Asia Pacific - Creating a migration network
A network on migration has been formed within the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific, comprising Jesuit institutions working on the issue - Tokyo Migrant Desk in Japan, Yiutsari in Korea, Rerum Novarum Centre in Taiwan, UGAT Foundation in the Philippines, Sahabat Insan in Indonesia, JRS Asia Pacific, and Jesuit Social Services Australia. Fr Benny Juliawan SJ, the Conference's Coordinator for Migration and Secretary for Social Ministries, convened the network's inaugural meeting in Jakarta from June 3 to 6. He said that the meeting aimed at two general objectives: (1) to recognise the current state of the migration services in JCAP; and (2) to kick start common programmes for the next three years. Read more...
Europe - Social Week, volunteering and the public good
The Jesuit Social Apostolate in Europe organized the Social Week 2014 from 24th to 28th in Naples (Italy) with the participation of Jesuits, staff and volunteers from many different works. With the theme "Volunteering and the Public Good: Commitment for an Active Citizenship". It has been a great opportunity for those involved in Jesuit social ministries in Europe to come together in order to share the Ignatian vision and our common commitment to promote faith and justice. More information and used materials.
India - Jesuit Social Centre nominated to monitor Food Distribution in the State
Udayani Social Action Forum, the Jesuit social centre of Calcutta Province, an active member of the Right to Food network, both at State and National level, has been re-appointed as NGO representatives of the Monitoring and Vigilance Committee for Public Distribution System (PDS) in two Districts and four sub-divisions in West Bengal as per the National Food Security Act (NFSA). The 12-member team, including 2 from Udayani, decided to take up the fact-finding visit after deaths were reported in at least two closed tea gardens of north Bengal. The team found 3 workers on deathbed due to lack of food and claim that there has been large scale migration and trafficking of women.Rea
India - Darjeeling Jesuits to the rescue of starving tea estate workers
A Jesuit team from Darjeeling is providing food and health care to the starving workers of an owner-abandoned tea plantation in India's West Bengal state. "We are focusing our work on the plantation in Dharanipur, the smallest, where there are 98 families and about 550 people in total. Attempts are also underway to make use of government resources and involve NGOs involved in the fight against human trafficking, because we have no news about a dozen young women from this area who had left for Delhi and other major cities looking for work," said Fr. Lalit Tirkey SJ, the director of Jesuit Social apostolate in Darjeeling. Read more...
Latin America - Meeting of the Jesuit Network for Migrants (RJM)
The annual meeting of the Southern Region of the Jesuit Network for Migrants in Latin America (RJM) was held in Antofagasta, Chile. There were representatives from Chile, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. They had the opportunity to inaugurate the new office in Antofagasta. They made a follow up of the different areas in which the network focuses: socio-pastoral, research, advocacy and communication inside the network. Finally they also spoke about the different initiatives they are developing in their countries to support the campaign that promotes the culture of hospitality, which is being held in all the Latin American Conference. Read more...
Latin America - Meeting of Directors of Social Centres and Social Coordinators
From June 23 - 28 the Directors of Social Centres and the Social Coordinators in Latin America gathered together in Santiago, Chile, for their annual meeting. They shared information about the common activities they are involved in: network for migrants, advocacy initiatives, schools for citizenship, alternative models of development, network for indigenous peoples. They spent one morning exchanging about the situation of the extractive activities in their countries, which are a source of conflict directly affecting the poor communities Jesuits accompany all over the region. The group was also able to visit the social works of the Society in Chile, as well as the Sanctuary of St Hurtado, who was an apostle of a faith that does justice. Read more...
US - Mario Serrano, SJ honoured for work with Stateless Dominicans
On June 19, the eve of the United Nations' World Refugee Day, Mario Serrano, SJ was honoured with the Second Annual Fr. Gerald Chojnacki, SJ Faith and Justice Award. Fr. Serrano was honored for his dedication to organizing and providing legal assistance to Dominican-born persons of Haitian descent, a group recently threatened with statelessness due to a Dominican Constitutional Court decision in late 2013. Read more...
US - Renovated Jesuit Warming Center inaugurated
After 25 years of direct service to low income and homeless in downtown Detroit, the renovated Warming Center was inaugurated on June 29, the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, which is based at Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit parish. The renovation allows a significant scale up in capacity and services to the homeless guests it serves on a daily basis. Major benefactors include collaborative support by the United Auto Workers and Ford. Fr. Adolfo Nicolas sent a letter to mark the occasion quoting Pope Francis's recent remarks during a visit to a homeless shelter in Rome, "To love God and neighbor is not something abstract, but something profoundly concrete." Ss. Peter and Paul is the birthplace of all Jesuit ministries in Detroit 16
Afghanistan JRS Country director kidnapped 34km from Herat city
On June 2 afternoon Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) country director, Alexis Prem Kumar SJ - 47 year old Indian national - was abducted by a group of unidentified men in western Afghanistan. Prem Kumar had accompanied teachers on a visit to a JRS-supported school for the returnee refugees in Sohadat township, 34 km from the city of Herat. He was kidnapped from the school as he was about to return to Herat. "We are deeply shocked by Prem's abduction. We are in contact with all the relevant authorities and doing everything possible to ensure his safe and speedy return. Meanwhile, our prayers are with Prem and his family and friends at this difficult time", said JRS International Director, Peter Balleis SJ. Read more...
