October 2016

The end of a generalate

The resignation of Fr General Adolfo Nicolás on the first day of the 36th General Congregation was a profoundly moving event for all who witnessed this historic moment.

A Jesuit missionary story to pray with for GC 36

SAV Puskat, the audio-visual centre of the Indonesian Jesuit Province, has re-released a video to enrich prayers for the Society of Jesus and the success of General Congregation 36.  The video entitled "Tak lelah bersinar" ("Never stop shining" in English) features the theme song and images from “Bethlehem van Java”, SAV Puskat’s award-wining film on the life of Fr Franciscus van Lith SJ, a Jesuit missionary from the Netherlands, who pioneered the Catholic mission in Java and is fondly called the Father of Javanese Catholic

Reuniting families separated by detention

Seeing divided families is a painful sight and this is often the case in immigration detention centres where women and men are held in separate detention cells. For 25 years, the Jesuits have been working closely with the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) in Bangkok to facilitate the release of detainees and help them return to a life of dignity and freedom with their families. Two years ago, Jesuit Refugee Service Asia Pacific handed over responsibility for this work to the Jesuit Foundation – Prison Ministry Thailand.

The simple life as a symbol of resistance

Indonesian scholastic Tiro Daenuwy SJ shares what he learnt from his immersion experience in an Islamic boarding house in Garut, West Java, Indonesia.  The five-day immersion held from July 29 to August 2 is a vital part of the Asia Pacific Theological Encounter Programme, a formation programme in contextual theology with a focus on Islam that is conducted annually by the Jesuits in Indonesia.  Part 2.

A path to self-determination through education

A close encounter with the Tboli communities in Lake Sebu in the Philippines reveals their great love and pride for their cultural identity. This can be felt in the way they assert and protect their rights and in their local governance. A spirit of unity, collaboration and openness manifests not only during festivities but also in the daily rigours of life.

Some hopes for General Congregation 36

Before they left for Rome, some delegates from the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific spoke of their hopes for General Congregation 36.

Discerning the future of the Society of Jesus

Rain poured down on the Jesuits as they walked to St Peter’s Basilica for Mass.  It was early on the morning of the fifth day of General Congregation 36.  Some might say it was a blessing from heaven as they headed, as many pilgrims have already done this year, to the Holy Door for the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Sharing a deeper hope

We have already been reminded many times by the Holy Father of the needs at the frontiers, and of an education that serves the long term. As Jesuits, our spirituality prepares us for the long haul and so we face the challenge of being inserted in the world and to go heal the wounds, especially at the margins where people are so compromised, insecure, and subject to all forms of violence.

Fr Arturo Sosa from Venezuela is the new leader of the Society of Jesus

It did not take the 36th General Congregation long.  After celebrating Mass in the Church of the Holy Spirit early on Friday, October 14, the 212 electors were locked into the Aula to vote for the next Superior General of the Society of Jesus. Just before lunch, the first news came that the new Superior General is Fr Arturo Sosa Abascal from the Venezuela Jesuit Province.  

The most heart-warming Mid-Autumn Festival

The mooncakes might have been hard and the lanterns dim but this celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival was the most heart-warming one the migrant workers have had in a while.

The Rerum Novarum Centre in Taiwan had invited Vietnamese and Indonesian migrant workers to celebrate the last day of the Mid-Autumn Festival with Taiwanese friends at the Jesuit theologate.

Jesuit Mission Australia provides aid in flood-ravaged Vietnam

Jesuit Mission is working with local Catholic Church groups to provide urgent emergency response to families affected by severe floods in Central Vietnam. Over 600,000 people have been directly affected by the floods, with an estimated 100,000 houses fully submerged.

Vietnam flood 2016

Dreaming of an established Church in China

Four hundred years after Francis Xavier died on an island off the mainland, the Jesuits continue to dream of establishing good relations between the Church and China.  According to Fr John Lee Hua SJ, Provincial of the Chinese Jesuit Province, it is a dream too for Francis, the first Jesuit Pope.

Rebuilding Nepal from the rubble

Reconstruction efforts are gathering pace in Nepal more than a year after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the country on April 25, 2015, causing massive destruction of infrastructure and killing more than 9,000 people. The Nepal Jesuit Social Institute (NJSI) has been actively involved in relief and rehabilitation work and is now concentrating its efforts on supporting the building and rebuilding of schools, hostels, houses and women’s shelters in different districts.

New Superior for Jesuits in Malaysia and Singapore

On November 8, Fr Christopher Soh SJ officially becomes Regional Superior of the Malaysia-Singapore Jesuit Region (MAS), taking over from Fr Colin Tan SJ who has completed his six-year term.

Fr Soh was ordained on July 30, 2005 and professed his final vows on July 4, 2011.  He is a popular homilist, and his blog, “Breaking The Word”, began as a response to people asking for a copy of his homilies.

Called to collaborate in the mission of Christ Jesus

“The Society of Jesus can develop only in collaboration with others: only if it becomes the least Society that collaborates. We want to collaborate generously with others, inside and outside of the Church, in the awareness, which comes from the experience of God, of being called to the mission of Christ Jesus.”