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A Living Tradition​​Part 3: Global Identifiers of Jesuit Schools, Section 4

4. Jesuit Schools are committed to the Care of all Creation [52]

  1. On May 24, 2015 Pope Francis promulgated the encyclical Laudato si, which was intended to promote dialogue about our common home, which is undergoing serious deterioration because of human inaction and greed. For the Pope, the ecological crisis is a summons to profound interior conversion because all people are called to be protectors of God’s handiwork. The implication for Jesuit schools is clear. In Chapter 6 the Pope wrote:
  2. “Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change. We lack an awareness of our common origin, of our mutual belonging, and of a future to be shared with everyone. This basic awareness would enable the development of new convictions, attitudes and forms of life. A great cultural, spiritual and educational challenge stands before us, and it will demand that we set out on the long path of renewal.” [53]
  3. For our schools, this means preparing students and their families to identify with and feel responsible for all creation; to assume God’s loving view of the world. Once more, it is worthwhile to reflect upon the requirement stated in The Universal Apostolic Preferences:
  4. We resolve, considering who we are and the means that we have,
    to collaborate with others in the construction of alternative
    models of life that are based on respect for creation and on a
    sustainable development capable of producing goods that,
    when justly distributed, ensure a decent life for all human
    beings on our planet
    [54].
  5. This commitment should manifest itself in scientifically rigorous curricula that give students a well-informed understanding of issues like global warming, especially when many want to deny that the current conditions are due to human activity.
  6. To that end, Environmental Education should be part of the core curriculum. Our schools should incorporate:
  7. 1. An ecological ethic in our science, theology and humanities courses.
  8. 2. Partnerships between schools across the globe that address the care of creation.
  9. 3. Programs in community service and advocacy for students to address:

    • The pollution of the air and water;
    • The loss of habitat that has pressed other life forms to the brink of extinction.
  10. 4. Our schools should make every effort to become environmentally sustainable by:

    • Reducing their carbon footprint.
    • Purchasing goods that have been produced responsibly and which are properly recycled.

Exercise 22. For discernment:

  1. How do you assess this challenge?
  2. What are the most significant obstacles?
  3. How can we adapt this challenge for all Jesuit schools so that it reflects the greater good?
  4. In this context, what has your educational apostolate done?
  5. What should your educational apostolate be doing?