Rome - New Promotio Iustitiae: "Decree 4 (1975) on Faith and Justice: Looking towards 40th year
In 2015, as we will celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Decree 4 (GC 32), it will be an ideal moment to contemplate serenely the changes we have seen. For this issue of Promotio (no. 115) we have asked some of the protagonists of these changes to tell us what this decree has meant for the life of the Society and to evaluate the situation in which we find ourselves today. This issue therefore seeks to make an initial assessment of this ongoing process, and we hope that it will be useful to all the provinces and conferences as they undertake their own reflection on this topic during the coming year. This issue will be released during this month of June. If you have not subscribed yet, click here.
Philippines - Conference of Transformative Land and Water Governance
Recent events related to climate change in Asia Pacific, including natural disasters, pose serious questions to us. Can we really continue with the way we treat the planet and its resources? Land and water are two very crucial resources which define human existence and therefore require careful governance. The ESSC (Environmental Science for Social Change) together with CUD, Global Ignatian Advocacy Network on Ecology and the Asia Pacific ecology group held the Conference on Transformative Land and Water Governance in Malaybalay City, Mindanao, The Philippines on 21 to 23 May 2014. The conference explored land and water governance in the context of three different themes: sustainability science; local wisdom, risk resilience and adaptation; youth and values. For more of this conference North America - Jesuits initiate shareholder dialogue with Canadian mining company
Led by the provinces of Wisconsin and English Canada, the National Jesuit Committee on Investment Responsibility (NJCIR) will begin a new shareholder engagement with Canadian mid-tier mining company Aura Minerals regarding the need to develop a comprehensive, verifiable and transparent human rights policy. Read more...
India - Training on Socio-cultural analysis at ISI-Bangalore
A 15-day Socio-Cultural Analysis training was held at Indian Social Institute, Bangalore from 29 April to 13 May. Nineteen Participants from all over the country attended this training. Aimed at imparting an understanding of the Indian society and its current challenges, the course exposed the various tools of analysis and a critical understanding of Indian society from the perspectives of Karl Marx, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, and also from liberal and neo-liberal perspectives. Read more...
DRC - Arrupe Research and Training Centre inaugurated
The Arrupe Research and Training Centre in Lubumbashi was inaugurated and blessed on April 2, 2014 by Mgr Tafunga Jean-Pierre, Archbishop of Lubumbashi, Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Provincial, explaining why it has been called Arrupe said, "for Jesuits, the name of Arrupe is particularly evocative of all efforts to bring quality and renewal. Fr. Arrupe followed the path which the British describe in their motto: "think globally; act locally"; similarly, our thinking must be as open as possible, and our acting be aimed at finding solutions to the problems affecting our daily life. This centre will have the impact and relevance we want if it finds the proper balance between what is global and what is local".
USA - Jesuits Support Prison Sentencing Reform
In late April, Fr. Thomas Smolich, President of the Jesuit Conference of the United States, Fr. Gregory Boyle, Executive Director and Founder of Homeboy Industries, and Fr. Michael Kennedy, Executive Director of the Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative sent a letter to the U.S. Senate, urging them to pass the Smarter Sentencing Act, which would reduce mandatory minimum prison sentences for non-violent drug crimes. Read the letter here:
Spain - New book on Catholic Social Teaching
On May 27, a group of professors from several Jesuit Universities in Spain have launched a book about Catholic Social Teaching. The book "Pensamiento social cristiano abierto al s. XXI" addresses issues like globalization, work and ecology, using the Church perspective about social, political and economic issues. "We want to communicate to Christians the position of the Church about social and economic problems", says José Sols, the editor of the book, and "we want to show to the world a valuable reflection of the Church that sometimes remains just for us."
Rome - Meeting of Social Coordinators
From 12-16 May, the social coordinators of the 6 Jesuit Conferences and the leaders of the 5 Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks (GIAN) gathered in Rome for their meeting at the this Secretariat. While the coordinators focussed their sharing on the situation of 'social justice dimension' in various ministries in each of the conferences, the leaders of the 5 advocacy networks had training on communication conducted by Dani Villanueva SJ. The entire team spent two full days to share and critically reflect on the reality of the networks in each of the conferences and objectively plan ways to move forward together in the coming years with clear goal and direction.
Central America - Campaign promoting the culture of hospitality
The Red Jesuita con Migrantes (Jesuit Network for Migrants) of Latin America is promoting this year the culture of hospitality in different countries using the same contents and means: posters, videos, messages in radio, homilies, texts in social networks... Jesuit institutions are putting in practice all their creativity to raise awareness about diversity in their societies, the presence of immigrants and of families with relatives working abroad, and the need for recognition and support of all these people. Read more to see what is happening in Central America ...
Spain - Reflections for the coming European elections
The Jesuit Migrant Service, SJM Spain, has presented the report "Don't let the hope sink" with proposals for candidates to European Parliament Elections to guarantee human rights on migrant policies in the next years. The main question of the document is: what should be the political program for frontiers, migration and asylum? The protection for human rights should prevail over any other state interest confronting human rights. SJM Spain offers some proposals for legal activity and for public reflection on democratic control in the South frontiers, illegal detention centers and inclusive health insurance.
India - College Principal's letter 'to choose well' triggers debate during federal election
A letter addressed to students by Father Frazer Mascarenhas SJ, Principal of St Xavier's College, Mumbai, critiquing the much acclaimed 'Gujarat model of development' triggered a storm with strong positive and negative reactions coming in from across the spectrum. While many intellectuals and students had acclaimed the letter, the right wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) filed a complaint with the Election Commission against him. Finally, BJP and its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi have emerged victorious and are set to form the new government soon. Read more...