It is a great pleasure to welcome you to our Deusto Assembly. Our theme, “Transforming Our World Together,” is meant to be both an aspiration and an inspiration. With all the good that we as Jesuit universities and academic programs are doing, could we not do even more if we work together to build a more just and sustainable world, and promote healing and reconciliation in our local and regional communities?
This Deusto Assembly 2018 will inaugurate the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU), as the Society of Jesus’ official higher education network. Together, we will explore six strategic priorities for our schools. And, in the spirit of GC 36’s call for greater use of networks and more intentional collaboration for the promotion of faith, justice and reconciliation, we will discuss ways we might form “communities of practice” to advance programs that promote these priorities in our teaching, research and advocacy efforts.
To prepare for this Assembly, six task forces developed position papers that broadly outline the challenges before us and possible avenues of collaboration, local action and implementation in six key challenges. These task force reports have been posted and will be the basis for conversation sessions which will allow you to share best practices, learn what others are doing to promote the priority. Hopefully, these sessions will surface new ideas for further cooperation between and among our institutions of higher learning.
After the keynotes, the conversations, and the presentation of global program ideas, we will convene for a plenary on Thursday afternoon, the last day of our Assembly, to offer suggestions and resolutions for the new IAJU Board. This new advisory body will be comprised of two delegates from each of the six regions of the Society and report to the general of the Society of Jesus through the Secretary for Higher Education.
Thank you for your time and interest, your good will and your participation in this important gathering. Our higher education apostolate is one of the most effective means we have for improving the lives of our brothers and sisters globally. And, Jesuit higher education remains one of the truly global platforms for bringing faith, justice and reconciliation into a world that desperately needs them.
Father Michael J. Garanzini, SJ
Secretary for Higher Education