Ignatian Spirituality

10 Characteristics of Ignatian Spirituality

If one has to understand the major charecteristics of Jesuit Spirituality these are the 10 points....

10. Union of minds and hearts – as brothers and sisters, we listen for the God who is present among us, admitting no division based on ethnicity, nationality, background, age or gender.

9. Flexibility and adaptability – (e.g.,16th Century Jesuits wearing Chinese robes and generally adapting to various cultures; respecting people’s lived experience.)

8. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (For the greater glory of God) – praising God and dedicating oneself to participate in God’s healing work in the world.

7. “The World is charged with the grandeur of God” – the positive, energetic and engaged vision of God’s constant interaction with creation.

6. Faith that does justice – the realization that there can be no true expression of faith where concerns for justice and human dignity are missing.

5. Inner Freedom (the result of self-awareness and discernment.)

4. Contemplation in action – not a monastic existence, but an active one that is, at the same time, infused with prayer.

3. Reflection (Self-awareness/Discernment) leading to Gratitude which leads to Service (linked to becoming a “man or woman for others” – big Ignatian buzzwords.)

2. Personal relationship with Christ and love for the Church (bruised and broken as it often is.)

1. Finding God in all things

It is a Spirituality of Action

One characteristic of Ignatian spirituality is its focus and commitment to action.

From An Ignatian Spirituality Reader, edited by George W. Traub, SJ.

[Action] appears as a theme with many variations. Loyalty is expressed in service. Love is appropriately manifested in actions rather than in words. Repentance means action for change. Serious conversion to Christ means commitment of all one’s resources—material and personal—expenditure of all one’s energies, steady focus of one’s attention.

One very important consequence of this is the gradual elimination of the profane margins of one’s life. But in Ignatian spirituality this does not mean that one no longer engages in worldly responsibilities or in social, economic, and political affairs. What it does mean is that engagement in such affairs ceases to be profane, which means outside the range of the religious commitment. All the secular activities of life are brought into the faith commitment and are therefore brought under scrutiny and evaluation in the light of what is revealed in Christ about the meaning and purpose and true orientation of all creation.

Social Implications

This approach applies not only to the immediate contacts of one’s life, but also to social structures and policies at all levels of human society. This commitment to the integration of all aspects of life, therefore, does not allow a separation of politics and economics from religious values and judgments.

Redemptive action for justice and peace in the public affairs of the human race threatens the disproportionate privilege of many who call themselves Christians, probably in good faith, but think that this pertains only to their individual private lives. While the vigorous opposition to social justice and peace activities in the public realm may be in good faith, it is not disinterested.

Action vs. Contemplation?

The commitment to action and to public responsibilities often meets an objection of another kind. This is the view that contemplation is at the heart of religious faith, and that contemplation and action are incompatible with one another. Contemplation is certainly at the heart of faith, because contemplation means an attitude of receptivity, attention, and awareness of divine presence and guidance. This is beyond question.

However, Ignatian spirituality refuses to see contemplation as being in opposition to action or incompatible with it. It was said of Ignatius himself in his mature years that he seemed to be contemplative in action. What is seen as incompatible with contemplation is greed, possessiveness, acquisitiveness, cruelty, indifference to the needs of others, pride, self-assertiveness, and preoccupation with oneself and one’s public image. But hard work, preoccupation with serving the needs of others, and so forth, are seen as opportunities to be contemplative in action.







Introduction---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------        2


The Characteristics of Jesuit Education------------------------------------------------------------       5


            Introductory Notes ---------------------------------------------------------------------------      5


1. Jesuit Education is world-affirming.----------------------------------------------------------       7

            radical goodness of the world

                        a sense of wonder and mystery


2.        Jesuit Education assists in the total formation

            of each individual within the human community.----------------------------------------    7

                        the fullest development of all talents:


                                    imaginative, affective, and creative

                                    effective communication skills


                        the balanced person

                        within community


3.        Jesuit Education includes a religious dimension

            that permeates the entire education.--------------------------------------------------------     8

                        religious education

                        development of a faith response which

                                    resists secularism

                        worship of God and reverence for creation


4. Jesuit Education is an apostolic instrument.-------------------------------------------------       9

                        preparation for life


5.        Jesuit Education promotes dialogue between faith and culture ----------------------------  9


6.        Jesuit Education insists on individual care

            and concern for each person.---------------------------------------------------------------       10

                        developmental stages of growth

                        curriculum centered on the person

                        personal relationships (“cura personalis”)

                        responsibilities within the community


7.        Jesuit Education emphasizes activity on the

            part of the student in the learning process.-----------------------------------------------      11

                        personal study

                        opportunities for personal discovery


8. Jesuit Education encourages life-long openness to growth.--------------------------------    11

                        joy in learning; desire to learn

                        adult members open to change


9. Jesuit Education is value-oriented.-----------------------------------------------------------        12

                        knowledge joined to virtue

                        school regulations; system of discipline



10.    Jesuit Education encourages a realistic knowledge,

    love, and acceptance of self.----------------------------------------------------------------       12

                        Christian humanism; sin and its effects

                        obstacles to growth

                        development of a critical faculty


11.    Jesuit Education provides a realistic knowledge

                 of the world in which we live.-------------------------------------------------------------   13

                        awareness of the social effects of sin

                        realization that persons and structures can change

12.    Jesuit Education proposes Christ as the model of  humanlife.----------------------------------------------------------------------  14

                        inspiration from the life and teaching of Christ for Christians, personal friendship with Jesus

13. Jesuit Education provides adequate pastoral care.------------------------------------------      14

                        religious faith and religious commitment

                        the Spiritual Exercises

                        response to a personal call from God

14.    Jesuit Education celebrates faith in personal

               and community prayer, worship and service.---------------------------------------------- 15

                        progressive initiation to personal prayer

                        community worship

                        for Catholics, Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation

                        faith leads to commitment to follow Christ 

15. Jesuit Education is preparation for active life commitment.-------------------------------     16

16. Jesuit Education serves the faith that does justice.------------------------------------------     16

                        justice informed by charity

                        action for peace

                        a new type of person in a new kind of society

                        justice issues in the curriculum

                        school policies and programs witness to justice

                        works of justice

                        involvement in serious issues of our day

1. Jesuit education seeks to formmen and women for others”.---------------------    17

                        talents: gifts to be developed for the community

                        stress on community values

                        witness of adults in the educational community


18.       Jesuit education manifests a particular concern for the poor. ------------------------------           18

                        “preferential option” for the poor

                        Jesuit education available to everyone

free educational opportunity for all the poor:

                        the context of Jesuit education

                        opportunities for contact with the poor

                        reflection on the experience

19.       Jesuit Education is an apostolic instrument, in service of the church as it serves human society-           20

                        part of the apostolic mission of the church

Ignatian attitude of loyalty to and service of the church

                        faithful to the teachings of the church

                        reflect on culture in the light of church teachings

                        serve the local civil and religious community

                        cooperation with other apostolic works

                        active in the local community

                        collaboration in ecumenical activities


20.       Jesuit education prepares students for active participation in the church

            and the local community, for the service of others.--------------------------------------    21

                        instruction in the basic truths of the faith

                        for Catholics, knowledge of and love for the church and the sacraments

                        concrete experiences of church life

                        promote Christian Life Communities


21.       Jesuit education pursues excellence in its work of formation.-----------------------------           22

                        “human excellence”

                        excellence depends on the needs of the region

                        fullest possible development of individual capacities

                        leaders in service

                        excellence in faith commitment: to do “more”



22.       Jesuit education witnesses to excellence.----------------------------------------------------- 23

                        excellence in school climate

                        adult members witness to excellence

                        cooperation with other schools and educational agencies 

23.       Jesuit Education stresses lay-Jesuit collaboration.------------------------------------------ 24

                        a common mission

                        willingness to assume responsibilities

                        the Jesuit attitude

24.       Jesuit Education relies on a spirit of community among:

                        teaching staff and administrators;----------------------------------------------------------      24

                                    people chosen to join the educational community

                                    common sense of purpose

                        the Jesuit community;----------------------------------------------------------------------          25

                                    life witness

                                    life within the community

                                    provide knowledge and appreciation of Ignatius


                                    priestly activities

                                    relations with school director

                        governing boards;       ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 25

                        parents;----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------          26

                                    close cooperation with parents

                                    understanding the school character

                                    consistency between values promoted in the

                                       school and those promoted in the home

                        students;---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------         26

                        former students;-----------------------------------------------------------------------------          26

                        benefactors.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------          27


25.       Jesuit Education takes place within a structure that promotes community.--------------          27

                        shared responsibility

                        mission of the Director

                        role of the Director

                        directive team

                        Jesuit authority and control

                        structures guarantee rights 

26.       Jesuit Education adapts means and methods in order to achieve

                its purposes most effectively.---------------------------------------------------------------- 29

                        change on the basis of “discernment”

                        norms for change

                        adapted to fit the specific needs of the place


27.       Jesuit Education is a “system” of schools with a common vision and

                common goals.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------    29

                        sharing of ideas and experiences

                        exchange of teachers and students

                        experimentation in education for justice


28.       Jesuit Education assists in providing the professional training and

                ongoing formation that is needed, especially for teachers. -------------------------------         30

                        opportunities for continuing education

                        an understanding of Ignatian spirituality

                        an understanding of lay and Jesuit contributions to the church

     and the Jesuit school 

Some Characteristics of Jesuit Pedagogy:-------------------------------------------------------         31

From the experience of the Spiritual Exercises;

From the Constitutions and the Ratio Studiorum.


Conclusion-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------       33

*     *     *

Appendix I: Ignatius, First Jesuit Schools, and the Ratio Studiorum.--------------------------   34

            A. The Spiritual Journey of Ignatius of Loyola --------------------------------------------- 34

            B. The Society of Jesus Enters Education      ----------------------------------------------------       37

            C. The Ratio Studiorum and More Recent History------------------------------------------           39

Appendix II:   The World View of Ignatius compared with the

                                                Basic Characteristics of Jesuit Education.------------------------------------         42

Notes-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------        46




  1. In September of 1980 a small international group, Jesuit and lay, came together in Rome to discuss several important issues concerning Jesuit secondary education.  In many parts of the world, serious questions had been raised about the present ef­fectiveness of Jesuit schools:  Could they be instrumental in accomplishing the apostolic purposes of the Society of Jesus? Were they able to respond to the needs of the men and women in today’s world?  The meeting was called to examine these ques­tions and to suggest the kinds of renewal that would enable Jesuit secondary education to continue to contribute to the creative and healing mission of the church, today and in the future.
  1. During the days of discussion, it became evident that a re­newed effectiveness depended in part on a clearer and more explicit understanding of the distinctive nature of Jesuit edu­cation. Without intending to minimize the problems, the group asserted that Jesuit schools can face a challenging future with confidence if they will be true to their particularly Jesuit heritage. The vision of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the So­ciety of Jesus, had sustained these schools for four centuries. If this spiritual vision could be sharpened and activated, and then applied to education in ways adapted to the present day, it would provide the context within which other problems could be faced.
  1. Father Pedro Arrupe, who was then Superior General of the So­ciety of Jesus, reaffirmed this conclusion when he spoke at the closing session of the meeting.  He said that a Jesuit school

“should be easily identifiable as such.  There are many ways in which it will resemble other schools....  But if it is an authentic Jesuit school - that is to say if our operation of the school flows out of the strengths drawn from our own specific charism, if we emphasize our essen­tial characteristics and our basic options - then the edu­cation which our students receive should give them a cer­tain “Ignacianidad”, if I can use such a term.  I am not talking about arrogance or snobbery, still less about a superiority complex.  I simply refer to the logical con­sequence of the fact that we live and operate out of our own charism.  Our responsibility is to provide, through our schools, what we believe God and the church ask of us”.1

  1. The delegates at the Rome meeting recommended the establish­ment of a permanent international group to consider questions related to secondary education, and urged that one of the first responsibilities of this group be to clarify the ways in which the vision of Ignatius continues to make Jesuit secondary educa­tion distinctive today.
  1. In response to the recommendation, the International Commis­sion on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education (ICAJE) was estab­lished; it held its first meeting in 1982. The members are Daven Day, S.J. (Australia), Vincent Duminuco, S.J. (U.S.A.), Luiz Fernando Klein, S.J. (Brazil, since 1983), Raimondo Kroth, S.J. (Brasil, until 1983), Guillermo Marshall, S.J. (Chile, un­til 1984), Jean-Claude Michel, S.J. (Zaïre), Gregory Naik, S.J. (India), Vicente Parra, S.J. (Spain), Pablo Sada, S.J. (Vene­zuela), Alberto Vasquez (Chile, since 1984), Gerard Zaat, S.J. (The Netherlands), and James Sauvé, S.J. (Rome).
  1. This present document, composed by ICAJE, is the fruit of four years of meetings and worldwide consultations.
  1. Any attempt to speak about Jesuit education today must take account of the profound changes which have influenced and af­fected this education -  since the time of Ignatius, but espe­cially during the present century.  Government regulations or the influence of other outside agencies affect various aspects of school life, including the course of study and the textbooks that are used; in some countries the policies of the government or high costs threaten the very existence of private education. Students and their parents seem, in many cases, to be concerned only with the academic success that will gain entrance to uni­versity studies, or only with those programs that will help to gain employment.  Jesuit schools today are often coeducational, and women have joined laymen and Jesuits as teachers and admini­strators.  There has been a significant increase in the size of the student body in most Jesuit schools, and at the same time a decline in the number of Jesuits working in those schools.  In addition:
  1. The course of studies has been altered by modern advances in science and technology:  the addition of scientific courses has resulted in less emphasis on, in some cases a certain neglect of, the humanistic studies traditionally emphasized in Jesuit education.
  1. Developmental psychology and the social sciences, along with advances in pedagogical theory and education itself, have shed new light on the way young people learn and mature as individuals within a community; this has influenced course content, teaching techniques, and school policies.
  1. In recent years, a developed theology has explicitly recog­nized and encouraged the apostolic role of lay people in the church; this was ratified by the Second Vatican Council, es­pecially in its decree “On The Apostolate of the Laity”.2 Echoing this theology, recent General Congregations of the Society of Jesus have insisted on lay-Jesuit collaboration, through a shared sense of purpose and a genuine sharing of responsibility, in schools once exclusively controlled and staffed by Jesuits.
  1. The Society of Jesus is committed to “the service of faith, of which the promotion of justice is an absolute require­ment”;3 it has called for a “reassessment of our tradition­al apostolic methods, attitudes and institutions with a view to adapting them to the needs of the times, to a world in process of rapid change”.4 In response to this commitment, the purposes and possibilities of education are being exam­ined, with renewed concern for the poor and disadvantaged. The goal of Jesuit education today is described in terms of the formation of “multiplying agents” and “men and women for others”.5
  1. Students and teachers in Jesuit schools today come from a variety of distinct social groups, cultures and religions; some are without religious faith.  Many Jesuit schools have been deeply affected by the rich but challenging complexity of their educational communities.
  1. These and many other developments have affected concrete de­tails of school life and have altered fundamental school poli­cies.  But they do not alter the conviction that a distinctive spirit still marks any school which can truly be called Jesuit. This distinctive spirit can be discovered through reflection on the lived experience of Ignatius, on the ways in which that lived experience was shared with others, on the ways in which Ignatius himself applied his vision to education in the Consti­tutions and in letters, and on the ways in which this vision has been developed and been applied to education in the course of history, including our present times.  A common spirit lies behind pedagogy, curriculum and school life, even though these may differ greatly from those of previous centuries, and the more concrete details of school life may differ greatly from country to country.
  1. “Distinctive” is not intended to suggest “unique” either in spirit or in method.  The purpose is rather to describe “our way of proceeding”6:  the inspiration, values, attitudes and style which have traditionally characterized Jesuit education, which must be characteristic of any truly Jesuit school today wherever it is to be found, and which will remain essential as we move into the future.
  1. To speak of an inspiration that has come into Jesuit schools through the Society of Jesus is in no sense an exclusion of those who are not members of this Society.  Though the school is normally called “Jesuit”, the vision is more properly called “Ignatian” and has never been limited to Jesuits.  Ignatius was himself a layman when he experienced the call of God which he later described in the Spiritual Exercises, and he directed many other lay people through the same experience; throughout the last four centuries, countless lay people and members of other religious congregations have shared in and been influ­enced by his inspiration.  Moreover, lay people have their own contribution to make, based on their experience of God in family and in society, and on their distinctive role in the church or in their religious culture.  This contribution will enrich the spirit and enhance the effectiveness of the Jesuit school.
  1. The description that follows is for Jesuits, lay people and other Religious working in Jesuit schools; it is for teachers, administrators, parents and governing boards in these schools.  All are invited to join together in making the Ignatian tradi­tion, adapted to the present day, more effectively present in the policies and practices that determine the life of the school.


