Rome - Fr Xavier Jeyaraj, SJ, new Secretary for Social Justice and Ecology
Fr Xavier Jeyaraj, SJ, from Calcutta Province, is beginning this June his term as Secretary for Social Justice and Ecology in the General Curia in Rome. He brings to the office his background working for the poor since his times as scholastic and leading a social centre, Udayani Social Action Forum, in Calcutta. He also worked in the past as Secretary of Social Action in the South Asian Conference and in the Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology for three years. He has recently completed a PhD in Social Sciences. Read more...
Global - Canadian, Italian and Australian Provinces commit to divestment from fossil fuels
In October 2016, the Jesuits in English Canada joined other Catholic institutions around the world and announced their divestment from fossil fuel extraction from the current portfolio within five years. The Italian Jesuits are now the second national Jesuit group to have divested and thus heeded the call to care for creation of their fellow Jesuit Pope Francis. Gianfranco Matarazzo, SJ, Provincial of the Italian Province said: "I express the adhesion of the Italian province of the Society of Jesus to the divestment campaign. With this adhesion, I announce the intention to start a more detailed process about the different ways of removing our investments from fossil fuels, progressively within the next 5 years."
Venezuela - Fe y Alegría says enough to violence
In light of the latest shifts of violence and oppression in Venezuela, General Director of Fe y Alegría in Venezuela, Fr Manuel Aristorena, SJ, has released a letter in which he says that "Venezuela has been filled with pain, suffering, anguish, violence, fear, repression and death. Yes, a lot of death, and with cruelty... It is the manner in which conflicts are confronted where a country's democracy is evidenced or denied. The excessive use of force, the characterization of demonstrations... daily violence and death, the vandalism of public or private property and the cruel treatment of detainees are unacceptable for a democratic society. We are losing lives, democracy, the country." Read more...
Europe - I Get You combats racism and xenophobia
JRS Europe released on May 31 key data analysis of 315 community building initiatives mapped as part of I Get You. The European Mapping Report shows that grassroots projects working on integration with refugees have a big impact combatting racism and xenophobia in the nine countries taking part.
Congo - New University promoting sustainable agriculture
The Université Loyola du Congo (ULC) has sought to create a centre of excellence for sustainability and food security. Instituted only last year, ULC is the world's newest Jesuit university. It has developed a multidisciplinary programme on sustainable agriculture for a diverse range of stakeholders that includes researchers, students, and local communities. Read more...
Asia Pacific - Charting a new course for the migration network
The word "discernment" has become all the rage within Jesuit circles following the 36th General Congregation. Fr General Arturo Sosa has even appointed a special counsellor to oversee the process of discernment and apostolic planning in the Society. So it was fitting that the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific's (JCAP) migration network examined the journey so far and charted a new course at its fourth annual meeting held in Tokyo from March 23 to 26. A new plan for the future was called for. Read more...
Latin America - FLACSI commemorates World Refugee Day
FLACSI, the Latin American Federation of Jesuit schools, aware of the critical situation that refugees are facing today in the continent and in the world, is organizing several activities to commemorate the World Refugee Day next June 20. Read more...
Portugal - Sharing the realities of poverty
The Ignatian Social Assembly gathered for two days in the Almada seminary upon the initiative of the Provincial in Portugal, Fr José Frazão Correia. More than 80 participants, cooperators, leaders, voluntaries and Jesuits from 26 institutions or movements, gathered for reflection, formation and sharing experience. In an environment of informality and closeness, it was possible to go deeper in the sense of «body», to grow in companionship between the participants and their mission and institutions. Read more...
Latin America - VIII Pan-Amazonian Social Forum
On May 1, Jesuit institutions from Latin America attending the VIII Pan-Amazonian Social Forum in Tarapoto, Peru, elaborated a statement about the situation the Amazonia is facing. Amazonia is shared by nine countries; it is very rich in natural resources and has been constantly exploited, but local communities are suffering from the transformation of the environment and their human rights are under threat. Read the statement...
America - REPAM Delegation makes advocacy trip to Washington, D.C.
Eighteen members of REPAM, Red Eclesial Panamazónica (in English, the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network), traveled from the Amazon region to Washington, D.C., to advocate for their rights to land and clean water. The Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States was part of a host committee of Catholic organizations that sponsored the REPAM delegation's visit. To know more... REPAM has recently released a report about the violation of the right to territorial property of indigenous peoples and Amazonian communities in South America.
