In addition to being interconnected, the world we live is also diverse. Diversity of people, culture, customs, religion and lives is a reality we live with. Hence, I would call a person truly educated if she/he can lead a life as a global citizen within the diverse realities of the world. Jesuit education gives ample opportunity to a student to become a truly global citizen.
"Global Citizens are those who continuously seek to deepen their awareness of their place and responsibility, both locally and globally, in an increasingly interconnected world; Those who stand in solidarity with others in the pursuit of a sustainable earth and a more humane world as true companions in the mission of reconciliation and justice."
The history of Jesuit education starts with the history of St. Ignatius of Loyola. During the 1530s, Ignatius of Loyola gathered up a small band of fellow students at the University of Paris. They called themselves “amigos in el Senor,” friends in the Lord. The companions took vows of poverty and pledged to stay together and keep serving Christ and the world, after earning their degrees.
A little over a decade later, the first Jesuit school opened, in Messina, Sicily, in 1548. Today, 3,730 schools carry on this tradition all around the world, caring for 2.5 million students ranging from Egypt and Kenya to India and Belize. In Canada and the United States alone, there are 30 Jesuit colleges and 81 pre-secondary and secondary schools with a shared goal of developing competent, compassionate and committed leaders in the service of society.
One distinctive aspect of Jesuit education at all levels is the emphasis on forming the whole person” — mind, body, and spirit. The schools foster not only intellectual development, but also moral and spiritual growth. At the high schools, the aim is to produce students who are “open to growth, intellectually competent, religious, loving, and committed to doing justice,” by the time they leave.
The Jesuits schools all over the world have different levels of net-working and collaboration. This collaboration will enable a student of a Jesuit institution anywhere in the world to be bound by some common educational program.
Looking at the emerging challenges of the contemporary world, the Jesuit schools all over the world have identified certain universal apostolic priorities. These are the areas through which a Jesuit student can become part of the global educational activities and contribute towards the transformation of the world. They are:
- To show the way to God through discernment and the Spiritual exercises.
- To walk with the poor, outcasts of the world in a mission of reconciliation and justice.
- To accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future.
- To collaborate in the care of our Common Home.