In November 5, 2019, Fr. General Arturo Sosa, SJ, presented the document “Jesuit Schools: A Living Tradition in the 21st Century – An Ongoing Exercise of Discernment”, to the whole society. In the presentation letter, he recalled that the “document must be seen within the framework of the process of discernment that our educational apostolate has kept alive since Characteristics and the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm were first published”.
The process of discernment quoted has been alive for more than 30 years. This has been a period of major changes in the reality and of several milestones for the renewal of Jesuit Education. This is the case of the cycle of global gatherings, promoted by the Secretariat for Education (Secondary – Pre-Secondary) of the Society of Jesus, in Boston (2012), Manresa (2014) and Rio (2017); or the release of the documents “Jesuit Education aims to Human Excellence” (2015) and “A Living Tradition” (2019).
A major landmark in this process happened in 2019, with the promulgation of the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) by Fr. General “to unleash a process of apostolic revitalization and creativity that makes us better servants of reconciliation and justice”. The UAPs have provided a framework for discernment and reflection in the educational apostolate.
As it can be seen, the discernment process in the educational apostolate has been fruitful, and as so, has produced a series of declarations, action statements and reflection documents, that gave origin to a new challenge for the Jesuit Global Network of Schools: how can we help schools to see that all these documents are part of the same process?
Integration will be central for schools to assimilate the process, while it will be necessary to help networks to animate, follow-up and evaluate this permanent exercise of discernment and renewal.
The challenge of integration has been at the center of some of the reflections of the Secretariat, leading to the constitution of a taskforce with the mandate of offering resources to guide schools and education networks in addressing the priorities of Jesuit Education. The first outcome of this initiative is an infographic titled “Jesuit Schools at the Service of Our Universal Mission: An Integrated Perspective”, that will be released soon. This infographic allows the reader to see the relation between the different priorities and challenges at a glance, while its online version will offer the possibility to access source documents and additional resources.
It is expected that the infographic will be available in Educate Magis in the following months and that it will serve as support for numerous and rich reflections that will contribute to the permanent renewal of Jesuit Education.