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  • October 12, 2016
  • 2:04 pm

What is the role of the Jesuit universities?

Pope-francis-Blog

A university as a straight line from the Jesuits must point to a global formation, not only intellectual, a formation of the whole human person. In fact if the university becomes simply an academy of ideas or a «factory» of professionals or a mentality centered on business prevails in its structure then it is truly off the path. We have the [Spiritual] Exercises in hand. Here’s the challenge: take the university on the path of the Exercises. This means risking on the truth, and not on the «closed truth» that no one discusses. The truth of the encounter with people is open and requires that we let ourselves make enquiries truly from reality. And the Jesuit university must be involved with the real life of the Church and the Nation: also this is reality, in fact. A particular attention must be always be given to the marginalized, to the defense of those have more need of being protected. And this—it is clear—is not being a Communist: it is simply being truly involved with reality. In this case, in particular a Jesuit university must be fully involved with reality expressing the social thought of the Church. The free-market thought that removes man and woman from the center and puts money at the center is not ours. The doctrine of the Church is clear and it must move forward in this sense. – Pope Francis

 This was drawn from a recent conversation with Pope Francis.  With the Jesuits now gathered in their General Congregation to elect a new superior and to map out the future initiatives and strategies of the Society of Jesus, and the nation involved in an obviously polemical presidential campaign, join the whole community of IPS – students, faculty, staff, and alumni – in praying that the Holy Spirit guide us toward fulfilling this mandate.  Let us follow our individual vocation to work for the in-breaking reign of God and to share our particular and collective charisms, thus playing our part in living the witness to which each of us is called.  Let us never abandon our role to serve as prophets, ministers, educators, and disciples, or forsake the gospel for comfort, pride, wealth, or power.  Let us live lives of justice, peace, solidarity, and holiness, realizing always that “Christ plays in ten thousand places, lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his, to the Father through the features of men’s faces.” 

Dr. Michael Canaris