News Detail
Jesuit Father Timothy Kesicki
"Are we really doing more to transform society? Are we, as alumni and friends of Jesuit institutions, living the magis?" — Jesuit Father Timothy Kesicki, president of the Jesuit Conference
“A Word St. Ignatius Did Not Use”: Jesuit Father Timothy Kesicki Delivers Loyola Club Speech

By Doris Yu

October 9, 2014 — How many people are aware that a word deeply identified with Jesuit culture — magis — was never used by the founder of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius Loyola? In a speech today before the Loyola Club of Washington, D.C., Jesuit Father Timothy P. Kesicki, president of the Jesuit Conference, spoke about the magis, Latin for more, and its significance in our daily lives.

The Loyola Club gathers Jesuit-educated alumni and friends three times a year for a lunch, networking and inspiration. Fr. Kesicki’s talk, “A Word St. Ignatius Did Not Use,” delved into the origins of the Ignatian concept of serving the greater glory of God and doing more. “What is the magis? Why should we care about it today? Why do we use it so much to describe so many things Jesuit?” asked Fr. Kesicki.

According to Fr. Kesicki, the word magis was first used by theologian Jesuit Father Karl Rahner and later popularized by modern Jesuits. Although it is not used in the Constitutions by St. Ignatius, the approach to transforming the world by doing more had its roots in St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises.

“Ignatius was about the comparative, doing more,” said Fr. Kesicki. “Because when we do more, we’re always growing, always learning, always listening, always doing. We don’t roll the credits and declare victory. It never ends, there’s no pinnacle, no penultimate moment, no mark of perfection. The magis is about choosing more, for the greater glory of God, to transform society.”

Fr. Kesicki referred to three individuals “who give perfect witness to the magis, to making hard decisions”: Pope Francis, Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor and Charles Geschke, alumnus of Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland and co-founder of Adobe, who was kidnapped in 1992 and used his faith to endure the harrowing experience.

“So often we lack the courage of a Pope Francis, the poetic inspiration of a Flannery O’Connor, and the courage of a Chuck Geschke. Are we really doing more to transform society?” Fr. Kesicki asked. “Are we, as alumni and friends of Jesuit institutions, living the magis? Are we still doing the same thing time and time again, not changing our approach at all?”

Fr. Kesicki closed his speech by encouraging the audience to emulate these three individuals and seek opportunities for living the magis in their own lives. “Let us do one thing this day and one thing tomorrow that is magis-driven, making a hard choice for the greater glory of God,” he said.  

To learn more about the Loyola Club, visit www.loyolaclubdc.org.





Recent News

September 18, 2019 — The president of the Jesuit Conference and the U.S. and Canadian provincials released a joint statement calling for increased advocacy efforts.


September 17, 2019 — Today is the feast day of Saint Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621), a Jesuit who was one of the most important cardinals of the Catholic Reformation.

September 12, 2019 — A nine-month-long retreat led to the most significant spiritual growth of Shannon Evans' life.

September 9, 2019 — Jesuit institutions were featured prominently on the 2020 U.S. News & World Report annual rankings of the best U.S. colleges and universities.

September 9, 2019 — Today is the feast day of Saint Peter Claver, a Jesuit missionary known as the patron saint of slaves, African missions and interracial justice.


view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 9/16/19

America 9/2/19

America 8/19/19



Loyola House of Retreats
Loyola House of Retreats is located on 30 acres of beautiful lawns, gardens and woodland in a quiet section of Morristown, N.J.