#JesuitEducated at Saint Peter’s University
Opening minds and hearts to discover Christ’s mission
By Rev. Rocco Danzi, S.J., Director of Campus Ministry at Saint Peter’s University
Jesuit education, Pope Francis and his upcoming visit to the United States — what are the connections? The heart of our Jesuit educational enterprise is also the heart of Francis’ mission as our Pope: to inspire women and men to believe, serve and love with all of their being. Indeed, it is nothing short of opening the minds and hearts of students, faculty and administration to discover in community and solidarity that they share in the very mission of Christ to transform lives and our world by beginning with the individual.
Jesuit education is centered on the formation of the whole person. It challenges us to question, expand beyond our previously-held comfort zones, and move out to the furthest frontiers of the imagination and greatest needs of our times. It seeks to always invite people into a two-fold dynamic that insists upon reflection and prayer, but ultimately demands action. The pedagogical movement first happens within, but is not yet complete until it leads to action. Hearts and minds are stirred and then we become engaged in the work of justice and peace.
Pope Francis is clearly a product and participant in this Jesuit educational enterprise. He keeps his message clear and uncomplicated: it is all about Christ, trusting in his love and mercy and hearing his call to love and serve. His upcoming visit to the United States is meant to inspire all who gather and jam the streets of our cities to see him. Pope Francis is offering a simple invitation to all to know and love Jesus — a Jesus who desires us and urges all to turn darkness into light and sadness into joy.
Rev. Rocco Danzi, S.J. is the director of campus ministry at Saint Peter’s University. He holds degrees from Saint Joseph’s University and Fordham University. A member of the New York Province of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Danzi previously worked for the New York Province Vocations Office and served as pastor of St. Ignatius Parish in Brooklyn.