In the Society of Jesus, we have one mission, but many ministries. The mission is summed up in a phrase long associated with our order, Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam (“For the Greater Glory of God”), often abbreviated as AMDG. Our ministries extend across a world of human need and striving — from parishes to prisons, from retreat centers to refugee resettlements, from schools to hospitals.
And when we speak of “our” ministries, we speak not only of those with the “SJ” after their names, the vowed members of the Society of Jesus. Growing numbers of lay people are also taking part in our works, helping to steer our institutions, as partners in mission. This is not simply a pragmatic response to fewer religious vocations. It is grounded in a renewed theological vision of mutuality and partnership with the people of God.
We collaborate because we see Christ in the other. Collaboration is at the heart of contemporary Jesuit mission.
For all those animated by the Jesuit vision, ministry is an adventure. Our founder, Ignatius Loyola, captured this spirit when he sent his good friend, Francis Xavier, on a mission to the Far East. Ignatius told him — “Go, set the world on fire!”
That’s what we say to the young people in our high schools, middle schools, colleges and universities. It’s what we tell business people and others who take part in our many programs linking spirituality to professional vocations. And it’s the spirit behind all of our ministries, which strive to be equal to the glory of the human person and the “greater glory of God.”