By Jennie Hicke
From July 29 through August 2, 2012, for the first time in the history of the Society of Jesus, with the encouragement of Father General, and under the guidance of the International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education, the leaders of our secondary schools from around the world assembled in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. for the International Colloquium on Jesuit Secondary Education. With over 400 participants from across the globe, their goal was to strengthen our global network by providing a venue to share ideas and resources and to discuss their strengths and challenges in the light of our Jesuit mission and identity as expressed in the documents from the thirty-fifth General Congregation of the Society of Jesus.
The Colloquium concluded with a statement of commitment that acknowledged that the international network of schools is uniquely suited to educate global citizens who would be able to participate in a globalization of solidarity, cooperation, and reconciliation that fully respects human life and dignity, and all of God’s creation. Participants committed to networking as a universal body, to raise awareness of the world and effectively help students face global challenges.
In 2014, a smaller representation of international key leaders gathered in Manresa and a much larger number joined via various social networks and live streaming to participate in the SIPEI (International Seminar on Ignatian Pedagogy and Spirituality). This Seminar focused on the four C’s – conscience, competence, compassion and commitment – as the pillars of and background for Jesuit Education. The seminar provided a unique opportunity to discuss, in depth, the meaning of each one of the four C’s and their implications for defining Jesuit/Ignatian education/pedagogy today.
The deliberations of the Seminar concluded that we should be a courageous collaborative network, forming people who actively seek the greater glory of God in the complex nature of our contemporary world and strengthen our commitment to justice locally, regionally and globally.
In 2017, the JESEDU-Rio2017 (International Congress for Jesuit Education Delegates) was held in Rio de Janeiro. The Congress was conceived as the final stage of the three-staged discernment process that began in 2012, recognizing the global character of our network, identifying our common roots and discussing current challenges. The Congress committed to thirteen action statements broken into four key areas: the experience of God; tradition and innovation; caring for our common home – reconciliation with God, humanity and creation; and sent into a global network. These key areas have been identified as areas for continuous review and focus for the education apostolate internationally.
This first nine-year cycle of discernment, called Discovering Our Apostolic Global Potential, has provided a way to ensure that our work as a global community is not only sustainable but is constantly cognoscente of our changing world and the need to be mindful of this as educators. While meetings alone are not sufficient in our quest to serve our universal mission, they provide structure, direction and an important element of human connection that is critical in our work.
The next cycle of discernment, called Walking as a Global Network at the Service of the Mission, begins in 2020 with the JESEDU-Jogja2020 Colloquium, which will take place in Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
To know more about this Colloquium download the official announcement, which has been translated from English to Spanish and French.
This Colloquium will aim to bring together members of our school leadership teams, with the intent to experience first-hand the interconnectedness of the Jesuit network and to collaborate for the common good of our universal mission of serving a faith that does justice. The theme of the Colloquium is: “Educating for Depth and Reconciliation”. As clarified by GC36, we are companions sent on “a mission of reconciliation and justice.” The goal is to reflect and explore, as a global network, our responsibility and methods to educate for depth and reconciliation in our world today.
The Colloquium will be followed by a Seminar in 2023 and a Congress in 2026 to complete the second cycle.