Introductory Notes

(12)           Though many of the characteristics on the following pages de­scribe all Jesuit education, the specific focus is the basic education of the Jesuit high school, or colegio or collège. (De­pending on the assists in the total formation of each individual within the human community, includes a religious dimension that permeates the entire education, is an apostolic instrument country, this may be only secondary education, or it may include both primary and secondary levels.)  Those in other Jesuit institutions, especially  universities and univer­sity colleges, are urged to adapt these characteristics to their own situations.

  1. A short historical summary of the life of Ignatius and the growth of Jesuit education appears in Appendix I.  Reading this summary will give those less familiar with Ignatius and early Jesuit history a better understanding of the spiritual vision on which the characteristics of Jesuit education are based.
  1. In order to highlight the relationship between the character­istics of Jesuit education and the spiritual vision of Ignatius the twenty-eight basic characteristics listed on the following pages are divided into nine sections.  Each section begins with a statement from the Ignatian vision, and is followed by those characteristics that are applications of the statement to educa­tion; the individual characteristics are then described in more detail.  A tenth section suggests, by way of example, some characteristics of Jesuit pedagogy.
  1. The introductory statements come directly from the world-­vision of Ignatius.  The characteristics of Jesuit education come from reflection on that vision, applying it to education in the light of the needs of men and women today. (The Ignatian world-vision and the characteristics of Jesuit education are listed in parallel columns in Appendix II.  The notes to that  Appendix suggest sources for each of the statements summarizing the Ignatian vision.)
  1. Some characteristics apply to specific groups:  students, former students, teachers or parents.  Others apply to the edu­cational community as a whole; still others, concerning the policies and practices of the institution as such, apply pri­marily to the school administrators or the governing board.
  1. These pages do not speak about the very real difficulties in the lives of all those involved in education:  the resistance of students and their discipline problems, the struggle to meet a host of conflicting demands from school officials, students, parents and others, the lack of time for reflection, the dis­couragement and disillusions that seem to be inherent in the work of education.  Nor do they speak of the difficulties of modern life in general. This is not To ignore or minimize these problems.  On the contrary, it would not be possible to speak of Jesuit education at all if it were not for the dedication of all those people, Jesuit and lay, who continue to give them­selves to education in spite of frustration and failure.  This document will not try to offer facile solutions to intractable problems, but it will try to provide a vision or an inspiration that can make the day-to-day struggle have greater meaning and bear greater fruit.
  1. The description of Jesuit Education lies in the document as a whole.  A partial reading can give a distorted image that seems to ignore essential traits.  A commitment to the faith that does justice, to take one example, must permeate the whole of Jesuit education—even though it is not described in this document until section five.
  1. Because they apply to Jesuit secondary schools throughout the world, the characteristics of Jesuit education are de­scribed in a form that is somewhat general and schematic. They need amplification and concrete application to local situa­tions.  This document, therefore, is a resource for reflection and study rather than a finished work.
  1. Not all of the characteristics of Jesuit education will be present in the same measure in each individual school; in some situations a statement may represent an ideal rather than a present reality. “Circumstances of times, places, persons and other such factors”7 must be taken into account: the same basic spirit will be made concrete in different ways in dif­ferent situations.  To avoid making distinctions which depend on local circumstances and to avoid a constant repetition of the idealistic “wishes to be” or the judgmental “should be”, the characteristics are written in the categoric indicative: “Jesuit education is....”

*     *     *

 1.         For Ignatius, God is Creator and Lord, Supreme Goodness, the one Reality that is absolute; all other re­ality comes from God and has value only insofar as it leads us to God.8  This God is present in our lives, “laboring for us”9 in all things; He can be discov­ered, through faith, in all natural and human events, in history as a whole, and most especially within the lived experience of each individual person.


Jesuit education:                is world-affirming.                 

assists in the total formation of each individual within the human community.

includes a religious dimension that permeates the entire education.

is an apostolic instrument.

promotes dialogue between faith and culture.

1.1  World-affirming.

(23)      Jesuit education acknowledges God as the Author of all re­ality, all truth and all knowledge.  God is present and work­ing in all of creation:  in nature, in history and in per­sons. Jesuit education, therefore, affirms the radical good­ness of the world “charged with the grandeur of God”,10 and it regards every element of creation as worthy of study and contemplation, capable of endless exploration.

  1. The education in a Jesuit school tries to create a sense of wonder and mystery in learning about God’s creation.  A more complete knowledge of creation can lead to a greater knowledge of God and a greater willingness to work with God in His ongoing creation.  Courses are taught in such a way that students, in humble recognition of God’s presence, find joy in learning and thirst for greater and deeper knowledge.

1.2  The total formation of each individual within community.

  1. God is especially revealed in the mystery of the human person, “created in the image and likeness of God”;11 Jesuit education, therefore, probes the meaning of human life and is concerned with the total formation of each stu­dent as an individual personally loved by God. The objective of Jesuit education is to assist in the fullest possible de­velopment of all of the God-given talents of each individual person as a member of the human community.
  1. A thorough and sound intellectual formation includes mas­tery of basic humanistic and scientific disciplines through careful and sustained study that is based on competent and well-motivated teaching.  This intellectual formation in­cludes a growing ability to reason reflectively, logically and critically.
  1. While it continues to give emphasis to the traditional humanistic studies that are essential for an understanding of the human person, Jesuit education also includes a care­ful and critical study of technology together with the phy­sical and social sciences.
  1. In Jesuit education, particular care is given to the de­velopment of the imaginative, the affective, and the crea­tive dimensions of each student in all courses of study.  These dimensions enrich learning and prevent it from being merely intellectual.  They are essential in the formation of the whole person and are a way to discover God as He reveals Himself through beauty.  For these same reasons, Jesuit edu­cation includes opportunities -through course work and through extracurricular activities - for all students to come to an appreciation of literature, aesthetics, music and the fine arts.
  1. Jesuit schools of the 17th Century were noted for their development of communication skills or “eloquence”, achieved through an emphasis on essays, drama, speeches, debates, etc.  In today’s world so dominated by communications media, the development of effective communication skills is more necessary than ever before.  Jesuit education, therefore, de­velops traditional skills in speaking and writing and also helps students to attain facility with modern instruments of communication such as film and video.
  1. An awareness of the pervasive influence of mass media on the attitudes and perceptions of peoples and cultures is also important in the world of today.  Therefore Jesuit edu­cation includes programs which enable students to understand and critically evaluate the influence of mass media. Through proper education, these instruments of modern life can help men and women to become more, rather than less, human.
  1. Education of the whole person implies physical develop­ment in harmony with other aspects of the educational pro­cess. Jesuit education, therefore, includes a well-developed program of sports and physical education.  In addition to strengthening the body, sports programs help young men and women learn to accept both success and failure graciously; they become aware of the need to cooperate with others, using the best qualities of each individual to contribute to the greater advantage of the whole group.
  1. All of these distinct aspects of the educational process have one common purpose:  the formation of the balanced per­son with a personally developed philosophy of life that in­cludes ongoing habits of reflection. To assist in this forma­tion, individual courses are related to one another within a well-planned educational program; every aspect of school life contributes to the total development of each individual person.12
  1. Since the truly human is found only in relationships with others that include attitudes of respect, love, and service, Jesuit education stresses - and assists in developing - the role of each individual as a member of the human community.  Students, teachers, and all members of the educational com­munity are encouraged to build a solidarity with others that transcends race, culture or religion.  In a Jesuit school, good manners are expected; the atmosphere is one in which all can live and work together in understanding and love, with respect for all men and women as children of God.
  1. A religious dimension permeates the entire education.

(34)      Since every program in the school can be a means to dis­cover God, all teachers share a responsibility for the reli­gious dimension of the school.  However, the integrating factor in the process of discovering God and understanding the true meaning  of human life  is

theology as presented through religious and spiritual education.  Religious and spiritual formation is integral to Jesuit education; it is not added to, or separate from, the educational process.

  1. Jesuit education tries to foster the creative Spirit at work in each person, offering the opportunity for a faith response to God while at the same time recognizing that faith cannot be imposed.13  In all classes, in the climate of the school, and most especially in formal classes in religion, every attempt is made to present the possibility of a faith response to God as something truly human and not opposed to reason, as well as to develop those values which are able to resist the secularism of modern life.  A Jesuit school does everything it can to respond to the mission given to the Society of Jesus “to resist atheism vigorously with united forces”.14
  1. Every aspect of the educational process can lead, ulti­mately, to worship of God present and at work in creation, and to reverence for creation as it mirrors God.  Worship and reverence are parts of the life of the school community; they are expressed in personal prayer and in appropriate community forms of worship.  The intellectual, the imagina­tive and affective, the creative, and the physical develop­ment of each student, along with the sense of wonder that is an aspect of every course and of the life of the school as a whole -all can help students to discover God active in history and in creation.

1.4       An apostolic instrument.15

  1. While it respects the integrity of academic disciplines, the concern of Jesuit education is preparation for life, which is itself a preparation for eternal life.  Formation of the individual is not an abstract end; Jesuit education is also concerned with the ways in which students will make use of their formation within the human community, in the service of others “for the praise, reverence, and service of God”.16  The success of Jesuit education is measured not in terms of academic performance of students or professional competence of teachers, but rather in terms of this quality of life.

1.5       The dialogue between faith and culture.

  1. Believing that God is active in all creation and in all human history, Jesuit education promotes dialogue between faith and culture - which includes dialogue between faith and science.  This dialogue recognizes that persons as well as cultural structures are human, imperfect, and sometimes affected by sin and in need of conversion;17 at the same time it discovers God revealing Himself in various distinct cultural ways.  Jesuit education, therefore, encourages con­tact with and a genuine appreciation of other cultures, to be creatively critical of the contributions and deficiencies of each.


  1. Jesuit education is adapted to meet the needs of the country and the culture in which the school is located;18 this adaptation, while it encourages a “healthy patriotism” is not an unquestioning acceptance of national values.  The concepts of “contact with”, “genuine appreciation” and being “creatively critical” apply also to one’s own culture and country.  The goal is always to discover God, present and active in creation and in history.
  1. 2.         Each man or woman is personally known and loved by God. This love invites a response which, to be authenti­cally human, must be an expression of a radical free­dom. Therefore, in order to respond to the love of God, each person is called to be:
  • free to give of oneself, while accepting respon­sibility for and the consequences of one’s actions:  free to be faithful.
  • free to work in faith toward that true happiness which is the purpose of life: free to labor with others in the service of the Kingdom of God for the healing of creation.

Jesuit education:         insists on individual care and concern for each person.

                                           emphasizes activity on the part of the student.

                                           encourages life-long openness to growth. 11


2.1       Care and concern for each individual person.

  1. The young men and women who are students in a Jesuit school have not reached full maturity; the educational pro­cess recognizes the developmental stages of intellectual, affective and spiritual growth and assists each student to mature gradually in all these areas.  Thus, the curriculum is centered on the person rather than on the material to be covered.  Each student is allowed to develop and to accomp­lish objectives at a pace suited to individual ability and the characteristics of his or her own personality.


  1. Growth in the responsible use of freedom is facilitated by the personal relationship between student and teacher.  Teachers and administrators, both Jesuit and lay, are more than academic guides. They are involved in the lives of the students, taking a personal interest in the intellectual, affective, moral and spiritual development of every student, helping each one to develop a sense of self-worth and to be­come a responsible individual within the community.  While they respect the privacy of students, they are ready to lis­ten to their cares and concerns about the meaning of life, to share their joys and sorrows, to help them with personal growth and interpersonal relationships.  In these and other ways, the adult members of the educational community guide students in their development of a set of values leading to life decisions that go beyond “self”:  that include a con­cern for the needs of others. They try to live in a way that offers an example to the students, and they are willing to share their own life experiences. “Cura personalis” (concern for the individual person) remains a basic characteristic of Jesuit education.19
  1. Freedom includes responsibilities within the community.  “Cura personalis” is not limited to the relationship between teacher and student; it affects the curriculum and the en­tire life of the institution. All members of the educational community are concerned with one another and learn from one another.  The personal relationships among students, and al­so among adults - lay and Jesuit, administrators, teachers, and auxiliary staff -  evidence this same care.  A personal concern extends also to former students, to parents and to the student within his or her family.

2.2       Activity of students in the learning process.

  1. Growth in the maturity and independence that are neces­sary for growth in freedom depends on active participation rather than passive reception.  Important steps toward this active participation include personal study, opportunities for personal discovery and creativity, and an attitude of re­flection. The task of the teacher is to help each student to become an independent learner, to assume the responsibility for his or her own education.

