“This year’s meeting has been very special since it has been framed within the spirit of the Universal Apostolic Preferences as the apostolic horizon of our work. We felt consoled and challenged by the UAPs. We see in them a great apostolic opportunity for our schools. We are confirmed by the UAPs in the path we decided in the JESEDU-Rio2017 Action Statement but we are also aware of the invitation to go deeper into our process of discernment. We see the upcoming Colloquium JESEDU-Jogja2020 in Indonesia as an important step to continue this ongoing discernment that will be supported by the publication of a new document on Jesuit Education at the end of the year. These are, no doubt, exciting times for Jesuit Education.”
These words reflect the perspective of Fr. José Mesa, president of ICAJE (International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education) and head of the Secretariat of the Society of Jesus for Secondary and Pre-secondary Education. He was expressing himself in these terms following the annual meeting that took place at the Curia of the Society in early June. Father Arturo Sosa joined the participants to reflect with them on the Apostolic Preferences. His message was intended to be an encouragement to the ICAJE so that the members of this commission would be heralds of the PAU’s objectives to all educational institutions linked to the Society of Jesus. For Father General, the Preferences can be considered in schools as a horizon that invites discernment. In fact, for Jesuit education, it is a question of detecting, identifying and discerning indeed, the best ways to serve the common mission of reconciliation and justice that the Society carries out.
The annual meeting is an opportunity to share the state of Jesuit Education in the world, to talk about the projects of the Secretariat and to discuss initiatives that can support the construction of the Jesuit School network.
The ICAJE meeting included reports from participants on ongoing projects in different regions of the world. In particular, it sought to verify to what extent the challenges posed to Jesuit institutions at the JESEDU-RIO2017 congress had been met. Some sessions were more oriented towards gaining a better perspective. The discussion on the preparation of the final version of the “New Document on Jesuit Education” and the role that this instrument will have at the 2020 Congress required a lot of attention. A title has been sought for this document. For the moment, it could be “Talking points on Jesuit schools in the 21st century: a continuous exercise of discernment.”
The ICAJE meeting brought together ten leaders from different sectors of the Jesuit education world at the secondary and presecondary levels from all parts of the world.