El Salvador - Twenty fifth anniversary of UCA martyrs
November 16, 2014, marked twenty-five years since Ignacio Ellacuría, 5 other Jesuit companions and their housekeeper Julia Elba Ramos and her 15-year-old daughter Celina, were murdered at the University of Central America (UCA) in San Salvador, El Salvador. The legacy of the Jesuit martyrs significantly influenced the Church and the Jesuit community around the world. Jesuit institutions, particularly UCA, and Jesuit communities all over world are commemorating the 25th anniversary in unique ways through exhibitions, processions, prayer services, seminars, discussions, vigils etc. In El Salvador itself lots of programs are going on throughout November, in memory of the martyrs. On Sunday 16th November, a special Eucharist was celebrated inside the crypt of the Cathedral. Africa - Jesuits Social Centers Network (JASCNET)
From 15 to 19 October 2014, the JASCNET, in collaboration with the Arrupe Center for Research and Training, organized a seminar on "Corporate Social Responsibility" (CSR) in Africa. This seminar is the second organized under the theme "Governance of Natural Resources", one of the strategic emphases of the JASCNET program. The first seminar on this subject took place in June 2013 in Lubumbashi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). JASCNET had planned to hold the second in October 2014, again in Lubumbashi. But because of the turmoil caused by the fear of Ebola in the DRC, it was relocated, and took place in Nairobi, Kenya at the Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations. Click here to read the press not
Nairobi - Announcing the AJAN Resource Centre
The AJAN Resource Centre (ARC) is a hub of information and resourceful materials on HIV and AIDS. It is an initiative of the African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) whose headquarters are situated in Kangemi, Nairobi. AJAN is under the auspices of the Jesuits of the African Assistancy. The AJAN Resource Centre's purpose is to provide access to information on various topics on HIV and AIDS and other related illnesses. Click here to view the newsletter online.
Myanmar - Being companions to indigenous peoples
The Jesuit Companions in Indigenous Ministry meeting held in Phekon, Myanmar from September 19-24 provided its participants with fresh opportunities to reflect on their own contexts. At the end of the meeting, Philip Mang Lam, a young Chin Jesuit Scholastic shared his conviction, "Even though most people see city life as a better way of life, I believe indigenous way of life is a still a better way of life because we live in harmony with nature, with the cycle of life." Participants also felt the stories and traditional wisdom had to be remembered and shared with others and preserved for the next generation. Read more...
Australia - Networking for good governance of natural resources
Issues of equity and sustainability in mining projects are receiving greater scrutiny from Jesuit entities and individuals worldwide through the growth of the Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources (GNMR) Network. The GNMR Network, led by Julie Edwards, chief executive of Jesuit Social Services in Australia, connects members of the Jesuit community who are active in protecting the rights of communities affected by mining or who have a particular interest in the field. The network allows collaboration on advocacy, as well as the sharing of expertise, experience and ideas. Read more...
Europe - Stockholm dialogue on sustainability science and values
The Stockholm Dialogue on sustainability science and values is an exploration of a global conversation that intends to contribute to the shifting of minds and hearts for a sustainable world. The dialogue works with the reality of the planetary boundaries, the boundaries on the landscape, and sustainable development goals that we want to achieve. The Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN)-Ecology has prepared a brochure and has taken the dialogue to its next stage of discussion with some Spanish Jesuit universities and German scientists in Namur, Belgium. Read more...
Spain - GIAN Education calls for equality, quality and access to education for all
GIAN-Education held its core group meeting between October 29th and 31st in Madrid and emphasized that 'equality, quality and access' are some of the next global education goals. Keeping the 58 million children who cannot attend school and the 250 million that attend school but are not learning basic skill, they say "aware of our limitations and weaknesses, but convinced of our enormous possibilities and responsibilities, our goal is to strengthen and move forward the building of a global Ignatian network to defend the right to education for all. The group plans to carry out a global awareness campaign in our SJ institutions, design and implement a public advocacy strategy and have a website to connect with interested persons and institutions. Canada - GNMR Europe meets with Canada on Conflict Minerals
Fulfilling a long standing commitment, GNMR-Europe (Jesuit European Social Centre-Brussels; ALBOAN-Bilbao; and Jesuit Missions-London) met with Canadian Jesuits International (CJI) and Dr Fernando Serrano from St. Louis, USA in Toronto on 20th and 21st October. The central concern of the meeting was 'conflict minerals' - tin, tungsten and tantalum, the three Ts, and gold - and the steps being taken to regulate them in the US and Europe. The team met with a number of Canadian civil society organisations exploring different ways of making Canadian extractive companies accountable for their actions and to make companies and governments set up systems to monitor supply chains to ensure that conflict minerals are not fraudulently labelled as 'conflict free'.
Europe - Church leaders call for EU rules on conflict resources to be binding and consistent
Brussels, Oct 14, 2014: As the European Parliament prepares to debate legislation on responsible mineral sourcing (conflict minerals), 70 Catholic bishops from around the world are urging the EU to make the legislation's requirements consistent in scope and binding for companies, rather than the current voluntary approach. In a joint statement, the international alliance of Catholic development agencies warns that European citizens expect guarantees that they are not complicit in financing conflict and human rights abuses. Read more...
