A Jesuit/Mercy Education
Detroit Mercy is Mercy and Jesuit
Detroit Mercy’s Catholic identity also reflects the tradition of our religious sponsors: the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.
Ignatius Loyola founded the Society of Jesus in 1540 to "go anywhere in the world for the help of souls."
Jesuit schools recognized that teaching young people in urban areas served "the greater good," which led to an extraordinary global committment. In a half century, Jesuits had traveled to many parts of Latin America and Asia, seeking to learn what their faith might look like in non-European contexts. Jesuit schools grew in numbers as Jesuits traveled the world. Jesuits hoped that through their schools, students would develop virtue, critical thinking and love for the wide world as sacred to God.
Characteristics of a Jesuit education include:
- A passion for quality
- A study of the humanities and sciences, no matter the major
- An emphasis on ethics and values, personal and professional
- A religious experience inviting students to integrate knowledge and faith
- A student-centered focus
Beginning particularly with General Congregation 32 (1974), Jesuits have increasingly recognized the world-famous call of Superior General Pedro Arrupe that Jesuit schools train "Men and Women for Others."
Catherine McAuley began teaching young women and tending to the sick in Dublin, Ireland, in the early 1800s. To further her work, she founded the House of Mercy in 1827.
As Sisters of Mercy traveled from Ireland to other parts of the world to establish new foundations, they started schools and hospitals in response to local needs. Today, 17 colleges and universities form the Conference for Mercy Higher Education in the U.S.
Characteristics of a Mercy education include:
- Regard for the dignity of the person
- Academic excellence and life-long learning
- Education of the whole person — body, mind and spirit
- Compassion and justice for those in need, especially women and children
A hallmark of a Mercy education, reflective of Catherine McAuley and an expression of the Mercy mission, is a commitment to service that transforms society.
Fr. Joseph Daoust, S.J.,“Of Kingfishers and Dragonflies: Faith and Justice at the Core of Jesuit Education,” The Berkley Electronic Press, 2001.
Maryanne Stevens, RSM, Ph.D., “Mercy Higher Education: Culture and Characteristics,” Discussion Paper, Conference of Mercy Higher Education, Winter 2004.
Catholic Identity in Mercy: http://www.mercyhighered.org/identity.html