Jesuit A to Z


A compilation of words and terms commonly used by members of the Jesuit High School community and in some cases by Jesuit school communities throughout the world.

A B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G  |  H  |  I  | J  |  K  |  L  | M N

O  |  P  |  Q  |  R  |  S  |  T  |  U  |  V  |  W  |  X  |  Y  |  Z



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ACT, SAT, and PSAT Prep Courses  Jesuit offers several standardized test prep courses throughout the year. Jesuit students are given priority registration for each of these courses, which help students prepare for the ACT, SAT, and PSAT. Class dates, times, and cost vary. (See Standardized Test Prep.)

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (or AMDG) – “For the greater glory of God.”  The motto of the Society of Jesus and Jesuit High School of New Orleans. (See School Traditions.) The phrase and is believed to have been coined by St. Ignatius. Ignatius intended it to guide the society’s religious philosophy. Today that motto guides Jesuit High School’s principles as well.

Administration Wing – The Administration Wing is located on Banks Street and houses the president’s office, principal’s office, guidance and college counseling offices, Office of Institutional Development, the Holy Name of Jesus Chapel, the Jesuit residence, and the switchboard. (See Campus & Facilities.)

Alumni Giving Drive (AGD) – Alumni recognize the value of their Jesuit education and support their alma mater by participating in the annual AGD to preserve Jesuit’s heritage and traditions for current and future Blue Jays.

Alumnus of the Year Given annually to an outstanding alumnus for his achievements and notable service, either to Jesuit or the community at large. (See Alumnus of the Year.)

Auditorium – Located on the corner of S. Solomon and Palmyra Streets, the 900-seat auditorium hosts student assemblies, Philelectic Society productions, Blue Jay Band concerts, and other special events. (See Campus.)


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The Birdcage – Also known as the Gayle & Tom Benson Arena, located on Banks Street next to the Roussel Building.

Blue and White Day Days that are designated for students and faculty to celebrate Jesuit spirit by wearing the school colors. All are invited to take part in a great tradition of spirit. Blue and White Days are posted on the calendar. (See Blue and White Day Guidelines.)

The Blue Jay – Jesuit’s student newspaper, published several times per year, offers students an opportunity to develop their journalistic, photographic, and artistic skills.(See The Blue Jay.)

Blue Jay – the mascot of Jesuit High School. (See Jayson.)

Blue Jay Shop – located outside the Student Commons, the Blue Jay Shop is Jesuit’s bookstore and your source for Jesuit apparel, gifts, and accessories for students, Alumni, parents, fans, friends, and future Blue Jays. Visit the Blue Jay Shop or browse the selection online. (See Campus for a map/location.)

Blue Jay Spirit – Show your love for Jesuit by using Blue Jay mobile and tablet backgrounds, Facebook cover photos, and more! (See Jayson’s Lagniappe.)

Bulletin – The Bulletin is the official catalog and student handbook of Jesuit High School published annually. (See Bulletin.)


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Canvas – The system Jesuit teachers use to post grades, class assignments, course handouts, and other information for student and/or parent use. To log in: from a desktop or tablet, go to the Students page and use the Canvas login. From a mobile device, select the Main Menu drop down and view the Student or Faculty pages. If you’re having trouble logging in, please contact the technology office at (504) 483-3992 or

Carrollton Wing  The Carrollton Wing is located on Carrollton Avenue and houses classrooms, the Hall of Honors, Hall of Champions, Resource Center, Student Commons, Office of the Student Activities Director, and the Student Council Office, among others. (See Campus & Facilities.)

Chapel – Jesuit has two chapels on campus — the Chapel of the North American Martyrs (large chapel) and Holy Name of Jesus Chapel (small chapel). Monthly school wide Mass is held in the Chapel of the North American Martyrs. Daily Mass, Mothers’ Mass, and student and faculty personal prayer takes place in Holy Name Chapel. The Chapel of the North American Martyrs is located in the Palmyra Wing, near the Auditorium. Holy Name Chapel is located in the Administration Wing on the 2nd Floor, near the Discipline and Guidance Offices. (See Campus.)

College Planning (Counseling) – Jesuit employs eight full-time counselors—five class-level counselors and three college counselors. In addition to regular meetings with their guidance counselor, college counselors assist with the college search, application, and decision-making process. Jesuit believes this process should be student-focused, encompassing the ideals set forth through our Jesuit mission of reflection and discernment. (See College Planning.)

