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Audacious Leadership

Have you heard about Mother Teresa Middle School? They are an audacious middle school located in the inner city of Regina, Saskatchewan. Serving a community of predominantly Indigenous families, MTMS forms graduates who are loving, religious, intellectually competent, open to growth and committed to doing justice. Read more about their mission here on their website!

Terri Cote, MTMS principal, recently shared with me how their school used Audacious Ignatius as part of their school’s Summer Leadership Retreat and Summer Leadership Academy. The retreat is for 7th and 8th grade students and takes place in Calgary, Alberta. The leadership academy takes place at the University of Regina and includes 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. 

From the cover of the MTMS Audacious Ignatius Journal

The students are given Audacious Ignatius Journals on the retreat that focused on being audacious: brave, courageous, and willing to take risks. They used their journals for prayer, and to record decisions they made to be audacious like Ignatius. They also have a connection to the Cree language, as “brave”, “bold” and “willing to take risks” are written in both English and Cree. (Terri notes that the words were vetted by Elder Harry Francis so as to be certain that they convey the correct meaning in Cree.)

A page from the Audacious Ignatius Journal

As a physical reminder of this challenge to be audacious, Terri made each student an “Audacious Ignatius necklace” that incorporated symbols of their school, and how their school loves and supports each of them. Terri explains, “The symbolism included in the necklace was intentional in the following ways.  Of course, “A” for audacious. The rings that are red because of the symbolic meaning of the color; confidence, courage and strength to name a few.  The three blue beads on each side of the A symbolize the color of our MTMS logo and three at MTMS means “We Love You”. So in this case “We Love You” times 2.”

After reflecting in their journals about their courageous plans, they receive a red ring for their necklace to symbolize their desire to be audacious like St. Ignatius.

Eagle, a student at MTMS, shows off his Audacious Ignatius necklace


I was fortunate to meet Terri at the Jesuit Schools Network conference this summer when I presented about how the life story of St. Ignatius is used to teach the fundamentals of Ignatian spirituality. It was so inspiring to talk with Terri and see the energy and love she brings to her work. 

Katie, Terri, and Audacious Ignatius at the Jesuit School Network Conference

This inspired us to make a coupon code especially for Jesuit institutions in Canada. Shipping internationally is quite expensive, but we’ve made the coupon code “SJCanada” to try to offset some of the shipping costs.

Paul and I are Ignatian educators at heart, and we are delighted to know how Audacious Ignatius is being used in schools. Are you using Audacious Ignatius at your school? We’d love to hear about it. Best wishes to Terri and the MTMS community for a bodacious school year!

4 thoughts on “Audacious Leadership

  1. Congratulations on the success of your beautiful book!

    1. Thank you, Sue!

    1. Perfect for middle school, right?

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