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Syria - Fr. Frans Van der Lugt, SJ: A voice that cried in the wilderness
(Apr-23-2014)

Fr. Frans said, "Christians and Muslims are going through a difficult and painful time and we are faced with many problems. The greatest of these is hunger. People have nothing to eat. There is nothing more painful than watching mothers searching for food for children in the streets...I will not accept that we die of hunger. I do not accept that we drown in a sea of hunger, letting the waves of death drag us under. We love life, we want to live. And we do not want to sink in a sea of pain and suffering." We mourn the brutal murder of our Jesuit companion who stood with the people in their struggle and we appeal for an end to the conflict in Syria. Read more...

Honduras - Carlos Mejía, a lay partner in a Jesuit institution killed
(Apr-23-2014)

Carlos Mejía Orellana worked in ERIC y RADIO PROGRESO, Jesuit organizations in Honduras devoted to denounce violation of human rights, to fight against impunity in the country and to accompany other advocators for human rights. Mejía was killed on the 11th of April at home in El Progreso, despite the protection measures that the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights have assigned to him from 2009, when the coup d'état took place. From then onwards, the situation of the team in ERIC and RADIO PROGRESO became very difficult with explicit threats to more than 15 people in the team. The Secretariat expresses our solidarity with family and friends and demands to the Honduran State a soon clarification of the circumstances of this killing. Rome - PJ 114 on Education at the margins
(Apr-23-2014)

This current issue of Promotio Iustitiae,illustrates the reality of "Education at the margins" offered by means of the Society, at times relatively unknown even among Jesuits themselves. In particular we will review initiatives that by volume are the most significant - Fe y Alegría, education in India for dalits and indigenous peoples as well as the school programmes offered by the Jesuit Refugee Service. The issue also covers some special networks, such as Cristo Rey in the United States and SAFA in Spain, which offer quality education to those who need it most. Download PDF. Read online here... Kindly US - Kino Border Initiative hosts US Bishops' visit to the border
(Apr-23-2014)

Echoing Pope Francis' visit to the island of Lampedusa, Italy, a group of U.S. Bishops visited Nogales, Arizona. The bishops were hosted by Sean Carroll SJ at the Kino Border Initiative. During their stay the bishops visited with and served meals to deported migrants, toured the desert and border wall where they laid a wreath. Additionally, the Bishops took part in a Mass at the border. A video of the Mass can be found here and more information about the Bishops' visit can be found here.

Mexico - Tzeltal coffee accessing the market
(Apr-23-2014)

In the midst of Chiapas mountains, one of the poorest areas in Mexico, Capeltic ("Our coffee") cooperative is changing the life of thousands of Indigenous Tzeltals, thanks to a model of an economy based on solidarity, that respects the environment and produced with the indigenous cosmovision. Capeltic produces and brings to the market a high quality coffee grown by poor and small Tzeltal peasants and it has recently opened a new shop at ITESO University. Read more...

Australia - JSS establishes international Jesuit prison network
(Apr-23-2014)

Jesuit Social Services (JSS) in Australia has formed an International Jesuit Prison Network (IJPN) to facilitate collaboration and support among Jesuit organizations and individuals around the world who are working in prisons or with former prisoners. Set up late last year, the network has already received support coming from all the Conferences and various Jesuit organizations including Jesuit Networking, which has offered to assist in connecting interested people. Read more...

India - Strengthening the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN) considered
(Apr-23-2014)

Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN) has been around since GC 35. A lot of work has happened since then and five networks have been formed: Right to education, Peace & Human rights, Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources (GNMR), Ecology and Migration. These groups have met several times. Many Jesuits from South Asia are co-opted as members in these core groups. Read more...

USA - Meeting of Conference Social Apostolate
(Apr-23-2014)

Provincial assistants for the social apostolate met in Tijuana, Mexico from March 24-27. The participants were from the U.S., Mexico, and both Canadian provinces. The biannual meeting offers a chance to share updates, assess advocacy efforts and develop new collaborative strategies. Mining displacement, immigration, and violence as a cause of Central American migration were among the issues discussed. The group also took advantage of the meeting location to educate themselves on border realities between U.S. and Mexico. Xavier Jeyaraj, SJ from SJES was present and offered his perspective on social justice issues from his work as assistant to the Secretary. One notable outcome is the desire to host an international social ministries gathering in 2016 with participants from Antilles, Central America, Mexico, U.S., and Canada. The

Poland - Meditation in prisons
(Apr-23-2014)

Scholastics have started offering an Ignatian meditation for prisoners in the high security prison of Warsaw. The new initiative was fully accepted by the prison authorities and by the inmates. Prayer meetings are held once a week as part of a rehabilitation program. After the meditation sharing groups are held. The testimonies of those people, their lives and spiritual experiences are deeply moving. Some of them have a desire to continue the meditation also in their free time. This new scholastics ministry is developing quite dynamically. The prayer method is based on the power of the Jesus name, using the "Five Keys" Method of Mr. Neal Lozano.

CLC - Letter for candidates to the European Parliament
(Apr-23-2014)

Christian Life Community in Europe has drafted a letter to the prospective candidates for election to the European Parliament which will take place in May 2014 in all the countries that belong to the European Union. This letter sets out the concerns of CLC as a World/European Community with regard to issues that are of key importance to all the people living in Europe at this time. The letter focuses in issues like poverty, environment, migration, solidarity and diversity which are of great concern also at the world level and have been identified as focus areas in CLC's last world assembly. To read the letter...

