Challenges and change for future leadership: the laicisation of leadership in Australian Jesuit schools


This paper is on the introduction of lay leadership in the five Australian Jesuit schools and influence on the Jesuit tradition of Catholic education. This is significant because vocations are not being maintained at a rate that will enable the Jesuits to provide for the academic, parish, pastoral and social justice activities in which they are involved throughout the Australian province. The vocation shortage is long-term, not just temporary. Social pressures causing this are strong and present a new social context for the Church to seek new strategies for the Christian mission in this setting. The social, economic, political and ecclesiastical features of modern Australian society also impact on these schools today.

The laity and school community are strong in faith and ready to serve the Church. Spirituality among Catholics is strong and their involvement and dedication evidenced in schools of other religious Orders. Qualified and experienced laity with professional development and opportunities to participate in roles of governance and build partnerships with the clergy already exist in our schools.

It is hoped the study will influence the relationship of the laity and Jesuits and contribute to the development of an influential and effective leadership within these schools.


Catholic, change, clergy, culture, Ignatian, Jesuit, laity, leadership


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