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JESUIT PRINCIPLES ON LEADERSHIP

JESUIT PRINCIPLES ON LEADERSHIP

A succinct expression of the Ignatian vision of leadership uses historical language from the early history of the Jesuits. Jeronimo Nadal, a member of the nascent Society of Jesus in the 16th century, was entrusted by St. Ignatius the task of communicating Ignatian ideals to Jesuits throughout the world.

Everywhere Nadal went, he consistently used the catch phrase nuestro modo de proceder or “our way of proceeding”, referring to the Ignatian style of leadership and ministry. Moreover, he used the following triad to capture three fundamental principles of the Ignatian charism: spiritu, corde, practice or “in the Spirit, from the heart, practically.”

“In the Spirit” – that which brings about consolation; acting out of God’s presence, goodness, justice, unity, reconciliation, joy, or similar movements toward God.

“From the heart” – “heart speaks to heart.” This refers to a way of speaking, acting and relating to others from the bottom of one’s heart. Engaging people at “the heart” does not mean solely touching their feelings and emotions but attracting people at the deeper level of motivations, values, and desires. It involves getting to the “heart of the matter,” relating to people at levels that give deeper meaning and purpose.

“Practically” –It entails being helpful in caring for and guiding people according to their needs, toward holistic growth. The classic Jesuit expression inquires: “What is better for the ‘help of souls’?”

Six words or phrases that are central to the Jesuit approach:

1. “MAGIS”: Meaning “more” and “at greater depth”, this is the challenge to strive for excellence.

2. “Women and men for and with others”: Describes persons who are ready to share gifts, pursue justice, and have concern for all, especially the poor and marginalized.

3. “Cura Personalis”: “Care for the individual person.” Speaks of respect and care for each person as a child of God and all of God’s creations.

4. “Union of minds and hearts”: Describes the readiness to seek to deeply understand and cooperate with others.

5. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (AMDG): A Latin phrase meaning that whatever we do, we do “for the greater glory of God”.

6. “Forming and educating agents of change”: Describes a pedagogy and teaching behaviour that reflects critical thought that leads to responsible, ethical action

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