Philippines - Building back after Typhoon
(Mar-19-2014)

Three months after Typhoon Haiyan struck, thousands of people in the islands of Visayas continue to reel from the devastation it wreaked. Debris from wrecked houses still litters the shores of many islands. Makeshift homes made of the same rubble have mushroomed amidst the chaos despite the numerous tents and bunks provided by both local and international aid. Many people in the largely fishing and farming communities still cannot earn a living because they have not been able to replace the boats, crops and equipment destroyed by the typhoon. Read more...

India - Shrinking space for freedom of religion in India
(Mar-19-2014)

"The space for freedom of religion in India, in violation of the basic principles of human rights is shrinking", said Prof. Heiner Bielefeldt, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. During his public lecture on the 26th of February, organized by Indian Social Institute, New Delhi, he expressed apprehension on the lack of State protection and institutional biases within the security apparatus for spread of communal violence as happened in States like Gujarat, Karnataka and Orissa. Read more...

Europe - Jesuit organizations join European campaign on responsible mineral sourcing
(Mar-19-2014)

A law proposed by the European Commission on responsible sourcing of minerals is not strong enough to prevent European companies' mineral purchases from financing conflict or human rights abuses, and falls far short of expectations", said the campaigners that included many Alboan, JESC, JRS in Europe and the Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources (GNMR) advocacy network. The Campaigners expressed disappointment that the Commission's proposal is limited only to four conflict minerals, and it calls for voluntary measures not compulsory. They say that the Commission's proposal threatens to lower international standards and start a race to the bottom.

US - Conf. President challenges deportations and the denial of human dignity
(Mar-19-2014)

Fr. Tom Smolich, President of the U.S. Jesuit Conference recently penned this opinion piece on President Obama's deportation policies: "As President Obama's administration approaches a record-setting two millionth deportation, an immigration enforcement 'accomplishment' never achieved by any other president, many faith leaders are rightly focusing on the hardship that each of these deportations inflicts on families and communities torn apart by our broken immigration system. However, lost in this important debate as to whether Obama should suspend deportations is the dangerous manner in which these deportations are being carried out." Spain- The Oscar host the problem of child soldiers
(Mar-19-2014)

The Spanish film "Aquel no era yo" (That was not me), written and directed by Esteban Crespo, has been nominated for the 2014 Oscar awards in the category of Best Short Fiction. Jesuit social organizations namely Entreculturas and Alboan, together with Amnesty International, Fundación Compromiso and Save the Children, working in Spain against the use of child soldiers, have supported the production of this documentary. Together with the documentary, the organizations met with the representatives of United Nations in New York, with the scope of having an International day against use of child soldiers. For more information ..., France - Confronting fiscal paradises, article by Projet
(Mar-19-2014)

The French Jesuit review Projet has published an article speaking about fiscal paradises, expressing the need to fight against them for ethical reasons and also as a way of allowing States get back important incomes that can be used for the common good. The article has been commented at AFP (France-Press Agency) in February. Read the article...

India - West Zone Jesuit Social Activists prepare for Elections 2014
(Mar-19-2014)

"Elections 2014: What is at Stake? What needs to be done?" was the theme on which sixteen Jesuits and 4 collaborators from 4 Provinces of the West Zone discussed between 6 - 8 February in Pune. Interacting with the two political leaders from the newly formed Aam Aadmi Party (common people's party) they discussed some major concerns and issues of people and planned the course of action to be undertaken by Jesuit Social Centres in view of the General election to be held in April - May this year.

US - "No worker should be forced to raise a family in poverty"
(Mar-19-2014)

Thus says a new Jesuit Conference Advocacy Alert which supports the Fair Minimum Wage Act to raise the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour over three years. Currently, a mother of two working a minimum wage job earns $15,080 annually which is $4,450 below the federal poverty line for a family of three. This alert follows the lead of a recent US Catholic Bishops Minimum Wage letter to lawmakers which notes that the minimum wage, as a static number, increasingly falls short as family living costs steadily increase. Click here to learn more or take action on this new Jesuit advocacy opportunity.

Venezuela - Fr Virtuoso speaks about the situation of the country
(Mar-19-2014)

Fr José Virtuoso SJ, Rector of the University Andrés Bello, spoke about the situation of Venezuela in an interview on TV, on the 14th of February. During the interview he mentions the sources of unrest that are bringing groups of people to protest in the streets and he also explains the difficult economic situation that is affecting the life of the country. Most of the protesters are young people that want to express their expectations and demands for the future. Listen to the interview in Spanish here...

Canada - Centre justice et foi, on memory of Julien Harvey SJ
(Mar-19-2014)

As part of the 30th anniversary of the Centre justice et foi, from French Canada, the Centre has published a book on the memory of Julien Harvey SJ (1923 - 1998), who was co-founder and first director of the Centre. Fr Julien Harvey was provincial of French Canada at the time of the 32nd General Congregation. He was an enthusiastic promoter of the link between faith and justice in the mission of the Society. The title of the book is "Justice sociale, ouverture et nationalisme. Regards de Julien Harvey", and reflects on several issued of social justice. For more information...