In July of 1973, Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. - then Superior General of the Jesuits - gave a historic speech to the Tenth International Congress of Jesuit Alumni in Valencia, Spain.
In what has become one of the hallmark statements of his speech, he gave this charge:
Today our prime educational objective must be to form men and women for others; men and women who will live not for themselves but for God and His Christ, for the God-man who lived and died for all the world; men and women who cannot even conceive of love of God which does not include love for the least of their neighbors; men and women completely convinced that love of God which does not issue in justice for others is a farce."
With these words, Fr. Arrupe recommitted Jesuit schools across the world to making service to others an integral part of their mission. His challenge was that all students would become, in his words, “men and women for others.”
Brebeuf Jesuit has embraced Fr. Arrupe’s call to servant leadership in many ways. First and foremost, all students complete a number of hours in direct service through the Community Service and Social Justice classes. Students also participate in service immersion trips, social justice conferences, and events such as Disability Awareness Day and summer sports camp for inner city youth. In addition, consistent with the Jesuit model of education, students reflect on their service experiences to better understand what it truly means to be a man or woman for others.
Community Service Class
Developing Men and Women for Others
One of the distinguishing features of a Jesuit education is the inclusion of community service in the curriculum. Service to others is integral to the Jesuit ideal of educating the whole person – a value developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola and his followers in the Society of Jesus more than 450 years ago. Consistent with educating the whole person, the class focuses on both the act of service itself as well as reflecting on that service.
Students are required to complete 40 hours of direct service with a marginalized/impoverished population. One of the main goals of the program is that the students will build relationships with the individuals at the agencies where they are volunteering. In addition it is our hope that our students will continue at their service agencies long after they’ve completed their required hours. For these reasons we provide a long list of agencies where students can incorporate their passions into their volunteering.
There are many ways in which we ask the students to engage in reflection. In the class this centers around small group discussions, journaling, reviewing documents from the Jesuits, social analysis, and exploring solutions through advocacy.