|Vol. XIX, No 19||November 23, 2015|
Father General's visit to Eastern Africa Province
Wau, South Sudan: Share your food and drink with those who don't have
On November 4th-5th, Father General visited Wau, in South Sudan. He was accompanied by Father Fratern Masawe (Regional Assistant for Africa), Father Douglas Marcouiller (Regional Assistant for Canada-USA), and Father Joseph Afulo (Provincial of Eastern Africa Province). Speaking in a homily on November 5th, Father General called the South Sudanese to a rediscovery of the depths of their culture - how culturally sharing and living in peace and harmony were foundations of society. Father General urged the Jesuits to be men for others at all times by going in depth in their mission to cultivate the mission of God that will bring peace among the wolves. He encouraged the Jesuits to emulate the confreres in Vietnam where the Society is growing rapidly, explaining that the Society is growing rapidly in Vietnam "because the Vietnamese are very courageous missionaries for they are not afraid of anything." Ultimately, Father General encouraged the Jesuits in South Sudan to continue working for a peaceful society. "The experience of peace to the Israelites brought tears of joy in their eyes. We need peace to work, to develop and live together as sons and daughters of God. Share your food and drink with those who don't have."
Gulu, Uganda: Education is our major vision as Jesuits and Jesuit Collaborators
On November 6th-7th, Father General visited the Jesuits in Gulu, Uganda. He was accompanied by Father Fratern Masawe (Regional Assistant for Africa), and Father Joseph Afulo (Provincial of Eastern Africa). While in Gulu, Father General visited Ocer Campion Jesuit College where in a meeting with the members of staff in the school, Father General emphasized the significance of being a teacher, stressing that being a teacher is a great mission and that education is our major vision as Jesuits and Jesuit Collaborators. "In doing so, we enable children to become people of excellence so that they may help fellow human beings to help each other." He further explained that although discipline is important for education, the most important thing is to allow a child to go through experience, reflect upon his/her deeds, and make independent decisions." Later in a meeting with Jesuits, Father General encouraged depth, creativity, and life in the Spirit.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: If the school is interfaith, all the better
On November 8th-9th, Father General visited the Jesuits in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. At Loyola High School, Dar es Salaam, where the student body numbers 1,300, Father General planted a tree as a symbol of hope for the work being done in the school. Later, in an interview at Loyola High School, Father General had the following to say:
Q: Jesuit institutions are Catholic, but the learners, faculty, and support staff usually people of various faith traditions, what is your advice to members of an interfaith community like Loyola High School?
A: I am really fascinated by the fact that every culture has its own wisdom. We need the wisdoms, the wisdoms in plural, of the world to make our life and our world a little more livable, a little more human. I think I would go as far as saying the main work of the missionary is not to make converts, not necessarily to increase the number of Christians, but to learn from the wisdom of other traditions-Islam, or Buddhism, or Shintoism, or all other traditions-and bring them to the Church, to the center. We need a new theology of mission. We need to bring in the wisdom of other traditions, that is why in a community where you have Christians and Muslims and Buddhists, and so on, you have a very wise community. To draw the best from everyone is a contribution to the good of all.
This is something also that I think, regarding the Eastern Africa Province, you have six countries Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania-this is a tremendous opportunity to put together different points of view, different forms of life, and to learn from all of them, to enrich the growth of each person. The more we become international, the more universal we are, the more we can contribute to the growth of others.
So I would say, if the school is interfaith, all the better. There is a lot of wisdom in there that can be put together.
Arusha, Tanzania: Learn from the wisdom of other religions
From November 9th-11th, Father General visited Gonzaga Gonza Jesuit Novitiate in Arusha, Tanzania. The highlight of Father General's visit to Arusha was the inauguration, on November 10th, of the silver jubilee of the novitiate at a concelebrated mass. After Mass, Father General, Fr Fratern Masawe (Regional Assistant for Africa) and Father Joseph Afulo (Provincial of Eastern Africa Province) each planted a tree within the novitiate compound as a commemoration of Father General's visit. Later during a meeting with the novices, Father General encouraged them to learn from the wisdom of other religions and know that wisdom does not belong to them alone but to the whole humanity.
UNITED STATES: Chicago: The Pope Answers Letters from Children around the World
Loyola Press in Chicago will publish the first and only children's book written by Pope Francis titled Dear Pope Francis in March 2016. The book, edited by Antonio Spadaro, SJ, and Tom McGrath of Loyola Press, consists of the Pope's personal responses to thirty hand-written letters and drawings from children ages 6-13 from every region of the globe. Loyola Press will publish the book as a hardcover in English and Spanish in the United States. Developed as an international Jesuit project, the book will be published simultaneously in Italy, Spain, Mexico, Poland, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India. The global scope of the book is unprecedented. Six continents and twenty-six countries including Albania, Syria, China, Kenya, and the United States are represented and while each region demonstrates its unique aesthetic sensibilities, many common themes and concerns emerge in the book: intense love for Pope Francis and curiosity about his life; concerns about the afterlife; a strong sense of justice, both social and theological; the importance of family; and a longing to be seen and heard. Pope Francis's responses are thoughtful and inspiring, reinforcing his belief that children are the future and their voices must be heard.
SPAIN: SJES - Networking for Justice
From November 17th-20th, fifty-five Jesuits and collaborators gathered in Loyola, Spain for a meeting organized by the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat. The meeting brought together the various networks of the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN) to share their experiences, and plan for better engagement in the social apostolate. Speaking in an interview at the meeting, Fr. Francisco Javier Álvarez de los Mozos, Secretary for Justice and Ecology said: "There are many global apostolic challenges for the Jesuit and Ignatian family. I dream that we can become a large and much better structured body serving the needs of the poor in the world. Networking is a must today. It respects local autonomy while at the same time allowing us to work together for a common cause."
EL SALVADOR: Fr. Ellacuría's Archive is included in the Documentary Heritage list
The Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen (MUPI) (Museum of the Word and the Image) reported that UNESCO has included the archive of the Jesuit Father Ignacio Ellacuría as part of the documentary heritage for Latin America and the Caribbean. The delegate of the Regional Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as director of the MUPI, Carlos Henríquez Consalvi, recently gave the certificate to the Rector of the Centro American University (UCA), Fr. Andreu Oliva, the current successor of Fr. Ellacuría. Fr. Ellacuría was murdered November 16th, 1989 during the Salvadorian civil war, together with other Spanish Jesuits, a Salvadorian Jesuit, and two women. The archive is of philosophical and theological interest, but it also contains documents and materials of Fr. Ellacuria's thoughts on the political situation in El Salvador and Central America in the eighties and early nineties.