2.3       Life-long openness to growth.

  1. Since education is a life-long process, Jesuit education tries to instill a joy in learning and a desire to learn that will remain beyond the days in school.  “Perhaps even more important than the formation we give them is the capa­city and concern to continue their own formation; this is what we must instill in them.  It is important to learn; but it is much more important to learn how to learn, to desire to go on learning all through life”.20
  1. Personal relationships with students will help the adult members of the educational community to be open to change, to continue to learn; thus they will be more effective in their own work. This is especially important today, given the rapid change in culture and the difficulty that adults can have in understanding and interpreting correctly the cultural pressures that affect young people.
  1. Jesuit education recognizes that intellectual, affective, and spiritual growth continue throughout life; the adult mem­bers of the educational community are encouraged to continue to mature in all of these areas, and programs of ongoing for­mation are provided to assist in this growth.21

*      *      *

3.         Because of sin, and  the effects of sin, the freedom to respond to God’s love is not automatic.  Aided and strengthened by the redeeming love of God, we are engaged in an ongoing struggle to recognize and work against the obstacles that block freedom - including the effects of sinfulness - while developing the capacities that are necessary for the exercise of true freedom.

  1. This freedom requires a genuine knowledge, love and acceptance of self, joined to a determination to be freed from any excessive attachment:  to wealth, fame, health, power, or anything else, even life itself.
  2. True freedom also requires a realistic knowledge of the various forces present in the surrounding world and includes freedom from distorted perceptions of reality, warped values, rigid attitudes or surren­der to narrow ideologies.
  3. To work toward this true freedom, one must learn to recognize and deal with the influences that can ei­ther promote or limit freedom: the movements within one’s own heart; past experiences of all types; in­teractions with other people; the dynamics of his­tory, social structures and culture.


 Jesuit education:    is value-oriented.

                                      encourages a realistic knowledge, love, and acceptance of self.

                                      provides a realistic knowledge of the world in which we live.


  2.             3.1       Value-oriented.
  1. Jesuit education includes formation in values, in atti­tudes, and in an ability to evaluate criteria; that is, it includes formation of the will.  Since a knowledge of good and evil, and of the hierarchy of relative goods, is neces­sary both for the recognition of the different influences that affect freedom and for the exercise of freedom, educa­tion takes place in a moral context:  knowledge is joined to virtue.
  1. Personal development through the training of character and will, overcoming selfishness and lack of concern for others and the other effects of sinfulness, and developing the freedom that respects others and accepts responsibility, is all aided by the necessary and fair regulations of the school; these include a fair system of discipline. Of equal importance is the self-discipline expected of each student, manifested in intellectual rigor, persevering application to serious study, and conduct toward others that recognizes the human dignity of each individual.
  1. In a Jesuit school, a framework of inquiry in which a value system is acquired through a process of wrestling with competing points of view is legitimate.

3.2       Realistic knowledge, love and acceptance of self.

  1. The concern for total human development as a creature of God which is the “Christian humanism” of Jesuit education emphasizes the happiness in life that is the result of a re­sponsible use of freedom, but it also recognizes the reality of sin and its effects in the life of each person.  It there­fore tries to encourage each student to confront this obsta­cle to freedom honestly, in a growing self-awareness and a growing realization that forgiveness and conversion are pos­sible through the redemptive love and the help of God.22
  1. The struggle to remove the obstacles to freedom and develop the capacity to exercise freedom is more than a recognition of the effects of sin; an ongoing effort to recognize all obstacles to growth is also essential.23  Students are helped in their efforts to discover prejudice and limited vision on the one hand and to evaluate relative goods and competing values on the other.
  1. Teachers and administrators assist students in this growth by being ready to challenge them, helping students to reflect on personal experiences so that they can understand their own experience of God; while they accept their gifts and develop them, they also accept limitations and overcome these as far as possible.  The educational program, in bring­ing students into realistic contact with themselves, tries to help them recognize these various influences and to de­velop a critical faculty that goes beyond the simple recog­nition of true and false, good and evil.

3.3       A realistic knowledge of the world.

  1. A realistic knowledge of creation sees the goodness of what God has made, but includes an awareness of the social effects of sin: the essential incompleteness, the injustice, and the need for redemption in all people, in all cultures, in all human structures.  In trying to develop the ability to reason reflectively, Jesuit education emphasizes the need to be in contact with the world as it is - that is, in need of transformation - without being blind to the essential goodness of creation.
  1. Jesuit education tries to develop in students an ability to know reality and to evaluate it critically.  This aware­ness includes a realization that persons and structures can change, together with a commitment to work for those changes in a way that will help to build more just human structures, which will provide an opportunity for the exercise of free­dom joined to greater human dignity for all.24

     *     *

 4.         The world view of Ignatius is centered on the historical person of Jesus Christ.  He is the model for human life because of his total response to the Father’s love in the service of others.  He shares our human condition and invites us to follow him under the standard of the cross,25 in loving response to the Father.  He is alive in our midst and remains the Man for others in the service of God.


  Jesuit education:   proposes Christ as the model of human life.

                                       provides adequate pastoral care.

                               Celebrates faith in personal and community prayer,

            worship and service.




4.1       Christ the model.

(61)      Members of various faiths and cultures are a part of the educational community in Jesuit schools today; to all, what­ever their beliefs, Christ is proposed as the model of human life.  Everyone can draw inspiration and learn about commit­ment from the life and teaching of Jesus, who witnesses to the love and forgiveness of God, lives in solidarity with all who suffer, and pours out his life in the service of others.  Everyone can imitate him in an emptying of self, in accepting whatever difficulties or sufferings come in the pursuit of the one goal to be achieved:  responding to the Father’s will in the service of others.

  1. Christian members of the educational community strive for personal friendship with Jesus, who gained forgiveness and true freedom for us through his death and resurrection, is present today and active in our history.  To be “Christian” is to follow Christ and be like him:  to share and promote his values and way of life as far as possible.26

4.2       Pastoral care.27

  1. Pastoral care is a dimension of “cura personalis” that enables the seeds of religious faith and religious commit­ment to grow in each individual by enabling each one to recognize and respond to the message of divine love: seeing God at work in his or her life, in the lives of others, and in all of creation; then responding to this discovery through a commitment to service within the community.  A Jesuit school makes adequate pastoral care available to all members of the educational community in order to awaken and strengthen this personal faith commitment.
  1. For Christians this care is centered on Christ, present in the Christian community.  Students encounter the person of Christ as friend and guide; they come to know him through Scripture, sacraments, personal and communal prayer, in play and work, in other persons; they are led to the service of others in imitation of Christ the Man for others.28
  1. Making the Spiritual Exercises29 is encouraged as a way of knowing Christ better, loving him, and following him. The Exercises will also help the members of the educational com­munity understand the vision of Ignatius, which is the spir­it that lies behind Jesuit education.  They can be made in various ways, adapted to the time and the abilities of each person, whether adult or student.
  1. The Jesuit school encourages and assists each student to respond to his or her own personal call from God, a vocation of service in personal and professional life - whether in marriage, religious or priestly life, or a single life.

4.3       Prayer and worship.

(67)      Prayer is an expression of faith and an effective way toward establishing the personal relationship with God that leads to a commitment to serve others.  Jesuit education of­fers a progressive initiation to prayer, following the exam­ple of Christ, who prayed regularly to his Father.  All are encouraged to praise and thank God in prayer, to pray for one another within the school community, and to ask God’s help in meeting the needs of the larger human community.

(68)      The faith relationship with God is communal as well as personal; the educational community in a Jesuit school is united by bonds that are more than merely human: it is a community of faith, and expresses this faith through ap­propriate religious or spiritual celebrations.  For Catho­lics, the Eucharist is the celebration of a faith community centered on Christ.  All adult members of the community are encouraged to participate in these celebrations, not only as an expression of their own faith, but also to give witness to the purposes of the school.

(69)      Catholic members of the educational community receive and celebrate the loving forgiveness of God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Depending on local circumstances, the Jesuit school prepares students (and also adults) for the reception of other Sacraments.

(70)      The obedience of Christ to his Father’s will led him to give of himself totally in the service of others; a relation­ship to God necessarily involves a relationship to other per­sons.30 Jesuit education promotes a faith that is centered on the historical person of Christ, which therefore leads to a commitment to imitate him as the “Man for others.”


*     *     *


(71)      5.         A loving and free response to God’s love cannot be merely speculative or theoretical.  No matter what the cost, speculative principles must lead to decisive ac­tion: “love is shown in deeds”.31  Ignatius asks for the total and active commitment of men and women who, “to imitate and be more actually like Christ”,32will put their ideals into practice in the real world of the family, business, social movements, political and legal structures, and religious activities.33


 Jesuit education:        is preparation for active life commitment.

                                           serves the faith that does justice.      

                                           seeks to form “men and women for others”.

                                           manifests a particular concern for the poor.



5.1       Active life commitment:

(73)      “Love is shown in deeds”: the free human response of love to the redeeming love of God is shown in an active life of service.  Jesuit education - in progressive stages that take into account the developmental stages of growth, and without any attempt at manipulation - assists in the formation of men and women who will put their beliefs and attitudes into practice throughout their lives.  “We ... challenge you and try to inspire you to put into practice - in concrete acti­vity - the values that you cherish, the values that you have received in your formation”.34

     5.2       Education in the Service of the Faith that Does Justice:35

  1. The “decisive action” called for today is the faith that does justice:  “The mission of the Society of Jesus today is the service of faith, of which the promotion of justice is an absolute requirement. For reconciliation with God demands the reconciliation of people with one another”.36  This service of the faith that does justice is action in imita­tion of Christ; it is the justice of God, which is informed by evangelical charity:  “It is charity which gives force to faith, and to the desire for justice. Justice does not reach its interior fullness except in charity. Christian love both implies justice, and extends the requirements of justice to the utmost limits, by providing a motivation and a new inte­rior force. Justice without charity is not evangelical”.37 The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of justice, love and peace.38
  2. The promotion of justice includes, as a necessary com­ponent, action for peace.  More than the absence of war, the search for peace is a search for relationships of love and trust among all men and women.
  3. The goal of the faith that does justice and works for peace is a new type of person in a new kind of society, in which each individual has the opportunity to be fully human and each one accepts the responsibility of promoting the human development of others.  The active commitment asked of the students - and practiced by former students and by the adult members of the educational community - is a free com­mitment to the struggle for a more human world and a communi­ty of love. For Christians, this commitment is a response to the call of Christ, and is made in humble recognition that conversion is only possible with the help of God.  For them, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a necessary component of the struggle for peace and justice.  But all members of the educational community, including those who do not share Christian faith, can collaborate in this work.  A genuine sense of the dignity of the human person can be the starting point for working together in the promotion of justice and can become the beginning of an ecumenical dialogue which sees justice as intimately tied to faith.

(77)      In a Jesuit school, the focus is on education for jus­tice.  Adequate knowledge joined to rigorous and critical thinking will make the commitment to work for justice in adult life more effective.  In addition to this necessary basic formation, education for justice in an educational context has three distinct aspects:

(78)      1.         Justice issues are treated in the curriculum.  This may at times call for the addition of new courses; of greater importance is the examination of the justice dimension always present in every course taught.39  Teachers try to become more conscious of this dimension, so that they can provide students with the intellectual, moral and spi­ritual formation that will enable them to make a commit­ment to service - that will make them agents of change.  The curriculum includes a critical analysis of society, adapted to the age level of the students; the outlines of a solution that is in line with Christian principles is a part of this analysis.  The reference points are the Word of God, church teachings, and human science.40

(79)      2.         The policies and programs of a Jesuit school give con­crete witness to the faith that does justice; they give a counter-witness to the values of the consumer society.  Social analysis of the reality in which the school is located can lead to institutional self-evaluation, which may call for structural changes in school policies and practices.41  School policy and school life encourage mutual respect; they promote the human dignity and human rights of each person, adult and young, in the education­al community.

(80)      3.         “There is no genuine conversion to justice unless there are works of justice”.42 Interpersonal relationships within the school manifest a concern for both justice and charity.  In preparation for life commitment, there are opportunities in Jesuit education for actual contact with the world of injustice.  The analysis of society within the curriculum thus becomes reflection based on actual contact with the structural dimensions of injustice.

  1. Members of the educational community are aware of and involved in the serious issues of our day.  The educational community, and each individual in it, are conscious of the influence they can have on others; school policies are made with an awareness of possible effects on the larger communi­ty and on its social structures

5.3       Men and women for others.43

  1. Jesuit education helps students to realize that talents are gifts to be developed, not for self-satisfaction or self­gain, but rather, with the help of God, for the good of the human community.  Students are encouraged to use their gifts in the service of others, out of a love for God:

“Today our prime educational objective must be to form men and women for others; men and women who will live not for themselves but for God and his Christ—for the God-man who lived and died for all the world; men and women who cannot even conceive of love of God which does not include love for the least of their neighbors; men and women completely convinced that the love of God which does not issue in justice for men and women is a farce”.44

  1. In order to promote an awareness of “others”, Jesuit edu­cation stresses community values such as equality of opportu­nity for all, the principles of distributive and social jus­tice, and the attitude of mind that sees service of others as more self-fulfilling than success or prosperity.45
  2. The adult members of the educational community - especial­ly those in daily contact with students - manifest in their lives concern for others and esteem for human dignity.4

  1. A particular concern for the poor.
  2. Reflecting on the actual situation of today’s world and responding to the call of Christ who had a special love and concern for the poor, the church and the Society of Jesus have made a “preferential option47 for the poor.  This in­cludes those without economic means, the handicapped, the marginalized and all those who are, in any sense, unable to live a life of full human dignity.  In Jesuit education this option is reflected both in the students that are admitted and in the type of formation that is given.
  1. Jesuit schools do not exist for any one class of stu­dents;48 Ignatius accepted schools only when they were completely endowed so that education could be available to everyone; he insisted that special facilities for housing the poor be a part of every school foundation that he ap­proved and that teachers give special attention to the needs of poor students. Today, although the situation differs greatly from country to country and the specific criteria for selecting students depends on “circumstances of place and persons”, every Jesuit school does what it can to make Jesuit education available to everyone, including the poor and the disadvantaged.49  Financial assistance to those in need and reduction of costs whenever possible are means to­ward making this possible. 
  1. In order for parents, especially the poor, to exercise freedom of choice in the education of their children, Jesuit schools join in movements that promote free educational op­portunity for all.  “The recovery of genuine equality of opportunity and genuine freedom in the area of education is a concern that falls within the scope of our struggle for promotion of justice”.50
  1. More basic than the type of student admitted is the type of formation that is given.  In Jesuit education, the values which the school community communicates, gives witness to, and makes operative in school policies and structures, the values which flow into the school climate, are those values that promote a special concern for those men and women who are without the means to live in human dignity.  In this sense, the poor form the context of Jesuit education:  “Our educational planning needs to be made in function of the poor, from the perspective of the poor”.51
  2. The Jesuit school provides students with opportunities for contact with the poor and for service to them, both in the school and in outside service projects, to enable these students to learn to love all as brothers and sisters in the human community, and also in order to come to a better under­standing of the causes of poverty.
  1. To be educational, this contact is joined to reflection.  The promotion of justice in the curriculum, described above in (80), has as one concrete objective an analysis of the causes of poverty.

