Jesuits as Bridge Builders

February 5, 2018

Since its founding in 1540, the Society of Jesus has embraced flexibility and adaptability as key elements in enabling the order to pursue the “greater glory of God” (its motto). While today Jesuits are widely known for their commitment to scholarship and education, throughout their history they have also served as writers, chaplains, royal confessors, and missionaries. Their work has taken them across the globe, often representing the Catholic Church in challenging circumstances (as recently portrayed in Martin Scorsese's film Silence). Much of this work is rooted in a commitment to living with—and even embracing—tension: inter alia, trust in God and trust in one’s own talents, prayer and action, companionship and mission, the center and the periphery, and poverty and use of the world’s goods.

How can the order continue to embody this value in the twenty-first century? How can the spirit of St. Ignatius of Loyola continue to inspire people—particularly but not only Catholics—to serve as bridge builders across religious, academic, ideological, and cultural divides? How can Jesuit educational institutions continue to convey this and other Jesuit values to students in engaging and innovative ways?

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Jesuits as Bridge Builders