In its nearly 500-year history, the Society of Jesus has convened just 36 General Congregations, its “supreme” governing body. As a result, the Jesuit system of governance relies heavily on regular consultation among its superiors and members. In May 2023, the 71st Procurators Congregation, comprised of representatives from each of the Jesuit Provinces from across the globe, met in Loyola, Spain to reflect on the “status” of the Society’s life-mission and to offer guidance for its ongoing care. As a result of their meeting, the Procurators issued a “State of the Society” report entitled, Sent to Collaborate in the Reconciliation of All Things in Christ. I encourage all Jesuit school communities to review the document and use it as a lens for focusing your good work.
One of the areas on which the Procurators reflected and then addressed is the importance of “networking” among Jesuit apostolic works. Introduced in General Congregation 36’s document, Renewed Governance for a Renewed Mission, the Procurators affirmed the value of networks, particularly in this era of increased access to technology and virtual connections. They stated, “Networks are an invaluable instrument for apostolic collaboration, further enhanced by the development of technology that has made networking simpler, more fluid and available to many more people and groups around the world” (Sent to Collaborate in the Reconciliation of All Things in Christ).
As our charter states, the Jesuit Schools Network of North America is a “network of networks,” comprised of 91 Jesuit schools, five Provinces, one Conference, and four countries. Our shared mission is to “animate the educational ministry of the Society of Jesus in service to the Catholic Church by strengthening Jesuit secondary and pre-secondary schools for the mission of Jesus Christ” (JSN Mission Statement).
In addition to our North American network, we are also members of the Jesuit Global Network of Schools and we participate in Educate Magis, networking with Jesuit schools from across the five other global regions of the Society of Jesus in Africa and Madagascar, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and South Asia.
This past summer, Kristen Smith, JSN’s Communications Manager, produced a short video outlining the various networks we share. I am pleased to offer it here as a way of contextualizing our work in service of our member schools. As you watch it, please remember that we at JSN are here to serve, as you educate the young women and men God has given to you.
We are blessed to “network” with you!