Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grad at Grad--What makes it Jesuit?

"What makes your Jesuit school Jesuit?"

I have the privilege of spending 48 hours with a group of people working at Jesuit schools in the Chicago-Detroit Province reflecting on this question. Gathered here are more than 50 teachers, administrators, and staff members from Chicago Jesuit Academy, Christ the King, Cristo Rey, St. Ignatius and Loyola Academy (in the Chicago area) and Brebeuf Jesuit (in Indianapolis). These dedicated people have spent at least a year working at their school and have come together to grow in their understanding of St. Ignatius, the Spiritual Exercises, and the mission of Jesuit schools.

They have a variety of reasons for why they chose to work at a Jesuit school. Some were Jesuit educated through high school or college and want to be at a school that upholds those values. Some were looking for a Catholic school where they could integrate their faith into their work lives. Some were simply looking for a job, and this is where they landed. Despite the variety of reasons, they all share a love of, and a dedication to, the mission of the school to form "men and women for others."

At Jesuit schools, there are 5 characteristics of their graduates that they want to see at graduation (known as "Grad at Grad"). Briefly, these graduates should be:
1. Open to growth
2. Intellectually competent
3. Religious
4. Loving
5. Committed to doing justice

For me, as someone who wasn't Jesuit educated, I strive to embody these five criteria now in my life, let alone when I was 17 and graduating from high school. These are the marks of people who are growing in their relationship with God and trying to live their lives as God is calling them to live.

At this point in my life, years after my high school graduation, can I say I am living out these ideals? How am I measuring up to these Grad at Grad goals?


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