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Vol. XXI, No. 03 February 20, 2017
Father General calls for networking in Jesuit higher education
Father General Arturo Sosa has urged Jesuits serving in higher education to draw on networking as a way of becoming more effective in their ministries. Speaking to the Vidyajyoti Theology Faculty in Delhi, on February 18, Father General pointed out that "The 36th General Congregation makes a strong invitation to Jesuits to collaborate and network as the way of proceeding to be effective in our mission today." He observed that Jesuits are responsible for over 200 faculties of philosophy and theology, as well as higher education institutions around the world. "Taking seriously the General Congregation's invitation, I want to insist that you and all the Higher Education institutions in South Asia form an effective network. This would be the best way to improve collaboration among Jesuit institutions," he said. Read more...
Father General appointed:
- Father Xavier Jeyaraj, (CCU), Secretary for Social Justice and Ecology replacing Father Francisco Javier Álvarez de los Mozos. This appointment will take effect before 15 June of this year. Father Xavier Jeyaraj was born in 1962; he entered the Society of Jesus in 1982 and was ordained a priest in 1993. He has a long experience in social ministries, and he already served as Assistant to the Secretary for Social Justice and Ecology in Rome.
Father Adolfo Nicolás
Former Superior General, Fr Adolfo Nicolás bade farewell to the General Curia Community on Wednesday, February 15 and travelled to Manila, Philippines, where he will work in a Spirituality Centre. A few days earlier, on Sunday February 12, at the Eucharist presided over by Father General Arturo Sosa, the community expressed gratitude to God for Fr Nicolás' service as Superior General from 2008 - 2016. Father Sosa thanked his predecessor on behalf of the whole Society, and wished him blessings as he embarks on a new mission in Manila.
Voices of Faith
On International Women's Day, March 8, Father General Arturo Sosa will give the opening address at the Voices of Faith 2017 event at the Vatican. According to the organizers, "Voices of Faith unites the Vatican with the international community and organizations around the globe to honour and acknowledge women who understand the need for dialogue, building bridges and collaboration across boundaries." More details can be found at www.voicesoffaith.org
Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat
The latest issue of Promotio Iustitiae from the Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology has just been published. It focuses on Jesuits working in the prison ministry across the world. Digital versions are available on the Secretariat website, www.sjweb.info/sjs/PJ/
FROM THE PROVINCES
ECUADOR: The Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE) hosts dialogue for peace between Colombia and the National Liberation Army
Four years of secret negotiations between the government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN) have culminated into public talks with the setting up of a dialogue desk at the Cashapamba hacienda, the headquarters of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE), which is now the Ecuadorian centre for peace. By offering this space on the outskirts of Quito, the Jesuits of Ecuador are showing their commitment to the peace and justice process in the sister country of Colombia, in accordance with work they also do through the Jesuit Refugee Service.
The PUCE Rector, Fr Fernando Ponce Leon SJ, before the opening of the dialogue desk on February 8 offered a prayer for peace with a reading of the prophet Isaiah 2: 1-5, and a prayer of Pope Francis, made for the first time in Tbilisi, Georgia. "Lord Jesus, conquer the hardness of our hearts, imprisoned by hatred and selfishness, confound the culture of death and make the triumph of life..."
The principal negotiator of the Colombian government, Juan Camilo Restrepo invited the rebel group to abandon the practice of kidnapping saying "We are faced with the opportunity to finally turn the page of the war." While Pablo Beltrán, head of the ELN delegation, emphasized: "We are participating in these talks with the conviction that we must change what has to be changed."
The Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guillaume Long, participated as representative of the host country. Also present were the delegates of Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile and Norway, as well as the Bishops of the different dioceses of Colombia and Francisco de Roux, Colombian Jesuit, a human rights advocate, peace builder and former provincial superior of Colombia.
GREAT BRITAIN: Runners to pound Paris streets for Middle Eastern Christians
A London Jesuit will be heading to France next month to take part in the Fitbit Semi de Paris, a half-marathon, on behalf of suffering Christians in the Middle East. Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, who is the Superior of the Mount Street Jesuit Community as well as the Ecclesiastical Assistant for Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), will be running with Sebastian Cichocki, Mount Street's maintenance manager, ACN's UK Director and their Head of Press and Information, as part of an international group of participants. Fr Dominic, Sebastian, Neville Kyrke-Smith and John Pontifex will be joining runners from the ACN French office and other groups around the world - up to 1,000 - who will be taking part in solidarity with Christian families who have suffered because of their faith. The FitBit Semi de Paris takes places on 5 March. Read more...
NEPAL: Restored School is Handed Over
The generosity of Jesuit Missions' supporters has enabled secondary school children in a remote mountain village in Nepal to resume their education in safe, secure facilities, less than two years after their buildings were wiped out by devastating earthquakes. Shree Haleshwor Higher Secondary School was one of seven schools destroyed or severely damaged in Dolakha District when the earthquakes struck in April and May 2015. Jesuit Missions in Britain responded immediately by committing £10,000 to the relief and reconstruction programmes set up by the Jesuits in Nepal. Last week, Shree Haleshwor Higher Secondary School was handed over to the school authority at the students' morning assembly. Read more...