Global - Faith communities respond to global goals
The Society of Jesus, through its Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat (SJES), joined two global meetings last September that explored ways by which faith-based communities and religious institutions can respond to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), getting known more now as the Global Goals. Patxi Álvarez de los Mozos, SJ, SJES Director, joined the UN Bristol Meeting on Faiths and the SDGs where faith leaders from around the world and UN officials gathered in Bristol, United Kingdom from 7 to 10 September 2015 to discuss support for the SDGs. The Rome - Pope Francis Visits New Homeless Shelter in Jesuit-Donated Building
Pope Francis made a surprise visit on Oct. 15 to the Vatican's newest homeless shelter. The Pope met with around 30 homeless men living at the shelter, which opened earlier this month after the building was offered to Pope Francis by the Curia of the Society of Jesus in Rome. The Jesuits decided to turn the building into a shelter in response to Pope Francis' appeal to religious institutions for buildings to be placed in service of those in need. Read more and watch a video of the visit.
Global - "Networking for justice" meeting in Loyola
From November 16th - 20th, an international meeting will be held in Loyola (Spain) with the title "Networking for Justice". It will bring together the core groups of the Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks (GIAN), the Social Justice Delegates of all Conferences of the Society of Jesus, representatives from the Xavier Network and other global networks of the Society. The purpose of the "Networking for Justice" meeting is to evaluate to what extent networking in the Society of Jesus has favored the fulfillment of its mission in the struggle for justice. It aims to identify and communicate the main lessons learned and to propose concrete measures to further enhance this way of working. Read more...
Rome - Promotio Iustitiae 120: Renewing our commitment to a faith that does justice
During April of this year 2015, as we were celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Decree 4 and preparing for General Congregation 36, which will take place next year, the Conference Coordinators of the Social Apostolate met in Rome to dialogue about how to renew our ardor for the justice that is born of faith. They expressed the substance of their dialogue in a document about the spiritual sources of our commitment to justice, the changes that have taken place in the Society and the world, the challenge of fostering greater solidarity in the Society today, and some concrete recommendations that will help us move forward. Download Promotio Iustitiae 120.
Latin America - Lessons on advocacy
After years working in the field of advocacy, social centres in Latin America - led by CINEP in Colombia - have published a couple of documents where they expose the main lessons drawn from their experience: a summary of what they have learnt in these years, and the role that the Society of Jesus is called to play in this field. They have also prepared a video on advocacy
Africa - Ecclesial Network of the Congo Basin
Reflecting on the contribution of the Catholic Church in Africa in the light of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si', a consultative workshop was held 8 and 9 October 2015 at Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on the creation of an Ecclesial Network of the Congo Basin or REBAC. The workshop is an initiative of the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), with support from the JESAM Social Apostolate, the Jesuit social apostolate in Africa, and in collaboration with Caritas Congo Global - New update from the network of Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources
The Global Ignatian Advocacy Network on Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources Network (GNMR) has published a new bulletin (GNMR update) with some news on this field. They speak about ethical investment and the movement to go fossil free; Australian mining in Africa; and how coal-fired power plants threaten the health of Indonesians. You can access here GNMR update. You can also follow them on Facebook.
India - Report on legal rights of the refugees in India
JRS and Indian Social Institute in Delhi have published a report on legal rights of the refugees in India. The report is a timely reminder that there is much to be done for refugee protection in India. The present Indian government's selective grant of citizenship to asylum seekers of Hindu and Sikh religions from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, flies in the face of India's commitment to its own constitution as well as its international obligations to equal treatment. Access the report...
UK - Provincial's letter to the Prime Minister for change policy towards the refugees
The head of the Jesuits, Fr Dermot Preston SJ, has written to the Prime Minister to urge a change in policy towards refugees in the light of the current crisis in Europe and the Middle East. Fr Preston urges the Prime Minister to have the courage and ambition to use his leadership to set a tone of welcome and hospitality to those seeking our help at this desperate time. Fr Preston strongly advises against damaging isolationism in Europe. Read Fr Preston's letter here.
Philippines - Pastoral care for the families left behind by labour migration
"I didn't experience your caress when I was little because you left me on day one, and even up to now," writes one student at a workshop on dealing with loneliness for children of Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). "But I am really longing for that time when you come home," and "hopefully when that time comes, I would know what it feels like to be hugged by my real mom." Read more...