Commencement Exercises – Graduating seniors participate in Jesuit’s annual Commencement Exercises at which they receive their diplomas for completing the school’s college preparatory course and accelerated programs. Graduates with qualifying grade point averages receive diplomas with the special commendation of Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude. The Blue Jay Parents’ Club Award recognizes the valedictorian(s) who graduated with the highest grade point average for four years at Jesuit. (See Commencement.)

Cura personalis – This is a Latin term meaning care for the whole person, which is a hallmark of Jesuit education and spirituality.


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Discernment (or “Discernment of spirits”) – A process for making choices, in a context of (Christian) faith, when the option is not between good and evil, but between several possible courses of action all of which are potentially good. For St. Ignatius the process involved prayer, reflection, and consultation with others-all with honest attention not only to the rational (reasons pro and con) but also to the realm of one’s feelings, emotions, and desires (what Ignatius called “movements” of soul).


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Examen – A method described by Ignatius Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises in which one reflects in prayer on the events of the day. This type of prayer helps to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us. Learn more at


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Finding God in All Things – Ignatian spirituality is summed up in this phrase. It invites a person to search for and find God in every circumstance of life, not just in explicitly religious situations or activities such as prayer in church (e.g., the Mass) or in private. It implies that God is present everywhere and, though invisible, can be “found” in any and all of the creatures which God has made. (See Ignatian Spirituality.)

Freshmen Retreat – The Freshmen Retreat is an afternoon retreat focused on developing the pillar of “Loving” in the Profile of a Graduate at the Time of Graduation. The talks given by upperclassmen at this event focus on ways in which God is calling students to be men of love in the particular relationships they are fostering as Freshmen. Students are invited to reflect upon and discuss these friendships in the context of their overall development and men of faith and men for others. (See Retreats.)


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Grading Scale (Grading System) The student’s achievement in each subject is graded on the basis of 100%. The passing grade is 70. Letter equivalents of numerical grades are as follows: 90-100 = A, 82-89 = B, 75-81 = C, 70-74 = D, below 70 = F. (See Bulletin.)


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Holy Name of Jesus Chapel – The small chapel located on the second floor of the Administration Building. Daily mass is offered for faculty and students throughout the school year. (See Campus.)

Honor Code A statement of positive attitudes and behaviors designed to instill in students the responsibility and self-discipline that will maintain respect for God, fellow students, teachers, and themselves. The Honor Code requires that all students adhere to these core values during their Jesuit High School careers. (See Discipline.)


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Ignatian – Often used as an adjective to refer to aspects of spirituality that derive from Ignatius the lay person or St. Ignatius and his religious order, the Society of Jesus. (See Ignatian Spirituality.)

IHS – The first three letters, in Greek, of the name Jesus. These letters appear as a symbol on the official seal of the Society of Jesus.

In Memoriam – Jesuit posts obituaries and information about services for members the Jesuit High School community who have passed away. (See In Memoriam.)

Investiture – Held at the beginning of each school year, the Investiture ceremony welcomes new Blue Jays into the Jesuit family and reflects upon the role these young men will play in maintaining our long-standing traditions. New Blue Jays are given a gift by their Big Brothers – “J” pins, representing the Jesuit spirit that has been handed down from student to student for many years. The “J” symbolizes the spirit, the vigor, and the faith required of each Blue Jay who has walked our halls. Following Investiture, new students usually go through a dress rehearsal of their class schedules.


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Jayson – The name of the mascot of Jesuit High School. Jayson is a blue jay in a fighting stance, and was originally drawn by cartoonist Walt Kelly, of “Pogo” fame, at the request of the staff of The Blue Jay newspaper. The drawing first appeared in the February 26, 1954 edition, alongside the announcement of a contest to name the bird. The winning entry of “Jayson” was submitted by a John Ernst III ’58, who was a pre-freshman at the time. The history of Jayson as Jesuit’s mascot was profiled in Jaynotes Vol. 38, Spring/Summer 2012.

Jesuit Schools Network an extensive network of Jesuit high schools that aims to provide services that enable its member schools to sustain their Ignatian vision and Jesuit mission of educational excellence in the formation of young men and women of competence, conscience, and compassion. (See Jesuit Resources.)

