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 build a responsible civil society today. read more...
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 advocacy postcards.
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.