For 450 years, Jesuit education has sought to educate “the whole person” intellectually, professionally, psychologically, morally and spiritually. But in the emerging global reality, with its great possibilities and deep contradictions, the whole person is different from the whole person of the Counter-Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, or the 20th Century. Tomorrow’s “whole person” cannot be whole without an educated awareness of society and culture with which to contribute socially, generously, in the real world. Tomorrow’s whole person must have, in brief, a well-educated solidarity.
We must therefore raise our Jesuit educational standard to “educate the whole person of solidarity for the real world." When the heart is touched by direct experience, the mind may be challenged to change. Personal involvement with innocent suffering, with the injustice others suffer, is the catalyst for solidarity which then gives rise to intellectual inquiry and moral reflection.
Students, in the course of their formation, must let the gritty reality of this world into their lives, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering and engage it constructively. They should learn to perceive, think, judge, choose and act for the rights of others, especially the disadvantaged and the oppressed.
Most Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J.
Superior General of the Society of Jesus
From his address, “The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education,” delivered at Santa Clara University, October 2000