Pope Francis' Connection to Gonzaga
One of Gonzaga’s most prominent ambassadors is the Jesuit Pontiff himself, Pope Francis. Pope Francis is the first ever Jesuit pope. His emphasis on caring for the poor and calling on world leaders to focus on social justice comes directly from his years as a Jesuit. As a Jesuit university, we at Gonzaga can’t help but be a little proud to have “one of our own” leading the Roman Catholic Church. While Papa Franceso’s visit to the United States is stirring up quite the buzz, he’s also gaining recognition for Jesuit universities across America.
USA Today wrote a brief and informative overview of the Jesuits’ role in education—a history that is filled with grit, creativity, and innovation. The Jesuits created a unique liberal arts education system that focused on “thoughtful, active, and engaged” citizens that set them apart from other institutions. Jesuit schools became renowned for this model of experiential learning; for responding to the world’s needs and impacting real change. The Jesuits’ dedication to active learning appealed to a mass audience, and eventually their influence spread from a small school in Sicily to schools all across the world.
Today, Gonzaga is proud to be one of those Jesuit institutions delivering on the 475 year old promise to educate men and women for others. We are part of tradition that spans over every country, in different languages, and throughout generations. It is clear that the Jesuit system of education is timeless, and while the Papal visit is only temporary to the states, Jesuit schools and their students will continue to thrive and respond to this call to action.
Want to learn more about the Jesuits and their approach to education? Check out some of these links below:
- #JesuitEducated: a whole series of stories about the meaning and impact of a Jesuit education.
- A piece about Pope Francis, Gonzaga, and what it means to be both Catholic and Jesuit, by Gonzaga’s very own Jesuit Community rector and Assistant Vice President for Mission, Rev. Jim Voiss, S.J.
- An animated video about the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius of Loyola, narrated by an olive! Unexpected and very cool!
Also, read the USA Today article here: Jesuit schools thrive in USA.