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St. Louis University High President David Laughlin served as a guest speaker at Boston College’s Institute in Advanced Jesuit Studies (IAJS) on July 30. He joined Boston College President William Leahy, S.J. as part of a summer speaker series for the IAJS’s Certificate in Jesuit Studies program, which was attended by SLUH theology teacher Danielle Harrison and participants from around the world.

The Certificate in Jesuit Studies is a nine-credit professional program examining the spirituality, history, and leadership methods associated with the Society of Jesus and its ministries. The program was held June 24-July 30, beginning with 10 days of experiential learning in Spain and Rome and concluding with four weeks of graduate-level coursework at BC examining the dynamic of the Spiritual Exercises and the history of the American Jesuits.

Leaders of universities, high schools, and educational networks moderated weekly workshops on contemporary leadership strategies. Jesuit scholastics, teachers of English and theology, mission officers at Jesuit high schools, and a university technology developer from many parts of the world, including Ireland, Japan, Africa, Colombia, as well as the U.S., participated in the program.

“Obviously the goals of such a program are very important for the continuing vision of Jesuit education,” says Laughlin. “You could tell the time had been significant among them.  I was honored to be invited to speak at Boston College.”

Laughlin spoke about Jesuit spirituality and leadership from his own personal and professional experiences. His talk focused on many practical aspects of leadership, but he followed the conference format relating remarks to St. Ignatius’ First Principle and Foundation, and a key meditation in the Spiritual Exercises known as the Two Standards.

Danielle Harrison says the six-week program was “a very enlightening journey, not only regarding the focus of the studies, but also having the opportunity to travel to Europe and ‘walk in the footsteps’ of Ignatius. It was truly a multicultural experience listening and sharing our understandings of Ignatian spirituality and its impact on education.”

She particularly enjoyed attending Mass in the “chapel of conversion” at Loyola Castle and visiting the Jesuit Curia and the Archives in Rome. “We were able to view letters written by Ignatius, drawings from early Jesuits in Africa and China, copies of the Constitutions of the Society, even the death mask of Ignatius,” she says. “It was moving to watch the Jesuit scholastics who were part of the program—they were so excited and happy to be there. What an honor to witness the new, learn about the old, and prepare to take on the mantle.

“I am so grateful that I had this opportunity and am excited to share what I learned with my students and my colleagues.”

Established in June 2014, the IAJS seeks to deepen understanding and appreciation of the history, spirituality, educational heritage, and pedagogical approach of the Society of Jesus through courses, workshops, publications, and scholarly symposia.

Image Caption: Pictured (from left): SLUH President David Laughlin, SLUH theology teacher Danielle Harrison, IAJS Director Casey Beaumier, S.J., IAJS Assoc. Director Seth Meehan, and Boston College President Fr. William Leahy, S.J.

Source: SLUH News