March 2017

Building the Philippines’ first eco-friendly school

Ateneo de Davao University is building a new campus for its senior high school that is being touted as the first environmentally responsible school in the Philippines. The campus has been designed to create a contemporary, sustainable and transformative learning environment following Pope Francis’ environmental directives in his encyclical, Laudato si’.  The groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 15 and the school is expected to be completed in May 2019.

Promotio Iustitiae shines spotlight on the prison ministry

The prison ministry is the focus of the latest issue of Promotio Iustitiae painting, as Social Justice and Ecology Secretary Fr Patxi Álvarez SJ said, a picture of the quiet work Jesuits and lay collaborators have been doing to serve people in prison. 

“The Jesuits, and the laypeople that they collaborate with, have a longstanding tradition of serving people in prison, dating back to the first companions of Jesus,” said Fr Álvarez.

Jesuits to leave Toowong parish at the end of 2017

After more than 100 years of serving in the parish, the Jesuits will be withdrawing from St Ignatius Toowong in Brisbane at the end of this year.

The Parishes Task Force was set up more than 18 months ago to respond to the increasing difficulty of finding Jesuits to serve in all nine parishes across the country. Led by the Province Delegate for Parishes, Sr Libby Rogerson IBVM, the task force was asked to discern and develop criteria for remaining in or withdrawing from a parish, and then to make recommendations for the Provincial and Consult.

Fr Sosa visits India in first official trip as Superior General

Fr Arturo Sosa SJ was in India recently in his first official trip since being elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus on October 14, 2016. His choice underlines the demographic shift within the universal Society. The Jesuit Conference of South Asia accounts for close to 25 percent of the whole Society and the majority of the 4,027 Jesuits are from India. Fr General spent 11 days, from February 18 to 28, visiting his Jesuit confreres and companions in Delhi, Jabalpur, Ambikapur and Raipur.

Rediscovering solidarity

“So, where is home for you?” Upon hearing this question, Sediqa broke down in tears. This seemingly innocent question brought back the only vague memory she has of the home she left when she was four. Being Hazara, a Shiite ethnic group in predominantly Sunni Afghanistan, she and her family were forced to flee the land they called home. Now 24 years old, Sediqa is stranded in Cisarua, West Java, Indonesia, the last stop in her seemingly endless journey through Pakistan, Iran and to the promised land that seems more and more distant as the time passes.

Jesuit Yearbook 2017 now available online

“The world is our house.” This phrase used by early Jesuit Jerome Nadal appropriately begins a section on Jesuit work with indigenous communities, the special focus of the 2017 Yearbook of the Society of Jesus.

Fr Nicolás celebrates 50 years as a priest

Fr Adolfo Nicolás SJ marked his golden jubilee as a priest on March 17 in a manner in keeping with his characteristic humility.  The simple celebration comprised Mass in the Oratory of the Loyola House of Studies concelebrated by Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific President Fr Mark Raper SJ and Arrupe International Residence Fr Renato Repole SJ and dinner in the AIR refectory.

“It is a joy for us to celebrate you Nico. I hope you enjoy it too, even if you do not like to be the centre of attention,” said Fr Raper as he began his homily.  

Exploring new ways of promoting the Jesuit vocation

Vocation promoters across the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) continue to discuss inventive ways of encouraging young men to inquire about vocations in the Society of Jesus, and discern whether they have a vocation as a Jesuit priest or brother. This year’s meeting focussed on using new communications technology in vocation promotion.

Standing up for life

Rebuilding lives and rekindling hope. This is the motto of the Philippine Jesuit Prison Service Foundation Inc (PJPS) based in the New Bilibid Prisons Reservation, the national penitentiary.  Like other Philippine prisons, the inmates are crammed in hot, dark and poorly ventilated cells. 

The prison compound has a capacity of about 10,000 inmates, but it is housing more than 24,000. The overcrowding means the inmates have to sleep in shifts.

Asia Pacific Jesuits in the time of Laudato si’

Environmental research and ecological action across the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) takes many forms, as Jesuit works are only beginning to engage these concerns and still have much to learn.  Jesuits and their collaborators are moving towards greater environmental awareness and have recognised the urgent need to communicate and work with others strategically and more broadly for the sake of greater ecological accountability and sustainability.  

New Director for the East Asian Pastoral Institute

Fr Peter Pojol SJ has been named as the new Director of the East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI) to succeed Fr Arthur Leger SJ who has held the position since 2011.  The appointment was announced by the President of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific, Fr Mark Raper SJ, following the endorsement of the EAPI Board of Trustees.