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U-MAGIS: Staying in touch with Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy while promoting safeguarding practices

By Hilarion Rakotoarison SJ

After the Bilbao’s meeting of the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU) in July 2018, University Magis (U-MAGIS) of Madagascar echoed the spirit of “Transforming Our World Together” in organizing a gathering for professors and staff each year to keep the spirit and motivation in living Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy.

In January this year, about 114 professors and collaborators gathered at U-MAGIS Amparibe-Antananarivo to discuss revitalizing the Ignatian pedagogy for the intellectual apostolate in Madagascar and to reinforce togetherness in order to enhance collaboration among Jesuit institutes and colleges in becoming progressively University Magis. Also, 120 staff and professors came to U-MAGIS Bevalala, in the south of Antananarivo, on January 31, to share their experiences, reflect on the Ignatian pedagogy and how to protect children and vulnerable adults in the various Jesuit institutes and colleges.

During the gathering, Fr Hilarion Rakotoarison SJ the President of U-MAGIS made an introduction followed by an address by Fr Fulgence Ratsimbazafy SJ, the Provincial of Madagascar. He opened the meeting by sharing on “Identity of Jesuit education in our university”.

The Malagasy Safeguarding and Child Protection Office team led by Fr Nirina Rakotosolofo SJ, Fr Narindra Rakotoarimanana SJ, and Ms. Emilienne Raherimalala, who are all Child Protection Officers (CPOs) of Madagascar Province proceeded successively to explain the importance of protecting and safeguarding minors and vulnerable adults in the communities within which we live and work in, and the society in general. They expounded on the significance of forming others in the area of safeguarding, urging all to recognize and understand the policy, protocol or procedures on safeguarding and child protection within the Jesuit Province of Madagascar. The forum led to an animated discussion and sharing of ideas further creating and enhancing awareness on this delicate yet important topic.

In conclusion, the assembly decided to organise a pilgrimage in May, to pray together following the path of our Martyr Saint Jacques Bethieu in Ambiatibe for the group of Antananarivo and of our Bx Jean Beyzym in Marana for the group of Fianarantsoa.