“How much the Society will accomplish if only we unite our forces, and in a spirit of oneness, gird ourselves humbly and resolutely for the work before us!” Fr. General Jean-Baptiste Janssens 1949
Although organized into different provinces, local, and national jurisdictions, the Society of Jesus is essentially a global community, and so too are all the ministries of the Society. The Jesuits have “a universal character that transcends” the boundaries of provinces, regions, and nations, and consider themselves as part of a “Universal Body with a Universal Mission”. They are called on “to go anywhere across the geographical and cultural frontiers where there is need of working with Christ” for the greater glory of God. They may be working in a province, with the local apostolate, but they have a global vision and a global Mission. They are united in diversity and increasingly global in their gaze. In other words, in the words of Jose Mesa SJ, they are more “Glocal” in their worldview and missionary approach.
“The world is our house,” said the early Jesuit Jerome Nadal. He was referring, on one level, to the world outside of churches and monasteries, but also to the multitudes of God’s people and broad diversity of human cultures. As Jesuit leaders explained at their General Congregation in 2008, “The entire world becomes the object of our interest and concern.” Pope Francis has insisted on this phrase and exhorted us in Laudato Si, that “the Earth is our Common Home”.
By browsing on the internet one can see so many online global communities. An online community can act as an information system where members can post, comment on discussions, give advice, or collaborate. Commonly, people communicate through social networking sites, chat rooms, forums, email lists, and discussion boards, and have advanced into daily social media platforms as well. Educate Magis is Our Global Apostolic Online Community of Educators, the community of Jesuit Educators from the Jesuit Global Network of Schools (JGNS).
What are the specificities of Our Global Community?
Educate Magis, as our Global Apostolic Online Community of Educators from our Jesuit Global Network of Schools (JGNS), offers a online platform through which members discern how to become Contemporary Jesuit Educators by Learning, Teaching, and Collaborating together to make their contribution to deliver on the holistic vision of Jesuit education, “forging the path to human excellence, through the formation of young people of Conscience, Compassion, Competence and Commitment (the four C’s)”. It is important to take note of the emphasis on the purpose and focus of our Apostolic Community; it is nothing but the formation of young people with human excellence expressed in the four C’s.
Jesuit Education is spread across the world. It has a history of almost 500 years. It is based on six values. These values prepare students to be wiser and more compassionate as they take the next step in their life journey as “men and women for others”. They are:
- Cura Personalis.
- Finding God in all things.
- Service rooted in justice and love.
- Solidarity and kinship.
As an Apostolic Global Community, Educate Magis keeps these values and helps the Jesuit Educators to learn and grow in these values together through the Online Network.
In 2019, the Secretariat of Jesuit Education brought out the new document, A Living Tradition: An Exercise in Discernment on Jesuit Secondary and Pre-Secondary Education in the 21st Century. When releasing the document Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus said, “The purpose of this document is to invite all stakeholders of Jesuit schools to begin, continue or renew a process of discernment as the way to proceed in response to our historical context, our roots and our identity.” This document provides 10 key identifiers of Jesuit Schools which are depicted in the “An Integrated (Holistic) Perspective Infographic”. The infographic presents an integrated perspective on the most important recent documents that shape Jesuit Education today:
- Human Excellence (SIPEI)- 2014
- The JESEDU-Rio Action Statement – 2017
- The Universal Apostolic Preferences – 2019 – 2029
- Jesuit Schools: A Living Tradition in the 21st Century – 2019
The 10 Global Idientifiers and the above documents give us the direction and guidelines to function as an Apostolic Global Community. Our schools must manifest all the 10 identifiers, and not one or two of them.
One of the 10 Global Identifiers of Jesuit schools is Global Identifier #8, which states that “Jesuit Schools are committed to being a Global Network at the service of the Mission”. It says, “But absolutely, and with great urgency, Jesuit schools should network, on all levels, with one another. Our schools in isolation from their sister Jesuit institutions worldwide will not meet the increasingly complex dimensions of a globalized world. Each of our schools should be seen, and should see themselves, as extensions of our international mission.”
“educatemagis.org… provides a forum to disseminate documents and to stimulate learning and conversation about schools. It is essential that Jesuit educators, around the world join and make use of this important resource.” (Global Identifier #8. 241-246. A Living Tradition). Accordingly, the Apostolic Global Community of Jesuit Educators came into existence. Educate Magis is therefore, meant for all the Jesuit school educators to come together “to Learn, to Teach, and to Collaborate” with fellow educators from all over the world. There are ample opportunities for our educators to become involved. Creative and innovative initiatives from schools and educators are welcomed too.
- Sharing of documents. There are plenty of documents on Educate Magis on Jesuit education, Ignatian Spirituality, History of Jesuit Education etc. for the use of educators.
- Sharing of good practices from our schools.
- Organising global projects and inviting all regions to participate.
- Participating through Connected Classrooms.
- Joining various certified Staff formation Courses.
- Attending global webinars on the 10 Global Identifiers.
- Participating in global events like the JESEDU conferences.
- Expressing opinions and reading others’ perspectives through ‘Conversations’.
- Taking part in Faith Formation programmes like Retreats and Recollections. There is also a prayer resource for the use of educators and pupils.
- Sharing of special events of the regions and schools with the global community.
- Volunteering to be part of the works of Educate Magis.
- Joining the Task Forces for preparing documents and formation courses.
Any areas of sharing and networking to enhance the Jesuit Educational mission are welcomed. It tries to cater to the needs of each region and prepares programmes globally with the help of all.
As the true spirit of the General Congregation 36 says, “This community, transcending boundaries and borders, opens a new way of proceeding for our schools in service of the Jesuit mission: companions of reconciliation and justice – with God, within humanity and with creation (GC 36 Decree #1).” Therefore, the proclaimed mission is expressed by the Mission of Educate Magis to “nurture a vibrant online community connecting educators from our Jesuit Global Network of Schools”. Yes! We are a unique Global Community, the Apostolic Global Community of Jesuit/Ignatian Educators!