Part II: Characteristics of Jesuit Education

 

This is the continuation of the previous post: Part I: Characteristics of Jesuit Education.

11. Jesuit education provides a realistic knowledge of the world in which we live. Jesuit education emphasizes the recognition of the imperfections of the world as it is without neglecting the essential goodness of creation. It helps the students to realize that persons and structures can change and be committed to work for those changes to bring about human dignity and social justice.

12. Jesuit education proposes Christ as the model of human life. To be Christian is to follow Christ, imitating Him as a witness to the love and forgiveness of God, as one who lives in solidarity with all those who suffer, and as one who serves others without asking for rewards.

13. Jesuit education provides adequate pastoral care. Pastoral care enables each individual to respond to God’s message of divine love and deepens a person’s commitment to serve others. Jesuit education assists each student to respond to his or her own vocation of service in personal and professional life.

14. Jesuit education celebrates faith in personal and community prayer, worship and service. Prayer is an expression of faith, a continual reiteration of personal commitment, and a way to establish relationship with God. A faith relationship with God, personal and communal, promotes an imitation of Christ as a “Man for Others.” Catholic members of a Jesuit school are encouraged to express their faith in religious or spiritual celebrations to give witness to the purposes of the school.

15. Jesuit education is preparation for active life commitment. Father General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach addressed the Jesuit alumni at Versailles, France on July 20, 1986, “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.”

16. Jesuit education serves the faith that does justice. The service of faith should include the promotion of justice through action for peace. 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 focus of Jesuit education 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 a Jesuit school, the treatment of justice issues should include a critical analysis of society; the policies and programmes should give counter-witness to the values of the consumer society; and there should be opportunities for actual contact with the world of injustice.

17. Jesuit education seeks to form “MEN AND WOMEN FOR OTHERS”. Jesuit education helps students to realize that talents are gifts to be developed, with the help of God, for the good of the human community. In order to promote an awareness of others, Jesuit education stresses community values. Teachers should manifest in their lives concern for others and esteem for human dignity.

18. Jesuit education manifests a particular concern for the poor. 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 option for the poor. Jesuit schools do not exist for any one class of students. Special services should be made available to those in need. Jesuit schools provide students with opportunities for contact with the poor and for service to them, coupled with reflection so that students may understand the causes of poverty.

19. Jesuit education is an apostolic instrument, in service of the church as it serves human society. The aim of Jesuit education is the formation of principled, value-oriented persons for others. 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. The school community encourages collaboration and dialogue with all men and women of good will, whatever their faith and beliefs. Christians are a witness to the Gospel, in service to the human community.

20. Jesuit education prepares students for active participation in the church and the local community, for the service of others. Jesuit education is committed to the religious development of all students. Concrete experiences of church life are available to all students. Catholic students are taught to understand and love the church and the sacraments. Opportunities are provided for other students to learn more about the Christian faith.

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