*     *     *


(91)      6.         For Ignatius, the  response  to the call of  Christ  is made in and through the Roman Catholic Church, the instrument through which Christ is sacramentally present in the world.  Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is the model of this response.  Ignatius and his first companions all were ordained as priests and they put the Society of Jesus at the service of the Vicar of Christ, “to go to any place whatsoever where he judges it expedient to send them for the greater glory of God and the good of souls”.52


Jesuit education:     is an apostolic instrument, in service of the church as it serves human society.

                                prepares students for active participation in the church and the local community, for the service of others




6.1       An apostolic instrument in service of the church.

  1. Jesuit schools are a part of the apostolic mission of the church in building the Kingdom of God.  Even though the edu­cational process has changed radically since the time of Ignatius and the ways to express religious concepts are quite different, Jesuit education still remains an instru­ment to help students know God better and respond to him; the school remains available for use in response to emerging needs of the people of God.  The aim of Jesuit education is the formation of principled, value-oriented persons for others after the example of Jesus Christ.  Teaching in a Jesuit school, therefore, is a ministry.
  1. Because it is characteristic of all Jesuit works, the Ignatian attitude of loyalty to and service of the church, the people of God,  will be communicated to the entire edu­cational community in a Jesuit school.  The purposes and ideals of members of other faiths can be in harmony with the goals of the Jesuit school and they can commit themselves to these goals for the development of the students and for the betterment of society.
  1. Jesuit education - while respecting the conscience and the convictions of each student - is faithful to the teach­ings of the church, especially in moral and religious forma­tion.  As far as possible, the school chooses as qualified leaders of the educational community those who can teach and give witness to the teachings of Christ presented by the Catholic Church.
  1. The educational community, based on the example of Christ - and of Mary in her response to Christ53 - and reflecting on today’s culture in the light of the teachings of the church, will promote:54

a spiritual vision of the world in the face of materialism;

a concern for others in the face of egoism;

simplicity in the face of consumerism;

the cause of the poor in the face of social injustice.

  1. As part of its service of the church a Jesuit school will serve the local civil and religious community and cooperate with the local bishop. One example of this is that important decisions about school policy take into account the pastoral orientations of the local church; these same decisions about school policy consider their possible effects on the local church and the local community.
  1. For greater effectiveness in its service of human needs, a Jesuit school works in cooperation with other Jesuit apo­stolic works, with local parishes and other Catholic and civic agencies, and with centers for the social apostolate.
  1. All members of the educational community are active in service as members of the local community and of their churches.  They participate in meetings and other activi­ties, especially those related to education.
  1. The Jesuit school community encourages collaboration in ecumenical activities with other churches and is active in dialogue with all men and women of good will; the community is a witness to the Gospel of Christ, in service to the human community.

6.2       Preparation for active participation in the church.

(101)    Jesuit education is committed to the religious develop­ment of all students.  They will receive instruction in the basic truths of their faith.  For Christian students, this includes a knowledge of the Scriptures, especially the Gospels.

(102)    For Catholic students Jesuit education offers a knowledge of and love for the church and the sacraments, as privileged opportunities to encounter Christ.

(103)    In ways proper to a school, concrete experiences of church life are available to all students, through partici­pation in church projects and activities.  Lay teachers, es­pecially those active in parish activities, can be leaders in promoting this; they can communicate to students the cur­rent emphasis on the apostolate of lay people.


(104)    Following the example of the early Jesuit schools where the Sodalities of Mary played such an important part in fostering devotion and Christian commitment, op­portunities such as the Christian Life Communities are available for those students and adults who want to know Christ more completely and model their lives on his more closely.  Similar opportunities are offered to members of other faiths who wish to deepen their faith commitment.

*     *     *

  (105)    7.         Repeatedly,  Ignatius insisted on the “magis” - the more. His constant concern was for greater service of God through a closer following of Christ and that concern flowed into all the apostolic work of the first companions.  The concrete response to God must be “of greater value”.55


Jesuit education:         pursues excellence in its work of formation.

                                                         witnesses to excellence.




7.1       Excellence in formation.


  1. In Jesuit education, the criterion of excellence is ap­plied to all areas of school life:  the aim is the fullest possible development of every dimension of the person, linked to the development of a sense of values and a commit­ment to the service of others which gives priority to the needs of the poor and is willing to sacrifice self-interest for the promotion of justice.56 The pursuit of academic excellence is appropriate in a Jesuit school, but only with­in the larger context of human excellence.57


  1. Excellence, like all other Ignatian criteria, is deter­mined by “circumstances of place and persons”. “The nature of the institution, its location, the number of students, the formulation of objectives for academic quality or of the publics to be served, etc., are elements which diversi­fy the instrument in order to adapt it to the circumstances in which it is being employed”.58  To seek the magis, therefore, is to provide the type and level of education for the type and age-group of students that best responds to the needs of the region in which the school is located.


  1. “More” does not imply comparison with others or measure­ment of progress against an absolute standard; rather is it the fullest possible development of each person’s individu­al capacities at each stage of life, joined to the willing­ness to continue this development throughout life and the motivation to use those developed gifts for others.


  1. A traditional aim of Jesuit education has been to train “leaders”: men and women who assume responsible positions in society through which they have a positive influence on others. This objective has, at times, led to excesses which call for correction.  Whatever the concept may have meant in the past, the goal of Jesuit education in today’s understanding of the Ignatian world-view is not to prepare a socio-economic elite, but rather to educate leaders in ser­vice.  The Jesuit school, therefore, will help students to develop the qualities of mind and heart that will enable them - in whatever station they assume in life - to work with others for the good of all in the service of the King­dom of God.


  1. Service is founded on a faith commitment to God; for Christians this is expressed in terms of the following of Christ.  The decision to follow Christ, made in love, leads to a desire to always do “more” - enabling us to become multiplying agents.59  The desire, in turn, is converted into the necessary personal preparation in which a student dedicates himself or herself to study, to personal forma­tion, and ultimately to action.
  2. The Ratio Studiorum recommends competition - normally be­tween groups rather than individuals - as an effective stim­ulus to academic growth.  Jesuit education today faces a different reality:  a world of excessive competitiveness re­flected in individualism, consumerism, and success at all costs.  Although a Jesuit school values the stimulus of com­petitive games, it urges students to distinguish themselves by their ability to work together, to be sensitive to one another, to be committed to the service of others shown in the way they help one another. “A desire for Christian wit­ness ...  cannot thrive in an atmosphere of academic compe­tition, or where one’s personal qualities are judged only by comparison to those of others. These things will thrive only in an atmosphere in which we learn how to be avail­able, how to be of service to others”.60



            7.2       Witness to excellence.


(113)    The school policies are such that they create an ambi­ence or “climate” which will promote excellence.  These policies include ongoing evaluation of goals, programs, services and teaching methods in an effort to make Jesuit education more effective in achieving its goals.


(114)    The adult members of the educational community witness to excellence by joining growth in professional competence to growth in dedication.


(115)    The teachers and directors in a Jesuit school cooperate with other schools and educational agencies to discover more effective institutional policies, educational pro­cesses, and pedagogical methods.61




*     *     *


(116)    8.         As Ignatius came to know the love of God revealed through Christ and began to respond by giving him­self to the service of the Kingdom of God he shared his experience and attracted companions who became “friends in the Lord”,62 for the service of oth­ers.  The strength of a community working in service of the Kingdom is greater than that of any in­dividual or group of individuals.


Jesuit education:               stresses lay-Jesuit collaboration.

                                                         relies on a spirit of community among:   

                                                             teaching staff and administrators;    

                                                             the Jesuit community;                 

                                                             governing boards;                     



                                                             former students;                      


                                                         takes place within a structure that promotes community.




8.1       Lay-Jesuit Collaboration:


  1. Lay-Jesuit collaboration is a positive goal that a Jesu­it school tries to achieve in response to the Second Vati­can Council63 and to recent General Congregations of the Society of Jesus.64  Because this concept of a common mis­sion is still new, there is a need for growing understand­ing and for careful planning.


  1. In a Jesuit school, there is a willingness on the part of both lay people and Jesuits to assume appropriate respon­sibilities:  to work together in leadership and in service. Efforts are made to achieve a true union of minds and hearts, and to work together as a single apostolic body65 in the formation of students. There is, therefore, a shar­ing of vision, purpose and apostolic effort.


  1. The legal structure of the school allows for the fullest possible collaboration in the direction of the schools.66


  1. Jesuits are active in promoting lay-Jesuit collaboration in the school. “Let Jesuits consider the importance for the Society of such collaboration with lay people, who will al­ways be the natural interpreters for us of the modern world and so will always give us effective help in this aposto­late”.67  “We must be willing to work with others ... willing to play a subordinate, supporting, anonymous role; and willing to learn how to serve from those we seek to serve”.68 One of the responsibilities of the Religious superior is to foster this openness in the apostolic work.



8.2       Teaching staff and Administrators:


  1. As far as possible, people chosen to join the education­al community in a Jesuit school will be men and women capa­ble of understanding its distinctive nature and of contribu­ting to the implementation of characteristics that result from the Ignatian vision.
  2. In order to promote a common sense of purpose applied to the concrete circumstances of school-life, teachers, admini­strators and auxiliary staff, Jesuit and lay, communicate with one another regularly on personal, professional and religious levels.  They are willing to discuss vision and hopes, aspirations and experiences, successes and failures.


8.3          The Jesuit Community:


  1. The Jesuits working in the school “should be a group of men with a clear identity, who live the true Ignatian char­ism, closely bound together by union of minds and hearts ad intra, and similarly bound, ad extra, by their generous par­ticipation in a common mission....  It should be the source of inspiration and stimulation for the other components of the educational community....  The witness of our lives is essential”.69


  1. The Jesuits will be more effective in their service and inspiration of the total educational community if they live in service and inspiration to one another, forming a true community in prayer and in life.  This lived witness is one means of making their work in the school a “corporate” apostolate, and will help the larger school community be more effectively and affectively united.


  1. At least on special occasions, other members of the edu­cational community are invited to meals and to liturgical and social functions in the Jesuit community. Spending time together informally is a help toward building community and lay people will come to a better understanding of Jesuit life when they have opportunities to be a part of it.


  1. In addition to their professional responsibilities in the school as teachers, administrators, or pastors, Jesuits are available to provide opportunities such as discussions, workshops, and retreats which can enable others in the school community to come to a better knowledge and appreci­ation of the world-view of Ignatius.


  1. Education - the work of a teacher or administrator or member of the auxiliary staff -is itself apostolic.  In keeping with the nature of the school as an apostolic in­strument of the church, however, those Jesuits who are priests are also active in more directly sacerdotal work, including celebration of the Eucharist, being available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, etc.


  1. The statutes of the school define the responsibilities of the school director and the authority of the Society of Jesus (see 8.9 below).  Depending on local circumstances, neither the individual Jesuit nor the group of Jesuits as a community has, as such, any power of decision-making in a Jesuit school not described in these statutes.



8.4       Governing Boards:


  1. General Congregation XXXI of the Society of Jesus recom­mended that governing boards be established in Jesuit schools, with membership that includes both lay people and Jesuits.70  These are a further means of sharing responsi­bility among both lay people and Jesuits and thus promoting lay-Jesuit collaboration.  They take advantage of the pro­fessional competencies of a variety of different people.  The members of these boards, both Jesuits and lay, are familiar with the purposes of a Jesuit school and with the vision of Ignatius on which these purposes are based.



8.5       Parents:


  1. Teachers and directors in a Jesuit school cooperate closely with parents, who are also members of the educa­tional community.  There is frequent communication and on­going dialogue between the home and the school.  Parents are kept informed about school activities; they are en­couraged to meet with the teachers to discuss the progress of their children.  Parents are offered support and oppor­tunities for growth in exercising their role as parents, and they are also offered opportunities to participate in advisory councils. In these and other ways, parents are helped to fulfill their right and responsibility as edu­cators in the home and family and they in turn contribute to the work of education going on in the school.71


  1. As far as possible, parents understand, value and accept the Ignatian world view that characterizes the Jesuit school. The school community, keeping in mind the different situations in different countries, provides opportunities by which parents can become more familiar with this world­view and its applications to education.


  1. There is consistency between the values promoted in the school and those promoted in the home.  At the time their children first enroll in the school, parents are informed about the commitment of Jesuit education to a faith that does justice.  Programs of ongoing formation are available to parents so that they can understand this aim better and be strengthened in their own commitment to it.



8.6       Students:


  1. Students form a community of understanding and support among themselves; this is reinforced both informally and through such structures as student government and student councils.  Moreover, according to their age and capacity, student participation in the larger school community is encouraged through membership on advisory councils and other school committees.



8.7       Former students:


  1. Former students are members of the “community working in service of the kingdom”; a Jesuit school has a special responsibility to them.  As far as resources permit, the school will offer guidance and ongoing formation so that those who received their basic formation in the school can be more effective in putting this formation into practice in adult life and can continue to deepen their dedication to the service of others.72  Close bonds of friendship and mutual support exist between the Jesuit school and Alumni (Former Student) Associations.73




8.8       Benefactors:


  1. In a similar way, the Jesuit school has a special respon­sibility toward its benefactors and will offer them the sup­port and guidance that they may need.  In particular, bene­factors have opportunities to learn more about the dis­tinctive nature of a Jesuit school, the Ignatian vision on which it is based, and its goals, to which they contribute.


8.9       The School Structure:

  1. A greater degree of shared responsibility has developed in recent years.  Increasingly, decisions are made only af­ter receiving advice through informal consultations, formal committees and other means; all members of the educational community are kept informed about decisions and about im­portant events in the life of the school.  In order to be truly effective, a sharing of responsibility must be based on a common vision or common sense of purpose, noted above.


