Jesuits are motivated by a deep, personal love of Jesus Christ and a “desire to imitate in some manner our Creator and Lord Jesus Christ … since he is the way which leads to life” (St Ignatius of Loyola). We seek to be “contemplatives in action” combining the service of faith with the promotion of justice, following the example of our founder, St Ignatius, who strove to “find God in all things.” We consider ourselves to be sent on mission with Jesus as companions consecrated for service under the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Jesuits are best known in the fields of education (schools, colleges, universities, seminaries, theological faculties), intellectual research, and spiritual renewal. In Asia Pacific, Jesuits run schools, universities and parishes and engage in missionary work, direct evangelization to the poor, social justice, inter-religious dialogue, and other ‘frontier’ ministries. Most importantly, we continue the tradition of providing retreats based on The Spiritual Exercises, the foundational work of St Ignatius.
The goal of the Jesuit mission is to be ever available for the greater universal good, desiring always the “magis”, that which is truly better “For the Greater Glory of God.” It is this availability for the Church’s universal mission that marks the Society of Jesus as an apostolic religious order.
The Jesuits were the first religious order in the Catholic Church to undertake formal education as a major ministry. The founder, St Ignatius, was a firm believer in education and devoted many years to his own university education despite beginning at an age when most students had already finished. At first the focus was on training new members for the Society but in 1548, at the request of the citizens of Messina, Italy, Jesuits opened their first school for lay students. Today there are over 3,000 Jesuit educational institutions throughout the world.
Jesuit education seeks to be world affirming - to reveal a world “charged with the grandeur of God”. It encourages study of all reality, promoting the search for God in all things while respecting the infinite variety of ways in which God is revealed to an individual. Its objective is to produce wisdom and a deep sense of reverence rather than marketability or a narrow orientation towards a specific career.
In Asia Pacific, Jesuit schools and institutions of higher education can be found in Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines and Taiwan.
Jesuits have been working with indigenous people since the 17th and 18th centuries when they set up the Jesuit “reductions”, a type of settlement for indigenous people, in Latin America.
Our work with indigenous people continues today as we work with great numbers of ethnic groups, tribes and countries with traditional cultures, who are struggling to affirm their cultural identity by incorporating elements of modern and global culture. We do what we can to keep the relation between traditional cultures and modernity from becoming an imposition and try to make it a genuine intercultural dialogue.
In Asia Pacific, Jesuits accompany and work with indigenous people in Australia, Malaysia, Micronesia, Thailand, Philippines and Taiwan.
The Conference has three International Works. These are institutions and projects that come directly under the President. Two of these, the Arrupe International Residence and the Asia Pacific Tertianship, are for Jesuit formation. The third is the East Asian Pastoral Institute.
Located on the campus of the Ateneo de Manila University, the Arrupe International Residence provides for the juniorate, philosophy and theology stages of Jesuit formation. Arrupe House opened in July 1990 and is today home to approximately 60 scholastics from across Asia Pacific.
Juniorate is usually shortly after the novitiate stage of Jesuit formation. The Asian Jesuit Juniorate started as an experimental programme for six to seven young Jesuits in June 1999. The objective was to give them an experience of living as one Society and the languages and other skills needed for international and cooperative apostolic endeavours.
Tertianship is the final period of formal religious formation for Jesuit priests and brothers. During tertianship, the mature Jesuit attempts to integrate his past periods of formation and intensify his relationship with God through another 30-day retreat, studies, and apostolic activities.
The Conference sponsors the Asia Pacific Tertianship based in Manila, and jointly sponsors the Sri Lanka tertianship in cooperation with our neighbouring Jesuit Conference of South Asia. Each is a project in Jesuit internationalism, with participants coming both from Asia Pacific and from other parts of the world. The tertianship programmes are a way for the Conference to express its thanks for the men and for the financial assistance it continues to receive from around the world. The maximum number of tertians for the programme in Manila is 10, while the Sri Lanka programme can accommodate a larger number.
Situated on the campus of the Ateneo de Manila University, the East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI) was established in 1961 to conduct courses and workshops for priests, religious and lay people with an emphasis on forming lay Catholic leaders. It also publishes the East Asia Pastoral Review.
“Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination.”
Nostra Aetate, 1965
“Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.
Nostra Aetate, 1965
Dialogue with people of other faiths is a major dimension of the Jesuit commitment to be companions of Jesus and servants of his mission. This mission includes being prepared to live alongside people of other faiths, acting as good neighbours to them, and being prepared to work with them for the common good.
This is especially important for Jesuits in Asia Pacific, which is home to several major religions and cultures – Islam, Buddhism and Confucianism.
