Africa - Kenyan Jesuit Fr. Victor-Luke Odhiambo killed in South Sudan
A Jesuit priest, Fr. Victor-Luke Odhiambo was killed by unknown assailants who broke into the Jesuit residence in Cueibet, South Sudan on the night of 14 November 2018. Fr. Odhiambo, originally from Kenya, was an educationist with vast experience. He previously headed a Jesuit school in Tanzania. He moved to South Sudan about ten years ago and has been involved in teacher training in Wau and Rumbek. Fr. Odhiambo was passionate about the Jesuit mission in South Sudan, and believed that education was the best way of helping the young country. The Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa, addressed a letter with condolences to the Eastern Africa Provincial. Read more...
Global - Justice in Mining Network Participates in the Global Forum in South Africa
Nine members of the Justice in Mining (JiM) network were in Johannesburg to participate in the Thematic Social Forum (TSF) on Mining and the Extractivist Economy. The Justice in Mining representatives joined more than 350 delegates from faith-based and community groups around the globe to discuss issues arising from mining activity, including environmental damage and human rights abuses. The nine Justice in Mining delegates represented every Jesuit region, and contributed with local perspectives and experiences to discussions at the forum. JiM also presented a workshop highlighting the Ignatian approach to advocacy and drew on field experience of members from Mexico, Europe along with Democratic Republic of Congo and India. Read more...
USA/Central America - Jesuits Pledge Continued Solidarity with the People of Nicaragua
October 18, 2018 - The Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology and the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) issued a statement of continued solidarity with the people of Nicaragua on the six-month anniversary of nonviolent protests that led to the deaths of at least 300 civilians at the hands of police and government-sponsored paramilitary groups. "We unequivocally reject the violations of human rights and the blatant destruction of democratic structures that protect the rights and dignity of our Nicaraguan brothers and sisters", the statement said. The initial protests led to the deaths of more than two dozen people. Álvaro Manuel Conrado Davila, a 15-year-old student at Instituto Loyola, the Jesuit high school in Managua, Nicaragua, was among the victims killed while peacefully protesting on April 20. Today's statement is also intended to demonstrate particular solidarity with Fr. Chepe Idiaquez SJ, Rector of the University of Central America (UCA). Read more...
India/Europe - Film on Right to Food wins award in Spain
A documentary Behind India, a look from their social movements has won the Audience Award at the Bilbao International Invisible Film Festival in the Basque Country, Spain. The documentary, produced by the Basque NGO Calcuta Ondoan (Friends of Calcutta) in collaboration with Udayani (Awakening) Social Action Forum, a Jesuits social arm of Calcutta Jesuit Province was directed by Fernando Vera Moreno. Iñigo, director of Calcuta Ondoan and co-scriptwriter of the documentary collected the award on behalf of the people and organizations. The story revolves around the daily life of Santoshi Tudu, an agricultural laborer and a Self Help Group (SHG) member. Read more...
USA - Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice Reflects on 'Discipleship at the Crossroads'
From November 3-5, 2018, nearly 2,000 individuals from more than 125 institutions across the Jesuit and greater Catholic network gathered in Arlington, Virginia and Washington, D.C. for the 21st annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. This year's theme, Discipleship at the Crossroads, drew inspiration from Pope Francis' call to "get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas" to better journey together "towards the Good". Read more...
Europe - Magis House opens in Paris
"La Maison Magis, a dream that is finally coming true"... these are the most repeated words on the occasion of the opening of this much awaited place on October 12. It was a joy to see the long awaited realisation of the project. This joy was shared by the young people but also by all those who, within the Society of Jesus and the Ignatian Family, are involved in youth ministry. "This is a house where life circulates on every floor, where people meet, get to know each other, live together, share, invent, create, celebrate, listen and speak", said the Provincial François Boëdec SJ during the inauguration. Read more...
Central America - Jesuit Migration Network Statement Repudiates Trump's Action on Asylum
The Jesuit Migration Network of Central America and North America (RJM-CANA in Spanish), responded to President Trump's November 9 proclamation on asylum, calling it a violation of international law, including violating the Geneva Convention of 1951. In a candid statement issued the same day as the proclamation, RJM-CANA expressed their concern with the most recent administration action from word one, titling the statement, "Mr. Trump, you are who acts illegally, not the caravan". Read more..., Read a reflection on Caravan.
Africa - Formative and Naturalistic Initiative in Cameroon
Douala (Agenzia Fides) - Teaching to grow bananas to promote micro-entrepreneurship projects, but also to save bananas from extinction. This is the project launched in Douala by the Jesuits of Cameroon. An initiative that has a dual value, formative and naturalistic, in a difficult context, which characterizes the African country. In Cameroon, over three million boys and girls did not reach the minimum level of school education. Seventy per cent of girls are illiterate. This phenomenon is particularly visible in the northern regions, where over one million girls between the ages of 10 and 19 cannot read or write (31.9% of girls in the region). Read more...
Mexico -Papal Envoy says "Vulnerable migrants, a priority for the Church"
The most vulnerable people, like those who make up the Central American Migrant Caravan crossing Mexico right now, are a priority for the Catholic Church, the Jesuit Fr. Michael Czerny, head of the Vaticans' Section for Refugees and Migrants, said this Friday. Opening on behalf of Pope Francis the 8th World Social Forum on Migrations, which is taking place in Mexico City, Fr. Czerny stated: "Like many other human fluxes in the world, this one is a manifestation of despair, of the crisis of a political and economic model which forces thousands of human beings to flee their country, assuming the vulnerability implied in being a forced migrant or a refugee. Vulnerable migrants are a priority for the Church". Read more...
Europe - Inhumane detention of trafficking victims
The Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK (JRS UK) is calling on the government to end the use of indefinite detention, in light of new research showing high levels of vulnerable individuals in detention. Case studies compiled by JRS UK through its outreach work into immigration detention published in a report last week show systematic disregard by the Home Office of its own rules around protection of victims of trafficking and other forms of modern slavery. The report published by JRS UK chimes with the investigation carried out by The Guardian, revealed yesterday, showing that almost 56% of those surveyed were defined as an 'adult at risk'. Such individuals are identified as being particularly vulnerable to harm and should only be detained in extreme cases. Read more...
Global - Bishops Sign Document Calling for Action against Climate Change
Six bishops representing episcopal conferences on five continents issued a joint statement calling on the international community to take immediate action against climate change. Addressing world leaders who will be attending the COP24 Summit in Katowice, Poland, in December, the bishops urged them to take concrete steps "in order to tackle and overcome the devastating effects of the climate crisis". "We must be prepared to make rapid and radical changes and resist the temptation to look for solutions to our current situation in short-term technological fixes without addressing the root causes and the long-term consequences", the bishops said in the statement. Read more...
Promotio Iustitiae 126 on Fundamentalism: Role of Religions for Reconciliation
In almost every religion, "true-believers" [fundamentalists], claim to protect beliefs from erosion and contamination. Fundamentalism thrives wherever there is stark poverty, simply because these "revivalist" [fundamentalist] movements promise benefits and upliftment, where there is no real hope. In recent years right-wing fanaticism has grown in a very big way especially in Europe and the United States. The present issue of Promotio Iustitiae on Fundamentalism: Role of Religions for Reconciliation looks at this critically from three standpoints: a) from a theoretical perspective; b) from organized religions perspective in different countries; and c) from traditional / indigenous perspective. Read more...