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Jesuits in First Studies - Jesuits of North-West Africa Province | Society of Jesus

Gratitude Magazine March 2015 Edition

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Jesuits in First Studies

Picture of Jesuit Scholastics in first studies at Arrupe college, Harare, ZimbabweThe Jesuit is a sculpture in the hands of God through his active participation in a “work-in-progress” called formation. Previously, first studies follow a year of juniorate where focus is placed on greater socialization and the development of communication skills. Presently, the goals of juniorate are integrated into first studies which follow the Jesuits’ first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Philosophy is an important dimension of this stage of formation which takes a period of two, three, or four years. For the Jesuit, this is a time to amalgamate his spiritual and intellectual life; to perceive, through careful study of African and world cultures and the evolution of the history of ideas, with a consistent focus on the liberal arts. Interpersonal skills are stressed. Communication subjects, accentuating proficiency in English and French, are taken to enhance greater sensitivity to the needs in Africa and the world at large.

The Jesuit is challenged to develop critical thinking, that is, the ability to question his basic assumptions, thoughts and beliefs in order to cultivate a way of understanding his own choices in life. The aim of this first studies is therefore to give birth to a Jesuit who can lead an examined, reflected life through a process of profound critical self-awareness.

This first studies is directed towards an apostolic life, and the Jesuit in such studies continue his basic experience of service, community, and prayer. First studies are done at either Arrupe College, Harare in Zimbabwe or Faculté de Philosophie Saint Pierre Canisius, Kimwenza in DR Congo.

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