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The Division of University Mission and Ministry

A Pocket Guide to Jesuit Education


Ignatius decided that to serve God effectively he needed an education. This quest brought him to the University of Paris, where he became the center of a group of friends. Using his Spiritual Exercises, he challenged them to think about how they were going to use the unique gifts and personalities God had given them. After receiving their degrees, they decided they would stay together as a group and "help people" as Jesus and his disciples did. Gradually, they came to the decision to form a new kind of religious order. They were ordained Catholic priests and, in 1540, they received the approval of the Pope and called themselves "The Society of Jesus." Later, critics derisively called them "Jesuits" and this is the name that has stuck.


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