Cambodia - A mini-forest to offset the carbon footprint of GC 36
Across the world from Rome, a mini-forest is growing to help offset the carbon footprint of the 36th General Congregation (GC 36). As the 215 delegates from 62 countries met in the aula of GC 36 last October, members of Jesuit Service Cambodia at Banteay Prieb, a Jesuit vocational school for persons with disabilities, planted 400 seedlings of native hardwood trees, including several locally endangered species, on one-hectare of land owned by the Jesuits near the school. They received a contribution for the mini-forest from the members of GC 36. To know more...
USA - Society of Jesus apologizes for Slaveholding at Georgetown University
"Today the Society of Jesus, which helped to establish Georgetown University and whose leaders enslaved and mercilessly sold your ancestors, stands before you to say: We have greatly sinned, in our thoughts and in our words, in what we have done and in what we have failed to do," Father Timothy Kesicki, SJ, said in public apology today to nearly 100 descendants of slaves gathered at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. "The Society of Jesus prays with you today because we have greatly sinned, and because we are profoundly sorry." Read more...
Rwanda - Genocide Commemoration
On April 7, Rwanda commemorated the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. On that date, all Rwandans gathered to honor members of their families and relatives who perished during the Genocide. For Jesuits in Rwanda-Burundi Region, that day did not pass unnoticed. Beyond joining the entire nation in mourning for its victims, Jesuits in Rwanda-Burundi mourn also for the victims from their own fraternity. Read more...
Venezuela - Statement about the situation the country is facing
Fr José Virtuoso SJ, Rector of the Andres Bello University in Caracas, published a statement on April 17 denouncing the situation the country is facing because of the breakdown of the constitutional order, which is deteriorating democratic life in the country and threatening the existence of the social order. He also denounced the indiscriminate and systematic violence used against civil society. Read more...
Global - Can a sharing economy and a collaborative society be sustainable?
The sustainability of a sharing economy and a collaborative society is the focus of the 23rd Annual World Forum of the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools (IAJBS). The Faculty of Economics, Social Sciences and Business Administration of the University of Namur in Belgium will host it, from 16 to 19 July 2017 with the theme "Sharing for a sustainable world." Collaborative initiatives model a new paradigm that is very rapidly developing, where using a good or a service prevails over its ownership and where such access-based approaches are supported within society, the economy, and by technology. Learn more...
Ecuador and Colombia - Training for promoters of human rights and peace
A binational training course for promoters of human rights and peace began last April 29. Thirty persons from Ecuador and Colombia participated. The course aims to strengthen peace process at the grassroots level by providing capacities to leaders of local communities and to organizations of victims at the Colombian - Ecuadoran border. "Today we have planted a seed that will germinate in 24 hours when we arrive to our houses and share the experience we have had here with our families, communities and institutions," said at the end a Colombian leader woman. Read more...
Austria - Xavier Network meeting in Vienna
The Xavier Network, a unique collaboration of Jesuit mission offices and development organizations that works with vulnerable and marginalized people around the world, met recently in Austria for its Spring meeting. The network is at a significant moment in its 14-year history following General Congregation 36 and the Encyclicals of Pope Francis. Last week Xavier Network members met in Austria, generously hosted by Jesuiten Mission Austria, to reflect on what these changes mean for their work. The agenda covered a wide range of topics including future strategy, collaboration with other Jesuit networks and the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. Read more...
Latin America - SJ Education networks of Guatemala defend the victims of Hogar Asunción
Last March 8th, a fire broke out at the Virgen de la Asunción shelter in southern Guatemala, which resulted in 37 girls and teenagers killed and almost twenty hospitalized. According to early indications, they themselves ignited the fire to protest the human rights violations they were suffering. In the face of tragedy, the educational works of the Society of Jesus and other allied organizations representing thousands of Guatemalan girls, boys, adolescents and young people have issued a statement in which they express their sadness and indignation at the facts. Learn more...
Australia - New project to help boys and men flourish
International Jesuit leader Fr Arturo Sosa has expressed his support for a new Jesuit Social Services programme aimed at tackling violence and helping men and boys build better relationships with those around them. Jesuit Social Services CEO Julie Edwards announced the new programme, The Men's Project, at the organisation's annual dinner on March 25, which also celebrated the organization's 40th anniversary. Learn more...
USA - Jesuits and partners come to the aid of deported migrants
Last February, a 35-year-old mother of two in Arizona became one of the first unauthorized migrants deported to Mexico under the Trump administration's immigration crackdown. Her case threw fuel on the debate over administration policy, but for some who minister along the border, the argument was not just political. "It was personal," said Jesuit Father Sean Carroll. Read more...