John Ryan Stadium – Located at 100 Blue Jay Way in Metairie, Alumni Field at John Ryan Stadium is Jesuit’s multi-sport athletic field and stadium. The stadium opened on March 2, 2012 and features a covered grandstand and open bleachers, a press box, 139,205 square feet of artificial turf, an impressive wide screen digital video scoreboard, and a ticket booth and concession area. (See Campus and John Ryan Stadium.)


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Kairos Retreat – A three-day retreat for juniors which involves witness talks given by students, and time for reflection, prayer, and worship. The word kairos, coined from the Greek, means “a special or opportune moment.”  This retreat is a very powerful experience for the students and is often life-transforming. (See Student Retreats.)


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Library – See Resource Center.


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Magis All Jesuit schools share a common spirit, and the Latin word magis, which means “more,” summarizes the one distinctive aspect of Jesuit education. The magis, a challenge to work towards one’s fullest potential and strive for excellence in all things, seeks to stretch the heart as well as enlighten the mind.

Maisounabe Bequest Society — The Maisounabe Bequest Society honors those benefactors, whether living or deceased, who have made, or intend to give, deferred or planned gifts to Jesuit High School of New Orleans. Such extraordinary gifts are typically made through bequests, annuities, charitable trusts, or life insurance policies. The Society is named in honor of Father Jean Baptiste Maisounabe, S.J.,  the founder of Jesuit High School.

Manresa – Town in northeastern Spain where in 1522-23 Ignatius of Loyola had the powerful spiritual experiences that led to his famous Spiritual Exercises and later guided the founding and the pedagogy of Jesuit schools. (See Student Retreats.)

Manresa Retreat House – Located in Convent, Louisiana on the banks of the Mississippi River, Manresa is the location for three-day preached retreats, made in silence, based on the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola. Many Blue Jays make retreats in this special, beautiful location throughout their careers at Jesuit High School.

Mothers’ Rosary Group – Every Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. in Holy Name Chapel (small chapel on the second floor of the Administration Building) the Mothers’ Rosary Group gathers to pray for the needs and intentions of our school – our students, their families, the faculty, the administration, and the staff. All mothers, grandmothers, and concerned friends of Jesuit students and alumni are welcome and encouraged to participate. On late mornings, the rosary will begin at 9:00 a.m. A Jesuit priest will offer Mass after the rosary. 

Morning Tours To assist parents and prospective students in making an informed decision about high school, the admissions office offers “Morning Tours” where families are able to experience a more personal and up-close look at Jesuit. Learn more and sign up for a tour.

Mothers’ Luncheon and Alma Mater Awards Jesuit current mothers and mothers of alumni are invited to enjoy this luncheon and celebrate the Alma Mater Awards recipients. The award recognizes mothers of Jesuit alumni whose contributions of time and talent have greatly benefited Jesuit. Originally two separate events, this combined event honors the special women whose love has supported Blue Jays for generations. The event takes place on Jesuit’s campus in the spring.


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Novice – The term novice refers to a young man in the stage of Jesuit formation known as the novitiate. The novitiate is an experimental period in the life of a man who is both discerning the Jesuits and is also being observed by them. It consists of the first two years of formation. There he engages in the study of Jesuit history and Jesuit life including: the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, common to all forms of religious life, the making of the full Spiritual Exercises over 30 days, insertion among the poor, work in hospitals, and going on pilgrimage, among others. (See Jesuit Vocations.)


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Open House Provides prospective students and their families an excellent opportunity to learn more about Jesuit. Tours are offered at various times that give prospective students and their families the opportunity to learn about the curriculum, financial aid process, college advising, student activities, and to meet student and alumni guides. (See Admissions.)

Operation Upgrade –  Jesuit’s academic outreach program for talented young men from disadvantaged backgrounds. The five-week program enrolls approximately 60 students spread among six classrooms and includes rising sixth-graders as well as seventh- and eighth-graders.


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PAG, Parents’ Annual Giving drive – The Parents’ Annual Giving drive (PAG) is an annual drive to make up the difference between what Jesuit charges for tuition and what it actually costs to educate a Blue Jay.

Palmyra Wing  The Palmyra Wing is located on Palmyra Street and houses classrooms, the auditorium, cafeteria, Chapel of the North American Martyrs, and MCJROTC Office, among others. (See Campus & Facilities.)

Parent-to-Parent Program  This training program for parents helps empower ordinary moms and dads to become the most effective prevention tool ever devised: the committed and informed parent. The Parent-to-Parent program combats the false messages of the new millennium’s “Toxic Culture.” This virulent and seductive culture presents three deadly paradigms to kids: sex as sport, drugs and drunkenness as “normal,” and violence and death as entertainment. Parent-to-Parent meetings consist of parents engaging in lively and meaningful conversations surrounding the challenges and the successes of safely raising healthy adolescent boys to adulthood. These exciting and informative discussions are promptly one-hour long, usually held during lunchtime in the first half of the school year.

Parent / Teacher Conferences – Take place once a quarter in the evenings and allow parents an opportunity to discuss their son’s academic performance with the faculty. (See Academic Calendar.)

Parents’ Club – This group plays a vital role in staffing many of the school’s activities from teachers’ luncheons to Open House. Sign-up to share your time and talents with the Parents’ Club.

Penance Hall – Students involved in misconduct are assigned to serve time in Penance Hall. Usually held at the end of the day(s) following the offense, time spent in PH varies according to the nature and circumstances of the offense. (See Discipline.)

Philelectic Society – the oldest extracurricular activity at the school, is dedicated to educating students in all aspects of theatre arts by producing high quality amateur theatre for the New Orleans area. Male cast members are selected from the Jesuit student body, while female cast members are selected from schools from throughout the New Orleans metropolitan area.

Pre-freshman Pilgrimage, or 8th Grade Trip – At the end of their pre-freshman year, Blue Jays are invited to make a Pilgrimage to The Catholic Missions of San Antonio. (See Class Level Activities.)

Pre-Freshman Retreat – The Pre-Freshman Retreat allows 8th graders to gather with upperclassmen to discuss topics from the importance of faith, family, and friends to their first impressions of Jesuit and high school life. The evening helps pre-freshmen meet other Blue Jays, understand the spiritual development opportunities at Jesuit, and have a better understanding of their faith life. (See Retreats.)

President – The President is appointed by the Board of Trustees; responsible for ensuring that the school fulfills all elements of its mission.

Profile of a Jesuit Graduate at Graduation (Grad at Grad) A framework developed by the Jesuit Secondary Education Association (now the Jesuit Schools Network) to describe the graduate from a Jesuit high school as one who is: open to growth, intellectually competent, loving, religious and committed to doing justice. (See Jesuit Tradition.)

POA, Parents of Alumni drive – Once your Blue Jay has graduated, Jesuit invites non-alumni parents to continue to support the work that we do. Gifts to the Parents of Alumni fund provide important support for our operational budget. Your support enables us to strengthen our academic, extracurricular, and retreat programs.

PSAT, ACT, and SAT Prep Courses  Jesuit offers several standardized test prep courses throughout the year. Jesuit students are given priority registration for each of these courses, which help students prepare for the ACT, SAT, and PSAT. Class dates, times, and cost vary. (See Standardized Test Prep.)


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Regency – The name given to the stage of Jesuit formation that takes place after the first five years, after First Studies and before Theology. The Regent devotes three years to full-time apostolic work with supervision, often in a Jesuit high school or university. (See Jesuit Vocations.)

Resource Center (or Library) – The Resource Center is located on the second floor of the main school building (Carrollton Wing) and houses the library and several computer labs. (See Resource Center.)

Retreats – All students will participate in a retreat during each of their years at Jesuit. The retreats, coordinated by the Campus Ministry Office, take place both on- and off-campus. Juniors make an overnight retreat at a retreat center, and seniors have the opportunity to make a three-day retreat at a retreat center. (See Student Retreats.)

Rivalry Game – Since 1922 Jesuit and Holy Cross have competed in an annual football game known as the Rivalry Game. The event is celebrated by both schools with a pre-game tailgating, a parade with the school bands leading into the stadium, and recognition of special guests. (See Holy Cross Rivalry Game.)

Rush Days – For two days in the beginning of the school year, Blue Jays are invited to discover the diverse activities Jesuit offers outside of the classroom. Each of the school’s 55-plus clubs and organizations set up table displays inviting Blue Jays to learn more about what they have to offer. (See Co-Curriculars.)


