On Saturday 10 June 2023, at 12.00, in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican, Pope Francis will meet the Jesuit schools of Italy, Malta and Albania. The event will involve all the communities of the schools of the Jesuit Education network of the Euro-Mediterranean Province: students, families, Jesuits, teachers, non-teaching staff, alumni and collaborators.
The reason of this meeting is twofold. The audience will be held exactly ten years after the previous one. In fact, it was June 7th 2013 when, always in the splendid setting of Aula Nervi, Pope Francis met the entire community of network Jesuit schools in one of his first public meetings, a few months after his election.
oday the network of Jesuit Education schools has grown, expanded, formally structured into a Foundation which includes, in addition to the schools in Italy and Albania, also the St. Aloysius College in Malta as well as other educational centres.
“This news fill us with joy and we can’t wait to meet Pope Francis again – says Father Alessandro Viano SJ, responsible for the pastoral activities of the entire network and of the Leone XIII College in Milan – All together we feel involved in his magisterium, raising awareness on the issues of integral ecology, and this is why we intend to adhere to the educational pact he proposed with such enthusiasm. This meeting will be an opportunity for us to listen to the message he will convey to us and to renew our commitment to educating men and women for others, at the service of our society, and a renewed commitment to care for our common home”.
Even before the pandemic, we had the desire to organize a new meeting with Pope Francis for the centenary of the Gonzaga Institute in Palermo. Last August, the request matured during a conference of all those responsible for school pastoral care in schools, aimed at integrating the teaching of religion with civic education and global citizenship. During this conference entitled “Masters of the Next Generation”, the strong desire for a new meeting with the Pope clearly emerged, to accept his invitation for a new mission in the field of education, living and re-launching the pedagogy of his magisterium. 10 years later we will go to Rome again #WithFrancesco – Citizens IN the world.
The Jesuit Education Network is the apostolic instrument in the educational field of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus. It is a participatory foundation, made up of schools and other educational works that adhere to it sharing the Ignatian pedagogy, spirituality and educational lines of the Society of Jesus. It is a tool created to put the centuries-old educational charism of the Society of Jesus at the service of the challenges of today’s world, convinced that the Ignatian approach is extremely relevant, and can help not only the Church but the whole society.
To date, eight schools in Italy, Malta and Albania, as well as the “Fè Y Alegria” network of educational institutions, a number of sports centers and training institutions, are part of the Jesuit Education network, for a combined total of more than 7,000 children and youth, not counting the adults in the Fè Y Alegria schools.