The Companions Shell
The scallop shell has appeared as a Christian symbol at various times throughout history, but it is perhaps most universally associated with the pilgrim – one who travels a long distance to a holy place. In particular, the shell is closely tied to the Way of St. James, or the Camino de Santiago de Campostela, a Christian pilgrimage in Spain.
The scallop shell also represents our patron saint and founder of the Society of Jesus, Saint Ignatius, who considered himself a pilgrim. He led his co-founders, whom he called "companions," to further deepen their relationship with God.
Because the students in our Companions program have begun their own journey, or pilgrimage, we have also chosen an artistic rendering of a shell as our symbol; although they will not travel a physical distance, our "pilgrims" will embark upon a four-year exploration of who they are and who they will become in light of the characteristics of the Graduate-at-Graduation.
The Companions symbol bears five distinct segments; in total, these segments combine to represent the five Grad-at-Grad characteristics that the students will develop throughout their Jesuit education: loving, religious, open to growth, committed to doing justice, and intellectually competent.
Like the scallop shell of the Camino, our shell is also turned on its side to project the image of a beacon of light shining outward; the Companions curriculum will illuminate the students’ understanding of their Ignatian formation. It is also our hope that they will embody the true meaning our Jesuit motto, "Men and Women for and with Others," long after their high school graduation.