June 05, 2012

MISSION MATTERS: 'Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam'

AMDG logoBy Fr. Paul Stark, S.J.
Vice President for Mission and Ministry

Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), brave soldier in the service of a worldly king at one time and of Jesus forever, committed his young Society of Jesus to one mission: In everything we do and in everything we consider doing and in every way we measure the "fruit" of what we do, we reflect in terms of the greater glory of God.

The motto, of course, meant far more than a catchy phrase for Ignatius; it embodied then, and prescribes now, an attitude, a posture, a way of life, an understanding of why we're here, now, in the first place. In the final analysis, catch phrases and tag lines notwithstanding, AMDG, ad majorem Dei gloriam, is probably the easiest and richest way of proceeding of all.

Our colleges and universities, our secondary and elementary schools, our retreat houses and parishes, and the multitude of occupations contemporary Jesuits fill, all rely on, refer and respond to this motto, this way of proceeding. It is our foundation and our focus; it moves us beyond ourselves; it transports us to substance and to meaningful, enduring relationships and service to the "others" we are called and committed to cherish—in scripture, in philosophy, in Christianity and in nearly every other faith and denomination practiced by the more than six billion people who are our brothers and sisters, the "others" we are called to meet, to know, to care for, to serve.

As we enter our summer in earnest, working on campus or not, we can take some time to reflect on our experiences of this past year, and from that reflection, we can commit to actions that will inform and inspire us as we move forward, regardless of our position or place at our University.

Students, faculty, staff: We all have the same mission, in the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of God and for the service of humanity, we do what we do ad majorem Dei gloriam.

Mission Matters will publish once in June, once in July and begin anew in mid-August.

Have a blessed summer.

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