If I were pushed up against a wall of choice and told that I could have only four years under explicitly Catholic auspices, I would, without hesitation, take the high school years. I’m convinced that the potential for a positive educational impact is greater in the secondary school years than in any other four-year block of time allocated to the formal educational process. And that, in my view, is why Jesuits have been in secondary education…almost from the beginning.
---William J. Byron, S.J.
St. Ignatius Loyola was a Spanish soldier and aristocrat who established the Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits, in 1540. He instructed the early Jesuits to go out and "find God in all things" - the signature spirituality of the Jesuits.
The Society of Jesus is the largest order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church, with almost 17,000 members serving in 112 countries.
One of the founding principles of the Society of Jesus was "the education of children and unlettered persons." The Jesuits established their first school in 1548. Today, the Jesuits run more than 2,300 schools in 67 countries. Georgetown University, founded in 1789, is the oldest Jesuit school in the United States.
Pope Francis, who entered the Jesuits as a novice in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1969, is the first Jesuit to be elected pope. After his election to the papacy, Pope Francis said, "I feel I'm a Jesuit in my spirituality. I still think like a Jesuit."
Jesuit education worldwide