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St. Ignatius – Ignatius of Loyola, or St. Ignatius, is the founder of the Society of Jesus (“the Jesuits”). Born in 1491, he is considered one of the world’s great innovators of education. (See Ignatian Spirituality.)

SAT, PSAT, and ACTPrep Courses  Jesuit offers several standardized test prep courses throughout the year. Jesuit students are given priority registration for each of these courses, which help students prepare for the ACT, SAT, and PSAT. Class dates, times, and cost vary. (See Standardized Test Prep.)

Scholastic – The Jesuitical term perhaps best understood as a “Jesuit seminarian.” In other words, a scholastic is a Jesuit, though not yet a priest. He is a Jesuit with first vows, in the process of formation, and leading eventually to ordination as a priest. (See Jesuit Vocations.)

School Counselors – Jesuit employs eight full-time counselors – five class-level counselors and three college counselors. Each student meets periodically with his guidance counselor who is able to monitor his academic, social, and behavioral progress. Counselors help students get the most out of life and deal effectively with daily issues and problems. (See Guidance.)

School Seal – Created by Oscar Rabensteiner, Jr. ’36, the school seal was introduced at Commencement Exercises in 1934. The seal is divided into quadrants: one symbolizes the Blessed Mother – the star of our youthful years; the wolves are from the coat of arms of St. Ignatius’s family; the pelicans are from the seal of the state of Louisiana; and a Blue Jay – Jesuit’s mascot. (See School Traditions.)

Society of Jesus (or the Jesuits) – A Catholic order of religious men founded in 1540 by Ignatius of Loyola.  They are strongly committed to education, theological scholarship, and missionary work.  As religious, Jesuits take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  They serve under their General Superior in Rome who is immediately accountable to the Pope. (See Jesuit Tradition.)

Sodality of Our Lady (or Sodality) – Is a group of young men placed under the special protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Making annual commitments to daily prayer, frequent reception of the Sacraments, and works of charity, each Sodalist seeks to progress in the spiritual life. Sodalities, organized by grade levels, meet weekly for spiritual conversation, prayer, and social events. (See Spirituality.)

Spiritual Exercises – As a lay person, still known as Inigo Lopez de Loyola, St. Ignatius wrote The Spiritual Exercises, which became the core document for the Society of Jesus. (See Ignatian Spirituality or learn more at

Summer Camps & Activities – Jesuit offers several opportunities for youth ages 5-14 to spend the summer exploring academics and athletics with some of the most respected teachers and coaches in the New Orleans area. (See Summer Programs.)

Summer Mailing – Each July, the principal’s office sends students and their parents/guardians a packet of information, known as the “summer mailing” that includes Book Day schedules and procedures. (See Book Day.)

Summer Session – Any student whose grade is marked “NC” (Not Completed) for any course on the final report card must attend summer session.

Switchboard – All calls to Jesuit High School (504) 483-3800 or (504) 486-6631, go through the switchboard located at the Banks Street entrance of the school. The switchboard is staffed Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 4 pm. (See Campus.)


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Thanksgiving Drive – Yearly, Jesuit students, faculty, staff, and alumni donate, package, and deliver food and Thanksgiving baskets for more than 400 needy families in the New Orleans area. (See Thanksgiving Drive.)

Town Hall Meeting – Held twice per year, Jesuit’s Town Hall Meetings focus on topics affecting youth and their parents. These meetings are open to all parents, but participation of the parents of juniors and seniors is strongly encouraged. The fall Town Hall is mandatory for parents of new students. The meetings reflect timely topics affecting youth and change each year. 


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Vocation – From the Latin term which means “to call.” In the Church’s vocabulary, a vocation refers to a calling from God to live in a particular state: the married life, priesthood, or religious life. The term vocation introduces a vertical dimension in our life, which is God. Unlike a profession or a career, an ecclesial vocation is no longer “what do I prefer?” but rather “What does God want me to be?” (See Jesuit Vocations.)


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Welcome Week – At the start of each school year, the Student Council hosts Welcome Week, a weeklong celebration of Blue Jay spirit featuring lunchtime activities designed to kick off the school year and welcome the newest Jays to the school. Each year the Student Council chooses a theme with each day’s activities centered around the theme. Activities range from a Big Brother-Little Brother lunch to obstacle courses to fun surprises. Blue Jays never know what’s in store!