From 28 June to 2 July more than 420 members of the leadership teams of our Jesuit and Companion Schools met virtually in the II Colloquium JESEDU-Global. The first such colloquium was hosted by Boston College High School in 2012 in the United States. This second Colloquium was originally planned for Jogjakarta, Indonesia, in 2021 but because of the pandemic it was necessary, first to postpone it and then to offer it fully online.
To move from an in person to an entirely virtual gathering was a challenge in itself. Fortunately, Fr. Tony Moreno, president of the Asia Pacific Conference and a generous and professional team of Jesuits and Lay people from the Philippines and Australia, led by Fr. Johnny Go, took the challenge and designed a high quality, totally virtual Ignatian experience that offered the participants from the six Conferences and some members of Fe y Alegría and JRS-Education the possibility to discern together how our schools can contribute to the construction of a hope-filled future as the UAPs ask us to do. The discernment was oriented by keynote speakers offering their contributions in four strands: Educating for Faith, Educating for Depth, Educating for Reconciliation and Educating for Global Citizenship in the context of our holistic understanding of education.
Our schools are aware that our world is changing fast, not only because of the pandemic but because, as Fr. General Arturo Sosa told us in Rio de Janeiro, this is “…a change in era. More than ever, we are aware of being part of a single human community, that we share a single planet and have a common destiny.” (#31 JESEDU-Rio2017) Thus, the colloquium was an opportunity to discuss and to imagine how our schools can continue our educational living tradition that St. Ignatius and the first Jesuits began in the 16th Century. Moreover, the Ignatian Year presented the appropriate framework for this discernment since the invitation of seeing all things new in Christ animated our discussions.