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Understanding Ignatian and Jesuit Spirituality

In Conversations about the Mission and Identity of Jesuit Institutions, two phrases are often used interchangeably: Ignatian Spirituality and Jesuit Spirituality. Yet, it may be helpful to clarify the meaning of each of these and make a distinction between them. This examination is not a mere word-game but rather an attempt to make these ideas more accessible.

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Eight Basic Principles of Ignatian Spirituality


Cura personalis

Care for the whole person, A desire to foster the integral development of heart, mind, and soul


Learned Ministry

Teaching and modelling behaviours that reflect critical thought and responsible action


Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

"For the greater glory of God", our desire to be of greater service to God and neighbour


Women and men for and with others

Sharing gifts to restore right relationship with all of creation



The greater the desire that arises in us in response to God's gift for us, for the world, and for humanity


Contemplation in Action

Discovering God's care for us and for the world


Finding God in all things

The practice of the daily examen and an active searching for God in all things

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Community as Mission

Inclusive hospitality and reconciliation that builds up the Body of Christ

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