Monday, September 5, 2011

Jesuit eduction

T. Frank Kennedy, Director of the Jesuit Institute at Boston College, made the following comments about Jesuit education in the 2011 Boston College Social Work magazine:
Jesuit, Catholic schools have at their core a mission to educate men and women for others....How do you become unselfish, how do you become a person who has a vision that's really common in the old-fashioned sense of the common good? That is the basic vision of a Jesuit education. It's a kind of spirit: to look at people not just as a job, to take care of them, to see them as our brothers and sisters....The school awakens in us a dimension of care and concern. It is an invitation to love....When you are invited to love, you don't exclude anybody....If you're a Christian or you're not a Christian, you are welcome....When you go through these exercises [The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius], that experience of learning to find love not only in other people, but also in a sunset, in a rock, in the sea, in your life as it is happening around you, you say, well, God is moving here....Finding God in all things is the way to sum it up....We belong to one another. If we could all agree on that, and agree to act that way, we'd be better off.
This Jesuit vision is so much in harmony with my Quaker vision and with my pantheist vision. Father Kennedy describes the ideal I long for. I am still struggling to put it into practice however.

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