Broadening the Society’s intellectual mission

Jesuit Fr General Arturo Sosa says all ministries should be committed to deepening knowledge so that the Society can be more effective in the service of others.

In a speech to representatives from educational institutions in Bolivia this month, Fr Sosa said that Ignatian pedagogy requires a commitment ‘to think, to understand and to create new paths’.

Fr Sosa speaks to education delegates in Bolivia.

Fr Sosa speaks to education delegates in Bolivia.

He said too often the intellectual apostolate is understood as the exclusive responsibility of those working in university centres or research roles.

‘I propose that we broaden this understanding, so that all educational works and all apostolates carried out by the Society and by the institutions under its responsibility may be an intellectual apostolate’, he said.

If the Society wishes to transform reality, it’s necessary to deepen our knowledge of the world. This meant a serious focus on analysis and reflection.

‘Our contribution … must be distinguished by its depth’, he says. ‘A depth of interiorisation and reflection that allows us to understand reality more deeply and to be more effective in service.

‘If we do not deepen this understanding, we fall into a kind of superficiality of existence.’

Fr Sosa also reflected on a new phenomenon in Latin America – the transformation of educational services into market products. While Jesuit educational institutions were part of, and affected by, the market, Fr Sosa said they should be wary of this ‘mercantilist’ approach to education.

‘As bearers of a message of hope we want to continue to maintain an educational approach in which the human being is what really matters’, he said.

During his meeting in Bolivia, Fr Sosa participated in meetings with media organisations, young people and indigenous peoples in the Bolivian Amazon.

In a conversation with media outlets, Fr Sosa urged journalists to ‘report with love’, highlighting news that was positive and serves as an example to others.




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