“I had joined college but was going through one of the darkest phases in my life. Everything was happening so fast that it overwhelmed me to the point where I started panicking. I was trying to find myself, seeking attention from a world that was too busy to notice me. I was losing meaning and purpose in life. But then I happened to meet Fr. Andres.

It was as though God had sent him to me. We talked for a while in general, but nothing special. But he took the initiative to introduce Jesuit spirituality to me. It was perfect for someone who was all lost. He helped me anchor myself in God’s presence. Then, he became my spiritual director, helping me discern my future, belong to a community and help serve the community. I found my purpose when I underwent the Spiritual Exercises. It was one of the best experiences I have had. Without those spiritual dialogues, which I call Mystic Banter, I would have shut my door to the Spirit.

 I still have questions about religion, God, and other things. I have realized that ‘to question’ is an intrinsic characteristic of being spiritual. In addition, I am convinced that I am a pampered child of God, and that conviction helps me find joy in helping the needy. These spiritual dialogues put me on a quest to realise human rights and dignity.I believe that you Jesuits are the masters of the heart. And I hope you believe this too!”

Our role as we accompany the young is to help them realise their purpose in life. Teachers, spiritual directors, campus ministers, social animators, and counsellors are as important as administrators. More Jesuits who can teach and animate the young is a non- negotiable requirement for a hopeful future. They say a Jesuit can only aspire for two positions— Novice director and Minister. The time is ripe to add another to the list— Spiritual Director/Campus Minister. I hope the provincials, vice-chancellors, principals, and program directors are listening .

Ms Valeria Jiménez Pedraza is a Magis Exchange Student from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá. She is currently continuing her studies at Xavier Law School, XIM University.

Fr Andrés Hernández Caro, SJ is the Director of the Pastoral Centre at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia.