmas time is coming, may the Child of Bethlehem bless you and all your work. May the Lord continue to strengthen your faith and spread peace and love in your lives.

Enjoy the beauty of this Advent season.


Agnieszka Baran