For many Jesuits, the dialogue with people of other faiths expresses itself through the dialogue of religious experience - learning how to listen to what others are saying and to enter into their spiritual lives through prayer and conversation.
For a few Jesuits, dialogue means theological exchange. It demands not just face-to-face debate but a life of study and constant reflection on what God may be saying through these other religious traditions.
We are also building a network that will help us to gain a better understanding of Islam and its role in this region. We engage in dialogue with Muslims in ways that challenge our theological understanding, help us gain greater understanding of religious fundamentalism and support solidarity with Muslims on human rights issues and to foster peace in the region. The effort is spearheaded by a group of Jesuits active in the study of Islam and engaged in solidarity actions with Muslims – Heru Prakosa and Greg Soetomo (Indonesia), Aloysius Mowe (from Malaysia but now resident in Australia), Albert Alejo (Philippines), Dan Madigan (Chair in Islamic Studies at Georgetown University) and Herman Roborgh (Australia).
From early times, Jesuits have seen the potential for communications in spreading the Word of God. Ignatius himself bought a printing press when he was the head of the Society, the first of many Jesuit publishing enterprises.
In Asia Pacific, Jesuit Communications operates as a network of Jesuits and lay collaborators involved in various fields of Church communications. A relatively new ministry, the Jesuit Communications Secretariat facilitates audio and video co-productions and publications on topics of Jesuit concern. It also promotes the use of communications for ministry in Asia and organises training courses, internships, and regencies for Jesuits and their colleagues interested in media literacy, video production and programme marketing.
Jesuits in Australia have been publishing materials for the Catholic community for more than 100 years. Madonna magazine first began publishing in November 1897 and continues to be published today. Eureka Street was first printed in 1991, and became an online journal in 2006. Australia's largest Catholic magazine, Australian Catholics, was established in 1993.
Jesuit Communications was established in 2005 to provide communications support for the Jesuit Province Office as well as Jesuit ministries such as JRS and Jesuit Mission.
Kuangchi Program Service began life as the Kuangchi Recording Studio, founded in 1958 by American Jesuit Phillip Bourret SJ. In 1961, Kuangchi Cultural Audiovisual Program Service was registered as a not-for-profit organization under Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. Its mission is to produce quality programmes that respond to the needs of Chinese audiences throughout Asia, to serve the Catholic Church and all other groups dedicated to the good of society, and to provide a voice for the voiceless.
eRenlai was created in 2006 by Benoit Vermander after the magazine Renlai monthly also published by the Taipei Ricci Institute. It is a pan-Asian magazine of cultural, social and spiritual concerns that centres on the interaction between the youth of Asia and of the rest of the world.
Kanisius Printing and Publishing House was founded in 1922 to print schoolbooks and became a publishing house in 1952. It now publishes over 200 titles a year and is part of a larger educational foundation that supports primary school education in the region.
Studio Audio Visual Puskat (SAV Puskat) was established by the Jesuits in Yogyakarta in 1969. It started from a laboratory of Catechetical Philosophy Academy where they produced photos, sound slides, and audio recordings. Over the years, SAV Puskat developed into a centre of audio-visual training and production.
SAV Puskat serves not only the needs of the Church, but also those of broader community such as NGOs, government, television stations, universities and the inter-religious community.
Jesuit Communications Foundation is involved in the production of audio-visual materials for evangelization and education. Our mission is inspired by a prayer that Fr. Jim Reuter SJ used to recite with his crew before every performance of a play: “Give us the grace to present this play so that we will bring all those who are touched by it and all those who are involved in it closer to God.” Thus, part of the Jesuit Communications mission is to use media – from the visual to the musical – in the most effective manner possible, in order to proclaim the Gospel and its values.
Casa de Produção Audiovisual (CPA) was established in 2002 by Fr. Ruedy Hofmann, S.J. at a time when Timorese were trying to rise up from centuries of violence, conflict and underdevelopment. CPA is committed to build the Timorese national identity through storytelling. It records and produces audio-visual stories on Timor that are broadcast on the national television network TVTL. CPA also works with partner organizations to produce advocacy and educational videos. CPA is a non-profit organisation associated with the Society of Jesus Foundation.
When Catholics speak of “formation”, we mean preparing people to participate more effectively in the mission of Jesus.
Formation is much more than training or education; it is about the internalisation of values, attitudes and perspectives, and the maturing of faith.
Jesuit formation is always undertaken with the idea of mission in mind. What we do in our formation helps us to be better able to help others. When St Ignatius went back to school at the age of 33, he did so in order to be able “to help souls”.
