On Wednesday, August 3, the 2022 IAJU Assembly officially commenced with an opening Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, OFM Cap., Archbishop of Boston, at St. Ignatius Church. The Mass was also attended by delegates of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU), which concluded its gathering this week at Boston College.
In the introduction to his homily, Cardinal O’Malley gave a warm welcome to IAJU and IFCU participants and highlighted the deep history of the Jesuits and the city of Boston. Attendees were also reminded of the important responsibilities borne by the Society of Jesus in educating more than 800,000 students annually across six continents. He underscored the importance of Catholic colleges and universities not merely educating students, but helping them to become more human. Accordingly, this can be accomplished by teachers who serve as witnesses to their values, and who teach prayer and build community. Cardinal O’Malley concluded his homily with a reminder: “Beauty will save the world. Being a Catholic with a sense of vocation and mission is a beautiful life.”
Immediately after the Mass, IAJU and IFCU attendees had the unique opportunity to enjoy dinner in the Conte Forum—the heart of the Boston College Athletics program. During the dinner, Boston College’s president, Rev. William Leahy, S.J., reflected on the significance of IAJU and IFCU participants sharing this experience and day together. Rev. Joseph Christie, S.J. (Jesuit Secretary for Higher Education and head of IAJU) and Dr. Isabel Capeloa Gil (president of IFCU) also addressed attendees, sharing the mission and vision of their respective organizations.
The evening ended with a stunning display of fireworks over Conte Forum to celebrate a great first day of the IAJU Assembly and the conclusion of the IFCU gathering.