Universal Apostolic Preferences 2019-2029



Help Us In Our Jesuit Mission

      Oh God beyond all Praising, Oh God who invite us to labor with you for the freedom and full human flourishing of all people, Oh God who are alive and at work in each and all of us, drawing us toward your Kingdom of life and light.

      Today, we recommit ourselves to the mission you entrust to us as members of this Ignatian Family. Today we accept with humility and eagerness the mission of “accompanying the young in the creation of a hope-filled future.”

      Help us to “teach them discernment and share with them the Good News of Jesus Christ” and in this way “show them the way to God that passes through solidarity with human beings and the construction of a more just world.”

        Help us to be attentive to our students, ready to learn from then, since it is they, “who…can help us to understand better the epochal change we are living and its hope-filled newness,” this “period of change from which will emerge a new humanity and a new way of structuring human life in its personal and social dimensions.”

      May our colleges and universities, whether our students are physically present or engaged on-line, be places “open to youthful creativity,” places where we strive to create “conditions that allow all to develop their full potential as human beings.”

    Dear God, please stir into flame in us the gifts we need to accompany young people: “authenticity of life, spiritual depth, and openness to sharing the life-mission that gives meaning to who we are and what we do.” With these gifts we can learn, along with our students, to find God in all things and through our varied forms of service to them, “help them live this stage of their lives more profoundly,” more intentionally, more humanely.

      May our mission of “accompanying our students put us all on the path of personal and communitarian and institutional conversion.”


Written by Gerry Blaszczak SJ

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Inspired by the Universal Apostolic Preferences

I wanted to start with a very brief capture of why Xavier is so important to me as a person of the Islamic faith. One of my first memories as a child growing up in Lahore, Pakistan was a beautiful catholic family where the father was a colleague with my dad at the major university there having completed their PhDs together at Indiana University. Those deep seeded fond memories have been reinforced by seeing more closely the work and the values of the Jesuits. Though it was with much reflection, it was without hesitation that both of our boys with full blessings chose to go to St. Xavier high school to be for and with men for others. Knowing Father Graham, working with the Brueggeman Center and getting to know a number of people at Xavier has only reinforced the connection of common values and much of my desired mission in life. In trying to summarize the connection of these common values and desired work with my faith of Islam, I had to look no further than the universal apostolic preferences for the next decade at Xavier.

I begin this prayer in the name of God the most merciful, the most beneficient-

Oh dear God
As we at Xavier strive "To show the way to God through spiritual exercise and discernment", I am reminded of my favorite saying of the prophet Muhammad.

God says:
"I am just as My servant thinks I am, and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than them; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running."

As we at Xavier are asked "To walk with the poor, the outcast of the world, those whose dignity has been violated in a mission of reconciliation and justice."
Let us remember what we have and who we are due to God's blessings and mercy.
Let us remember that it is our obligation to serve those in need as they may be more loved by God than us.
In Chapter 4 of the Quran titled Women we are told "O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourself, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for God can best protect both."

Oh Dear God,
As Xavier ambassadors we strive "To accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future."
Let us remember that we were once young and relied on the love, compassion and support of those older to lift us up, give us hope and show us a path to a brighter future. God reminds us not to be empty vessels of prayer and chapter 107 of the Quran says:
"Have you considered him who denies the religion?
It is he who mistreats the orphan.
And does not encourage the feeding of the poor.
So woe to those who pray.
Those who are heedless of their prayers.
Those who put on the appearance.
And without the assistance."

Our Gracious God,
We see many signs that compel us "To collaborate in the care of our common home"
Let us remember that God created nature in a balance ("al-mizan") and mankind's responsibility is to maintain this fragile equilibrium through wise governance and sound personal conduct.
The Quran also describes the believing men and women as those who "walk on Earth in humility." (Q 25:63)
Let us remember that even the Earth has inalienable rights endowed by its Creator.

In closing, let us remember those loved ones that have passes too quickly for even the short time on this Earth.
We in Islam say "inna lilla wainna illaihi rajaioon", "From God they came and until God they return!"
Let us remember those innocent people that tragically died at the hands of those who are charged to protect them and the 500,000 lives (grandfathers, grandmothers, parents, children, daughter, sons and friends) that perished during this year of an unprecedented pandemic. May God have his just mercy on all of them.
May we remember their legacy by seeking God's guidance and striving to create a better world for not just our children but all of our children to come.

Amen Amen

Authored and presented by Ms. Shakila Ahmad

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