In 1548, 10 members of the recently founded Society of Jesus opened the first Jesuit school in Messina in Sicily. More than 450 years later, the Society is renowned for its educational apostolates and for educating “men and women for others,” which Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, 28th Superior General of the Society, called the principle objective of Jesuit education.
Gesu thanks our neighbors @SJPrep for partnering with us to support our 2nd annual back-to-school community event! We had a blast and we appreciate all who volunteered and donated backpacks and school supplies for our Gesu students. #AMDG https://t.co/Ri7P3qruLQ
— Gesu School (@TheGesuSchool) August 30, 2022
Today, more than 2,300 schools carry on this tradition all around the world. As we head into another school year, here are some highlights from our schools, as well as some Ignatian back-to-school resources.
Prayer for the New School Year
Begin the new school year with a Prayer for a New School Year from the Central and Southern Jesuits.
Find more prayers for the school year at JesuitResource.org and prayers for teachers at IgnatianSpirituality.com.
Welcoming New Teachers, Students and Presidents
Tips for New Teachers from a Jesuit Educator
As the school year begins, Jesuit institutions are welcoming new educators and staff onto campus. Fr. Ryan Duns, SJ, assistant professor of theology at Marquette University, shares his best practices to help teachers in the classroom.
Fr. Duns writes, “These are based on my own experiences in the classroom. If I have been a successful teacher, it owes much to the quality of students I have been privileged to teach, my own personality and the sage advice of wise teachers.”
Read his 21 tips for new teachers.
We offer this prayer from Xavier University for them:
A Prayer for Welcoming Our New Colleagues
With joy, we now join here together to celebrate,
as some look back on times past and as others look forward to times yet to come.
We rejoice in the opportunity to become better acquainted with our fellow colleagues while finding You in them.
We are grateful for the encouragement we receive
to seek to know You as the source and substance of our mission and identity.
We are humbled to be entrusted with the service
and promotion of social justice in our local and global communities.
We ask that You guide us in this service.
We praise You for Your generous gift of life and love and ask for Your help in sharing that love with everyone we meet.
– Sheila Doran
Today we welcomed our newest group of faculty and staff to Fordham Prep for their first day of orientation! We’re excited to have them on board with us as we continue our mission of faith, scholarship, and service. 🎉🐏#AMDG#jesuitschools pic.twitter.com/0EWXbPnQKu
— Fordham Prep (@FordhamPrep) August 30, 2022
Student from Ukraine Joins University of Scranton’s Class of 2026
After escaping the war in Ukraine, Serhii Kuzmin Jr. was able pursue his dream of attending college in the U.S., gaining admittance to the University of Scranton with financial assistance to cover his education expenses. Read more about Kuzmin’s journey.
New Jesuit College and University Presidents
Several U.S. Jesuit colleges and universities are starting the school year with or will soon be inaugurating new presidents, including Canisius College, Fordham University, Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Maryland, Rockhurst University, Santa Clara University and the University of Detroit Mercy. Learn more about the new presidents.
Mass of the Holy Spirit
The Mass of the Holy Spirit is a tradition at many Jesuit schools, almost as old as the Society of Jesus itself. The Mass dates back to the first Jesuit school in Messina, Sicily, in 1548, and is celebrated at the beginning of the academic year so that students might turn to the Spirit’s aid as they prepare to take upon new areas of study.
For the first time in two and a half years we were able to celebrate Mass with the entire student body. It is tradition to begin the year with the Mass of the Holy Spirit as we seek guidance for the coming year and embark on our next journey. #Brotherhood #jesuitdallas pic.twitter.com/N9od2l4buE
— Jesuit Dallas (@jesuitdallas) August 30, 2022
At the start of each academic year, Loyola’s Campus Ministry invites the entire campus community to attend the Mass of the Holy Spirit and Picnic. This Jesuit tradition dates back to the mid 1500s and the founding of Jesuit schools. Thanks to all who attended! pic.twitter.com/dqhvWlBa1M
— Loyola University Chicago (@LoyolaChicago) August 28, 2022
Amid the sometimes stressful moments of early alarms, navigating schedules and meeting new faces, the start of school also brings a strong sense of hope for the year ahead. As Jesuit educators “journey with youth,” we offer them many blessings as they “accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future.” (UAP 3) Best of luck with the new school year!