Global - Faith communities respond to global goals
The Society of Jesus, through its Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat (SJES), joined two global meetings last September that explored ways by which faith-based communities and religious institutions can respond to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), getting known more now as the Global Goals. Patxi Álvarez de los Mozos, SJ, SJES Director, joined the UN Bristol Meeting on Faiths and the SDGs where faith leaders from around the world and UN officials gathered in Bristol, United Kingdom from 7 to 10 September 2015 to discuss support for the SDGs. The Bristol Commitments emerged from this gathering and was launched as a publication entitled Faith in the Future that covered a range of practical action plans of 24 faith groups and faith-based organizations, sharing an outline of their 10-year faith plans and commitments, including that of the Society of Jesus. Read more...
Rome - Pope Francis Visits New Homeless Shelter in Jesuit-Donated Building
Pope Francis made a surprise visit on Oct. 15 to the Vatican's newest homeless shelter. The Pope met with around 30 homeless men living at the shelter, which opened earlier this month after the building was offered to Pope Francis by the Curia of the Society of Jesus in Rome. The Jesuits decided to turn the building into a shelter in response to Pope Francis' appeal to religious institutions for buildings to be placed in service of those in need. Read more and watch a video of the visit.
Global - "Networking for justice" meeting in Loyola
From November 16th - 20th, an international meeting will be held in Loyola (Spain) with the title "Networking for Justice". It will bring together the core groups of the Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks (GIAN), the Social Justice Delegates of all Conferences of the Society of Jesus, representatives from the Xavier Network and other global networks of the Society. The purpose of the "Networking for Justice" meeting is to evaluate to what extent networking in the Society of Jesus has favored the fulfillment of its mission in the struggle for justice. It aims to identify and communicate the main lessons learned and to propose concrete measures to further enhance this way of working. Read more...
Rome - Promotio Iustitiae 120: Renewing our commitment to a faith that does justice
During April of this year 2015, as we were celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Decree 4 and preparing for General Congregation 36, which will take place next year, the Conference Coordinators of the Social Apostolate met in Rome to dialogue about how to renew our ardor for the justice that is born of faith. They expressed the substance of their dialogue in a document about the spiritual sources of our commitment to justice, the changes that have taken place in the Society and the world, the challenge of fostering greater solidarity in the Society today, and some concrete recommendations that will help us move forward. Download Promotio Iustitiae 120.
Latin America - Lessons on advocacy
After years working in the field of advocacy, social centres in Latin America - led by CINEP in Colombia - have published a couple of documents where they expose the main lessons drawn from their experience: a summary of what they have learnt in these years, and the role that the Society of Jesus is called to play in this field. They have also prepared a video on advocacy
Africa - Ecclesial Network of the Congo Basin
Reflecting on the contribution of the Catholic Church in Africa in the light of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si', a consultative workshop was held 8 and 9 October 2015 at Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on the creation of an Ecclesial Network of the Congo Basin or REBAC. The workshop is an initiative of the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), with support from the JESAM Social Apostolate, the Jesuit social apostolate in Africa, and in collaboration with Caritas Congo Read more...
Global - New update from the network of Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources
The Global Ignatian Advocacy Network on Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources Network (GNMR) has published a new bulletin (GNMR update) with some news on this field. They speak about ethical investment and the movement to go fossil free; Australian mining in Africa; and how coal-fired power plants threaten the health of Indonesians. You can access here GNMR update. You can also follow them on Facebook.
India - Report on legal rights of the refugees in India
JRS and Indian Social Institute in Delhi have published a report on legal rights of the refugees in India. The report is a timely reminder that there is much to be done for refugee protection in India. The present Indian government's selective grant of citizenship to asylum seekers of Hindu and Sikh religions from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, flies in the face of India's commitment to its own constitution as well as its international obligations to equal treatment. Access the report...
UK - Provincial's letter to the Prime Minister for change policy towards the refugees
The head of the Jesuits, Fr Dermot Preston SJ, has written to the Prime Minister to urge a change in policy towards refugees in the light of the current crisis in Europe and the Middle East. Fr Preston urges the Prime Minister to have the courage and ambition to use his leadership to set a tone of welcome and hospitality to those seeking our help at this desperate time. Fr Preston strongly advises against damaging isolationism in Europe. Read Fr Preston's letter here.
Philippines - Pastoral care for the families left behind by labour migration
"I didn't experience your caress when I was little because you left me on day one, and even up to now," writes one student at a workshop on dealing with loneliness for children of Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). "But I am really longing for that time when you come home," and "hopefully when that time comes, I would know what it feels like to be hugged by my real mom." Read more...
Global - Ecology and Ignatian spirituality
An article that appeared in Manresa - a Jesuit magazine about Ignatian spirituality - focuses on how ecology can be addressed by Ignatian spirituality on the light of Laudato Si', the recent Encyclical on ecology. The aim of the paper is to propose some strong points and some not so strong points that can be identified in Ignatian spirituality when we seek an ecological conversion. Obviously not all can be considered exclusive of Ignatian spirituality but they share many aspects of the plight of Christians in general. You can have here access to the full article.
India - Ensuring the dignity and rights of the marginalized
Building Lok Manch (Peoples' Forum) is an initiative of Jesuit social centers in India to ensure dignity and rights of the marginalized at the national level. They are a partnership of 100 Organizations (50 Jesuit and 50 lay organizations) enhancing access to entitlements provided by National Acts such as National food security Act and Water, sanitation and hygiene. They will mobilize 300,000 households, and capacitate around 5,500 local leaders in 13 States (involving 15 Jesuit provinces in India). On 18-21 September 2015, all the Social Action Coordinators met at Mumbai to discuss the details of the initiative. They were able to bring in more clarity and workout different ways and means of implementing Building Lok Manch in the most effective way.