Asia Pacific - Puskat Film Festival gains momentum with environment theme
This year's Puskat Film Festival received five times more entries than last year, when it was launched by Studio Audio Visual (SAV), Puskat, the Jesuit audio-visual centre in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. SAV Puskat attributes the increase to promotion of the awards and the relevance of the theme, which is "Environment". SAV Puskat received 110 entries from across the country for this year's film festival. Young filmmakers produced the 35 documentary films and 75 feature films. Read more...
Africa - Message on World AIDS day
Fr Michael Lewis, SJ, President of the Conference of Africa and Madagascar issued a message on World AIDS day last December. He encourages AJAN (African Jesuits AIDS network) to continue the work in this field, and he says that fighting AIDS "is about promoting integral human development, not least among young people, to allow them to live their own lives to the full and to contribute actively to bringing about an AIDS-free society". You can read the full message here.
Europe - "Working Notes" publishes a response to the SJES report "Justice in the Global Economy"
Last February 2016, the Jesuit Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology and for Higher Education in Rome published a Special Report on Justice in the Global Economy that highlights the inter-relationship between environmental justice and economic justice. The latest issue of Working Notes, a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, in Ireland, is a response to this Report, focusing specifically on two major themes: the changing nature of work and the implications for inequality and social justice, and the unattended fragility of our common home. To learn more...
USA - Jesuit Parishes Urged to Respond to Plight of Refugee Families
On the Feast of the Holy Family (December 30), Jesuit leaders asked their parish communities to consider how they can best respond to the plight of migrants, who often live in vulnerable situations, fearing separation, detention, deportation and limited participation in their communities. In a message scheduled to appear in Jesuit parish bulletins, the nine Jesuit provincials of the U.S. and Canada wrote that Jesuit parishes have "always been a home to the immigrant and the foreigner. Many of our churches were built to care for immigrants, and they remain one of the few Jesuit ministries that serve the public on a daily basis." Read more...
South Asia - Lok Manch defending the rights of the poor
Under the banner of Lok Manch (Peoples' forum), 110 social activists representing 100 grassroots organizations from 12 States, gathered on November 23rd at Ramwadi, Pune, for a three-day national workshop. Lok Manch is envisioned as a movement of/by dalits, adivasis, women, minorities, urban poor and other marginalized communities. The first national workshop held during 6-8 April 2016 focused on the National Food Security Act. It has the purpose of nurturing leadership among the marginalized communities and of enabling them to take responsibility for their own life and destiny. To know more...
Global - Survey for Justice in Mining network
The Justice in Mining network is conducting a survey of mining activity and related issues in communities where Jesuits have a presence. The purpose of the survey is to identify the key concerns around mining and its related impacts in areas where there is a Jesuit presence. The survey will allow the network to create new links, and formulate its strategies for how and where it can assist and/or influence. Click here to know more and contribute to the survey.
Latin America - Jesuit institutions awarded for the defense of human rights
Radio Progreso and ERIC, Jesuit institutions in Honduras, have received an award in a Festival of Cinema and Human Rights in Barcelona. This year the Festival focused on Honduras, one of the most dangerous countries for journalists and human rights activists. On the other hand, a Mexican Centre for philanthropy has awarded Centro Prodh, a Mexican Jesuit NGO, for the work of promotion and defense of human rights of the most vulnerable: women, indigenous, farmers, migrants, human rights activists and victims of social repression.
Europe - Higher Education for Social Transformation
The European Conference has launched a new Jesuit program called "Higher Education for Social Transformation". It involves collaboration between Jesuit higher education institutions across Europe and Jesuit social centers. With this program, the institutions aim to help our societies to discover core values, reflect on them in depth, and find ways to apply them to make the lives of the poor more humane and just. The Steering Committee met for the first time in Brussels on 18 November. The aim was to plan how to move forward these seven areas: Ecology and Environmental Challenges; Economy, Poverty and Ethics; Christian-Muslim Relations; Dialogue Science and Religion; Ignatian Studies; Anthropology; Migrations and Refugees. Europe - Limits to mineral imports from countries in conflict
On 22 November, the European Parliament has reached an informal deal on a regulation to stop the financing of armed groups through trade in conflict minerals. The regulation limits imports of minerals extracted in zones of armed conflict or in areas where there human rights are violated. Several Jesuit European NGOs, allied under Xavier Network, have participated in the campaign supporting the approval of the rule. Know more through the webpage of Magis, an NGO of the Italian Province...
USA - Standing with immigrant students and families
Immigrant students and families are fearful for potential policy changes with the new Administration in light of the election rhetoric and early cabinet appointments. Therefore, a few informational conference calls have been coordinated for those offices and personnel, which serve immigrant students in both Higher Education and Secondary/Pre-Secondary to receive briefings and share best practices. In addition, Colleges' Presidents posted a new statement on November 30.
