The six members of ICAJE, representing the six conference networks that form the Jesuit Global Network of Schools (JGNS), a representative from Fe y Alegria, the Secretary for Education, the assistants to the Secretariat and two members of Educate Magis gathered in Rome to discuss some of the current challenges and developments in the field of Jesuit secondary and pre-secondary education.
This year, we also had an inspiring conversation with Fr. General, Arturo Sosa SJ. Fr. General shared his perspectives on crucial aspects for our apostolate: collaboration in the shared mission, governance in our institutions, and the integration of the UAPs in the life of the schools, especially the 4th UAP and its call for a new relationship to humanity and the environment.
Some of the topics discussed and presented during the meeting:
- The members of ICAJE presented a report on the status of the schools in their regions. The reports for this year were centered in: (1) Main aspects of their regional contexts; (2) Impact of the pandemic, in terms of changes and long-term effects on the schools; (3) How regions are getting prepared for the II Seminar JESEDU-Jogja2024; and (4) New opportunities for global collaboration.
- The Secretary and the assistants of the Secretariat shared their reports on the state of the projects and initiatives promoted by the Secretariat.
- There was a conversation on possible areas for international collaboration between regions and networks. Establishing spaces for joint reflection, exchange of best practices and information-sharing over different topics, were identified.
- A spiritual conversation helped the participants to discern on the best ways for inviting our students to become Companions in Mission in the future. The ideas that emerged will help to shape concrete responses to the invitation made by Fr. General last year during the WUJA Congress in Barcelona.
- Three regional reports were shared in the following topics: (i) meaning of collaboration in our schools; (ii) safeguarding; and (iii) Reactions and implementation of the “Instruction on the Identity of Catholic Schools” of the Congregation of Education of the Vatican (2022). ICAJE will continue the conversation in these important areas as a response to our present challenges.
- Educate Magis presented the current developments and projects as they continue to respond to the needs and requests of the networks and schools while building an online community of Jesuit educators.
- On the last day of the meeting, the Organizing Committee of the II Seminar JESEDU-Jogja2024, taking place next year in Indonesia, presented the proposal for the gathering and received valuable feedback as they continue the organization of this important meeting. ICAJE was very impressed by the hard work of the committee and the solid proposal presented.
- ICAJE discussed the discernment circles proposed for celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Fr. Arrupe’s allocution Men and Women for Others. The information is available in Educate Magis and all the schools of the JGNS are invited to participate.
The meeting concluded with a Eucharist at the “rooms of Ignatius” the place where he lived his last years before he died on July 31st, 1556.
According to Fr. Mesa, “This meeting was of special relevance to continue walking towards the consolidation of the Jesuit Global Network of Schools. The topics discussed this year are fundamental for the work of our schools, and ICAJE continues to be an important actor to respond to the challenge of becoming a universal body with a universal mission.”
- José Mesa SJ – Chair, International Secretary for Secondary and Pre-secondary Education
- Robert Reiser SJ – Executive Director of JSN – North America
- Agnieszka Baran – Director of JECSE – Europe
- John Ravi SJ – Secretary for JEASA – South Asia
- Johnny Go SJ – Secretary for Secondary Education JCAP – Asia Pacific
- Joe Arimoso SJ – Coordinator of JASBEAM – Africa and Madagascar
- Marco Tulio Gómez SJ – Board Member – Federation of Fe y Alegría
- Eamonn McGuinness – Community Director of Educate Magis
- Ciara Beuster – Global Community Associate Director of Educate Magis
- Catharine Steffens – Assistant to the Secretariat for Global Initiatives
- Sunny Jacob SJ – Assistant to the Secretariat for Mission, Identity and the Service of Faith
- Felipe Carrillo – Assistant to the Secretariat for Special Projects and Executive Secretary FLACSI – Latin America