“Education in environmental responsibility can encourage ways of acting which directly and significantly affect the world around us.” (LS 211)
As our Global Jesuit Network of schools continues discerning how to act as a universal body with a universal mission (GC35, D. 2, #20) the increasingly desperate cry of mother earth cannot go unheard. On the contrary, it should become central to any Jesuit educational work that wishes to align itself to the mission of the Society of Jesus. Jesuit schools across the globe have been discussing and reflecting on the importance of forming students who understand that being persons for and with others today also means embracing the care of our common home as a fundamental dimension of our humanity.
In 2020, the Secretariat for Jesuit Education took these discussions one step further and convened a global taskforce to create an ecological framework for Jesuit schools to give meaning, direction, and guidance to our work as we care for our common home, individually and collectively, both locally and globally. Uniting the diverse voices and realities of the six regions of the Global Jesuit Network along with Fe y Alegría, this taskforce has created an Ignatian vision of caring for our common home together with a framework for the various stakeholders within the school communities as we journey together as an Ignatian community in this important task. This framework serves as a reminder that each of us is a significant part of God’s Creation and each of us has our own personal role to play in animating God’s vision for the care of our common home.
Aligned with our Jesuit mission of reconciliation and justice in Christ’s command to love one another, this framework encourages us to examine our individual and collective actions and habits through key reflection questions and suggests practical actions we can take to heal our earth. The work of this taskforce has incorporated the urgent call to care for our common home outlined in Laudato Si’, the Universal Apostolic Preferences, A Living Tradition and the JESEDU-Rio2017 Action Statement and is designed to complement and enhance the wonderful work already being done in our Jesuit schools.
It is an invitation to us all, as global citizens, to continue and to deepen our care for Creation, even more during the celebration of the Ignatian Year which calls us to see all things new in Christ.
We hope you enjoy this practical, action and reflection-oriented framework. Please share it with your colleagues and students so together we can work to heal and restore our earth.
The document presents clearly the values and the thrust we want to promote through Education ministry. The Sense of Community, formation of our students and developing an attitude of interconnectedness seem to be reflected quite well. Most of all, involvement and committed leadership that has the courage to change and transform is excellent.
(Xavier Jeyaraj SJ, Secretary for Social Justice and Ecology, Society of Jesus)
A special thank you to the following members of the Secretariat Taskforce for their time, dedication and hard work in putting this framework together: María Inés Berasain (FLACSI), Ciara Beuster (Educate Magis), Jimena Castro Mejía (FLACSI), Elisabeth Clarke (JECSE), Marco Gómez, SJ (Fe y Alegría), PJ James, SJ (JEASA), Jennie Kuenz (JSN), Francis Macwan, SJ (JEASA), Sharon McLean (JCAP-JEC), Maduabuchi Leo Muoneme, SJ (JASBEAM), Philip Nahlik, SJ (JSN), Jennifer Snyder (JSN), Catharine Steffens (Secretariat for Education), Jaime Tatay, SJ (JECSE)