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Have the Jesuits always been educators? How does a Jesuit become a Jesuit? What is cura personalis? Get answers about all things Jesuit here. The Society of Jesus — or the Jesuits for short — is the religious order of men in the Catholic Church who founded Georgetown along with many other high schools, colleges and universities around the world. From the beginnings of the Society of Jesus — education, ministry and outreach to the marginalized have been at the core of the Jesuit mission.

Still, many ask: Who exactly are the Jesuits? Who was their founder? How do they fit into the Catholic Church? What is their history? The following sections attempt to answer some of these questions.

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The Jesuits are an apostolic religious community called the Society of Jesus. They are grounded in love for Christ and animated by the spiritual vision of their founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, to help others and seek God in all things.

As members of a worldwide society within the Catholic Church, the Jesuits are committed to the service of faith and the promotion of justice. Ignatius created the religious order of men in the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century. Ignatius and his friends — all of them students at the University of Paris — committed themselves to establishing the Society of Jesus in Montmartre in Ignatius was born in the Basque region of Spain inthe youngest son of a minor nobleman. A soldier and courtier in Spain, he was driven by a desire for fame, honor and nobility.

While defending a castle in Pamplona against a French siege, however, he was struck by a cannonball that shattered his leg and left him bedridden for months. This resulted in a deep desire to serve God. Ignatius began to travel widely — begging, preaching and caring for the poor and the sick. Along the way, he recorded his spiritual insights and methods of prayer in a manual that later became the Spiritual Exercises. This handbook provides the paradigm for a spirituality and pedagogy that Jesuits and their lay colleagues continue to use to this day.

Already in his 30s, Ignatius went to school to pursue an education. Students from all over Europe flocked to the burgeoning schools, and Jesuit missionaries opened schools where none before had existed.

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Even prior to the establishment of Georgetown University, the Jesuits were operating more than universities, seminaries and secondary schools around the globe. Many of these schools catered to students who might otherwise not receive a formal education, and the Jesuits committed themselves to educating everyone they could. Ignatius himself spent ificant time in his later years fundraising for these schools so that students who could not afford tuition would not be turned away. After entering the Society, men pursue a decade-long course of studies and spiritual formation before being ordained to the priesthood.

Many also earn advanced degrees in a wide variety of academic disciplines. The Georgetown Jesuit community has thus been home to actors, astronomers, poets, politicians, playwrights, physicians, lawyers, sculptors, painters and professors of every field.

Most but not all Jesuits serve as priests. There are also Jesuit brothers, several of whom live and work here at Georgetown. The spirituality and values of Ignatius and the early Jesuits marked the schools they founded. Thus Georgetown continues to offer its students a distinctive education. Certain characteristics, grounded in the vision of Ignatius and the early Jesuits, are of paramount importance for universities in the Ignatian tradition. Ignatius believed that as individuals come to understand the world and develop a more robust vision of it, they are led to think and act in new ways.

Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S. Ignatius and the early Jesuits to become involved in higher education. These directives still determine the work of Ignatian educators today. They strive to:. Provide students with knowledge and skills to excel in whatever field they choose. Contribute to the education of women and men as good citizens, people of competence, conscience and compassion dedicated to the service of faith and the promotion of justice.

Celebrate the full range of human intellectual power and achievement, viewing reason not as antithetical to faith, but as its necessary complement. Affirm a Christian understanding of the human person as a creature of God whose ultimate destiny is beyond the human. During the time of his conversion, Ignatius experienced God not as distant and removed, but as a teacher personally involved in his life. Early Jesuit educators similarly worked to develop a reverent familiarity with their students, which allowed Jesuits to educate them on an individual basis according to the particular needs and gifts of each student.

In keeping with this age-old tradition, Georgetown faculty and administrators strive to learn about students personally — their backgrounds and life histories, their strengths and limitations, their struggles and hopes. These teachers and mentors seek to build personal, trusting relationships with students so they will feel comfortable asking questions, taking intellectual risks and making mistakes and learning from them.

Jesuit principles guided John Carroll when he first announced his plans for Georgetown, plans at once modest and grand. It was not until the early s that the Jesuits were restored as a religious order in the Catholic Church. Each student shares in the responsibility In shape Dc guy looking for something nice keeping this heritage alive. Jesuits have cared for the university from its earliest days. Histories of the university celebrate their numerous contributions as teachers, scholars, administrators, chaplains and counselors. Hundreds of Jesuits, along with generous alumni and benefactors, have also worked tirelessly to build Georgetown, both literally and figuratively, into the university it is today.

Through the years a ificant of Georgetown alumni have entered the Society of Jesus. Jesuits continue the work of their predecessors, contributing to all aspects of university life.

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Others serve as residential ministers in residence halls. The Jesuit community is led by its local religious superior and is connected to the worldwide Society of Jesus through a regional superior, known as the Provincial. Ultimately, all Jesuits come under the jurisdiction of the Superior General, who resides at the Jesuit headquarters in Rome. Date Published: November 19, Share Facebook Twitter. Related Content. Search Georgetown.

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