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Glossary

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There are 4 names in this directory beginning with the letter R.
Ratio Studiorum
(Latin for “Plan of Studies”) – A document the definitive form of which was published in 1599 after several earlier drafts and extensive consultation among Jesuits working in schools. It was a handbook of practical directives for teachers and administrators, a collection of the most effective educational methods of the time, tested and adapted to fit the Jesuit mission of education. Since it was addressed to Jesuits, the principles behind its directives could be assumed. They came, of course, from the vision and spirit of Ignatius.* The process that led to the Ratio and continued after its publication gave birth to the first real system of schools the world had ever known. Much of what the 1599 Ratio contained would not be relevant to Jesuit schools today. Still, the process out of which it grew and thrived suggests that we have only just begun to tap the possibilities within the international Jesuit network for collaboration and interchange. [See also “Education, Jesuit” and “Pedagogy, Ignatian/Jesuit.”]

Regency
A two- to three-year period during which Jesuit in training (see term below) work in ministries, often teaching in high schools or universities, while living in community.

Religious
Religious priests, brothers and sisters belong to communities, such as the Society of Jesus, which are typically guided by a particular mission or spiritual tradition. Religious, including Jesuits, take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; they are under the authority of their local superior and provincial. Jesuits take an additional vow of obedience to the Pope, placing themselves at his disposal for mission.

Religious Order / Religious Life
In Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity (less frequently in Anglican/Episcopal Christianity), a community of men or women bound together by the common profession, through “religious” vows, of “chastity [meaning “virginity” or “celibacy”], poverty, and obedience.” As a way of trying to follow Jesus’ example, the vows involve voluntary renunciation of things potentially good: marriage and sexual relations in the case of “virginity” or “celibacy,” personal ownership and possessions in the case of “poverty,” and one’s own will and plans in the case of “obedience.” This renunciation is made “for the sake of [God’s] kingdom” (Matthew 19:12), and for the sake of a more available and universal love beyond family ties, personal possessions, and self-determination. As a concrete form of Christian faith, it emphasizes the relativity of all the goods of this earth in the face of the only absolute, God, and a life lived definitively with God beyond this world. After Constantine’s conversion to Christianity (313 C.E.) and the establishment of Christianity as the state religion, “religious life” came into existence as a movement away from the “world” and the worldliness of the church. The monastic life of monks and nuns is a variation on this tradition. At the beginning of the modern western world, various new religious orders sprang up (the largest being the Jesuits*) that saw themselves not as fleeing from the world but as “apostles”* sent out into the world in service. In more recent centuries, many communities of religious women were founded with a similar goal of apostolic* service, often with Jesuit-inspired constitutions.
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