Global - Ecology and Ignatian spirituality
An article that appeared in Manresa - a Jesuit magazine about Ignatian spirituality - focuses on how ecology can be addressed by Ignatian spirituality on the light of Laudato Si', the recent Encyclical on ecology. The aim of the paper is to propose some strong points and some not so strong points that can be identified in Ignatian spirituality when we seek an ecological conversion. Obviously not all can be considered exclusive of Ignatian spirituality but they share many aspects of the plight of Christians in general. You can have here access to the full article.
India - Ensuring the dignity and rights of the marginalized
Building Lok Manch (Peoples' Forum) is an initiative of Jesuit social centers in India to ensure dignity and rights of the marginalized at the national level. They are a partnership of 100 Organizations (50 Jesuit and 50 lay organizations) enhancing access to entitlements provided by National Acts such as National food security Act and Water, sanitation and hygiene. They will mobilize 300,000 households, and capacitate around 5,500 local leaders in 13 States (involving 15 Jesuit provinces in India). On 18-21 September 2015, all the Social Action Coordinators met at Mumbai to discuss the details of the initiative. They were able to bring in more clarity and workout different ways and means of implementing Building Lok Manch in the most effective way.
North America - Jesuits urge Canada and the U.S. to welcome Syrian refugees
Echoing Pope Francis' call to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis, the Society of Jesus is urging elected officials to admit greater numbers of Syrian refugees to both Canada and the United States. Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference, joined other faith leaders in writing to members of U.S. Congress to urge that vulnerable individuals from a host of religions, ethnicities and backgrounds continue to be resettled in the United States read more.... In a letter to the Canadian government, Fr. Jean-Marc Biron, SJ, provincial of the Jesuits in French Canada, and Fr. Peter Bisson, SJ, provincial of the Jesuits in English Canada, asked the governme
Syria - Why people flee and why they need protection
JRS Syria director, Fr Nawras Sammour, talks about what daily life in Syria is like. Impossibly high prices for food and water, daily blackouts and destroyed homes are all too common. His interview shows why Syrians flee, why they need safe and legal paths to access asylum in Europe, and above all, why they desperately need peace in order to rebuild their lives and their country. Read the complete interview...
Asia Pacific - Jesuit Universities boost green initiatives
Jesuit schools in Asia Pacific are committed to growing green campuses in response to the Society's growing ecological concern. As a group, the members of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Asia Pacific (AJCU-AP) recognise the need to develop ways to reduce consumption of waste material and to find a means to recycle them. They deem it essential to lessen the consumption of energy, paper and water, and instead make use of clean energy to minimise the emission of greenhouse gases. They have also considered how architecture can be helpful to cut energy needs and save on water costs. Read more...
Latin America - Supporting the Pan-Amazonian Project
Fr Alfredo Ferro took part in the 5th meeting of school directors of the Latin American Federation of schools of the Society of Jesus (FLACSI), which was held in Bogota, Colombia, on 7-12 September. He presented the Pan-Amazonian Project of the Conference and a proposal to raise awareness about the situation of the Amazonia among students. He offered the possibility of using campaigns and pedagogical kits, as well as having exposures in the Amazonian region among the populations that inhabit the area. To know more...
Asia Pacific - Korea and Japan collaborating for peace and justice
Jesuit provinces of Korea and Japan took collaboration a step further in September by holding their first plenary meeting of Jesuits and collaborators working in the social apostolate of the two provinces. The meeting took place on Jeju Island, in conjunction with the 2015 Gangjeong Peace Conference. Read more...
Africa - Access to safe drinking water for al
The Jesuit Africa Social Centers Network (JASCNET) and the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN) on Ecology organized the JESAM Water Week from 31 August to 4 September 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya, with the theme Access to safe drinking water for all, a work focus of GIAN-Ecology. Participants listened to various experts from UN Habitat, UNEP, National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), and GIAN-Ecology leaders and shared their experiences from various African countries on the challenges faced by many African countries in providing clean drinking water to the population. Read more...
France - Preparing for the coming COP 21 in Paris
Jesuits in France are mobilizing to respond to the challenge of the COP 21 on climate change that will take place in Paris on 7-8 December. They are preparing a set of colloquium, publications, internet sites and a set of lessons they draw from their own experience. In this way, they want to contribute to the required ecological conversion and to social justice from a spiritual perspective. They have already prepared a document that gathers all these initiatives. To know more...
USA - Call for repair of broken Juvenile Justice System
A letter to the House of Representatives signed on behalf of the Society by Tim Kesicki, Greg Boyle, Michael Kennedy and Fred Kammer conveys support for the bi-partisan Youth Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support and Education (PROMISE) Act. Citing the experience of Jesuit ministries, which work with youth, they convey the power of innovative local solutions to change lives and mitigate root causes of violence. Click for letter...