Mission Statement of
The Jesuit Community at Gonzaga University
Adopted February 3, 2003
The Jesuit Community at Gonzaga University continues the commitment of Gonzaga's founding Jesuits, members of the Society of Jesus, who from the start in 1887 offered higher education within the faith tradition of the Catholic Church and the ideals of St. Ignatius of Loyola to all those enrolled at Gonzaga. That commitment to education traces its origins back to the first Jesuit college which St. Ignatius himself established in Messina, Sicily, in 1548.
The Jesuit Community works intentionally with the University and the Catholic Church to bring the reign of Christ in justice, love, and peace to our world. It promotes the University's humanistic, Catholic, and Jesuit character by fostering the intellectual and spiritual traditions of the Society of Jesus. The Jesuit Community views the mission of Gonzaga University from two standpoints, as a work of the Society of Jesus, and as a collaborative effort in which Jesuits engage the interest and help of the entire university community.
As a work of the Society of Jesus, Gonzaga University strives to be in conformity with the mission of the Society. The Jesuits do not carry on this work in isolation but in relation to the other Jesuit universities and in union with the several other works of the Society and the Church. In a spirit of partnership, the Jesuits share leadership in a variety of administrative, faculty, and staff positions. In addition to their regular University assignments, some serve as Members of the Corporation of Gonzaga University or on the Board of Trustees.
As priests and religious, the Jesuits administer the sacraments of the Catholic Church, offer pastoral presence and service, and undertake the office of residence hall chaplains. Jesuits seek to establish the reign of Christ on earth by bringing about a personal transformation of their students so that they may, in turn, transform the world. This transformation is shaped for each Jesuit by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, the sacred scriptures, and the teachings of the Church. Jesuits in turn facilitate this transformation in the lives of all to whom they minister.
Further, the Jesuit Community makes a concerted effort to enlist Jesuits from throughout the world to share with it the responsibilities of apostolic service at Gonzaga. This effort is carried on in the spirit of God's call to each Jesuit to build the kingdom of God on earth through obedience to the mission of the Society of Jesus. Higher education and the intellectual apostolate are key components of that mission.
As a collaborative effort, the Jesuit mission can only attain its purpose by preparing all those enrolled in Jesuit educational institutions to be men and women in the service of others. Jesuits themselves, their co-laborers, and their students are urged to work ceaselessly for those to whom justice has been denied or whose poverty have closed off for them the necessities of life.
The Jesuits of Gonzaga, finally, commit themselves to offer opportunities to all members of the University community to learn about and advance that Jesuit mission at Gonzaga University described in this document.