In 1521, a Spanish soldier and nobleman named Ignatius Loyola suffered near-fatal injuries on the battlefield. While recuperating in his family’s castle, Ignatius had an epiphany: while daydreams of chivalry left him feeling empty, reading religious texts brought him joy. This inspired him to reject his life of finery and devote himself to the practice of “finding God in all things.”
His quest gave birth to the order of the Society of Jesus, commonly known as Jesuits, which swiftly grew as people across Europe took his simple, inspiring message to heart. By the time of his death, the Jesuits were operating nearly 100 schools— and now encompasses a worldwide network of more than 1,000 schools, ministries, and service organizations.
Over 500 years later, the Jesuit tradition has more meaning and impact than ever before. It’s a roadmap to help us make sense of an increasingly complex world, and a way of living that encourages us to always put others ahead of ourselves. The tenets are numerous, but these are a few that we hold dear:
Saint Ignatius Loyola urged his followers to be “contemplatives in action,” working with people from all walks of life to develop true understanding and cultivate change. Today, we bring the ideal of contemplation in action to our classrooms, service projects and our way of being, moving confidently but thoughtfully through the world.
It informs the Jesuit community’s commitment to ecological legislation, and has spurned a global network of refugee relief services. At BC High, we promote justice through fearless, open dialogue and direct action with local not-for-profits and service organizations, such as Boys & Girls Club, My Brother’s Keeper, and Pine Street Inn.