The formation of a Jesuit begins with two years in novitiate, followed by several more years of study in the areas of philosophy and theology and practical experience in various ministries. Formation continues even after ordination.
As lay people take on roles in Jesuit ministries, formation has become important for them as well. This includes spiritual formation in the form of retreats, which are offered by several Jesuit spirituality centres across Asia Pacific.
Our Jesuit life is a call to apostolic service under the banner of the cross. This way of proceeding is our pathway to God. The grace we receive from God is for the salvation and spiritual good of both ourselves and others. The apostolic service of the Society of Jesus is the principle that regulates the entire formation of our members.
“Mediocrity has no place in Ignatius’ world view,” former Jesuit General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach famously said. It is therefore essential to give young Jesuits a human, spiritual, intellectual, and ecclesial formation as deep, strong, and vibrant as possible to allow each of them to achieve our mission in the world with a proper attitude of service in the Church.
This Profile details what we hope Jesuits being formed in Asia Pacific would be growing towards, and is intended for use by both Jesuits in formation and those who accompany them.
To download the Profile, click here.
Jesuit priests and brothers work with religious women and laity in parishes in many countries within the Conference. Some of these were founded by the Society, others are now in the care of the Society and others are diocesan parishes with a Jesuit as parish priest. Jesuit parishes can be found in Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore.
Santa Maria Parish
139 Gen. Blanco St. 5000 Iloilo City.
Tel: +033-337-5532 / +033-338-2245 / +032-337-5531
Mail: P.O. Box 495, 5000 Iloilo City
Immaculate Conception Parish
Culion, 5315 Palawan
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Parish
Cabanglasan, 8723 Bukidnon
Mail: c/o Jesuit Retreat House
P.O. Box 29, 8700 Malaybalay City
Nuestra Señora de los Remedios Parish
Bacusanon, Pangantucan, 8710 Bukidnon
Mail: P.O. Box 45, 8700 Malaybalay City
Parish of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace
Zamboanguita, 8700 Malaybalay City, Bukidnon
Mail: c/o Jesuit Retreat House
P.O. Box 29, 8700 Malaybalay City
Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish
Miarayon, Talakag, 8708 Bukidnon
Mail: c/o Jesuit Retreat House
P.O. Box 29, 8700 Malaybalay City
Philippine General Hospital Chaplaincy
Taft Avenue, Ermita, 1000 Manila
Social justice has long been at the heart of the mission of the Society. Our mission today is the service of faith, of which the promotion of justice is an absolute requirement. This makes the Jesuit Social Ministry a fundamental aspect of the Society’s work. The elements of the Jesuit Social Ministry are direct service of those in need, social and cultural analysis, theological reflection on questions of injustice; and campaigning alongside others who strive to make our world a more just place.
The Jesuit Social Ministry in Asia Pacific is active in Australia, where one umbrella organisation, Jesuit Social Services, brings together a huge range of services for young offenders, for indigenous persons and for others in need. In the Philippines, where a different strategy is employed, a great variety of Jesuit sponsored organisations exist, sometimes cooperating in a loose network. Among them are John J Carroll Institute on Church and Social Issues. The Jesuit Refugee Service is perhaps the best-known Jesuit social justice organisation.
In addition, the Jesuits in Asia Pacific agreed in 2010 to two priority engagements as a Conference. These are migration and ecology.
Care of the environment is an integral part of the Jesuit mission. It affects the quality of our relationship with God, with other human beings and with creation itself. It touches the core of our faith in and love for God, making it impossible for us to watch passively as the drive to access sources of energy and other natural resources increasingly damages the earth, air, water to the point that the future of our planet is threatened.
Poisoned water, polluted air, widespread deforestation, deposits of atomic and toxic waste are causing death and untold suffering. Many poor communities have been displaced, and indigenous peoples are the most affected.
In August 2010, the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific laid out our strategy for achieving “Reconciliation with Creation” in three broad themes − our institutions and lifestyle; education programmes for young people, both lay people and scholastics; and the governance of natural resources.
Our work towards Reconciliation with Creation is supported by or executed in collaboration with other Jesuit organisations including:
Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Asia Pacific, the network of Jesuit higher educational institutions and endeavours within the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific that supports and promotes Jesuit higher education in this region
Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat, an office in the Jesuit Curia in Rome that supports and encourages Jesuits and partners in their work for justice, peace and environmental care
Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks, a set of theme-based networks set up under the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat at the end of 2008 to use advocacy as an instrument to foster the Society of Jesus' mission in the service of faith and justice
Eco-Jesuit, a joint effort initiated by the Jesuit European Office and the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific to encourage communication and information sharing among Jesuits and friends working in the area of ecology
Our Environmental Way of Proceeding is rooted in our spirituality, which deepens our response to the challenge of achieving reconciliation with creation in the way we live.
Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ often spoke of “our way of proceeding”, and one of the first steps the Conference took when it made Reconciliation with Creation a priority engagement was to discern our way of proceeding in relation to the environment.
In 2011, the Ecology Task Force of Asia Pacific developed Our Environmental Way of Proceeding, a document provides us with a framework and an operative spirituality that guides us in an experience of, and deepens our relationship with, creation and Creator. It guides our ecology strategy and action plan.
Our Environmental Way of Proceeding consists of seven points that deepen our response to the challenge of reconciliation with creation in our lives and institutes.
To read the whole document, click here.
Jesuits are asked to be ecologically aware in the management of our institutions and houses, to be more accountable for our immediate environment.
We are working with Jesuit institutions and communities across the Conference to raise awareness of sustainable ecological management and maintenance practices such as campus environment management. We are also developing a collective and comprehensive manual on the environmental accountability of management and social participation, and encouraging dialogue and discussion of environmental responsibility issues in our communities and institutions.
Growing green campuses is a new frontier for Jesuit educational institutions. We can take the lead by implementing more integrated and sustained environmental management practices in our schools and universities, and influencing others to do the same by engaging all sectors and stakeholders in the process.
According to the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat, Jesuit educational institutions are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of environmental management. Several of these are in the Asia Pacific region and include Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, Sanata Dharma University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and Akademi Tehnik Mesin Industri (ATMI) in Solo, Indonesia.
To assess how green your educational institution is, download the Green Campus Management Checklist.
Jesuits are encouraged to practice environmental management in our own houses and checklists have been developed to help individual Jesuit houses and communities do so.
To assess your how environmentally friendly your house management system is, download the Ecological House Management Checklist.
We are incorporating care of the environment into our engagement with youth and are collaborating in and facilitating programmes for young people that will strengthen their capacity for observation, analysis and reflection on the subject of the environment.
Our programmes are in four areas:
Globalization is putting greater pressure on our natural resources with the depletion of forests, growing scarcity of potable water, and the adverse effects of global warming and climate change.
Through our Governance of Natural Resources programmes, the Conference seeks to engage in the new structures of Jesuit governance in order to integrate advocacy, discernment, and planning in the broader management of natural resources. Our objectives are to develop
As we work towards a tangible reconciliation with creation, we recognise the importance of the intangible, in the social reflection, which is borne out of often impromptu exchanges after events or over a meal.
The thoughts and reflections of others can have a profound impact on us, drawing us into a reflection of our own. There is a greater truth to be found in our experiences and in what is shared, and value in taking it deeper into our own lives and broader in relating with society.
In this section are some reflections that we hope will stir in readers a reflective response on how we can each act to preserve and sustain the world that God created and that we, by our actions, are destroying.
Aviation accounts for 4 to 9 per cent of the climate change impact of human activity. With more and more people flying, air travel is set to become the world's largest single contributor to environmental damage and global warming.
Recognising that the Jesuit mission requires many of us to fly frequently as we work together for greater social justice in the world, the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific has created its own carbon offset scheme, Flights for Forests.
Flights for Forests is our way of recognising the impact of our travel and work on the environment in a way that helps the rural communities that are the most affected by global economic and climate changes.
We have asked all Jesuits and partners within the Conference to participate in this scheme by contributing US$5 for every flight taken. The contributions will go into a fund that will be used for forest renewal activities undertaken by youth groups in rural parts of Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
For more information and to participate, click here.
The Battambang Parish is bringing new life to deforested areas and reducing its impact on the environment by
The support of Flights for Forests will help sustain these efforts by a group of 10 volunteers working with a Jesuit regent. It will also enable the group to buy simple farming tools and build a simple pulley-rope-and bucket system to sustain the water source for the seedlings.
The indigenous Pulangiyen community in Bendum, Mindanao, practices agroforestry and assists in the natural regeneration of forests along the Pantadon Range. The youth in Bendum do their part by removing external pressures e.g. weeds and biotic interference, applying controlled disturbances to trigger germination of native species and preparing the germination site.
With the support of Flights for Forests, the youth will be able to hold on-site workshops to share their assisted natural regeneration practices with youth in other Pulangiyen villages along the Upper Pulangi Watershed. The community will also be able to establish tree nurseries.
