July 16, 1999

Fr. Horacio de la Costa in his book Light Calvary tells the story of the beginning of the Ateneo de Manila and of Jesuit schools in the Philippines 140 years ago. In that story, he dwells long on an image, that of the bridge over and a street connecting the Jesuit Residence with the Ateneo Municipal. To quote him [Light Cavalry, p.39]. Continue Reading →

The Service of the Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education

Address of Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, at Santa Clara University about faith and justice in Jesuit higher education, October 6, 2000

Within the complex time and place we are in, and in the light of the recent General Congregations, I want to spell out several ideal characteristics as manifest in three complementary dimensions of Jesuit higher education: in who our students become, in what our faculty do, and in how our universities proceed. When I speak of ideals, some are easy to meet, others remain persistently challenging, but together they serve to orient our schools and, in the long run, to identify them. At the same time, the U.S. provincials have recently established an important Higher Education Committee to propose criteria on the staffing, leadership, and Jesuit sponsorship of our colleges and universities. May these criteria help to implement the ideal characteristics we now meditate on together. Continue Reading →


Address of Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, Superior General of the Society of Jesus To the International Meeting of Jesuit Higher Education Rome (Monte Cucco), May 27, 2001


1. It gives me great pleasure to greet all of you, Jesuits, lay men and women, responsible for higher education for the Society throughout the world, and to welcome you to Rome. I thank you for finding time, amid all your activities and responsibilities, to come to this meeting. I very much appreciate your commitment and devotion to the service of the mission of the Society in the field of education in your various countries. Continue Reading →

Address of Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach to the Students, Faculty and Staff of Elisabeth University of Music

To the Students, Faculty and Staff of Elisabeth University of Music

It is a pleasure for me to send greetings to you through President Hideaki Nakamura, Prof. Yuuji Kawano, his assistant, and Chancellor Lawrence McGarrell, S.J., following our meeting in Tokyo on 26 and 27 August together with the administrators of Sophia University. Continue Reading →

Excerpts from Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. De statu Societatis: Our Ministries

The Apostolate of Education

Inspired and led by Ignatius’ vision, I would like now to look at some aspects of the reality facing the Society in our time. First of all, our educational apostolate. We can be thankful that, despite increasing difficulties and concerns, our institutions continue to be highly visible, international and vibrant manifestations of Ignatius’ desire to “help souls.” Statistically, there are two and a half million students in 3451 institutions of various kinds in 68 countries: 202 schools of higher education, 444 if secondary, 123 of primary, 79 offering technical or professional training and 2603 Fe y Alegría schools, carried out in collaboration with other religious and lay people, in 19 Latin American countries. In response to new needs, more schools are being established. Continue Reading →

Address of Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach to the The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Catholic University of the North

Allow me first to thank the Grand Chancellor and the Rector of the Catholic University of the North for the honor and privilege of addressing the academic community on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its foundation. In 1956 my brother Jesuits of the College of St. Aloysius had the initiative of establishing a college in Antofagasta, helped by some lay people, one of whom was Mrs. Berta Gonzalez, widow of Astorga, the principal and most generous benefactress of the new academic institution. The Jesuits were not alone… Upon their invitation, many religious men and women, priests and lay, rallied around from the early years, to lend a hand to the new foundation which certainly benefited greatly from such indispensable support. The young university, since the recognition of its autonomy by the Chilean Government in 1974 has not ceased growing in the attainment of its intended objectives in areas scientific as well as technical. Continue Reading →

Jesuits and University Life

Jesuits and University Life

404 1. Jesuits have been engaged in university teaching, research, and scholarly publication almost since the foundation of the Society. From astronomy to classical ballet, from the humanities to theology, Jesuits try to enter into the languages and discourses of their inherited or emerging cultures. They attempt to discover, shape, renew, or promote human wisdom, while at the same time respecting the integrity of disciplined scholarship. They also seek to accompany in faith the men and women molded by the potent cultural forces inherent in the university as an institution. St. Ignatius was aware of the wide cultural impact of universities and chose to send Jesuits there, as places where a more universal good might be achieved. Throughout our history we have continued to affirm this basic Ignatian intuition. Continue Reading →



BORN FROM THE HEART of the Church, a Catholic University is located in that course of tradition which may be traced back to the very origin of the University as an institution. It has always been recognized as an incomparable centre of creativity and dissemination of knowledge for the good of humanity. By vocation, the Universitas magistrorum et scholarium is dedicated to research, to teaching and to the education of students who freely associate with their teachers in a common love of knowledge(1). With every other University it shares that gaudium de veritate, so precious to Saint Augustine, which is that joy of searching for, discovering and communicating truth(2) in every field of knowledge. A Catholic University’s privileged task is “to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth”(3). Continue Reading →