Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Remembering Our Mission, Imagining Our Future

The Jesuits of Saint Louis University have organized a Jesuit Mission Series for the SLU community.  The three-part series begins on Thursday, February 28, at 4 pm, in the ballroom of the College Church (lower level).  Fr. Joseph Tetlow, SJ, will speak about our “Catholic and Jesuit Heritage.”

Here at the Heithaus Haven, we would like to provide a space in the comments section for continued conversation following each presentation – conversation that we hope will inspire us to action. 

Please join us in the comments section, following Fr. Tetlow’s presentation. Or, if you are so inspired, send us a reflection for publication as a blog post.

Update (03.01):  More information and resources are available at

Update (03.23):  The text of Fr. Tetlow's presentation is available here.

For an introduction to the series from Fr. Patrick Quinn, SJ, read on… (Thank you, Fr. Quinn, for sharing these remarks.)

Times of renewal are often prefaced by times of remembrance—a consideration of the foundational events and values that bring us to the present moment and, if we let them, help direct us towards the future.  This return to the beginning, return to the source, is a typical way of proceeding for us Jesuits. You see it at the times of our General Congregations and you see it at many of the turning points of our history.  So it is that once again we Jesuits turn to the beginning to help all of us consider our shared mission as a Catholic, Jesuit University—hence our theme:  “Remembering our Mission, Imagining our Future.”  And while we do begin with “Remembering our Mission”, we are not content to simply remember.  The purpose of our series is to inspire us all to dream once again—for dreaming is the beginning of our renewal.

It has been about 20 years since the production of “Shared Vision”.  That series hoped to guide us in developing a new vision for Jesuit Education in the third millennium.  And while that series served well for many years, the new challenges and opportunities of today call us to discern a new vision from a mission rooted in the traditions of the Society of Jesus and in the contributions made by so many of our friends, colleagues, benefactors and alumni.  We begin once again remembering our heritage and considering our future.  We will consider past, present and future as we consider “Our Catholic and Jesuit Heritage”, “The Meaning and Purpose of the University” and “Transforming the World through our University.”  While we’ve sought out noted Jesuits to present on these subjects, the presentations are just the beginning of a common dialogue towards imagining our future.  We hope the presentations stir us to discussion about what matters to all of us, our mission here at Saint Louis University.  Yet we hope that this conversation be informed by our heritage, consider the needs, challenges and opportunities of today and consider a tomorrow in cooperation with a community of Jesuit colleges, universities and apostolates throughout the world.

We very much want to share with you our heritage, our remembrance. But more, we wish you to share with us your own experiences of mission, your own hopes and dreams.  We hope that this series is the start of a renewal that will bring us together in mission for a tomorrow that we will build together.
 Please come.  Please listen.  Please participate.

Our first presentation will take place Thursday, February 28th at 4pm in the ballroom of the College Church (lower level).  Fr. Joseph Tetlow, SJ, will speak about our Catholic/Jesuit heritage.   He will speak to us in the context of a movement to secularism and the effort necessary to retain our values as a religious institution.  One of the key elements that is necessary in such an effort is communication/conversation.   Fr. Tetlow will highlight a history of talking with one another, whether in person or in the great Jesuit tradition of letter writing.

Join us for our conversation on “Our Catholic and Jesuit Heritage”, 4-5:30 pm, Thursday, February 28 in the lower level of St. Francis Xavier (College) Church.  Thanks to all.

Patrick Quinn, SJ
Bellarmine House Jesuit Community
Campus Ministry at Saint Louis University

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