South Asia - Around 100 Jesuit Social Activists gather for their 19th Triennial Convention
Between October 9 and 12, around 100 Jesuits from the social apostolate of all the 18 Provinces and 2 regions of South Asia came together in Bhopal, Central India for their 19th triennial convention. Its theme was: "40 years of GC 32 D 4: Challenges and Responses, Achievements and Failures, Hopes and Opportunities." Along with the outgoing president of the Conference, Fr. Edward Mudavassery SJ, some of the veteran Jesuit social activists who began living out the challenges of decree 4 were present on this occasion to trace the past and to remember the landmarks; to discern the present and to deepen the commitment; and to look at the signs of the time and find ways to face the challenges of today's globalized world. A few lay, tribal, women social activists challenged and invited the Jesuits to network, collaborate, and
Promotio Iustitiae 116 - Promotion of Justice in the Universities of the Society
This document invites the reader to reflect upon the rich background and understanding of justice and its role in the Jesuit university. The text surveys both the general orientations and the concrete practices that Jesuit universities are developing in different parts of the world. The purpose of this text is to help the universities to continue to deepen their commitment to working for justice. It is hoped that it will be used for personal reading and consultation, as well as for consideration and debate in faculty bodies, working groups, councils, and administrative offices. Promotio Iustitiae 116.
USA - Protection of migrant children from Central America
The Jesuit Conference President and other religious leaders call on President Obama to protect children migrating from Central America. The one-sentence letter reads, "While we celebrate the potential of executive action to alleviate the suffering caused by our nation's broken immigration system - particularly in light of political inaction in Congress - it must not come at the cost of due process and access to humanitarian protection for children and families fleeing violence in Central America". Story here and press conference audio here The Conference has also prepared Latin America - Collaboration in national borders
Jesuits and lay partners working in educative, social, and Church institutions from ten border territories in Latin America and the Carribean held a meeting in Cúcuta, at the Colombian - Venezuelan border on September 22 - 24. They shared their experiences in the hope of strengthening their collaboration in these areas and they invite institutions to re-think their presence in these territories, promoting the dignity of the people who work there. For more information, click here.
Philippines - Jesuit universities in Asia Pacific meet
What is the role of Jesuit universities in social justice? This was a question that participants at the recent meeting of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Asia Pacific (AJCU-AP) were asked to consider. The annual meeting, held on August 26 and 27, was chaired and hosted by Fr Joel Tabora SJ, President of Ateneo de Davao University. Participants included representatives of Jesuit institutions of higher education in Asia Pacific.
South Africa - Coming together with others for others
On August 16, a rather cold Saturday, a few Jesuits and some of their collaborators involved in social justice ministries came together for their annual meeting with the theme 'Coming together with others for others'. The delegates came from the Jesuit run parishes of Holy Trinity (Johannesburg) and Saint Martin de Porres (Soweto) together with Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Gauteng. Fr Rampe Hlobo, SJ, the Jesuit Social Apostolate Coordinator in South Africa, likened the works and activities of the social apostolate groups to the traditional Sesotho concept of Letsema: When the harvest is plenty and abundant, one invites one's neighbors to help so that nothing goes to waste. Fr. David Rowan, the regional superior of the Jesuits in South Africa, also made a presentation and emphasized the importance of social ministry.
USA - Reintegration of persons released from prisons
The Jesuit Conference has written a letter to the US Senate urging it to support the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, which addresses many of the challenges facing individuals re-entering society following incarceration. The letter says that more needs to be done in order to ensure that as many people as possible successfully re-enter society.
Rome - Impacts of mining
The Integrity of Creation Working Group of Religious Congregations in Rome has released a booklet titled See, Judge, Act: reflections on the impacts of Mining. The booklet was inspired by the overwhelming response to a mining survey twhich was sent to religious communities this past year. The document is intended to serve as a general introduction to understanding the impact of mining industries on the community and the environment.
Great Britain - Statement on Climate Change
Jesuits in Britain are among 347 investors who have signed a Statement on Climate Change. Among the commitments in the statement, they identify low carbon investment opportunities that meet their investment criteria and help develop their capacity to assess the risks and opportunities presented by climate change and climate policy in their investment portfolios, integrating this information, where appropriate, into their investment decisions.
Asia Pacific - Social Apostolate annual meeting in Manila
The annual Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific Social Apostolate took place in Manila from August 18 to 22. Social enterprises were the focus of this year's meeting, and over the course of four days, the 40 participants from 12 countries learned about the concept, heard several testimonies and visited a number of such enterprises in and around Manila. Among these the Rags2Riches, workshop in Payatas, that produces bags made by the nanays (mothers) who live with their families in a Manila dumpsite.
The Rag2Riches brand was launched in 2007 and the nanays are now part of a company that sells high-end bags made of rags, a social enterprise. Read more...
Mexico - Latin American network of Indigenous solidarity
The network of Indigenous solidarity of the Society of Jesus in Latin America, held its biannual meeting at Tarahumara Mountains in Mexico between August 4-10. For the occasion, 55 persons, Jesuits and lay collaborators from indigenous communities from Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Guatemala and Mexico, came together to share their experiences. This year's issue focused on the theme of "Spirituality and resilience of ancestral cultures". The result of this meeting is a document, entitled Tarahumara Declaration. Read the declaration in Spanish
India - Province social coordinators decide to network on two Rights issues
The Province coordinators of Social Apostolate and the directors of two Indian Social Institutes chose Right to Food - known as National Food Security Act [NFSA] - and Right to Education as the two major common issues for networking in all the Provinces of South Asia. The participants came together for a 2-day consultation in Bangalore, on 22 and 23 July, with the purpose of drawing-up a strategic action plan that pertains to the entire assistancy, for networking on one particular issue initially. The team has decided to come together once again in November - after due consultation at the local/province level - to finalize and prepare a concrete working plan for the next three years.
USA - Just Sustainability: hope for the commons
On August 7-9 the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability based in Seattle University held a Conference on Just Sustainability. The Conference focused on the intimate connections between environmental justice and sustainability. Attendees had a unique opportunity to connect with researchers, businesses, and communities that are bringing Environmental Justice Sustainability issues to the fore of public discourse. Contents of the Conference can be found here
GNMR Update - Responding to equity and sustainability concerns
The first issue of the GNMR Update, an e-newsletter that shares the work and activities of the Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources (GNMR) Network, was released this month. The GNMR Network is a network of Jesuit organizations and individuals working to address issues of equity and sustainability in the governance of natural and mineral resources.
The GNMR network is one of five global Ignatian advocacy networks (GIAN) established after the General Congregation (GC) 35, held in 2008. Africa - AJAN containing the spread of Ebola
The African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) is getting involved in efforts to stop Ebola by providing culturally sensitive information that is urgently needed to contain the swift expansion of the virus. They plan to distribute education materials in countries neighbouring those already affected, such as Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Cameroon. In a second phase, they will accompany their intervention with workshops and training-of-trainers. Read more...
Europe - Immigration detention
Report written after SJM (Jesuit Service to Migrants in Spain) and JRS-Europe's visits to the Northern African cities of Nador (Morocco) and Melilla (Spain): a really hot spot in terms of Human Rights of migrants and refugees. The report proposes some concrete steps for Europe-Africa Jesuit collaboration at the Northern African borders. Both the Spanish original and the English version can be found here
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...