  1. In the past the Rector of the Jesuit community, appoint­ed by the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, was re­sponsible for the direction of the Jesuit school; he report­ed regularly to the Jesuit Provincial. Today, in many parts of the world, the Rector of the community is not the “Direc­tor of the Work”; in some cases a governing board works in collaboration with the Society in the appointment of the director; more and more frequently this director is a lay person.  Whatever the particular situation and whatever the mode of appointment, the responsibility entrusted to the director of a Jesuit school always includes a mission that comes ultimately from the Society of Jesus.  This mission, as it relates to the Jesuit character of the school, is subject to periodic evaluation by the Society (normally through the Jesuit Provincial or his delegate).
  2. The role of the director is that of an apostolic leader. The role is vital in providing inspiration, in the develop­ment of a common vision and in preserving unity within the educational community.  Since the world-view of Ignatius is the basis on which a common vision is built, the director is guided by this world-view and is the one responsible for ensuring that opportunities are provided through which the other members of the community can come to a greater under­standing of this world-view and its applications to educa­tion.  In addition to his role of inspiration, the director remains ultimately responsible for the execution of the basic educational policy of the school and for the distinc­tively Jesuit nature of this education.  The exact nature of this responsibility is described in the statutes of each school.


  1. In many cases, responsibility for the Jesuit school is shared among several people with distinct roles (Rector, Director, President, Principal or Headmaster); the final re­sponsibility for policy and practice is often entrusted to governing boards. All those sharing responsibility for the Jesuit school form a directive team.  They are aware of and are open to the Ignatian vision as this is applied to educa­tion; they are able to work together with mutual support and respect, making use of the talents of each.  This type of team structure, which is an application of the principle of subsidiarity,  has the advantage of bringing the abili­ties of more people into the leadership of the school; in addition, it ensures greater stability in carrying forward the policies that implement the basic orientation of the school.


  1. If the school is “Jesuit”, then sufficient authority and control remains in the hands of the Society of Jesus to ena­ble that Society to respond to a call of the church through its institutions and to ensure that the Jesuit school con­tinues to be faithful to its traditions.  Except for this limitation, effective authority in the school can be exer- cised by anyone, Jesuit or lay, who has a knowledge of, sym­pathy for, identification with and commitment to the Jesuit character of education.


  1. The structures of the school guarantee the rights of stu­dents, directors, teachers, and auxiliary staff, and call each to his or her individual responsibilities. All members of the community work together to create and maintain the conditions most favorable for each one to grow in the re­sponsible use of freedom.  Every member of the community is invited to be actively engaged in the growth of the entire community.  The school structure reflects the new society that the school, through its education, is trying to construct.


*    *     *


  1. 9.         For Ignatius and for his companions, decisions were made on the basis of an ongoing process of individual and communal “discernment”74 done always in a context of prayer.  Through prayerful reflection on the results of their activities, the companions reviewed past deci­sions and made adaptations in their methods, in a constant search for greater service to God (“magis”).

 Jesuit education:    adapts means and methods in order to achieve its purposes

                                                       most effectively.

                                               is a “system” of schools with a common vision

                                                       and common goals.

                                               assists in providing the professional training and

                                                      ongoing formation that is needed, especially for teachers.





9.1       Adaptation to achieve the purposes of Jesuit education:


  1. The educational community in a Jesuit school studies the needs of present-day society and then reflects on school po­licies, structures, methods, current pedagogical methods and all other elements of the school environment, to find those means that will best accomplish the purposes of the school and implement its educational philosophy.  On the ba­sis of these reflections changes are made in school struc­ture, methods, curriculum, etc., when these are seen to be necessary or helpful.  An educator in the Jesuit tradition is encouraged to exercise great freedom and imagination in the choice of teaching techniques, pedagogical methods, etc. School policies and practices encourage reflection and evaluation; they allow for change when change is necessary.


(146)    Though general norms need to be applied to concrete cir­cumstances, principles on which this reflection is based can be found in current documents of the church and of the Society of Jesus.75 In addition, the Jesuit Constitutions provide criteria to guide discernment in order to achieve the “magis”:  the more universal good, the more urgent need, the more lasting value, work not being done by others, etc.76.


  1. The “circumstances of persons and places” require that courses of studies, educational processes, styles of teach­ing, and the whole life of the school be adapted to fit the specific needs of the place where the school is located, and the people it serves.



9.2       The Jesuit “system” of schools:


  1. The Jesuits in the first schools of the Society shared ideas and the fruits of their experience, searching for the principles and methods that would be “more” effective in ac­complishing the purposes of their educational work.  Each institution applied these principles and methods to its own situation; the strength of the Jesuit “system” grew out of this interchange.  Jesuit schools still form a network, joined not by unity of administration or uniformity of pro­grams, but by a common vision with common goals; teachers  and  administrators  in  Jesuit  schools  are again sharing ideas and ex-


periences in order to discover the principles and methods that will provide the most effective implemen­tation of this common vision.


  1. The interchange of ideas will be more effective if each school is inserted into the concrete reality of the region in which it is located and is engaged in an ongoing ex­change of ideas and experiences with other schools and edu­cational works of the local church and of the country.  The broader the interchange on the regional level, the more fruitful the interchange among Jesuit schools can be on an international level.


  1. To aid in promoting this interchange of ideas and experi­ences an exchange of teachers and students is encouraged wherever possible.


  1. A wide variety of experimentation to discover more effec­tive ways to make “the faith that does justice” a dimension of educational work is going on in all parts of the world.  Because of the importance of this challenge, and the diffi­culty of achieving it, these experiments need to be evalua­ted and the results shared with others, so that positive ex­periences can be incorporated into local school policies, practices and community.  The need for an exchange of ideas and experiences in this area is especially great - not only for the individual schools, but also for the apostolate of education as such.



            9.3       Professional training and ongoing formation:


(152)    Rapid change is typical of the modern world. In order to remain effective as educators and in order to “discern” the more concrete response to God’s call, all adult members of the educational community need to take advantage of oppor­tunities for continuing education and continued personal de­velopment - especially in professional competence, pedagogi­cal techniques, and spiritual formation.  The Jesuit school encourages this by providing staff development programs in every school and, as far as possible, providing the neces­sary time and financial assistance for more extended train­ing and formation.


(153)    In order to achieve genuine collaboration and sharing of responsibility, lay people need to have an understanding of Ignatian spirituality, of Jesuit educational history and traditions and Jesuit life, while Jesuits need to have an understanding of the lived experience, challenges, and ways in which the Spirit of God also moves lay people, together with the contributions lay people make to the church and to the Jesuit school.  The Jesuit school provides special orientation programs to new members of staff; in addition, it provides ongoing programs and processes which encourage a growing awareness and understanding of the aims of Jesuit education, and also give an opportunity for Jesuits to learn from the lay members of the community.  Where pos­sible, special programs of professional and spiritual train­ing are available to help lay people prepare themselves to assume directive posts in Jesuit schools.




*     *      *






(154)    Ignatius insisted that Jesuit schools should adopt the methods of the University of Paris (“modus Parisiensis”) because he considered these to be the most effective in achieving the goals he had in mind for these schools.  The methods were tested and adapted by Jesuit educators in ac­cordance with their religious experience in the Spiritual Exercises and their growing practical experience in educa­tion.  Many of these principles and methods are still typi­cal of Jesuit education because they are still effective in implementing the characteristics described in the previous sections.  Some of the more widely known are listed in this final section by way of example.



  1. From the experience of the Spiritual Exercises77:


  1. 1.         Though there are obvious differences between the two situations, the quality of the relationship between the guide of the Spiritual Exercises and the person making them is the model for the relationship between teacher and student.  Like the guide of the Exercises, the teach­er is at the service of the students, alert to detect special gifts or special difficulties, personally con­cerned, and assisting in the development of the inner potential of each individual student.


(156)    2.         The active role of the person making the Exercises is the model for the active role of the student in personal study, personal discovery and creativity.


(157)    3.         The progression in the Exercises is one source of the practical, disciplined, “means to end” approach that is characteristic of Jesuit education.78


(158)    4.         The “Presupposition” to the Exercises79 is the norm for establishing personal relations and good rapport - between teachers and students, between teachers and school directors, among teachers, among students, and everywhere in the educational community.


(159)    5.         Many of the “Annotations” or “suggestions for the guide to the Exercises” are, with appropriate adaptations, sug­gestions to teachers in a Jesuit school.


(160)    6.         There are analogies between methods of the Exercises and traditional Jesuit teaching methods, many of which were incorporated into the Ratio Studiorum:


a.    The “preludes” and “points” for prayer are the pre­lection of the course material to be covered;


b.    The “repetition” of prayer becomes the mastery of course material through frequent and careful repe­tition of class work;


c.    The “application of the senses” (“sentir” for Igna­tius) is found in the stress on the creative and the imaginative, in the stress on experience, motivation, appreciation and joy in learning.


B.   A few examples of directives from the Constitutions and Ratio Studiorum:  (See Appendix I for a fuller description of the contents of these two documents.)


(161)    1.         The curriculum is to be structured carefully:  in daily order, in the way that courses build on material covered in previous courses and in the way courses are related to one another.  The curriculum should be so integrated that each individual course contributes toward the over­all goal of the school.


(162)    2.         The pedagogy is to include analysis, repetition, active reflection, and synthesis; it should combine theoretical ideas with their applications.


(163)    3.         It is not the quantity of course material covered that is important but rather a solid, profound, and basic for­mation.  (“Non multa, sed multum”.)




*     *     *





(164)    The introduction refers to a meeting held in Rome in 1980, and to the address that Father Pedro Arrupe gave at the con­clusion of that meeting. The address was later published under the title “Our Secondary Schools Today and Tomorrow” and has been quoted several times, both in the characteristics them­selves and in the footnotes.


(165)    In that address, Father Arrupe described the purpose of a Jesuit school.  It is, he said, to assist in the formation of


            “New Persons, transformed by the message of Christ, who will be witnesses to His death and resurrection in their own lives.  Those who graduate from our secondary schools should have acquired, in ways proportional to their age and maturity, a way of life that is in itself a proclama­tion of the charity of Christ, of the faith that comes from Him and leads back to Him, and of the justice which he announced”.80


(166)    More recently the present General of the Society of Jesus, Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, expressed the same purpose in very similar words:


       “Our ideal is the well-rounded person who is intellectual­ly competent, open to growth, religious, loving, and com­mitted to doing justice in generous service to the people of God”.81


(167)    The aim of Jesuit education has never been simply the acqui­sition of a store of information and skills or preparation for a career, though these are important in themselves and useful to emerging Christian leaders.  The ultimate aim of Jesuit secondary education is, rather, that full growth of the person which leads to action - action that is suffused with the spirit and presence of Jesus Christ, the Man for Others.


(168)    The International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education has attempted to describe the characteristics of Jesuit education in order to help Jesuit schools to achieve this purpose more effectively.  The material is not new; the paper is not complete; the work of renewal is never ended.  A description of the characteristics of Jesuit education can never be perfect, and can never be final.  But a growing under­standing of the heritage of these schools, the Ignatian vision applied to education, can be the impetus to renewed dedication to this work, and renewed willingness to undertake those tasks which will make it ever more effective.



*      *      *





A.        The Spiritual Journey of Ignatius of Loyola: 1491 - 1540


                        (This narration of the life of Ignatius is based on A Pilgrim’s Testament,82 an autobiography dictated to a fellow Jesuit three years before he died.  In speak­ing, Ignatius consistently referred to himself in the third person.)


Loyola to Montserrat
(169)       Ignatius was a minor nobleman, born in 1491 in the family castle of Loyola in Basque country and brought up as a knight in the courts of Spain. In his autobiography he sums up the first twenty-six years of his life in one sentence: “he was a man given to the follies of the world; and what he enjoyed most was warlike sport, with a great and foolish desire to win fame”.83 The desire to win fame brought Ignatius to Pamplona to aid in the defense of that frontier city against French attack.  The defense was hopeless; when, on May 20, 1521, he was hit by a cannon ball which shattered one leg and badly injured the other, Ignatius and the city of Pamplona both fell to the French forces.
(170)       French doctors cared for the badly-wounded Ignatius and re­turned him to Loyola, where he spent a long convalescence.  In this forced period of inactivity he asked for books to read and, out of boredom, accepted the only ones available - The Lives of the Saints and The Life of Christ.  When not reading, the romantic knight dreamed - at times of imitating the deeds of St. Francis and St. Dominic, at times of knightly deeds of valor in service of “a certain lady”.84  After a time, he came to realize that “there was this difference.  When he was thinking of those things of the world, he took much delight in them, but afterwards, when he was tired and put them aside, he found himself dry and dissatisfied.  But when he thought of... practising all the rigors that he saw in the saints, not only was he consoled when he had these thoughts, but even after put­ting them aside he remained satisfied and joyful.... His eyes were opened a little, and he began to marvel at the difference and to reflect upon it.  Little by little he came to recognize the difference between the spirits that were stirring”.85  Ignatius was discovering God at work in his life; his desire for fame was transformed into a desire to dedicate himself com­pletely to God, although he was still very unsure what this meant. “The one thing he wanted to do was to go to Jerusalem as soon as he recovered ... with as much of disciplines and fasts as a generous spirit, fired with God, would want to perform”.86


  1. Ignatius began the journey to Jerusalem as soon as his re­covery was complete.  The first stop was the famous shrine of Montserrat.  On March 24, 1522, he laid his sword and dagger “before the altar of Our Lady of Montserrat, where he had re­solved to lay aside his garments and to don the armor of Christ”.87 He spent the whole night in vigil, a pilgrim’s staff in his hand.  From Montserrat he journeyed to a town named Manresa, intending to remain for only a few days.  He remained for nearly a year.



(172)       Ignatius lived as a pilgrim, begging for his basic needs  and  spending  nearly all  of his  time  in prayer. At first the days were filled with great consolation and joy, but soon prayer became torment and he experienced only severe tempta­tions, scruples, and such great desolation that he wished “with great force to throw himself through a large hole in his room”.88  Finally peace returned.  Ignatius reflected in prayer on the “good and evil spirits”89 at work in experi­ences such as this, and he began to recognize that his freedom to respond to God was influenced by these feelings of “consola­tion” and “desolation”.  “God treated him at this time just as a schoolmaster treats a child whom he is teaching”.90


  1. The pilgrim gradually became more sensitive to the interior movements of his heart and the exterior influences of the sur­rounding world.  He recognized God revealing His love and in­viting a response, but he also recognized that his freedom to respond to that love could be helped or hindered by the way he dealt with these influences. He learned to respond in freedom to God’s love by struggling to remove the obstacles to free­dom.  But “love is expressed in deeds”.91  The fullness of freedom led inevitably to total fidelity; the free response of Ignatius to the love of God took the form of loving service:  a total dedication to the service of Christ who, for Ignatius the nobleman, was his “King”.  Because it was a response in love to God’s love, it could never be enough; the logic of love demanded a response that was ever more (“magis”).


