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Vol. XXI, No. 02 February 6, 2017
Father General has appointed:
- Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves (ESP) as his Delegate for the Interprovincial Roman Houses and Works. Father Guerrero Alves was born in 1959; he entered the Society in 1979, and was ordained in 1992. He was provincial of the Castilla Province from 2008 - 2014. In 2014, he moved to the then Mozambique Region (now Zimbabwe-Mozambique Province) where until his new appointment, he has been working, first as Assistant Administrator of the Region and recently as Director of Jesuit Projects in Mozambique and Director of Saint Ignatius Loyola School. Father Guerrero Alves succeeds Father Arturo Sosa (VEN) as Delegate.
- Father Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator (AOR) as president of Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JESAM). Father Orobator was born in 1967; he entered the Society in 1986 and was ordained in 1998. He was provincial of the Eastern Africa Province (AOR) from 2009 - 2014. At present, he is the principal of Hekima College University, the Jesuit School of Theology in Nairobi, Kenya. He succeeds Father Michael Lewis (SAF) as Conference President.
- Father Franck Janin (BML) as president of the European Jesuit Conference (CEP). Father Janin was born in 1958; he entered the Society in 1984 and was ordained in 1990. Until his appointment, he has been provincial of the South Belgium and Luxemburg Province, having been appointed in 2011. He succeeds Father John Dardis (HIB) as Conference President.
- Father Roberto Jaramillo Bernal (COL) as president of the Latin American Jesuit Conference (CPAL). Father Jaramillo was born in 1963; he entered the Society in 1981 and was ordained in 1993. Father Jaramillo is currently the superior of the Jesuits in the Amazon Region of Brazil, as well as the Conference President's Delegate for the Social Sector. He succeeds Father Jorge Cela (ANT) as Conference President.
The Ignatian Leadership Programme lands in Rome
The third module of the Ignatian Leadership Programme organised by the European Jesuit Conference (CEP) was held in Santa Severa, Rome. The participants were able to link with the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, understand and unite themselves in this common vision that stretches back to Saint Ignatius. Content ranged from Strategic Planning and vision, mission and values, to Communal Discernment and the three steps of discernment, to the Action Logics of organisations and revisiting the Global Leadership Profile, to many other things. But the focus, like always, was put on the process. Participants had the chance to share their experience in their works and openly discuss their concerns with other participants to grow individually and to grow their institutions.
FROM THE PROVINCES
GREAT BRITAIN: Heythrop College and the Intellectual Apostolate
The Jesuit Trustees have issued a statement on the current situation of Heythrop College, indicating that the college will formally end its relationship with the University of London at the end of the 2017-2018 academic year. Part of the statement reads: "The Trustees recognise, with gratitude, the dedicated work done by the staff, some over many years, in enabling Heythrop to achieve all that it has done since it moved to London in 1970. We also recognise, with sadness, the extent to which the careers and livelihoods of these staff (academic, administrative and auxiliary) are affected by the decision to close. The British Jesuits are committed to a re-modelling of their intellectual apostolate and have begun a new phase of broad consultation at home and abroad to help identify and develop new and creative ways of thus serving the Church and wider society in Britain now and into the future." Read more...
MALAYSIA: Collaboration for better understanding among Muslims and Christians
Ten Jesuits from the conferences of Asia Pacific (JCAP) and South Asia (JCSA) will collaborate in a research project that aims at finding ways of promoting better understanding and dialogue among Muslims and Christians in Asia. The project emerged out of a meeting of Jesuits among Muslims in Asia (JAMIA) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from December 26 to 30, 2016. The decision was a response to the sharing of Fr George Pattery SJ, President of the Jesuit Conference of South Asia (JCSA) on General Congregation 36 and the reminder that they participate in the mission of God, the Missio Dei, not their own mission. The research will be carried out in two phases. In 2017, they will collect narratives from various communities and 2018 will be dedicated to analysis and reflection. The results will be shared and discussed at the next JAMIA meeting to be held in Bangladesh in 2018. They hope to publish the findings in a book in 2019, in time for the Asian Journey meeting.
TIMOR-LESTE: Providing villagers with access to clean water
In the two years since it was set up, Jesuit Social Services (JSS) in Timor-Leste has embarked on several projects to promote community development and empower the poor to become self-sufficient. Water and sanitation is one of four priority areas and a key project aims to provide communities with access to clean water. JSS has built wells in five aldeias (villages) in and around Dili. These areas face serious water shortages during the dry season that runs from April to November, and JSS is currently assisting 235 households in Hera 7 kilometres east of Dili and Kasait about 13 kilometres west from Dili. "The clean water project began when we found out that in Hera many school-aged children were pushing carts packed with water containers for the long trip back to their homes," said Fr Erik John Gerilla SJ, Executive Director of JSS Timor-Leste. With JSS' intervention, people in these villages can focus on their farms without worrying about water and the children no longer have to walk hours to fetch water and now have free time in the afternoon for some recreation.
UNITED STATES: Statement from the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S. on Trump Administration's Executive Order on Immigration and Refugees
As members of a global religious order that works to form men and women of conscience and compassion, we denounce the Trump Administration's Executive Order suspending and barring refugees and banning nationals of seven countries as an affront to our mission and an assault on American and Christian values.
The Jesuits - through our work in high schools, colleges, parishes and signature ministries such as Jesuit Refugee Service - have a long, proud tradition of welcoming and accompanying refugees, regardless of their religion, as they begin their new lives in the United States. We will continue that work, defending and standing in solidarity with all children of God, whether Muslim or Christian.
The world is deeply troubled, and many of our brothers and sisters are justifiably terrified. Our Catholic and Jesuit identity calls us to welcome the stranger and to approach different faith traditions and cultures with openness and understanding. We must not give in to fear. We must continue to defend human rights and religious liberty. As Pope Francis said, "You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian."
UNITED STATES: Statement from the Jesuit Provincials of California and Oregon
Dear Brothers and Friends,
We write to express our dismay at how the national conversation about immigration has taken a sharp and harshly xenophobic turn under the new administration. There is no doubt that the most recent executive order flatly contradicts a fundamental obligation of our Judeo-Christian tradition: "love the stranger, for you were once strangers in Egypt (Dt. 10, 19)" and "I was a stranger and you made we welcome (Mt. 25, 35)". Pope Francis has also been clear: we are called to "see a ray of hope...in the eyes and hearts of refugees and those who have been forcibly displaced," and to serve immigrants and refugees however we can. By contrast, the President's Executive Order callously sends large numbers even of women and children back to the horrors of war, starvation, massive repression and even death.
We recently returned from the 36th General Congregation, which declared, "in the face of attitudes hostile to displaced persons [including refugees and migrants] our faith invites the Society of Jesus to promote everywhere a more generous culture of hospitality."
As members of a global religious order that works to form men and women of conscience and compassion, we unequivocally denounce the Trump Administration's Executive Order as an affront to our mission, an assault on American and Christian values, and a repudiation of our humanity. No area of the country has benefited more from the contributions of immigrants than the West. We raise our individual and collective voices against the harsh and inhumane policies of the current administration, which thinks nothing of building a wall and slamming the door in faces of the world's most vulnerable people.
In these challenging days, we renew our commitment to be bridge-builders between people of differing political views while also standing firmly for the values of the Gospel and of our Catholic Social Teachings.
Prayerfully yours in Christ,
Scott Santarosa, SJ (Provincial, Oregon Province)
Michael Weiler, SJ (Provincial, California Province)