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

Recent News

March 12, 2018 — A native of Haiti, Fr. Saint-Félix currently serves as the Secretary for the Office of Justice and Ecology at the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S.

March 10, 2018 — Today the Society of Jesus celebrates the feast day of Saint John Ogilvie, SJ, a Jesuit martyr.

March 8, 2018 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA has appointed Joan Rosenhauer to serve as the first woman in the role.

March 7, 2018 — March 9 marks the 450th anniversary of the birth of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, SJ.

March 6, 2018 — "Scripture and Tradition," a new show hosted by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, debuts today on EWTN.

(Washington, D.C., March 13, 2018) — Father Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, has named new rectors for the two Jesuit theology centers in the United States. Fr. Michael Boughton, SJ, will serve as rector of the Faber Jesuit Community at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (BCSTM), while Fr. Martin Connell, SJ, will serve as rector of the Jesuit Community at the Jesuit School of Theology (JST) of Santa Clara University.

view all news

Search news

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 3/5/18

America 2/19/18

America 2/5/18

Ignatius House Retreat Center
For almost 50 years, the Ignatius House Retreat Center has been open to individuals of all faiths seeking a closer relationship with God.