  1. The conversion to loving service of God was confirmed in an experience that took place as he stopped to rest one day at the side of the river Cardoner.  “While he was seated there, the eyes of his understanding began to be opened; not that he saw any vision, but he understood and learned many things, both spiritual matters and matters of faith and of scholar­ship, and this with so great an enlightenment that everything seemed new to him....  He experienced a great clarity in his understanding. This was such that in the whole course of his life, after completing sixty-two years, even if he gathered up all the various helps he may have had from God and all the various things he has known, even adding them all together, he does not think he had got as much as at that one time”.92


  1. Ignatius recorded his experiences in a little book, a prac­tice begun during his convalescence at Loyola.  At first these notes were only for himself, but gradually he saw the possibi­lity of a broader purpose. “When he noticed some things in his soul and found them useful, he thought they might also be use­ful to others, and so he put them in writing”.93  He had dis­covered God, and thus discovered the meaning of life.  He took advantage of every opportunity to guide others through this same experience of discovery.  As time went on, the notes took on a more structured form and became the basis for a small book called The Spiritual Exercises,94 published in order to help others guide men and women through the experience of an interior freedom that leads to the faithful service of others in service of God.

The Spiritual Exercises is not a book simply to be read; it is the guide to an experience, an active engagement enabling growth in the freedom that leads to faithful service. The experience of Ignatius at Manresa can become a personal lived experience.


In the Exercises each person has the possibility of discovering that,  though sinful,  he or she is uniquely loved by God and invited to respond to His love. This response begins with an acknowledgment of sin and its effects, a realization that God’s love overcomes sin, and a desire for this forgiving and redeeming love. The freedom to respond is then made possible through a growing ability, with God’s help, to recognize and engage in the struggle to overcome the interior and exterior factors that hinder a free response. This response develops positively through a process of seeking  and embracing the will of God the Father, whose love was revealed in the person and life of His Son, Jesus Christ, and of discovering and choosing the specific ways in which this loving service of God is accomplished through active service on behalf of other men and women, within the heart of reality. 


Jerusalem to Paris


  1. Leaving Manresa in 1523, Ignatius continued his journey to Jerusalem.  His experiences during the months at Manresa com­pleted the break with his past life and confirmed his desire to give himself completely to God’s service, but the desire was still not clearly focused. He wanted to stay in Jerusalem, visiting the holy places and serving others, but he was not permitted to remain in that troubled city.  “After the pilgrim realized that it was not God’s will that he remain in Jerusa­lem, he continually pondered within himself what he ought to do; and eventually he was rather inclined to study for some time so that he would be able to help souls, and he decided to go to Barcelona”.95  Though he was thirty years old he went to school, sitting in class beside the young boys of the city to learn grammar; two years later, he moved on to university studies at Alcalá.  When he was not studying he taught others about the ways of God and shared his Spiritual Exercises with them.  But the Inquisition would not permit someone without training in theology to speak about spiritual things. Rather than keep silent about the one thing that really mattered to him, and convinced that God was leading him, Ignatius left Alcalá and went to Salamanca.  The forces of the Inquisition continued to harass him until finally, in 1528, he left Spain entirely and moved to France and the University of Paris.


  1. Ignatius remained in Paris for seven years. Though his preaching and direction in Barcelona, Alcalá, and Salamanca had attracted companions who stayed with him for a time, it was at the University of Paris that a more lasting group of “friends in the Lord”96 was formed. Peter Favre and Francis Xavier were his roommates, “whom he later won for God’s ser­vice by means of the Spiritual Exercises”.97  Attracted by the same challenge, four others soon joined them.  Each of these men experienced God’s love personally, and their desire to respond was so complete that their lives were totally trans­formed.  As each one shared this experience with the others, they formed a bond of community which was to last throughout their lives.

Paris to Rome



  1. In 1534, this small group of seven companions journeyed to­gether to a small monastery chapel in Montmartre, outside of Paris, and the only priest among them - Pierre Favre - cele­brated a Mass at which they consecrated their lives to God through vows of poverty and chastity.  It was during these days that they “determined what they would do, namely, go to Venice and Jerusalem, and spend their lives for the good of souls”.98 At Venice the six other companions were ordained as priests, Ignatius among them.  But their decision to go to Jerusalem was not to become a reality.


  1.  Recurring warfare between Christian and Islamic armies made travel to the East impossible.  While they waited for the ten­sion to ease and pilgrim journeys to be resumed, the compan­ions spent their days preaching, giving the Exercises, working in hospitals and among the poor.  Finally, when a year had passed and Jerusalem remained inaccessible, they decided that they would “return to Rome and present themselves to the Vicar of Christ so that he could make use of them wherever he thought it would be more for the glory of God and the good of souls”.99


  1. Their resolve to put themselves at the service of the Holy Father meant that they might be sent to different parts of the world, wherever the Pope had need of them; the “friends in the Lord” would be dispersed. It was only then that they decided to form a more permanent bond which would keep them united even when they were physically separated. They would add the vow of obedience, thus becoming a religious order. 


  1. Toward the end of their journey to Rome, at a small wayside chapel in the village of La Storta, Ignatius “was visited very especially by God. .... He was at prayer in a church and exper­ienced such a change in his soul and saw so clearly that God the Father placed him with Christ his Son that he would not dare doubt it - that God the Father had placed him with his Son”.100  The companions became Companions of Jesus, to be intimately associated with the risen Christ’s work of redemp­tion, carried out in and through the church, working in the world.  Service of God in Christ Jesus became service in the church and of the church in its redemptive mission.


  1. In 1539 the companions, now ten, were received favorably by Pope Paul III, and the Society of Jesus was formally approved in 1540; a few months later, Ignatius was elected its first Superior General.



  1. The Society of Jesus Enters Education: 1540 - 1556.


  1. Even though all of these first companions of Ignatius were graduates of the University of Paris, the original purposes of the Society of Jesus did not include educational institutions. As described in the “Formula” presented to Paul III for his ap­proval, the Society of Jesus was founded “to strive especially for the defense and propagation of the faith and for the pro­gress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of pub­lic preaching, lectures, and any other ministration whatsoever of the word of God, and further by means of the Spiritual Exer­cises, the education of children and unlettered persons in Christianity, and the spiritual consolation of Christ’s faith­ful through hearing confessions and administering the other sacraments”.101  Ignatius wanted Jesuits to be free to move from place to place wherever the need was greatest; he was con­vinced that institutions would tie them down and prevent this mobility. But the companions had only one goal: “in all things to love and serve the Divine Majesty”;102 they would adopt whatever means could best accomplish this love and service of God through the service of others.


  1. The positive results to be obtained from the education of young boys soon became apparent, and it was not long before Jesuits became involved in this work.  Francis Xavier, writing from Goa, India in 1542, was enthusiastic in his description of the effect Jesuits there were having when they offered in­struction at St. Paul’s College; Ignatius responded with en­couragement.  A college had been established in Gandía, Spain for the education of those preparing to join the Society of Jesus; at the insistence of parents it began, in 1546, to ad­mit other boys of the city.  The first “Jesuit school”, in the sense of an institution intended primarily for young lay stu­dents, was founded in Messina, Sicily only two years later.  And when it became apparent that education was not only an apt means for human and spiritual development but also an effec­tive instrument for defending a faith under attack by the Re­formers, the number of Jesuit schools began to increase very rapidly:  before his death in 1556, Ignatius personally ap­proved the foundation of 40 schools.  For centuries, religious congregations had contributed to the growth of education in philosophy and theology.  For the members of this new order to extend their educational work to the humanities and even to running the schools, was something new in the life of the church; it needed formal approval by Papal decree.


  1. Ignatius, meanwhile, remained in Rome and dedicated the last years of his life to writing the Constitutions103 of this new religious order.



   Inspired by  the same vision  embodied in the  Spiritual Exercises, the Constitutions  manifest the Ignatian ability to combine exalted ends with the most exact and concrete means for achieving them. The work, divided into ten “Parts”, is a formative guidebook for Jesuit life.


   In its first draft, Part IV consisted of directives for the education of young men being formed as Jesuits. Since he was approving the establishment of new schools at the same time as he was writing the Constitutions, Ignatius   partly revised  Part IV to include the guiding educational principles work that was to be undertaken in these schools.  This section of the Constitutions is,  therefore the best  source for  the explicit and direct thought of Ignatius on the apostolate of education, even though it was largely completed before he realized the extensive  role education was to play in the apostolic work of Jesuits.


The preamble to Part IV  sets the goal:  “The aim which the Society of Jesus directly seeks is to aid its own members and their fellowmen to attain the ultimate end for which  they were created .  To achieve this purpose, in addition to the example of one’s life, learning and a method of expounding it are also necessary.”104



   The priorities in the formation of Jesuits became priorities of Jesuit education:  a stress on the humanities, to be followed by philosophy and theology,105  a careful orderly advance to be observed in pursuing these successive branches of knowledge,106 repetition of the material and active involvement of the students in their own education.107  Much time should be spent in developing good style in writing.108  The role of the Rector, as the center of authority, inspiration and unity, is essential.109  These were not new pedagogical methods:  Ignatius was familiar with lack of method, and with the methods of many schools, especially the careful methods of the University of Paris. He chose and adapted those which would be most effective in achieving the purposes of Jesuit education.


   When speaking explicitly about schools for lay students in Part IV,  chapter 7, Ignatius is specific about only a few matters. He insists, for example,  that the students (at that time nearly all Christians), be “well-instructed in Christian doctrine”.110 Also, in accordance with the principle that there be no temporal remuneration for any Jesuit ministry, no fees are to be charged.111 Except for these  and a few other details, he is content to apply a basic principle found throughout the Constitutions: “Since there must be a great variety in particular cases in accordance with the circumstances of place and persons, this present treatment  will not descend further to what is particular, except to say that there should be rules  which come down to everything necessary in each college”.112 In a later note, he adds a suggestion: “From the Rules of the Roman College, the part which is suitable to the other colleges can be adapted to them.”113    


  1. In separate correspondence, Ignatius promised further devel­opment of the rules, or basic principles, which should govern all the schools.  But he insisted that he could not provide these principles until he could derive them from the concrete experiences of those actually engaged in education.  Before he could fulfill his promise, Ignatius died.  It was the early morning of July 31, 1556.




C.        The Ratio Studiorum and More Recent History


  1. In the years following the death of Ignatius, not all Jesu­its agreed that involvement in schools was a proper activity for the Society of Jesus; it was a struggle that lasted well into the 17th Century.  Nevertheless, Jesuit involvement in education continued to grow at a rapid rate. Of the 40 schools that Ignatius had personally approved, at least 35 were in operation when he died, even though the total membership of the Society of Jesuits had not yet reached 1,000.  Within forty years, the number of Jesuit schools would reach 245.  The promised development of a document describing common principles for all Jesuit schools was becoming a practical necessity.


  1. Successive Jesuit superiors encouraged an exchange of ideas based on concrete experiences so that, without violating the Ignatian principle that “circumstances of place and persons” be taken into account, a basic curriculum and basic pedagogy could be developed which would draw on this experience and be common to all Jesuit schools.  A period of intense interchange among the schools of the Society followed.
  2. The first drafts of a common document were, as Ignatius had wished, based on the “Rules of the Roman College”.  An interna­tional committee of six Jesuits was appointed by the Superior General Claudio Acquaviva; they met in Rome to adapt and modi­fy these tentative drafts on the basis of experiences in other parts of the world.  In 1586 and again in 1591, this group pub­lished more comprehensive drafts which were widely  distributed  for  comments  and  corrections.    Further interchange, commission  meetings and editorial work resulted, finally, in the publica­tion of a definitive Ratio Studiorum114 on January 8, 1599. 


            In its final form the Ratio Studiorum, or “Plan of Studies” for Jesuit schools, is a handbook to assist teachers and administrators in the daily operation of the school; it is a series of “rules” or practical directives regarding such matters as the government of the school, the formation and distribution of teachers, the curriculum and methods of teaching. Like Part IV of the Constitutions, it is not so  much an original work as a collection of the most effective educational methods of the time, tested and adapted for the purposes of the Jesuit schools.


            There is little explicit reference to underlying principles flowing from the experience of Ignatius and his Companions, as these were embodied in the  Spiritual Exercises and the Constitutions; such principles had been stated in earlier versions, but were presupposed in the final edition of 1599. The relationship between teacher and student, to take one example, is to be modelled on the relationship between the director of the Exercises and the person making them; since the authors of the Ratio, along with nearly all the teachers in the schools,  were Jesuits, this could be assumed. Even though it is not stated explicitly, the spirit of the Ratio - like the inspiring spirit of the first Jesuit schools - was the vision of Ignatius.  

  1. The process leading to and resulting in the publication of the Ratio produced a “system” of schools whose strength and in­fluence lay in the common spirit that evolved into common peda­gogical principles. The pedagogy was based on experience, then refined and adapted through constant interchange.  It was the first such educational system that the world had ever seen.


  1. The system of Jesuit schools developed and expanded for more than two hundred years, and then came to a sudden and tragic end.  When the Society of Jesus was suppressed by Papal Order in 1773 a network of 845 educational institutions, spread throughout Europe and the Americas, Asia and Africa, was largely destroyed. Only a few Jesuit schools remained in Russian territories, where the suppression never took effect.


  1. When Pius VII was about to bring the Society of Jesus back into existence in 1814, one of the reasons he gave for his ac­tion was “so that the Catholic Church could have, once again, the benefit of their educational experience”.115  Education­al work did begin again almost immediately and a short time later, in 1832, an experimental revision of the Ratio Studio­rum was published. But it was never definitively approved. The turmoil of 19th Century Europe, marked by revolutions and fre­quent expulsions of Jesuits from various countries - and there­fore from their schools - prevented any genuine renewal in the philosophy or pedagogy of Jesuit education; often enough the Society itself was divided, and its educational institutions were enlisted in the ideological support of one or the other side of warring nations.  Nevertheless, in difficult situa­tions, and especially in the developing nations of the Ameri­cas, India, and East Asia, the schools of the Society began once again to flourish.


  1. The 20th Century, especially in the years after the Second World War, brought a dramatic increase in the size and number of Jesuit Schools.  The seeds of a renewed spirit were planted in the decrees of various General Congregations, notably the applications of the Second Vatican Council that were incorpo­rated into decree 28 of General Congregation XXXI.  Today, the Jesuit educational apostolate extends to more than 2,000 edu­cational institutions, of a bewildering variety of types and levels.  10,000 Jesuits work in close collaboration with nearly 100,000 lay people, providing education for more than 1,500,000 young people and adults in 56 countries around the world.


  1. Jesuit education today does not and cannot form the unified system of the 17th Century, and though many principles of the original Ratio remain valid today, a uniform curriculum and a structure imposed on all schools throughout the world has been replaced by the distinct needs of different cultures and religious faiths and the refinement of pedagogical methods that vary from culture to culture.


  1. This does not mean that a Jesuit “system” of education is no longer a possibility.  It was the common spirit, the vision of Ignatius, that enabled the Jesuit schools of the 16th Centu­ry to evolve common principles and methods; it was the common spirit joined to a common goal - as much as the more specific principles and methods embodied in the Ratio - that created the Jesuit school system of the 17th Century. This same commonspirit, along with the basic goals, purposes and policies that follow from it, can be true of “Jesuit” schools of today in all countries throughout the world, even when more concrete applications are very different, or when many of the details of school life are determined by cultural factors or outside agencies.




*     *     *





(This outline puts into schematic form the relationship between the spir­itual vision of Ignatius and the characteristics of Jesuit education.  The nine points in the first column repeat the Ignatian headings for the first nine sec­tions of the main body of the text; the footnotes relate this material to writ­ings of Ignatius (primarily the Spiritual Exercises and the Constitutions), and to the paragraphs of the historical summary given in Appendix I.  The 28 basic characteristics  of Jesuit education are repeated  in the second column, placed in a way that is intended to show their foundation  in the Ignatian world-view. This is not intended to show  an exact parallel:  rather than a direct applica­tion,  it would be more accurate  to say  that the characteristics  are derived from, or find their roots in, the Ignatian vision.)


The Ignatian World-View



  1. For Ignatius, God is Creator and Lord, Supreme Goodness, the one Reality that is absolute;116

all other reality comes from God and has value only insofar as it leads us to God.117

This God is present in our lives, “laboring for us” in all things;


He can be discovered through faith in all natural and human events,

in history as a whole,


and most especially in the lived ex­perience of each individual person.118


  1. Each man or woman is personally known and loved by God. This love invites a response which, to be authentically human, must be an expression of a radical free­dom.119 Therefore, in order to respond to the love of God, each person is called to be:
    • free to give of oneself, while ac­cepting responsibility for and the con­sequences  of one’s actions: free to be faithful;
    • free to work in faith toward that true happiness which is the purpose of life: free to labor with others in the service  of the Kingdom of God for the healing of creation.120

Jesuit Education . . .






  • is an apostolic instrument.



  • includes a religious dimension that permeates the entire education.


  • is world-affirming.


  • promotes dialogue between faith and culture.


  • assists in the total formation of each individual within the human community.


  • insists on individual care and concern for each person.






  • encourages life-long openness to growth.




  • emphasizes activity on the part of the student.







3. Because of sin,  and the effects of sin, the freedom to respond to God’s love is not automatic. Aided and strengthened by the redeeming love of God, we are engaged in an ongoing struggle to recognize and work against the obstacles that block freedom,  including the effects of sinfulness, while developing the capacities that are necessary for the exercise of true freedom.121

  1. This freedom requires a genuine know­ledge, love and acceptance of self joined to a determination to be freed from any excessive attachment to wealth, fame, health, power, or even life itself.122
  2. True freedom  also requires a realis­tic knowledge of the various forces present in the surrounding world and includes freedom from distorted per­ceptions of reality, warped values, rigid attitudes  or surrender to nar­row ideologies.123
  3. To work toward this true freedom, one must learn to recognize and deal with the influences that can promote or limit freedom: the movements within one’s own heart; past experiences of all types; interactions with other people; the dynamics of history, so­cial structures and culture.124


4. The world view of Ignatius is centered on the historical person of Jesus.125  He is the model for human life  because of his total response to the Father’s love, in the service of others.

He shares our human condition and invites us to follow him, under the standard  of the cross, in loving re­sponse to the Father.126

He is alive in our midst, and remains the Man for others in the service of God.


5. A loving and free response to God’s love cannot be merely speculative or theoreti­cal.  No matter what the cost, specula­tive principles must lead to decisive action: “love is shown in deeds”.127

Ignatius asks for the total and ac­tive commitment of men and women who, to imi­tate and be more like Christ, will put their ideals into practice.

In the real world of ideas, social move­ments, the family, business, political and  legal structures, and religious activities.128


6. For Ignatius, the response to the call of Christ is in and through the Roman Catholic Church, the instrument through which Christ is sacramentally present in the world.129 Mary the Mother of Jesus is the model of this response.130

Ignatius and his first companions all were ordained as priests and they put the  Society of Jesus at the service of the Vicar of Christ, “to go to any place whatsoever  where he judges it expedient to send them  for the greater glory of God and the good of souls”.131


7. Repeatedly, Ignatius insisted on the “ma­gis” —the more. His constant con­cern was for greater service of God through a closer following of Christ, and that concern  flowed into all the apostolic work of the first companions. The concrete response to God must be “of greater value”.132


8. As Ignatius came to know the love of God revealed through Christ and began to res­pond by giving himself to the service of the King­dom of God he shared his experience and attracted companions who became “friends in the Lord”, in the ser­vice of others.133

The strength of a community working in service of the Kingdom is greater than that  of any individual or group of individuals.


  1. For Ignatius and for his companions, decisions were made on the basis of an ongoing process of individual and communal “discernment” done always in a context of prayer.  Through prayerful reflection on the results of their activities,  the companions reviewed past decisions and made adaptations in t heir methods, in a constant search for greater service to God (“magis”). 134













  • encourages a realistic knowledge, love, and acceptance of self.






  • provides a realistic knowledge of the world in which we live.







  • is value-oriented.










  • proposes Christ as the model of human life.




  • provides adequate pastoral care.




  • celebrates faith in personal and community prayer, wor­ship and service.




  • is preparation for active life commitment.





  • serves the faith that does justice.





  • seeks to form “men and women for others”.
  • manifests a particular concern for the poor.


  • is an apostolic instrument, in service of the church as it serves human society.






  • prepares students for active participation in the church and the local community, for the service of others.







  • pursues excellence in its work of formation.





  • witnesses to excellence.



  • stresses collaboration.


  • relies on spirit of community among teaching staff, admin­istrators, Jesuit community, governing boards, parents, students, former students, and benefactors.
  • takes place within a structure that promotes community.




  • adapts means and methods in order to achieve its pur­poses most effectively.
  • is a “system” of schools with a common vision and common goals.



  • assists in providing the professional training and on­going formation that is needed, especially for teachers.








 1.   Pedro Arrupe, S.J., “Our Secondary Schools, Today and Tomorrow”, § 10. Given in Rome, September 13, 1980; published in Acta Romana Societatis Iesu Volume XVIII (Gregorian University Press, 1981).  English text, pp. 257 - 276.  Emphasis added.  Hereafter abbreviated OSS.

 2.   The official document is in Latin:  Apostolicam Actuositatem; an English translation can be found in The Documents of Vatican II, Walter Abbott, S.J., General Editor (The America Press, New York, 1966), pp. 489 - 521.

 3.   General Congregation XXXII of the Society of Jesus, Decree 4, “Our Mis­sion Today:  The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice”, no. 2. (Published in English in Documents of the 31st and 32nd General Congre­gations of the Society of Jesus, The Institute of Jesuit Sources, 3700 West Pine Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri, 63108, U.S.A., 1977.)

 4.   Ibid., no. 9.

 5.   The two phrases were repeatedly used by Father Pedro Arrupe in his writ­ings and talks.  The first use seems to have been in an address to the Tenth International Congress of Jesuit Alumni of Europe held in Valencia, Spain, on July 31, 1973; this address was been published by several dif­ferent offices under the title “Men for Others”, e.g. by the International Center for Jesuit Education, C.P. 6139, 00195 Rome, Italy.

 6.   The expression is found in the Constitutions and in other writings of Ignatius.  Father Pedro Arrupe used the phrase as the theme for one of his last talks:  Our Way of Proceeding, given on January 18, 1979 during the “Ignatian Course” organized by the Center for Ignatian Spirituality (CIS); published as “Documentation No. 42” by the Information Office of the Society of Jesus, C.P. 6139, 00195 Rome, Italy.

 7.   Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, [351] and passim. (An English edi­tion of these Constitutions, translated, with an introduction and a com­mentary by George E. Ganss, S.J. has been published by The Institute of Jesuit Sources, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., 1970.)  The sentence in the text is a basic principle and a favorite phrase of Ignatius.

 8.   “The other things on the face of the earth are created for man to help him in attaining the end for which he is created.  Hence, man is to make use of them in so far as they help him in the attainment of his end, and he must rid himself of them in so far as they prove a hindrance to them.” (Spiritual Exercises, § 23.)  This is often referred to as the “tantum­quantum”, from the words used in the Latin text.  (Various translations of the Spiritual Exercises are available in English.  One common text is that of David L. Fleming, S.J., The Spiritual Exercises of St. IgnatiusA Literal Translation and a Contemporary Reading, The Institute of Jesuit Sources, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., 1978.)

 9.   Spiritual Exercises, § 236.

10.  From “God’s Grandeur”, a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

11.  Cf. Genesis 1:27.

12.  “Our ideal is ... the unsurpassed model of the Greeks, in its Christian version:  balanced, serene and constant, open to whatever is human”.

       (OSS § 14).

13.  The “faith response” is treated in greater detail in sections 4 and 6.

14.  Pope Paul VI in a letter addressed to the Society of Jesus, Acta Apostoli­cae Sedis 57, 1965, p.514; the same call was repeated by Pope John Paul II in his homily to the delegates of General Congregation XXIII, September 2, 1983. (Cf. “Documents of the 33rd General Congregation of the Society of Jesus”; The Institute of Jesuit Sources, Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., 1984, p. 81.)

15.  The characteristic of being an “apostolic instrument” is treated in great­er detail in section 6.1.

16.  Spiritual Exercises, § 23.

17.  Conversion is treated in greater detail in section 3.

18.  “Inculturation” is treated in detail in Decree 5 of General Congregation XXXII of the Society of Jesus.  See note 3.

19.  “This care for each student individually, as far as this is possible, re­mains and must remain the characteristic of our vocation....  Above all, we need to maintain, in one way or in another, this personal contact with each of the students in our schools and colleges”.  (Father General Peter­-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., “Informal Remarks on Education” given during a meet­ing with the Delegates for Education of the Jesuit Provinces of Europe, November 18, 1983.  Published in Education:SJ 44, January-February, 1984, pp. 3 - 6.)

20.  OSS § 13.

21.  See Section 9.3B. for a fuller development of ongoing formation.

22.  Forgiveness and conversion are religious concepts, treated in greater de­tail in Section 6.

23.  Cf. The Meditation on “The Two Standards” in the Spiritual Exercises, §§ 136 - 148.

24.  “In this sphere, as in so many others, do not be afraid of political in­volvement!  It is, according to the Second Vatican Council, the proper role of the laity.  It is inevitable, when you become involved in the struggle for structures that make the world more truly human, that bring into being the new creation that Christ promised.”  (Father General Peter­-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., at the Opening Session of the World Congress of Alumni, Versailles, France, July 20, 1986.  Published in ETC (Together) 40, April - September, nn. 2 and 3, 1986, pp. 7 - 15.)

25.  Cf. Spiritual Exercises, §§ 143 - 147.

26.  “It is very important to note that the consideration of the mission of Jesus is not proposed in order for contemplation, or to understand Jesus better, but precisely in so far as this person is inviting us in a “call” to which the response is a “following”; ... without this disposition, there can be no real understanding.  In the logic of Saint Ignatius (more implicitly than explicitly) it is apparent that every consideration of Jesus, including the historical Jesus, is made relevant for today’s Chris­tianity from a privileged point of view: the point of view of following.” (Jon Sobrino, Cristología desde América Latina. Colección Teología Latino­americana, Ediciones CRT, México, 1977; p. 329).

27.  “Pastoral care” is concerned with spiritual - that is, more than simply human - development.  But it is not limited to the relationship between God and the individual; it includes also human relationships as these are an expression of, an extension of, the relationship with God.  Therefore, “faith” leads to “commitment”; the discovery of God leads to the service of God in the service of others in the community.

28.  “Those who graduate from our secondary schools should have acquired, in ways proportional to their age and maturity, a way of life that is in it­self a proclamation of the charity of Christ, of the faith that comes from Him and leads back to Him, and of the justice which He announced”. (OSS § 8).

29.  See Appendix I for a brief description of the Spiritual Exercises.

30.  This is treated in greater detail in the next section and in section 9.

31.  Spiritual Exercises, § 230.

32.  Ibid. § 167.

33.  The “Formula of the Institute”, which is the original description of the Society of Jesus written by Ignatius, applies this basic principle of the Spiritual Exercises:  “Whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God be­neath the banner of the cross in our Society ... should ... keep what fol­lows in mind.  He is a member of a Society founded chiefly for this pur­pose:  to strive especially for the defense and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine....”

       (Constitutions, Formula (pp. 66-68), [3]).

34.  Father General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach speaking at the World Congress of Jesuit Alumni at Versailles.  See Note 24.

35.  The “faith” is treated in sections 1 and 4; this present section concen­trates on “justice”.  However, it is important not to separate these two concepts:

            “The living out of this unity of faith and justice is made possible through a close following of the historical Jesus.  As essential parts of this following, we propose these points:

In announcing the Kingdom and in his struggle against sin, Jesus ran into conflict with persons and structures which, because they were ob­jectively sinful, were opposed to the Kingdom of God.

The fundamental basis for the connection between justice and faith has to be seen in their inseparable connection with the new command­ment of love.  On the one hand, the struggle for justice is the form which love ought to take in an unjust world.  On the other hand, the New Testament is quite clear in showing that it is love for men and women which is the royal road which reveals that we are loved by God and which brings us to love for God.”

       (Reunión Latinoamericana de Educación, Lima, Perú; July, 1976; published by CERPE; Caracas, Venezuela; p. 65.)

36.  General Congregation XXXII of the Society of Jesus, Decree 4, “Our Mis­sion Today:  The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice”, no. 4. See note 3.

37.  OSS § 11.

38.  Cf. the “Preface” from the Roman Catholic Mass celebrating the Feast of Christ the King.

39.  In his address to the Presidents and Rectors of Jesuit Universities at their meeting in Frascati, Italy on November 5, 1985, Father General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach gives several examples of how justice issues can be treated in various academic courses.  (Cf. “The Jesuit University Today”, published in Education:SJ 53, November-December, 1985, pp. 7-8.)

