Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam
A mural celebrating the spirit of the Jesuit mission
For the Greater Glory of God
This mural, located in the technology wing of St. John's Jesuit High School & Academy, was commissioned by Rev. Don Vettese, S.J., former President of St. John's Jesuit High School and completed in 1998. It serves as an impression of the spirit and mission of the Society of Jesus.
After research on Jesuit works in the world and discussion with friends, students and SJJ community members, Toledo-based artists Leslie Adams and Will McCullough created this mural as an impression of Ignatian spirituality and the Jesuit missions in the world.
The mural is bordered by seven arches, depicting the seven continents and symbolizing the international nature of the Society of Jesus. Several major influences and certain vital personalities shaping the spirit and work over the almost 500 years of Jesuit history are illustrated. The artists attempted to capture a spirit of service and mission to humanity, grounded in Jesus Christ and alive in thousands of Jesuits and their associates and co-workers.
Central to Jesuit spirituality is the mystery of Jesus Christ alive in all creation. Hence, Jesus Christ is at the heart of the mural. The other key figure is St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), the founder of the Society of Jesus, who serves as an inspiration to the priests and brothers of the Society and to those who walk with the Jesuits.
St. Ignatius, who had a profound mystical experience of conversion, sought to find God in all things. He had a deep and abiding faith that Jesus becoming human gave to humanity and to all creation, great dignity.
Because St. Ignatius desired to see God in all things, the mural portrays symbols of his desire – through the artists' symbolic interpretations of time and space, of the many peoples served by Jesuit missions, the canonized saints and the unknown saints, the deserts and the cities, the past, the present and the future.
As we contemplate the spirit of Ignatius, the struggles of historical and current humanity, and the mystery of Jesus Christ present to us, perhaps we can see, understand and feel through this mural more of what we have done, what we are doing, and what we will do for the greater glory of God.
It is our hope that the impressions included in this mural will bring you, in some small way, closer to the mystery of God's work in the Society of Jesus and of your own participation in that mystery.