Santa Clara University

Press Releases

 Jesuits Stand With Immigrants: About the Participants

1. Partner Organization Bios

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California’s oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see

The California Province of Jesuits

As the largest male religious order of the Catholic Church, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is present in virtually every country in the world and is organized into roughly 100 provinces and regions, including 10 provinces in the United States. The California Province comprises Jesuit priests, ministries and supporters (works) in the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Hawaii.  In the California Province there are 370 priests, three universities, eight high schools, 10 parishes, and various ministries. 

Bellarmine College Preparatory High School
Bellarmine College Preparatory, a Jesuit secondary school located in San Jose, California, has been educating young “men for others” in the Jesuit tradition of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, since 1851.

Most Holy Trinity Church
Most Holy Trinity in San Jose, California, is a Jesuit parish with a church and K-8 grade school. Established in 1961, Most Holy Trinity parish is a community striving to draw all life in love to God through worship, prayer, education and good works.

Sacred Heart Nativity School

Sacred Heart Nativity School is a Catholic middle school located in San Jose, California, which strives to afford students with one of the most important opportunities - a high quality Catholic education. SHNS is dedicated to providing quality, low-cost private education to at-risk youth in the 6th through 8th grades through an academically challenging and a highly structured environment. These youth, 96% Latino, are in danger of dropping out of school and risking a lifetime of poor outcomes. Students benefit from a rich and integrated environment where they learn not only reading, math and science, but also the importance of hard work, ethical leadership, compassion for others and responsible citizenship. SHNS mission is "breaking the cycle of poverty through education in the service of faith and the promotion of justice."

2. About Jesuits 

What is the Society of Jesus?

The Society of Jesus is a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola. The Jesuits are the largest male religious order in the world, with approximately 19,000 members internationally.

How was the Society of Jesus founded?

Ignatius of Loyola founded the ‘Company of Jesus’ with six others (Francisco Xavier, Pierre Faber, Alonso Salmerón, Diego Laínez, Nicolás Bobadilla and Simão Rodriguez) and took their first vows at a Mass at Montmartre in Paris in 1534. In 1537 they traveled to Italy to receive permission from Pope Paul III for the religious order. Later that year, Ignatius and his companions were ordained to the priesthood in Venice, Italy. On September 27, 1540, at the Palazzo San Marco in Rome, Pope Paul III signed the Bull “Regimini militantis ecclesiae,” establishing the Society of Jesus officially as a religious order.


3. Other Participants: 

Companions in Ignatian Service and Spirituality

Companions in Ignatian Service and Spirituality is a unique program, which responds to the thirst of many Catholics to deepen their spiritual life as they give of their time and talent to serve those in need - the poor, the marginalized and the socially vulnerable.

The mission of the Companions in Ignatian Service and Spirituality program is to enrich the experience of committed volunteers, fifty or older, involved in community service, through a program of prayer and Ignatian spiritual reflection. More at

The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos
The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos, a community of prayer, offers the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola to all. Through our sharing of the Exercises, rooted in the Word of God and in the Catholic tradition, the Spirit frees minds and hearts to mature in friendship with Christ, to find God in every aspect of experience, and to live Gospel values. More at

Jesuit Volunteer Corps
Based in four core values—social justice, simple living, community, and spirituality—the Jesuit Volunteer Corps offers women and men an opportunity to work full-time for justice and peace.

Jesuit Volunteers are called to the mission of serving the poor directly. They work for and with people who are homeless, unemployed, refugees, people with AIDS, the elderly, street youth, abused women and children, the mentally ill and the developmentally disabled. More than 250 grassroots organizations across the world count on Jesuit Volunteers to provide essential services.

For decades, Jesuit Volunteer Corps has worked in collaboration with Jesuits, whose spirituality the volunteers incorporate in their work, community, and prayer life. During their one to two years of service, volunteers integrate Christian faith by working and living among the poor and marginalized examining the causes of social injustice. JVC offers volunteers an experience that will open their minds and hearts to live always conscious of the poor and committed to the Church’s mission of promoting justice in the service of faith. More at

Our Lady of Grace Nativity School for Girls
Following the 2001 founding of the Sacred Heart Nativity School for Boys – which provided high-quality, low-cost Catholic education to at-risk middle school youth in the downtown area of San José -- the community expressed its need for a girls’ school. 

In 2006, Our Lady of Grace Nativity School for Girls opened with its first class of 23 6th graders.  In fall of 2007 the school added an additional class of 28 girls.  Ninety-nine percent of families are Latino, with an average of a 6th grade education.  The majority of students will be the first in their families to receive a high school education and go on to college. All must qualify for the Federal Free or Reduced Meal Program.  More at

Pacific Institute of Community Organizing
PICO California’s mission is to bring the voices and concerns of regular Californians to the statewide policy arena. PICO California is the statewide collaborative effort of the PICO National Network, a network of faith-based community organizations. PICO California is made up of 22 congregation-based community organizations representing 400 congregations and 450,000 families across the state. Our mission is to develop leadership and encourage civic engagement in congregations throughout California. We develop solutions to issues facing our families and engage congregations in building stronger communities. Through its member organizations in each community, PICO California unites people of diverse economic, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds.  More information available at

Sacred Heart Jesuit Center
For Jesuits, retirement means taking up a life dedicated to prayer and continued personal growth. When it is time, our men come home to the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, Calif. Between 75 and 80 elderly Jesuits, averaging 80 years of age, reside here, including those who require assistance for illness or infirmity.

Sacred Heart Jesuit Center (SHJC) houses independent seniors as well as those in need of assisted living or skilled nursing. Besides devoting a great deal of time to praying for the Church and the Society of Jesus, some men assist at Masses in parishes or serve at shelters. The center offers our seniors a full spectrum of religious and social activities, including arts and crafts classes, Bible study, lectures, nature outings, and exercise programs like pilates and weightlifting.

Sacred Heart Nativity School for Boys
Sacred Heart Nativity School (SHNS) opened its doors in August 2001 to address the needs of boys in the Washington and Gardner Districts of San Jose. The school is co-sponsored by the Jesuits, Sacred Heart Parish and The Diocese of San Jose. SHNS's mission is to educate socio-economically disadvantaged boys in grades 6-8, who have the ability for college preparatory work but might fail to reach their potential. The school recruits young men who have the potential for success, are supported by at least one caring adult in their lives and are eager to participate in the program.

SHNS, a religious benefit corporation, operates as a Catholic middle school in the old Sacred Heart School building. SHNS serves the boys of the area around Sacred Heart Parish (Washington/Gardner District) regardless of religion, race or nationality.


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