A Jesuit School
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 its operation flows out of the strengths drawn from the Ignatian charism. In a Jesuit school a common spirit lies behind pedagogy, curriculum and school life, even though these may differ greatly from those of previous centuries and from country to country.
A distinctive spirit still characterizes any school, which can truly be called Jesuit. ‘Distinctive’ is not intended to suggest ‘unique’ either in spirit or in method. The purpose is rather to describe ‘our way of proceeding’: the inspiration, values, attributes and style, which have traditionally characterised Jesuit education, and which must be found in any truly Jesuit school today wherever it may be.
The ultimate aim of Jesuit education is 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.
An Ignatian Vision
The description that follows is for Jesuits and lay people working in Jesuit schools; it is for teachers, administrators, parents and members of the boards of management in our 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.
Though the school is normally called ‘Jesuit’, the vision is more properly described as ‘Ignatian’ and has never been limited to Jesuits. Lay people, based on their experience of God in family and in society and on their distinctive role in the church, play an essential role in Jesuit schools. Increasing numbers of lay people are inspired by the vocation of Ignatius and the tradition of the Society. Jesuit education is a collaborative enterprise involving Jesuits and their lay colleagues, with both dedicated to a shared sense of purpose and a genuine sharing of responsibility, in schools once exclusively controlled and staffed by Jesuits.
The Aim of a Jesuit Education
We aim to form leaders in service in imitation of Christ Jesus, men and women of Competence, Conscience and Compassionate Commitment.
- Competence embraces a broad spectrum of abilities – academic proficiency (including the ability to reason reflectively, logically and critically), technological and vocational skills, an appreciation of creative arts, sport and leisure, and effective communication skills.
- A person of conscience discerns what is right, good and true, and has the courage to do it, takes a stand when necessary, has a passion for social justice and is an influential leader in the community.
- A compassionate person responds to those in greatest need and walks with others to empower them, in solidarity and empathy; such a person manifests a preferential love of the poor, which ‘ought to manifest itself in deeds rather than words’.
Competence in skills (intellectual and practical), allied to an informed conscience, which knows what is good, true and just and moves one to act according to those values, both involve the heart. A compassionate heart, which recognises the Lord presenting the faces of those in greatest need and which impels a response will be manifest in the profile of a Clongowes graduate.
Profile of a Graduate
If Clongowes Wood College is successful in its mission a Graduate will tend to be:
- A grateful, honest and forgiving person
- Committed to a Christian faith in a secular society, open to growth.
- Intellectually competent
- Socially able
- Culturally aware
- Physically and emotionally developed
- Committed to strive for excellence
- Willing and able to exercise leadership