Today we are experiencing the extraordinary phenomenon of globalization: instant communication; rapid transportation of people and goods throughout the world that create, simultaneously, unprecedented ties and disruptions—economic, cultural, political, ecological and spiritual.
Globalization has brought benefits to many. For example, on-line education is now available in many remote and impoverished communities; in the scientific community, tracking data and sharing results have helped protect some of our most endangered species.
Our own schools have greatly benefited from globalization and the opportunity to come, reflect and work together. The recent first cycle of global gatherings – Discovering our Apostolic Potential – is a testimony to it. These global gatherings (Colloquium – Seminar – Congress) have renewed the enthusiasm and have brought a new awareness of what we can accomplish when we work together. The second cycle – Walking as a Global Network at the Service of the Mission – begins precisely with this document that will be used to prepare the II Colloquium JESEDU-Jogja2020.
Conversely, many communities, ranging from governments to faith communities, have been struggling to adjust. In many cases, the challenges of rapid change have led to retrenchment, with attempts to put up economic, cultural, religious walls, and even willingness to resort to violence. These, too, are signs of the times.
It is remarkable that at this moment we belong to an educational apostolate that is exactly suited for this moment. We have a network of schools throughout the world dedicated to the belief that God can be found in every culture, within every economic level, in every person’s religious search, in all of life. Schools in the Jesuit apostolate are dedicated to form young leaders whose core will be the mission of the Gospel: reconciliation with justice and compassionate care for all creation.
Now is the time to reflect upon and act as the international system of education that we are, that has been prepared by our Jesuit and lay predecessors over these past 450 years.