Mar. 26, 2019
Recently, Fr. General Arturo Sosa, SJ, released a 10-year outline for the Society of Jesus titled the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAP) for the Jesuits. The preferences are the Society’s response to the needs of the Church and informs our individual and collective mission-focused work worldwide.
As Fr. Sosa points out: The universal apostolic preferences are “points of reference for the whole Society, that inspire its discernment in common and its apostolic planning.” Since Creighton recently has been reaffirmed in its identity as an apostolate of the Society of Jesus, these UAP will continue to help shape our work as a university.
I invite you to learn more about the UAP and the four categories that will help guide us through 2029: Journeying with Youth, Walking with the Excluded, Discernment and the Spiritual Exercises, and Caring for Our Common Home. View the report.
As you read each preference and the implications that the overview implies, it will become clear that Creighton is already well-invested – with personnel and programs – in all of these areas through our work here, in Phoenix, and globally.
For example, Journeying with Youth focuses on accompanying young people to develop their full human potential. That, of course, is the center point of Creighton’s mission that focuses on our students. Our transformative pedagogy seeks to solidify and sustain a commitment to making the world a better place for all. As I like saying, “how and what we study” is such an important criterion of our mission and identity, and the coursework and experiences that draw our students to deeper levels of self-awareness; awareness of others; the capacities and skills of analysis, understanding, empathy, communication, and compassion; and, of course, action, are ever necessary.
Some of our programs come immediately to mind as we regard an invitation for Walking with the Excluded, which challenges us to especially serve those who are marginalized by various social and cultural systems. Our partnership with Jesuit Worldwide Learning, the Creighton-based Human Trafficking Initiative, our enduring relationships with the Dominican Republic, the significant and growing outreach to communities in north and south Omaha, the formation of our students through the Service & Justice Trips, the Financial Hope Collaborative, and many other programs, enable us to work on this apostolic focus. I would be remiss if I did not recognize the great interest of faculty, staff, and students who applied for Creighton Global Initiative funds to create programs and relationships with local refugees.
Our Christian Spirituality Program; the expanding formation of all of our Creighton constituencies through experiences of the Spiritual Exercises in short and longer formats, in person and through online delivery; and the focus on Catholic Social Teachings in various ways for all faculty, staff, and students enable us to engage the Discernment and the Spiritual Exercises category.
Our work through the environmental degree program, the growing work of the Office of Sustainability Programs, and the collaboration we have for the next six years with the Catholic Climate Covenant to host formation programs for Christian churches in the Midwestern United States in the summers of 2019, 2021, and 2023, begin to address the Caring for Our Common Home preference. Here, too, many of our CGI grants catalyzed programs and events around the important issues of sustainability. We are excited about the many initiatives that already enable Creighton to participate as an active apostolic work of the Jesuits.
At its core, the universal apostolic preferences are a challenge to all of us, both Jesuits and laity, to keep doing more, the magis. As we accept this challenge in different ways, it is our opportunity to practice the Jesuit, Catholic mission we espouse through our unique roles as members of the Creighton community.
Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