India - People's Manifesto ahead of the General Election in India
In January 2014, about 65 members of South Asian Peoples' Initiatives (SAPI) from all over India brought out the Peoples' Manifesto in view of the forthcoming general election in May 2014. The People's Manifesto is the outcome of their deliberations on 8 thematic issues: the economy, education, health, environment, social issues, political reform, cultural matters and issues of governance and security. Containing proposals and recommendations, the People's Manifesto has been framed with the objective of making people aware of their legitimate rights and of the responsibility of those who contest the elections. Read m
Latin America - International Campaign promoting a culture of hospitality
On January 19, World Day of Migrants and Refugees promoted by the Catholic Church, the Provincials of Latin America endorsed the Campaign promoting a culture of hospitality, an initiative launched by the Jesuit Network for Migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Campaign is a joint initiative of this network together with the International Federation of Fe y Alegría, the Christian Life Communities and the Federation of Latin American Jesuit and Ignatian schools. To read more about the Campaign and its objectives...
Belgium - Fr. Ziad Hilal on the Syrian situation
In the course of an evening meeting on "Christians in Syria held in Belgium, Fr Ziad Hilal SJ, from the Jesuit Refugee Service in Homs, Syria, spoke about the situation of the country and the sufferings of the population. The main message from Father Hilal was twofold. First: there is hope for the future of Syria when you see all that is being doen through common relief efforts. Secondly: do not focus your attention solely on the Christians in Syria, but think of the Syrian people as a whole. In the lively discussion that followed there were remarks regarding outside forces that influence the conflict, on the exodus of Christians and questions about the millions of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. See a video of Fr Ziad Hilal...
CPAL - Roberto Jaramillo sj, new Conference Social Coordinator
Last January Roberto Jaramillo SJ replaced Alfredo Ferro SJ as new Social Coordinator for Latin America. Originally from Colombia, he has been working in the Amazonian Region in the last few years. Now he has already moved to Lima, which will be his base. Fr. Alfredo Ferro will participate in the Pan -Amazonian project in which Jesuit Provinces that have a share of the Amazonian jungle will be involved. We thank him for all his good work and support during the six years when he was in charge of the Social Coordination in Latin America.
Philippines - Collaborative response to disaster risk reduction
In the aftermath of the typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, Pedro Walpole SJ reflects on our contributions to ongoing efforts in rehabilitation, reconstruction, and re-design. These efforts are aimed at helping people build homes anew and live and work in safe structures, pursue a livelihood to meet their needs, and engage with local government to ensure that basic services are present. His reflections may be useful to Jesuits in other locations where disasters are likely to hit populations in the future, affecting mostly the poor and the vulnerable. To read the article ...
Italy - "Rome for peace and humanitarian action" Prize to Centro Astalli
On December 19, the Astalli Centre in Rome was awarded the prize: "Rome for Peace and Humanitarian Action" by the mayo r of Rome, Ignazio Marino. Fr. Giovanni La Manna, president of Centro Astalli (JRS in Italy), receiving the award said: "I want to dedicate this award to all the refugees whom we encounter every day at the Centro Astalli, especially all the 336 Eritreans who died on the coast of Lampedusa in an attempt to reach Europe to seek asylum. Let us feel responsible for those deaths and commit ourselves to preventing this from happening again." Read more...
Peru - Jesuit Archbishop Barreto defends the vulnerable against mining
Msgr Barreto SJ has addressed the President of the Peruvian Republic, as well as its Ministers and Congressmen, expressing his concern about the situation facing the population when mining activities restart at Morococha (Huancayo). He asks the authorities to guarantee the health, employment and education of the people in that area. Read the letter from Msgr Barreto ...
Europe - For a 'Just Cause': Campaigning on Conflict Minerals
In the context of European Union raising its concern for a legislation on 'Conflict Minerals', Jesuit European Social Centre (JESC), Alboan (Loyola Province) and Jesuit Missions-UK brought together around 30 people from various networking groups including Global Ignatian Advocacy Network on Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources (GIAN-GNMR), between December 11-13, 2013 in Bilbao, to reaffirm their commitment to work together, to raise awareness and to contribute to the advocacy strategy along with other networks such as EURAC and CIDSE. The group shared testimonies from Democratic Republic of Congo and Colombia, critically reflected on the proposed EU legislation and prepared advocacy strategy for future action.
Spain - GNMR Network meets in Loyola
From 14 - 16 of December, the core group member of the Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources (GNMR) network met together in Loyola, Spain to situate themselves, to share and to plan what the network would like to achieve in the coming 3 years. The group plans to work on 3 levels, namely a) raising awareness, b) building capacity and c) supporting and advocating for people and communities affected by mining. Listen to the video interview with the leader of the network.
