Pope Francis sent a video message to the Latin American Federation of Jesuit Schools (FLACSI), to mark its 20th anniversary, on June 10, 2021.
Here is the translation of the message, provided by the Vatican.
Dear brothers and sisters of the FLACSI educational community,
A reflection to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Federation. I say to celebrate because every step ahead is always a reason to celebrate.
Jesus is the model that teaches us to relate with others and with Creation. He teaches us to go out, to meet with the smallest, with the poor, the rejected. He always sought out those people. May our schools form hearts convinced of the mission for which they were created, with the certainty that “life is attained and matures in the measure that it is offered up in order to give life to others” (Evangelii Gaudium, 10). Life that is conserved ends up being a museum piece that smells of mothballs, and this is not helpful.
I would like schools to be “welcoming schools”, or rather places where one’s own and others’ wounds can be healed; schools where the doors are truly open and not only in words, where the poor can enter and where one can go to meet the poor. They embody the wisdom of the Gospel, which is the privileged perspective from which we can learn so much. Schools that do not retreat into a selfish elitism, but that learn to live together with everyone, where brotherhood is lived, knowing that everything is connected (cf. Laudato si’, 138) and remembering that brotherhood does not express, in the first place, a moral duty, but rather the objective identity of the human race and of all creation (cf. Istrumentum laboris, Global Compact on Education). This fraternity… We are created as a family, as brothers and sisters.
I want your schools to teach how to discern, to read the signs of the times, to interpret one’s own life as a gift to be grateful for and to share. They should have a critical attitude towards the model of development, production and consumption (cf. Laudato si’, 138) that push vertiginously towards the shameful iniquity that makes the vast majority of the world’s population suffer. As you can see, my wish is that your schools have conscience, and create conscience.
May they be schools of disciples and missionaries (Aparecida). I want to encourage you to continue to work together for another twenty years, then another twenty, and twenty more, dedicated to the Global Compact on Education, and I thank you for your service in promoting faith and justice.
Keep going with this mission that has been entrusted to you. May God bless you, Our Lady keep you, and pray for me. Thank you.
© Libreria Editrice Vatican