South Asia - Around 100 Jesuit Social Activists gather for their 19th Triennial Convention
Between October 9 and 12, around 100 Jesuits from the social apostolate of all the 18 Provinces and 2 regions of South Asia came together in Bhopal, Central India for their 19th triennial convention. Its theme was: "40 years of GC 32 D 4: Challenges and Responses, Achievements and Failures, Hopes and Opportunities." Along with the outgoing president of the Conference, Fr. Edward Mudavassery SJ, some of the veteran Jesuit social activists who began living out the challenges of decree 4 were present on this occasion to trace the past and to remember the landmarks; to discern the present and to deepen the commitment; and to look at the signs of the time and find ways to face the challenges of today's globalized world. A few lay, tribal, women social activists challenged and invited the Jesuits to network, collaborate, and
Promotio Iustitiae 116 - Promotion of Justice in the Universities of the Society
This document invites the reader to reflect upon the rich background and understanding of justice and its role in the Jesuit university. The text surveys both the general orientations and the concrete practices that Jesuit universities are developing in different parts of the world. The purpose of this text is to help the universities to continue to deepen their commitment to working for justice. It is hoped that it will be used for personal reading and consultation, as well as for consideration and debate in faculty bodies, working groups, councils, and administrative offices. Promotio Iustitiae 116.
USA - Protection of migrant children from Central America
The Jesuit Conference President and other religious leaders call on President Obama to protect children migrating from Central America. The one-sentence letter reads, "While we celebrate the potential of executive action to alleviate the suffering caused by our nation's broken immigration system - particularly in light of political inaction in Congress - it must not come at the cost of due process and access to humanitarian protection for children and families fleeing violence in Central America". Story here and press conference audio here The Conference has also prepared Latin America - Collaboration in national borders
Jesuits and lay partners working in educative, social, and Church institutions from ten border territories in Latin America and the Carribean held a meeting in Cúcuta, at the Colombian - Venezuelan border on September 22 - 24. They shared their experiences in the hope of strengthening their collaboration in these areas and they invite institutions to re-think their presence in these territories, promoting the dignity of the people who work there. For more information, click here.
Philippines - Jesuit universities in Asia Pacific meet
What is the role of Jesuit universities in social justice? This was a question that participants at the recent meeting of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Asia Pacific (AJCU-AP) were asked to consider. The annual meeting, held on August 26 and 27, was chaired and hosted by Fr Joel Tabora SJ, President of Ateneo de Davao University. Participants included representatives of Jesuit institutions of higher education in Asia Pacific.
South Africa - Coming together with others for others
On August 16, a rather cold Saturday, a few Jesuits and some of their collaborators involved in social justice ministries came together for their annual meeting with the theme 'Coming together with others for others'. The delegates came from the Jesuit run parishes of Holy Trinity (Johannesburg) and Saint Martin de Porres (Soweto) together with Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Gauteng. Fr Rampe Hlobo, SJ, the Jesuit Social Apostolate Coordinator in South Africa, likened the works and activities of the social apostolate groups to the traditional Sesotho concept of Letsema: When the harvest is plenty and abundant, one invites one's neighbors to help so that nothing goes to waste. Fr. David Rowan, the regional superior of the Jesuits in South Africa, also made a presentation and emphasized the importance of social ministry.
USA - Reintegration of persons released from prisons
The Jesuit Conference has written a letter to the US Senate urging it to support the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, which addresses many of the challenges facing individuals re-entering society following incarceration. The letter says that more needs to be done in order to ensure that as many people as possible successfully re-enter society.
Rome - Impacts of mining
The Integrity of Creation Working Group of Religious Congregations in Rome has released a booklet titled See, Judge, Act: reflections on the impacts of Mining. The booklet was inspired by the overwhelming response to a mining survey twhich was sent to religious communities this past year. The document is intended to serve as a general introduction to understanding the impact of mining industries on the community and the environment.
Great Britain - Statement on Climate Change
Jesuits in Britain are among 347 investors who have signed a Statement on Climate Change. Among the commitments in the statement, they identify low carbon investment opportunities that meet their investment criteria and help develop their capacity to assess the risks and opportunities presented by climate change and climate policy in their investment portfolios, integrating this information, where appropriate, into their investment decisions.
Asia Pacific - Social Apostolate annual meeting in Manila
The annual Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific Social Apostolate took place in Manila from August 18 to 22. Social enterprises were the focus of this year's meeting, and over the course of four days, the 40 participants from 12 countries learned about the concept, heard several testimonies and visited a number of such enterprises in and around Manila. Among these the Rags2Riches, workshop in Payatas, that produces bags made by the nanays (mothers) who live with their families in a Manila dumpsite.
The Rag2Riches brand was launched in 2007 and the nanays are now part of a company that sells high-end bags made of rags, a social enterprise. Read more...
Mexico - Latin American network of Indigenous solidarity
The network of Indigenous solidarity of the Society of Jesus in Latin America, held its biannual meeting at Tarahumara Mountains in Mexico between August 4-10. For the occasion, 55 persons, Jesuits and lay collaborators from indigenous communities from Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Guatemala and Mexico, came together to share their experiences. This year's issue focused on the theme of "Spirituality and resilience of ancestral cultures". The result of this meeting is a document, entitled Tarahumara Declaration. Read the declaration in Spanish