40.  Cf. Gabriel Codina, S.J., “Faith and Justice within the Educational Con­text”, (published in Education:SJ 56, June-July, 1986, pp. 12-13.)

41.  Ibid., p. 11.

42.  Ibid., pp. 14-15.  Emphasis added.

43.  See note 5.  The “others” in the much-repeated phrase is the “neighbor” in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37).  The quotation in the text is Father Arrupe’s development of this idea (see next Note).

44.  “Men for Others” (see Note 5), p. 9.

45.  Concrete examples of a stress on community values can be found in nearly every section of this present description of the Characteristics of Jesu­it Education.

46.  “Outside of the influence of the home, the example of the faculty and the climate which they create in the school will be the single most influen­tial factor in any effort at education for faith and justice”. (“Sowing Seeds of Faith and Justice” by Robert J. Starratt, S.J. Published by the Jesuit Secondary Education Association, Washington, D.C., USA; p. 17.)

47.  The phrase is common in recent documents of the church and of the Society of Jesus.  The exact meaning is much discussed; what it does not mean is an option for a single class of people to the exclusion of others.  Its meaning within the educational context is described in this section 5.4.

48.  “The Society of Jesus has one finality:  we are for everyone.  Rich and poor, oppressed and oppressors, everyone.  No one is excluded from our apostolate.  This is true also for the schools”.  (Pedro Arrupe, S.J., “Reflections During the Meeting on Secondary Education”, published in Education:SJ 30, October-December, 1980, p. 11.)

49.  The question of admission of students varies greatly from country.  Where there is no government aid, the school exists through fees and gifts.  A concern for justice includes just wages and good working conditions for everyone working in the school, and this must also be taken into consider­ation in the option for the poor.

50.  OSS § 8.

51.  Cf. Codina, op. cit. p. 8.  A more complete explanation of these points is given in that document.

52.  Constitutions, [603].

53.  Cf. Vatican Council II, “The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church” (Lumen Gentium), nn. 66 - 69.

54.  The “spiritual vision” mentioned here includes the entire faith response of earlier sections. Once again, questions of justice cannot be separated from the faith and evangelical charity on which they are based.

55.  The expression is taken from the meditation on “The Kingdom of Christ” in the Spiritual Exercises, § 97, where the aim is to lead the person making the Exercises to a closer following of Christ.

56.  “The excellence which we seek consists in producing men and women of right principles, personally appropriated; men and women open to the signs of the times, in tune with their cultural milieu and its problems; men and women for others”.  OSS § 9

57.  Some criteria for excellence are given in section 9.1; they are the same as the criteria for discernment.

58.  OSS § 6.

59.  “The strange expression which Father Pedro Arrupe used so frequently - that we are to produce “multiplying agents” - is, in fact, in complete accord with the apostolic vision of Ignatius.  His correspondence of 6,815 letters amply proves that Ignatius never ceased to seek out and encourage the widest possible collaboration, with all types of people...” (Father General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, at the Opening Session of the World Congress of Jesuit Alumni, Versailles.  See Note 24.)

60.  OSS § 12.

61.  “We need to learn, and we have an obligation to share.  There are enor­mous advantages to be gained through collaboration of every type.  It would be foolish to pretend that we have nothing to learn.  It would be irresponsible to think only of ourselves in our  planning,  without  con-

       sidering the need to cooperate with other secondary schools. This... will make us more effective apostolically, and will at the same time increase and strengthen our sense of being a part of the church”. (Ibid.§ 25.) The question of evaluation is taken up again in greater detail in section 9.

62.  Ignatius is the author of this phrase, in a letter written to Juan de Verdolay on July 24, 1537. (Monumenta Ignatiana Epp. XII, 321 and 323.)

63.  Apostolicam Actuositatem - “On the Apostolate of the Laity” - see note 2.

64.  General Congregation XXXI, decree 33 (“The Relationship of the Society to the Laity and Their Apostolate”); decree 28 (“The Apostolate of Educa­tion”) n. 27.  General Congregation XXXII, decree 2 (“Jesuits Today”) n. 29.  General Congregation XXXIII, decree 1 (“Companions of Jesus Sent into Today’s World”), n. 47.

65.  “We used to think of the institution as “ours”, with some lay people help­ing us, even if their number was much greater than the number of Jesuits. Today, some Jesuits seem to think that the number of lay people has so in­creased and the control has been so radically transferred, that the insti­tution is no longer really Jesuit....  I would insist that the [school itself remains an apostolic instrument:  not of the Jesuits alone, but of Jesuits and lay people working together.”  (Father General Peter-Hans Kol­venbach, “The Jesuit University Today”.  See note 39.)

66.  See below, sections 8.7 and 9.3.

67.  General Congregation XXXI, Decree 28, “On the Apostolate of Education”, n. 27.

68.  General Congregation XXXII, Decree 1, “Jesuits Today”, n. 29.

69.  OSS §§ 16, 18.

70.  “It will also be advantageous to consider whether it would not be helpful to establish in some of our institutions of higher education a board of trustees which is composed partly of Jesuits and partly of lay people.”

       (General Congregation XXXI, Decree 28, “On the Apostolate of Education”, n. 27.

71.  “We should cooperate with [parents] in the work of education....  I want to give special praise to those organizations - associations, journals, formation courses- which promote the educational formation of the parents of our students, to prepare them for a more effective collaboration with the secondary school”. (OSS § 22.)

72.  “The ongoing formation of former students is an obligation....  It is a work that only we can do, practically speaking, because it is a question of redoing the formation that we gave twenty or thirty years ago.  The person that the world needs now is different from the persons we formed then!  It is an immense task, and well beyond our own abilities; we need to seek the help of lay people who can help to bring it about”.

       (Ibid., § 23.)

73.  “What is the commitment of the Society of Jesus to its former students?  It is the commitment of Ignatius, repeated by Pedro Arrupe:  to make you multiplying agents, to make you capable of incorporating the vision of Ignatius and the ... mission of the Society into your own lives....  The formation you have received should have given you the values and the com­mitment that mark your lives, along with the ability to help one another renew this commitment and apply these values to the changing circumstan­ces of your lives and the changing needs of the world.  We Jesuits will not abandon you - but neither will we continue to direct you!  We will be with you to guide and inspire, to challenge and to help.  But we trust you enough to carry forward in your lives and in the world the formation you have been given”.  (Father General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, address at the Opening Session of the World Congresss of Jesuit Alumni, Versailles, 1986; see note 24.  This entire address is a development of the relation­ship between the Society of Jesus and its former students.)

74.  The word “discernment” is used in many different contexts.  Ignatius has “Rules for the Discernment of Spirits” in the Spiritual Exercises, §§ 313 - 336; in the present context it is rather the “communal apostolic dis­cernment” practiced by the first companions and recommended by General Congregation XXXIII:  a review of every work that includes “an attentive­ness to the Word of God, an examination and reflection inspired by the Igntian tradition; a personal and communitarian conversion necessary in order to become ‘contemplatives in action’; an effort to live an indif­ference and availability that will enable us to find God in all things; and a transformation of our habitual patterns of thought through a con­stant interplay of experience, reflection and action. We must also always apply those criteria for action found in the Constitutions, Part VII, as well as recent and more specific instructions....” (GC XXXIII, Decree 1, n. 40.)

75.  One of the most recent and most complete sources is the letter on “Apo­stolic Discernment in Common” published by Father General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach in November, 1986.  It is a rich source of information on this topic, giving an historical perspective and also concrete suggestions.

76.  Cf. Constitutions, Part VII, especially [622] - [624].

77.  The dependence of Jesuit education on the principles and methods of the Spiritual Exercises has been the subject of much study.  One of the clas­sic - somewhat outdated, but still valuable - works that treat this mat­ter in great detail is  La Pedagogie des Jesuites, by François Charmot, S.J., Paris, 1941.  More recent treatments of the same subject can be found in “Reflections on the Educational Principles of the Spiritual Exercises” by Robert R. Newton (Monograph 1, published in 1977 by the Jesuit Secondary Education Association, 1424 16th Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20036, U.S.A.), and Le Secret des Jésuites (published in 1984 as Number 57 of “Collection Christus” by Desclée de Brouwer, 76 bis, rue des Saints-Pères, 75007 Paris, France).

78.  See section 1.

79.  Ignatius wrote the “Presupposition” of the Spiritual Exercises to indi­cate the relation between the  guide  to  the  Exercises  and the person

       making them.  It can be the norm for human relations in general, and especially within the educational community.  What follows is a rather literal translation from the Spanish of Ignatius:

            “To assure better cooperation between the one who is giving the Exercises and the exercitant, and more beneficial results for both, it is necessary to suppose that every good Christian is more ready to put a good interpretation on another’s statement than to condemn it as false.  If an orthodox construction cannot be put on a propo­sition, the one who made it should be asked how he understands it.  If he is in error, he should be corrected with all kindness.  If this does not suffice, all appropriate means should be used to bring him to a correct interpretation, and so defend the proposition from error.” (Spiritual Exercises § 22).

80.  OSS § 12.

81.  “Talk of Father General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach at St. Paul’s High School, Winnipeg, Canada:  May 14, 1986”; published in the Newsletter of the Upper Canadian Jesuit Province, June, 1986, pp. 7-8.

82.  There are various translations of the Spanish and Italian original of what is often referred to as the “autobiography” of St. Ignatius.  The transla­tion used in the text is A Pilgrims TestamentThe Memoirs of Ignatius of Loyola, Parmananda R. Divarkar, translator (Gregorian University Press, Piazza della Pilotta 4, 00187 Rome, Italy; 1983).  Hereafter abbreviated Memoirs.

83.  Memoirs, § 1.

84.  Ibid., § 6.

85.  Ibid., § 8.

86.  Ibid., § 9.

87.  Ibid., § 17.

88.  Ibid., § 24.

89.  Ibid., § 25.

90.  Ibid., § 27.

91.  Spiritual Exercises, [230].  (See above, note 8.)

92.  Memoirs, § 30.

93.  Ibid., § 99.

94.  See note 8.

95.  Memoirs, § 50.

96.  See above, note 62.

97.  Memoirs, § 82.

98.  Ibid., § 85.

99.  Ibid.

100.     Ibid, § 96.

101.     Constitutions, Formula (pp. 66-68), [3]; see note 7.

102.     Spiritual Exercises, § 233.

103.     See note 7.

104.     Constitutions, [307].

105.     Ibid., [351].

106.     Ibid., [366].

107.     Ibid., [375] and [378].

108.     Ibid., [381].

109.     Ibid., [421] to [439].

110.     Ibid., [395].

111.     Ibid., [398].

112.     Ibid., [395].

113.     Ibid., [396].  The Roman College was established by Ignatius himself in 1551; though its beginnings were very modest, he wished it to become the model for all Jesuit schools throughout the world.  It developed in time into a University, whose name was changed after the unification of Italy into the Gregorian University.

114.     The original Latin of the Ratio Studiorum of 1599, along with the previous drafts, has been newly published as Volume V of Monumenta Paedagogica Societatis Iesu, edited by Ladislaus Lukacs, S.J.  (Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, Via dei Penitenzieri, 20, 00193 Rome, Italy, 1986).  An English translation is available, The Jesuit Ratio Studiorum of 1599, translated with an introduction and explanatory notes by Allan P. Farrell, S.J. (The Jesuit Conference, 1424 16th Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20036, U.S.A.; 1970.)

115.     From the Papal Bull Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum of August 7, 1814, by which the Society of Jesus was restored throughout the world.

116.     Appendix I (175); the names that Ignatius uses for God can be found throughout his works; see, for example, Exercises §§ 15,16.

117.     This is the Principle and Foundation of the Exercises, § 23; see note 8, above.

118.     God working for us through creation is basic to Ignatian Spirituality. Two examples in the Exercises are the meditation on the “Incarnation”, §§ 101- 109, and the “Contemplation for Obtaining Love” §§ 230 - 237.  The quota­tion is from § 236.  Ignatius talked repeatedly about “seeing God in all things” and this was paraphrased by Nadal (one of the first companions of Ignatius) into the famous “contemplatives in action”.

119.     Appendix I (173).

120.     The purpose of making the Spiritual Exercises has been summed up in the expression “Spiritual Freedom”.  Ignatius himself gives them the title “Spiritual Exercises, which have as their purpose the conquest of self and the regulation of one’s life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment”. (§ 21).

121.     Appendix I (172); this statement is a summary of the “First Week” of the Exercises.

122.     Appendix I (173); Exercises § 1; §§ 313 - 329 (“Rules for the Discernment of Spirits”).

123.     Appendix I (173); Exercises §§ 142 - 146 (“The Two Standards”).


124.     Exercises §§ 24 - 42 (“The Examination of Conscience”), and “The Two Standards”, above.


125.     Appendix I (173), (182); Exercises § 53, §§ 95 - 98 (“The Kingdom of Christ”) § 167 (“The Third Degree of Humility”). The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th “Weeks” of the Exercises are intended to lead to a commitment to the following of Christ.


126.     Exercises § 116 (“Contemplation on the Nativity”); see also “The Two Standards” noted above.


127.     Appendix I (173), (179); Exercises § 135, §§ 169 - 189 (“The Election”).


128.     Appendix I (177), (184).


129.     Exercises §§ 352 - 370 (“Rules for Thinking with the Church”); Constitu­tions, Formula (pp. 66-68), [3], [603], and passim throughout the writings of Ignatius.  When he realized that it would not be possible to go to the Holy Land to serve Christ directly, Ignatius chose “the next best thing” by going to Rome to serve the church under the “Vicar of Christ”.


130.     Devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is evident throughout the whole life of Ignatius; as noted in Appendix I (171), it was at Montserrat that his pilgrimage began; Mary appears throughout the Exercises, for example in §§ 47, 63, 102ff, 111f, 147, 218, 299.


131.     Appendix I (180), (182).  According to some authors, Ignatius was the originator of the expression “Vicar of Christ”;  whether  that be true or

       not, loyalty to the Pope is characteristic both of Ignatius and of the Society of Jesus that he founded.

132.     Appendix I (173); Exercises §§ 97, 155.

133.     Appendix I (178), (181).

134.     The “discernment of spirits” is present in the whole life of Ignatius; it is already evident at Manresa (Appendix I, 170), but it is constantly grow­ing throughout his life.  A short document entitled “The Deliberations of the First Fathers” describes the discernment of the first companions of Ignatius that led to the establishment of the Society of Jesus.  See also Appendix I (189) - (193) for the process that led to the first Ratio Studi­orum, and Exercises §§ 313 - 336 (“Rules for the Discernment of Spirits”).