Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Stonyhurst College A 400 Year Jesuit Tradition

Changes in the way Stonyhurst College is run
By Ben Briggs

A ROMAN Catholic college that admits pupils from all over the world has announced major changes to the way it is governed. Stonyhurst College, Hurst Green, near Clitheroe, is planning to establish a self-governing charity to own and manage the future development of the school. The decision has been reached after lengthy discussions between Roman Catholic religious order the Jesuit foundation - the Society of Jesus - and the Stonyhurst board of governors.

The Jesuit church has been involved in the running of the college for more than 400 years and will continue to have a say in the way it is run. Now though, instead of the college being run as a charitable arm of the Society of Jesus, it will be governed by a separate charitable trust which give the college greater financial flexibility. The charity is expected to come into operation within the next 12 months, once it has been approved by the Society of Jesus' offices in Rome.

A college spokesman said: "The announcement about governance at Stonyhurst is an important and exciting development in the way our schools will be governed and led in the future. Above all, the governors will work to safeguard and develop the Jesuit ethos of the school." The Society of Jesus will continue its 400 year involvement with Stonyhurst, one of the oldest Jesuit Colleges in the world. There will, for instance, be the same strong presence on the board of governors. "The main benefit of the new arrangements will be that the governors will have more financial autonomy to develop our schools to meet the needs of the 21st Century. That financial independence will be underpinned by an endowment from the Society of Jesus which will support us in staying true to the ideals that have guided us down the years."

Link (here)


semper fidelis said...

I detest the dishonesty and PR-speak underlying such announcements.

In the past, parents who opted for Jesuit schools did so because those schools promised a 'Jesuit education', imparted, for the most part, by Jesuits, i.e. members of the Society of Jesus, products of a long - on average approximately 15 years - formation in philosophy, theology, humanities/sciences, and the beneficiaries of a profound and prolonged exposure to, and practice of, the principles of Ignatian pedagogy.

Now, parents can expect an institution supposedly inspired by a "Jesuit ethos", said "ethos" being authoritatively interpreted by a teaching staff, some of whom mayhave attended an occasional weekend seminar on Ignatian spirituality and/or the Jesuit philosophy of education.

"An important and exciting development"? Give me a break! The people responsible for recruiting students on the basis that such schools continue to be 'Jesuit' should be charged with false advertising.

p.s. Loved the reference to the "the Jesuit church". LOL!

Joseph Fromm said...

I like your take on the subject.
I was thinking fiduciary wall of seperation. Sue the school but not the "Society".

Anonymous said...

What can we expect from a writer who tells us "The Jesuit church has been involved in the running of the college...."

I suspect before he could be anything like an honest reporter, he'd have to know at least something about the subject.

Sadly, this seems the modern trend. It makes me glad I am an old man.

Anonymous said...

i am a current student at stonyhurst college and believe me there is nothing wrong with the way it is being run however i do agree there should be more jesuits running it.

Joseph Fromm said...

Dear Stoneyhurst Student,
Thanks for the up close perspective.

Anonymous said...

As a present Stonyhurst parent I would like to see Jesuit priests regularly taking Sunday mass, visiting the school and ensuring that the Jesuit tradition is adhered to. The writer who said that teacher's can interpret the Jesuit ethos as they wish may have it right - I hope not!

Anonymous said...

I left Stonyhurst a few years ago when there were only three Jesuits left there and none teaching. It was still very much a Jesuit school though. Jesuit principles and the school's history are still drummed into the students.

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