Dear Students, Parents, Alumni and Friends,
The patron saint of our school, St. Aloysius Gonzaga S.J. wrote that we ought not to be content with being hearers, but doers. Jesuit Dallas offers a unique educational experience that goes beyond intellectual mastery and addresses the formation of the whole person. When Father Pedro Arrupe coined the term Men for Others, he was challenging all of our students and graduates to use their Jesuit educations to live a life as God's hands on Earth.
Each year at Jesuit we work to develop new methods to help our young men grow in all the areas of the Profile of the Graduate, of which diversity and inclusion is paramount. We are called to model Christ’s love in all of our thoughts and actions. Embracing the Ignatian charism of life-long learning, our community is committed to join together in fellowship, advance mutual respect, and give dignity to each person’s perspective. This shared discovery better prepares students to contribute to a multicultural world, one in which local, national, and international tensions are often grounded in cultural, religious, and linguistic differences. Our work aims to ground our students in Catholic values while preparing them to serve the global community.
I need to reiterate the importance of our on-going commitment to building inclusive relationships across our community. There is an undeniable shift in our country that has worked its way into our schools, and there is no magic force field around our campus to keep the challenges associated with these changes from touching our lives. Conversations about inclusion that were once held behind closed doors (if they happened at all) are now happening out in the public eye, unfiltered, and in real time. Our young men are responding to this. Some are responding from an intellectual place by questioning what they see and hear. Others are responding with emotions ranging from confusion to fear. The one thing that they all have in common is the need for our help in navigating this evolving reality.
As part of our continuing efforts, we are evaluating and researching current needs and best practices to better guide our students in their formation and understanding of Christ’s call to be inclusive. We intend to work together to improve our community’s understanding of diversity through how it is addressed in our curriculum, and will continue to re-examine the concept of inclusion and how it relates to programs that occur outside of our classrooms. We have also identified areas of growth for our admissions process in the hope of fulfilling our goal of fostering a community that reflects the rich diversity of the Dallas metroplex so that students and families are introduced to the vibrant cultures that make us unique. Finally, in order for us to all work together most effectively, we will continue to seek ways to train our faculty and staff on how to best engage our students in discussions about diversity and inclusion within our community, and outside of Jesuit.
It is through the work of our faculty that many of our students’ nascent thoughts and beliefs become convictions and guiding principles that will last a lifetime. In the interest of providing our families with resources for having these important conversations, we began a new practice last year that we have called “Ignatian Days,” which encourages students, parents and faculty to engage in meaningful conversations on contemporary issues with an Ignatian lens. Topics include diversity and inclusion, human dignity, academic integrity, substance abuse, relationships with women, social media, and stress management. Each topic is reinforced in curriculum and programming throughout the School, while prayer services, the Examen, and daily morning prayer are tailored to the specific topics being covered.
It is my hope that as you explore our website, visit our campus, or meet with other Jesuit families, you are provided with the knowledge, information, and inspiration to be active participants in our community. I encourage you to stay informed about the School, and avail yourself of the opportunity that is Jesuit.
Again, a very warm welcome to Jesuit Dallas.