France - Provincial Assembly on Ecology
120 Jesuits and 15 lay partners gathered at Châtelard from 26-30 December for the annual Assembly of the French Province. For three and a half days, they shared about "Ecology: engaged for mission and community life". It was a time for fraternal encounters, rest and deepening in the mission. They focussed their deliberations on the situation of climate and the changes it is experiencing, on possible solutions and on a concrete example, brought by the Dominicans at Tauligman, who are working in the area of eco-agriculture.
India - Police canes Christians demanding equal rights for Dalits
On December 11th 2013, around 3,000 peaceful protesters, including bishops, priests and nuns and lay men and women, who chose to march to the Parliament demanding equal rights for dalit Christians and Muslims were caned and water-cannoned by Delhi Police. Protesters, including women, braved the assault. The Bishops (shepherds) accompanied and stood by their flocks. Bishop of Nellore was even manhandled when he was about to begin a sit-in on the road. One of the protesters said: "We wanted the Central Government to furnish a reply to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the Supreme Court, but they sent the police to beat us on the streets!" Read more...
USA - Jesuit Scholastic helps in organizing a pilgrimage to highlight need for immigration reform
Rather than wait on the sidelines and simply hope that politicians act on immigration reform, Jesuit scholastic Ben Anderson and 75 clergy, faith leaders and immigrant families hit the streets and made a six-day Pilgrimage for Citizenship in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) last month.
Read more ...
Latin America - Jesuit Network for Migrants
On the International Migrants Day on December 18, the Jesuit Network for Migrants (RJM - LAC) comprising Latin America and Caribbean, released a public statement, titled "Looking for a more just and hospitable world". The document expresses a special concern about Haitians all over the continent, undocumented Latin Americans in the US and the situation of Colombians, either displaced or refugees. It makes a call to work for justice and hospitality. Read more...
South Sudan - Call for an immediate Christmas ceasefire
The Churches of Western Equatoria state denounced the events of violence and warfare in South Sudan. The Catholic Bishop of Tombura-Yambio, the Bishop of Episcopal Church of Nzara, the Bishop of Evangelical Lutheran Church and Rev. Pastor Nathan from the Seven Days Adventist Church called for an immediate Christmas ceasefire. They called upon the leaders of the aggrieved parties to utilize the peace and reconciliation abilities of the ecumenical Churches of South Sudan to heal the rifts and wounds of the nation. Read more... Jesuits have also urged peaceful resolution to South Sudan crisis.
India - SAPI prepares Peoples' Manifesto in view of General Election
Around 65 members of South Asian Peoples' Initiatives (SAPI) from all over the country came together at Indian Social Institute, Bangalore from January 9-12, 2014 to prepare the Peoples' Manifesto in view of the forthcoming general election in May 2014. Dividing themselves into six groups, they deliberated on 8 thematic issues, namely, economic, social, political, educational, health, cultural, environmental, governance and security and prepared their demands. They plan to place before various political parties as peoples' agenda for good governance.
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Japan - What does healing a broken world mean in Japan today?
In a country recognized for its depth, quality, and culturally refined sense of simplicity, the responses and actions to environmental concerns are of broader value than simply the national. People have a working relationship with their landscapes - be it cultural, spiritual, economic, social - and for many, there is a knowledge of where they are in the ecological system. But there is also a deep questioning of how to respond adequately, advocacy for a non-nuclear society post-Fukushima is growing even if the alternatives are not in place. Read More ...
Philippines - Rebuilding after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB), the social justice arm of the Jesuit Philippine Province, swung into action shortly after Typhoon Haiyan struck on November 8 with an emergency relief programme, Bangon Pilipinas (Rise Philippines). Jesuit communities across the world responded quite positively to the appeal of Fr. General and Fr Antonio Moreno SJ, Provincial of Philippines. With the emergency relief programme concluded on November 24, SLB is now finalising rehabilitation plans. These will largely be focused on Culion, Palawan, Jesuit mission island that was once the world's largest leper colony. Read More ...
India - Mumbai Jesuits design insurance for migrants
The Xavier Institute of Management and Research, (XIMR) in Mumbai has designed a unique financial solution to help migrant tribal people in Mumbai, India's financial capital. The scheme, designed in collaboration with the Chotanagpur Migrant Tribal Development (CMTD) Network and Mumbai-based Jesuit social center Seva Niketan, is expected to help over 20,000 migrant tribal people from Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and West Bengal live in Mumbai. Read More ...
USA - Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice
"Over 800 young leaders from Catholic Jesuit institutions across the country advocated on Capitol Hill on Monday, November 18, in conjunction with the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ). The advocates brought three key issues to their legislators: humane comprehensive immigration reform, an increase to the federal minimum wage, and continued access to food assistance for U.S. families in need. Participants gathered for a rally adjacent to Capitol Hill before collectively meeting with staff from nearly 100 members of Congress. Read More ...