August 2015

Reaching out to Myanmar after Cyclone Komen

The landfall on July 30 of Cyclone Komen in Bangladesh brought strong winds and heavy rains to Myanmar, particularly to Rakhine and Chin States and Sagaing and Magway Regions in western Myanmar. More than one meter (40 inches) of rain that followed turned the floods into a major natural disaster. On August 3, the Ministry of Agriculture stated that 525,895 acres of farmland had been submerged. The Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD) of the Government of Myanmar put the number of deaths at 63 and displaced people at 200,000. But newspapers (e.g.

Dropping off the edge

The recent Jesuit Social Services study of disadvantage, Dropping off the Edge 2015 has aroused widespread interest in Australia.

Prayers for GC 36

All Jesuit communities and collaborators in the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific are asked to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the forthcoming General Congregation.  In Asia Pacific, our first meeting of General Congregation 36 begins on October 19, 2015 in Manila.

Seven new Jesuit priests in Vietnam

Seven Jesuits were ordained to the priesthood in Thu Duc, Hồ Chí Minh City on Saturday, August 20, 2015.

Peter Nguyễn Xuân Anh SJ, Joseph Phạm Đình Cư SJ, Anthony Nguyễn Hoàng Dũng SJ, Matthias Nguyễn Kim Đoàn SJ, Francis Javier Nguyễn Thanh Hùng SJ, Peter Đào Kim Sơn SJ, and Paul Nguyễn Thái Sơn SJ received the sacrament of Holy Orders from Bishop Stephen Tri Bửu Thiên of the Cần Thơ Diocese in a ceremony concelebrated by Vietnamese Jesuit Provincial Fr Joseph Phạm Thanh Liêm SJ and more than 120 local and visiting priests, including other Jesuits.

Solidarity and collaboration for peace

Solidarity in social apostolates is rapidly increasing between the Japan and Korea Jesuit Provinces.  In another step towards increased collaboration, the two provinces will hold a bi-province meeting, timed to coincide with the 2015 Gangjeong Peace Conference to be held from September 7 to 9. 

Brothers by blood and by vocation

In the front row pews during evening mass at the Church of St Ignatius in Singapore on July 26, family members gathered to celebrate the ordination to the priesthood of two not-so-young Jesuits.  It would be typical to see both men seated amidst their respective families ready in turn to offer them up to the rest of the Church. What was not so typical was that it was just one family – with both Jesuits seated on either side of the same mother, and among the same siblings and relatives – supporting them into the service of ordained ministry.

New Jesuit priests in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and China

From May to August, the Chinese Jesuit Province saw four Jesuits from three countries ordained to the priesthood in ceremonies held in its four territories.  A Jesuit from Burundi was also ordained to the diaconate during this period. 

John Joseph Zhang SJ was ordained priest in northern China during the Easter Season. He has been assigned to Casa Ricci Social Services in Macau.

The Asia Pacific face of the promotion of justice

A black and white photograph caught the eye on entering the meeting room for this year’s Social Apostolate meeting in Kuala Lumpur. It showed six men, all Jesuits and all Caucasian, deep in thought. The photograph was taken sometime in 1971 when the Committee for the Development of Socio-Economic Life in Asia (SELA), the predecessor of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific social apostolate office, had a meeting.

My God becomes bigger and bigger

Taiwanese Scholastic Aloysius Hsu SJ shares his experience of Vipassana Meditation and the 2015 East Asia Theological Encounter Programme (EATEP) held from July 22 to August 17 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. EATEP is a programme of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific that provides Jesuits in formation with opportunities to deepen their dialogue with other faiths, particularly Buddhism, and to enrich their perspectives on theology in Asia. 

Aiding in flood relief efforts

The fury and ferocity of floods becomes more amplified when one sees the situation first hand. The data, descriptions and dashboards of information fail to project the face of people and their experience at the ground level.  At the invitation of the Bishop of Kalay (Sagaing division – the place that took the brunt of floods), we visited Kalay.  As the plane descends (roads are still to be repaired) an eerie scenario unfolds. A vast expanse of clay mud covers hundreds of acres where there were once villages and flourishing farming communities. Only water now.