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Educating for Justice  

The Gonzaga Mission

Justice in the Classroom
Justice outside the Classroom
Staff Formation
Justice and Peace Group
An Ignatian Examen
Education for Justice and Reconciliation Programme
Educate Magis
Jesuit links

We strive to form men of competence, conscience, courage, and compassion; men of integrity, whose faith affirms the uniqueness and dignity of each individual, demands a generous commitment to service, and seeks to bring about a world where justice is the birthright of all

                                                                                    Mission Statement, Gonzaga College SJ


When Pedro Arrupe SJ became Superior General of the Society of Jesus in 1965, he set out to ensure that the Jesuits committed to addressing the needs of the poor and vulnerable in our world. His understanding of justice, coupled with his experiences as a missionary, guided his vision for Jesuit education. In his 1973 address to Jesuit alumni in Spain, he noted that the goal of Jesuit education was ‘to form men-women for others’. This ideal was endorsed and expanded on by Peter Hans Kolvenbach SJ, Superior General (1983 – 2008) when he summoned Jesuit educators to ‘form men and women of competence, conscience, and compassionate commitment’

Competence prepares students to ‘use their knowledge and their skills’ to live and transform the context they live in.  Conscience develops their ability to see the world they live in ‘with the eyes of God’, discovering both ‘the beauty of creation’ and ‘places of pain, misery, and injustice.’ This not only leads them to be thankful for what they have but also ignites within them a desire to change the world they live in. Compassion cultivates their capacity to move from a feeling of ‘charity and compassion’ towards a response to injustice, while Commitment, being ‘inseparably tied to compassion’ means they will continuously strive ‘toward faith’ and towards dismantling social structures which create injustice.  All of which, requires courage.

Recently Nicolas Adolfo, Superior General (2008 - 2016) explored the above as an expression of the Human Excellence that Jesuit education seeks to offer its students. Preparing students to change the world for the better is integral to their faith formation.

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Justice in the Classroom

In Gonzaga students are afforded the opportunity to deepen their understanding and reflection of much injustice in our world. This is achieved through the teaching of stand-alone modules (please see below) within the Junior Certificate RE curriculum and in Transition Year. Equally, teachers often employ a ‘justice lens’ in their own subject areas to inspire students to think critically about the world they live and creatively on how to change it for the better.

Jesuit-centered modules such as, Responding to Injustice: An Ignatian Approach, Global Justice Perspectives, and On the Margins, along with other resources can be found at this link:

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Justice outside the Classroom

The knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom is complimented by the many justice-focused activities that students get involved in outside the classroom. This affords students not only the opportunity ‘to serve’ but to ‘serve more effectively’. The following links below highlight much of the great work Gonzaga students accomplish in terms of justice outside the classroom.

Opportunities for Service (e.g. Habitat for Humanity, SVP, Lourdes)

Green Schools

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Staff Formation

Every year, staff from all Jesuit schools in Ireland take part in a formation visit to Northern Uganda. So far three staff members from Gonzaga have taken part. This trip is a unique and enriching professional and personal development experience. Staff encounter Jesuit school life in a completely different context. Further to this school-based experience, staff link in with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in northern Uganda and Kampala. Recent UNHCR figures estimate that over one million people from South Sudan are seeking protection, safety and shelter in Uganda.

The purpose of this formation experience is to allow staff from Jesuit schools to meet and share their values, experiences and needs. It further affords them the opportunity to form friendships and partnerships, thus becoming a voice for Africa in Ireland.

This ten day experience, organised by the Education for Justice Programme, Jesuit Schools Ireland, presents staff with the wonderful opportunity to connect with members of the global Jesuit family.

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Justice and Peace Group

The JUSTICE & PEACE group is made up of students of all year groups interested in researching issues relating to these concepts in our world today and working on age-appropriate projects. The aim of the group is to raise awareness of these topics among students, staff and the wider community. Students work on projects promoting justice in the world and present these within the school, through social media and the Educate Magisnetwork. The group is looking in particular at the following four key issues of justice:

1) Economic and Social Justice (Ireland)

2) Global Justice (Development Education)

3) Climate Justice

4) Migrants & Refugees


A special aspect of this group is that it is run in connection with other Jesuit and Loreto schools and/or institutions  that all work towards peace and justice for all. We hope that in years to come we can have meetings and debates with partner schools.   


Justice & Peace members meet weekly with Ms Clarke and Ms Penn in Room 13. During meetings we discuss current topics and invite guest speakers in order to inspire us. If you have any questions, please email 


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An Ignatian Examen

‘Reconciling God, Creation and Humanity is a reflection tool to heed Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’ to care for creation and reconcile our relationship with God, Creation and one another as expressed in the 36th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus.’

(Ignatian Solidarity Network)


The full Examen can be found at

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Education for Justice and Reconciliation Programme

Impassioned by the call ‘to serve’, the Education for Justice and Reconciliation Programme seeks to support those within Jesuit schools in Ireland as they embed justice across all areas of school life; school programmes (curricular and co-curricular), staff formation, school policy and school structure. The programme encompasses four key areas of justice: Global Justice, Climate Justice, Economic and Social Justice, and Migrants and Refugees.  Education for Justice seeks to inspire a ‘faith that does Justice’, and thus, brings to the fore Arrupe’s avowal that we cannot ‘separate action for justice’ from the ‘proclamation of the Word of God’. Further, it upholds the Jesuit educational objective which is to ‘form men and women for others … men and women of competence, conscience, and compassionate commitment.’  While under the remit of the Jesuit Education Desk, Ireland, the programme, which evolved from the Irish Jesuit Mission’s Development Education Programme, continues to be funded and supported by the IJM. For more information please visit

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Educate Magis

Educate Magis is a vibrant online community that connects educators from Jesuit and Ignatian schools around the world. Answering the call to become a ‘universal body with a universal mission’, Educate Magis transcends boundaries and allows Jesuit educators the opportunity to collaborate in solidarity in service of the Jesiut mission to bring about a more just world.  Teachers in Jesuit schools in Ireland are encouraged to use this global resource and connect with Jesuit schools around the world.


Please visit the website.


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