Over one hundred members of the University of Deusto, belonging to its Apostolic Community, met in Loyola last 31 January with the aim of looking back at the last World Assembly of Jesuit Institutions of Higher Education held on 8-12 July 2018. This event led to the creation of the IAJU and the drawing up of a strategic plan for the 2018-2021 triennium. Practically a semester later, it seemed necessary to become aware of what, for many, represents a milestone in the recent history of the university mission of the Society of Jesus. Previously, in the autumn of last year, the University of Deusto published the main documents and papers of the aforementioned IAJU World Assembly in a special issue of its magazine. This issue has been distributed over different parts of the world.
Colombian Jesuit Moisés Peña drew the attention of all those present to the founding charter of the IAJU. It was found that the aims of the association, as well as the priorities of its strategic plan, responded to the essence of Ignatian intuition on the objectives of the educational mission of the Society of Jesus. IAJU is, after all, an up-to-date rethinking of a university desire to serve people evangelically, address deep human questions and encourage support of the most disadvantaged.
IAJU is ultimately a network. The meeting of the Apostolic Community helped to acknowledge that this network is both a relevant opportunity and a key challenge that needs to addressed. The network raises the awareness of the global dimension of the problems affecting humanity today. Hence, it instils a new responsibility to face what the world really needs today. Thus, IAJU is an invitation to a university mission touched by magis.
But no network exists by itself, but to the extent to which each of its nodes is assimilated. The meeting served to identify those attitudes that help us immerse ourselves in a different way of being university members. The University of Deusto’s Apostolic Community understood that the IAJU not only comes to us but we must also go to it. The way to embody this one-way journey and propose it to the University of Deusto's governing bodies will be the focus of our work in the forthcoming months, once the assessment of the meeting in Loyola has been fully completed. So far the major tasks seem to be done: The Jesuit network of university institutions does no longer remain in the past; it is heading towards the present and the future.