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Vol. XXI, No. 13 September 21, 2017
Secretariat for Ecumenism and Interreligious Relations meets
The Secretariat for Ecumenism and Interreligious Relations had its first meeting with Father General Arturo Sosa from 28-31 August at the General Curia in Rome. Seven of Fr General's advisors for relations with other religious traditions took part in the meeting. The secretariat's work is aided by the Counsellor for Discernment and Apostolic Planning, Fr John Dardis. In addition to giving annual reports on dialogue activities, the advisors considered the issue of religious fundamentalism in their respective traditions, its root causes, and our response to it as Christians and Jesuits. This year, for the first time, General Counsellors were welcomed to the working sessions, which added great depth to the discussions. Read more...
Father General's extended council, comprising the General Counsellors, heads of Curia Secretariats and Conference Presidents met at the General Curia in Rome from 4-8 September 2017. Focusing on imaginative leadership and strategic thinking, the participants discussed ways and means of initiating processes to involve the whole Society in apostolic planning and in reorganizing the central governance of the Society, both of which were mandated by General Congregation 36. Read more...
FROM THE PROVINCES
USA: JRS Receives the Anne Frank Award
On September 14, 2017, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA was recognized by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with the Anne Frank Award. The award is given to an American person or organization who has demonstrated a body of work that confronts intolerance, anti-Semitism, racism or discrimination, while upholding freedom and equal rights. JRS was honoured for work improving access to education for refugees and others affected by war and conflict. JRS serves families and children in traditional pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary education programs, but also works to provide better access to formal, informal skill-building, and vocational training programs for refugee children, youth, and adults. JRS's education programs also feature critical elements including complementary programs for parents and families, teacher training and language skills. JRS currently provides educational services in 42 countries. JRS provides education to refugees and displaced persons regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or religious beliefs. Read more...
Spirituality and justice intersect in new Via Crucis at Loyola
First station: People displaced by war in Masisi, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The image reminds us that migrations are part of the history of humanity and that all people are descendants of immigrants. Second station: Fleeing from the war in Syria, refugees traverse through Hungary towards Germany. They are a reflection of the more than one billion people who have been forced to leave their land of birth in the last decades. Eleventh station: A displaced woman in the internally displaced persons' camp of Kiyange, Burundi. She, in her colourful dress, represents the challenges faced by women in forced migration.
The gardens of the Sanctuary of Loyola are the scene of a new innovative Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross). The large high quality images are a profound illustration of the phenomenon of migration. The images are accompanied by biblical references and texts, which invite one to prayer, reflection and commitment to the cause of others. The initiative, the work of the Sanctuary of Loyola in collaboration with Alboan, enables visitors to reflect on experiences of different peoples such as the Central American migrants in the United States or the Adivasi rural communities in India.
In addition to the fourteen traditional stations, a fifteenth has been added. It represents the Resurrection. The image shows a demonstration in Barcelona in favour of the reception of refugees. The biblical quotation, taken from Matthew 25, states simply "... I was hungry and you gave me food ... I was an immigrant and you welcomed me." The informational text indicates that our commitment to migrants should be to contribute to the creation of decent living conditions in the countries of origin, to accompany them in transit places and to host them in the countries of destination.
Using mobile devices, visitors can use QR Code to make a spiritual itinerary with the Via Crucis or a more focused tour of the social dimension of this reality. Fifteen small images located in the lower left corner complete the project. They show the Via Crucis made by the Cameroonian Jesuit Engelbert Mveng (1930-1995) whose original work is found in the chapel of Hekima College, the Jesuit School of Theology in Nairobi. Jesuit scholastic Benedict Mayaki (ANW) made the photographs for this Loyola project in which spirituality, justice, art and nature find intersection.