Characteristics of a Jesuit Education

Finding God in All Things                  

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  • God is at the heart of his creation and is at work in human culture and history.
  • This is the world which forms the object of our study and the context of our lives.
  • Jesuit education is therefore conducted in a spirit of reverence and from a radically religious perspective: facilitating the discovery of and encounter with God is its core-value.
  • We seek to transcend false dichotomies between religious and secular,  sacred and profane. The religious dimension permeated all aspects of life in the school.
  • All aspects of teaching and learning are ways of encountering and responding to God.

 

Caring for the Individual –‘Cura Personalis’ 

Schola      

 

  • The human person,  understood in this context of his or her eternal destiny,  is the central focus of the enterprise.
  • Jesuit education insists on individual care and concern for each person (cura personalis).
  • It invites each student on to their unique journey of personal, moral and spiritual development.
  • Relationships and pastoral structures reflect this focus.
  • Through the curriculum,  co-curricular activities and the environment of the school, our mission is to help the students grow holistically –to think for themselves, develop their diverse competencies, to find their own ‘voice’ and so become, ever more fully, their unique selves.

 

Growing towards Freedom and Responsibility 

BOQ,JE,                

  • Jesuit education is essentially value-orientated.
  • It involves growth in a realistic knowledge, love and acceptance of oneself.
  • It also involves growing in understanding of the world we live in, the conflicting forces and values which operate in human society, and the unjust structures in which we can all be complicit and which diminish human lives.
  • Jesuit pupils are to be men and women of conscience, able and willing to stand up and be counted in the name of the truth; prepared to use their skills of self expression and advocacy for those who may have no voice.

 

Christ is the Model for Human Life  

Tenebrae                      

  • Jesus Christ is at once the human face of God and the model of all human life, responding totally to the Father’s love.
  • He is our conscience incarnate, the pattern of authentic humanity. His way of compassionate love is not a way but the way.
  • Creating opportunities to develop and sustain a life-giving relationship with the person of Jesus Christ is,  therefore,  a crucial aspect of the development of each student.
  • This conviction is reflected in:
    • The provision of pastoral care for all involved;
    • The practice of communal prayer and worship;
    • The celebration of the sacraments as constitutive parts of the school’s rhythm of life;
    • Service programmes are consciously promoted as a way of imitating Jesus Christ, the ‘Man-for-Others’.

 

A Faith that does Justice  

Supporters                           

  • Jesuit education is intended as a preparation for a life of active social commitment.
  • Religion is deeply personal but not private:  faith which does not express itself in love for others and the passionate quest for justice  lacks authenticity. For Ignatius Loyola ‘love is shown in deeds’.
  • Jesuit students are encouraged to understand their own ‘place’ in the world,  in terms of educational and socio-economic opportunities,  and to use these opportunities in compassionate service of others, especially those who are the victims of poverty and injustice.
  • We aim to facilitate the emergence of young men and women who will be the agents of change,  not more or less passive upholders of the status quo.

 

In Service of the Church                              

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  • For Ignatius the response to the call of Christ is in and through the Catholic Church.
  • Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus – and Jesuit schools – as part of the Church’s mission to serve and humanise the world and give glory to God.
  • Living by the Gospel is not  merely individual pursuit. We need community in order to be sustained, inspired and guided in faith and in the high ideals of the Gospel.
  • Jesuit education prepares student for active participation in the Church and the local community so that Christ may be present in the world.
  • The school strives to develop an understanding and practice of personal and public prayer, appropriate to the developmental stages of the pupils.
  • Religious education is seen as a subject with comparable academic rigour to other subjects on the curriculum and is resourced accordingly.
  • Whilst pupils are prepared for participation in the life of the Catholic Church, concern is also for the spiritual and religious development of students of other faiths or none.

 

Striving For Excellence –‘The Magis’    

Relay 1 

  • The Jesuit motto is Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam (For God’s greater glory).
  • The ‘magis’, as a criterion for choosing,  means doing ‘the more’, the greater, for God. ‘When you work, give your all. When you make plans, plan boldly. And when you dream, dream big’. (J. Martin SJ)
  • Jesuit education seeks to elicit great desires and encourages students to strive for great things of God.
  • Then commitment to excellence –in terms of intellectual rigour and all aspects of the enterprise  is at the heart of Jesuit educational philosophy.
  • Jesuit education encourages students to develop their talents as fully as possible and to use those gifts in the spirit of  ‘What more can I do, what more can I give?’.
  •  Staff and pupils witness to the ‘magis’ in their generosity with time and energy, in their compassion and care of others and in their diligence at academic work.

 

Working as a Community           

Brothers                 

  • Jesuit schools as intended to be communities of Life,  work and worship.
  • Management and staff collaborate in the service of shared values, a common task and an overarching vision,  as reflected in these Characteristics.
  • Pupils are encouraged to respect and care for one another as friends and companions,  in the spirit of the Gospel.
  • The community of the Jesuit school embraces not only pupils, teachers and members of the wider staff but also, very particularly, parents, along with board-members,  past pupils and others associated in any way with its operation.

 

Adaptable and Open to Growth     

Recreation 3                          

  • Jesuit education encourages habits of discernment i.e. the capacity of the student to reflect prayerfully on his or experience at the most profound level and learn from it.
  • Jesuit education encourages openness to life-long learning and the development of skills in self-direction, both in academic learning for living.
  • The goal is to nurture a capacity to adapt flexibility to the demands of new circumstances and challenges, intellectual and existential, and to foster independence.
  • In the spirit of constant self-improvement, the school is called to adapt and develop in the light of our shared wisdom , in  the local circumstances in which each one operates and members of staff are encouraged to avail of opportunities for their own continuing formation.