Migration is one of the defining global issues of the early twenty-first century. More and more people are on the move today than at any other point in human history.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, Asia is the largest source of temporary contractual migrant workers in the world. It also has very large intra-regional flows of migrant workers, particularly in China and India. The migrant population in Asia and Oceania in 2010 was 67.3 million.
Within the territory of the Conference are some of the world’s top suppliers of migrants − China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. Also within the Conference are some of the world’s top 25 in terms of immigration rates − Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
Our experience working with migrants shows that the most vulnerable migrants are those from rural backgrounds, those who work alone in isolated settings such as domestic workers, and those who do not work within a legitimate corporate structure and whose employers are thus less accountable such as illegal migrants and undocumented persons.
Jesuits and collaborators, including the Jesuit Refugee Service, already serve vulnerable migrants at the local level. However, the ever increasing rate of migration means more and more migrants vulnerable and at risk, and hence more support needed to ensure justice for them.
In August 2010, the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific laid out a strategy to increase our support to the groups we have identified as the most vulnerable − migrant workers (both foreign and internal), foreign brides, undocumented migrants including victims of trafficking and smuggling, and people in immigration detention centres.
At the Conference level, we will focus on improving and strengthening collaboration and coordination between sending and receiving countries, and encouraging, supporting and animating all Jesuit ministries to engage in the common project on migration. We will also develop ways to communicate more effectively and advocate for changes in policies and practices affecting vulnerable migrants.
Jesuit centres that provide casework, medical & legal help, social and learning activities as well as accompaniment for migrants
Jesuit Social Services in Australia − direct services, advocacy, settlement and community development programs for Vietnamese, African and other migrants and refugees
In the area of forced migration, including refugees and forcibly displaced persons, the Jesuit Refugee Service is a major advocate, service provider, accompanier and capacity builder among non-government organizations in the region. The Jesuit Refugee Service has an active presence in Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Australia, as well as representative offices and/or volunteer committees in Japan and Singapore. A base in the Philippines serving internally displaced people was opened in July 2010 with local partners.
Each of the great religious families in the Church, e.g., Benedictine, Dominican, Franciscan, has its own distinctive way of responding to the Holy Spirit. So too have the Jesuits.
From his mystical experiences, Ignatius of Loyola discovered that God can be found in all things, in all events, in every moment. Learning to listen to the movements of his heart, he was led to a profound faith in Jesus, and he invited others to journey along the path he trod. Generations later we call this path ‘Ignatian Spirituality’. It is a pilgrim’s path, a way that respects each one’s life journey, but profoundly challenges the pilgrim to hear, to decide and to journey onwards.
Following the example of St. Ignatius, Ignatian spirituality centres on the imitation of Jesus—focusing on those priorities which constitute Christ's mind, heart, values, priorities and loves. To learn what those values, priorities and loves are, Ignatius would encourage us to consider what Jesus said and did. At the foundation of Jesus's life was prayer, a continuous search for how best to live as an authentic human being before a loving God.
Ignatian spirituality stresses the need to take time to reflect and to pray in order to find out how God wants us to serve him. This active commitment to seeking God's leadership is called discernment.
Apart from the principles contained in the Jesuit Constitutions, the primary expression of Ignatian spirituality is St Ignatius’ book of The Spiritual Exercises. These are the basis of a variety of retreats and courses offered for clergy, men and women religious and lay people. In Asia Pacific, Jesuit retreat houses and spirituality centres can be found in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.
Ways of praying by Gerald Fitzgibbon SJ - http://freespace.virgin.net/g.fitzgibbon/
Sacred Space — Produced by the Irish Jesuits. Sacred Space is designed to help busy people in their offices have a meaningful experience of prayer via the internet. It offers a daily 10-minute prayer session, in six stages, centred on a scripture passage and based on the tradition of Ignatian spirituality. Sacred Space attracts over five million visits annually and is now produced in some 20 languages.
Pray-as-you-go — A daily prayer session in MP3 format that can be downloaded for use on a computer or a portable MP3 player. It combines some of the world's most beautiful spiritual music with a reading from the scriptures and some questions for personal reflection. Pray-as-you-go is the perfect way to build a habit of regular prayer into a busy day, and the perfect antidote to the hassle and stress of the life of the average commuter!
Daily Scripture Reflections — Reflections on the readings of the day written by members of the Creighton University community.
Liturgy of the Hours — Join in the Church’s prayer using this site which provides the daily office in .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) format.
Prego — Reflections on next Sunday’s readings for prayer group sessions or personal refection. PREGO is a weekly scripture resource produced by the St Beuno's Outreach Group led by Fr Damian Jackson SJ of the St Beuno’s Ignatian Spirituality Centre in North Wales.