Australia - Jesuit Mission Australia provides aid in flood-ravaged Vietnam
Jesuit Mission Australia is working with local Catholic Church groups to provide urgent emergency response to families affected by severe floods in Central Vietnam. Over 600,000 people have been directly affected by the floods, with an estimated 100,000 houses fully submerged. The torrential rains started on October 13, causing some of the worst floods ever experienced in several provinces. It is believed that water discharged by two large hydropower dams the next day, without adequate warning to communities already battling the heavy rains, added to the severity. Read more ...
Portugal - First Global Citizenship and Integral Ecology meeting
Fundação Gonçalo da Silveira, a Jesuit NGO from Portugal, and the Associação Casa Velha - Ecologia e Espiritualidade promoted the first "Global Citizenship and Integral Ecology" meeting, which took place on 10 November in Lisbon. The aim of the meetingwas to gather different civil society organizations to reflect on various possible paths and cooperative work to join Global Citizenship Education and Integral Ecology. To know more...
Global - Responding through reconciliation
Father José Ignacio García reflects on how the recent 36th General Congregation (GC) of the Jesuits has been a new opportunity to reflect on the challenges we have in front of us. The election of Father Arturo Sosa as Superior General is part of the response to these challenges. GC felt that Father Sosa is the one who can best help us to respond in such a complex global context, marked by increasing inequalities, environmental degradation and where populist leaders are getting access to power by seeking to attract people with effective policies, even if it means reducing the guarantees for freedom and human rights. Learn more...
Global - Pope Francis meets Popular Movements in Rome
The III World Meeting of Popular Movements with Pope Francis took place in Vatican City, on November 5 2016. The meeting brought together delegates of organizations from around 65 countries around the world, who represent people on the margins of society, including the poor, the unemployed and those who have lost their agricultural land. Pope Francis urged members of the popular movements to lobby their governments to be more welcoming of migrants and to improve programs to ensure their integration into their host societies. Click here for the original version of the pope's speech in Spanish. Haiti - Responding to the victims of Matthieu hurricane
On October 3 to 4, hurricane Matthieu caused innumerable damage in several departments in Haiti. They speak about 1.250 casualties (people killed or disappeared), thousands of displaced people and more than half a million people have lost their houses. Most crops have been destroyed. Jesuits in Haiti are offering their services to the victims of this humanitarian crisis and ask for our solidarity with them. Read more...
Canada - Commitment to Fossil Fuel Divestment
Seven Catholic institutions from across the globe -among others, Canadian Jesuits- announced their decision to divest from fossil fuels on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, with the largest faith-based divestment announcement to date. This latest commitment to divestment highlights the growing momentum towards the practical implementation of the spirit of Pope's Laudato Si'. In it, the Pope warns of the dangers of climate change and argues that "technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels - especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas - needs to be progressively replaced without delay." Read more...
Global - GIAN Right to Education core group meeting
The Core Group of GIAN (Global Ignatian Advocacy Network) for the Right to Education comprised of representatives from different Conferences (CPAL, Europe, JESAM, South Asia, and Canada/USA) and international organisations (Fe y Alegría and JRS) working within the schools, universities and social organisations of the Society of Jesus met from 10 to 13 October 2016 in Madrid (Spain). The group reflected on the current state of global education and discussed how to encourage a more concrete commitment among Jesuit institutions to support the right to a quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. They have shared a declaration.
Latin America - Meeting of University Social Responsibility network
The VI meeting of the network for University Social Responsibility of AUSJAL (Jesuit universities in Latin America) took place in the Universidad Ruiz de Montoya, Lima, from October 17 to 19. Among other activities, they had a pannel on "University and Social Justice", and an address on "Social Responsibility in Jesuit Universities" from Fr Ivo Follmann. Read more...
USA - Ignatian Teach-In 2016
Over 1,800 individuals gathered at the 19th Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice from November 12-14 in Washington, D.C. A significant portion of attendees are young people, ages 16-22, representing Jesuit and other Catholic institutions from across the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and El Salvador. The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice is an annual gathering in the context of social justice and solidarity to learn, reflect, pray, network, and advocate together. They gather each year in the spirit of the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador, using their lives and ministry as inspiration for discovering the injustices of today and how we might engage in them. Learn more...
Latin America - XLVI International Congress of Fe y Alegría
Last October 20 to 23 the XLVI International Congress of Fe y Alegría was held in Lima, Peru, with the title "Education, citizenship, peace culture and the youth". There were students and educators from 21 countries in Latin America and Africa where Fe y Alegría is present. Among other issues, they studied training programs they are running on citizenship, and they also evaluated the challenges the youth are facing to develop a peace culture. Read more...