Forming ‘men and women for others’ is not an easy job. Jesuit universities have long worked to make this a reality, forming students and alumni to become competent people in their areas of expertise, with a thirst for knowledge and a critical eye for social justice. They strive to provide a transformation that is both humane and humanizing.

Several Jesuit universities from around Europe and the Near East meet to explore new ways of collaborating, built on their common Ignatian roots. Even if they are geographically apart, they have a similar culture and mission. However, moving such big institutions to respond to the pragmatic needs of the societies they are part of is quite a challenge. Working hand in hand helps us get there. 

Forty students from the Loyola Andalucía University distinguished. 40 students from Loyola Andalucía University have been distinguished by the Jesuit Honor Society 'Alpha Sigma Nu' at an event held at Seville. This first ceremony was attended by Daniel Hendrickson SJ, president of Creighton University; Scott Hendrickson SJ, Loyola Chicago University Graduate Program Director; Kate Gaertner, executive director of 'Alpha Sigma Nu' and Gabriel Pérez Alcalá, rector of Loyola Andalucía University. 'Alpha Sigma Nu' was created 100 years ago in USA and now has 80,000 members. Last year Loyola Andalucía University was accepted as a chapter, being the first European partner. Alpha Sigma Nu honors students of Jesuit colleges and universities who distinguish themselves in scholarship, loyalty to the ideals of Jesuit education, and service to others. As the only honor society permitted to bear the name Jesuit, the vision of the Society is the encouragement of Ignatian inspired lifelong leaders. It has more than 32 chapters, since it is present in all the Jesuit universities of the United States and Canada and now also in Asia, in Sogang University and Europe through the Loyola Andalucía University.
Jesuit Universities Meeting in Brussels We are in the middle of a crisis of vision and solidarity in Europe: Brexit, refugees, Ukraine war... The public discourse is polarised. There is a wide poverty both, economic and spiritual, a desert of religious feeling and a lack of capabilities to address the deepest human needs. People are really struggling. To this situation we need to ask ourselves: “how do we respond to all of this?” This is a question that Father John Dardis SJ asked the rectors of the European and Middle East Jesuit universities during a meeting that was held in Brussels (in Centre Avec) on the 21st of June. During the meeting there was an amazing atmosphere amongst the 13 participants, moved by the desire of deepening the sense of Jesuit mission and identity across the Higher Education Institutions. The meeting was planned to discuss the proposal of “Higher Education for Social Transformation (HEST): A Kairos for Jesuit institutions!” that proposes to link higher education institutions with social centres and reviews to address certain issues of relevance for the Society, the Church and the European and Near East societies. We are talking about themes such as: migrations and refugees, ecology, poverty, anthropology...  This project is a response to Father General’s letter to the whole society “On the Global Economy” in which he called Jesuits and lay collaborators to read the document Promotio Iustitiae #121 . Some of the proposals in it are: - We should leverage our commitment and reputations for sound research and clear positions through direct advocacy. - We should therefore utilize our network of institutions to turn a spotlight on significant policy issues and to pressure for greater international cooperation in reforms that would make the lives of the poor more humane and just. - Our professional schools should collaborate to address issues about which there is a special knowledge, a direct contact with the social reality and the capacity to impact change through faculty, student, and alumni action Participants were very supportive of the initiative and are willing to work together with the faculties of philosophy and theology, the social centres and the reviews to turn our institutions into instruments of economic justice and reconciliation. Next stop: Uppsala. On the 10th of July the faculties of philosophy and theology will discern and work to move this project forward.        
Last summer’s joint apostolic project between the Jesuits of the British, Irish, Dutch and Flanders provinces has given birth to a number of initiatives which are nurturing closer collaboration between individuals and institutions of the four provinces. From 3rd-5th June Campion Hall in Oxford hosted the third meeting of a group of Jesuits engaged in teaching and academic research. The delegates gave and received eight papers on a range of subjects including Laudato Si from Gerald Whelan SJ of the Irish province who teaches Fundamental Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome, Rene Girard from Michael Kirwan SJ, and from Frank Turner SJ, provincial’s delegate for the intellectual apostolate in Britain, a paper which prompted discussion on what it means to be human in the world today. This encouraged reflection on the challenges of secularisation, nationalism, technological change, environmental concerns, intolerance and mass migration. “This was a great example of Jesuits thinking together across institutional, province and national boundaries, getting to know each-others’ intellectual language” commented convenor of the meeting Fr Dorian Llywelyn SJ of Heythrop College “The meeting generated a lot of fruitful dialogue across a wide range of discussion topics and we came away feeling very energised and hopeful that in future we would be able to share resources and ideas in practical ways across innovative joint platforms”. A follow up meeting is planned in Leuven towards the end of 2016.