JOURNEYING WITH YOUTH
Fr Quyen Vu SJ, Provincial, The Society of Jesus in Australia
The profound legacy and powerful purpose of Ignatian education revolve around nurturing the whole person — not merely intellectually, but spiritually, physically, emotionally, and morally as well.
Since the first Jesuit school opened its doors in Messina, Sicily in 1547, the intention has always been to form men and women for and with others; individuals who will go out into the world inspired by a profound sense of justice, compassion, and a relentless pursuit of truth.
Our aim is to equip students with the tools to navigate the growing complexity of modern life, to confront questions of meaning and purpose, and to place credence in faith, justice, service, and love.
Saint Ignatius saw education as a means of transforming the world. While we educate for faith, we also ensure that this resonates strongly with the challenges and opportunities of our contemporary world.
Central to that vision is to stay acutely attuned to the changing profile of a 21st-century student educated in our tradition.
We envision a young person who embodies the principles of the “Magis” — striving for excellence with depth, embracing challenges and constantly seeking to grow.
This student is characterised by intellectual curiosity, a global perspective, and a commitment to social justice.
Grounded in a deep faith, the student is driven by a desire to be a person for others, leveraging his or her talents and skills to make a positive impact on society.
He or she possesses the moral courage to stand up for what is right, the empathy to understand, appreciate and analyse diverse perspectives, as well as the resilience to face adversity with grace and determination.
A 21st century student educated in our tradition possesses a breadth of knowledge and skills, as well as the ability to adapt in a rapidly changing world.
In developing nations, this holds an added layer of significance. The small Bhutanese Buddhist realm has been skilfully led for over three decades by individuals who received their education from Belgian and Canadian Jesuits in Darjeeling, India.
Furthermore, the extensive impact of a comprehensive education in less privileged countries is a matter I comprehend fully.
I spent six years in Cambodia as a missionary and as the Director of the Xavier Jesuit School in the northwestern part of the country.
This school imparts quality education to students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.
However, these students will venture out into the world as transformative individuals, reshaping their own families and reshaping society as they play a role in determining the future of their nation.