Indigenous Ministry

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.

Affirming engagements with Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines

An important area of concern for the Philippine Jesuits is the continuing poverty and marginalisation of indigenous peoples, the largest concentration of which can be found in Mindanao, southern Philippines.  The island is home to 18 indigenous tribes whose lives and cultures are threatened by pervasive military conflicts between government and rebel groups, and the degradation of their natural environment.

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.

A new way of being a Jesuit conference

One might have thought they would be exhausted after two long days of immersion, talks and group work, but the third and final day of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) sustainability conference saw ideas coming fast and furious on how sustainability in Asia Pacific can be increased. A bright flame had been lit in the approximately 140 participants from across Asia Pacific.

Learning from Indigenous Peoples about the sacredness and sustainability of nature

The ecological crisis, the globalised call for environmental stewardship promulgated in Laudato si’ and the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris have brought the concept of “sustainability of life” to the fore. These have raised the need for critical reflection on sustainability in the light of the innovative praxis of local communities, particularly the indigenous peoples.

Developing a deeper faith with the help of Indigenous Peoples

A group of 17 consisting of 10 Jesuit scholastics, one priest, five Religious sisters and one lay woman came together recently to learn, re-learn and unlearn with our Indigenous sisters and brothers in Tarlac, Philippines. Their two-week immersion was part of the Asia Pacific Contextual Theology for Engagement Programme (ACOTEP) planned for students of the Loyola School of Theology but Religious sisters and lay students of the Institute of Formation and Religious Studies and Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia were invited to participate.

When migrant workers and indigenous youth got together

A group of young indigenous people from the mountains of Hsinchu in Taiwan recently took the initiative to share their customs and traditions with Indonesian, Filipino and Vietnamese domestic care workers working in their country.

Urging Australia to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12

A group of prominent legal, human rights and social services organisations has urged Australia’s Attorneys-Generals to increase the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12. 

Respecting Indigenous Peoples and their beliefs

A new programme designed to foster understanding of Indigenous Peoples and their culture among Christian religious and laity was formally launched in April in the Philippines. The first Asia Pacific Contextual Theology Program for Engagement Project (ACOTEP) was held from April 6 to 20 in Bukidnon, after a pilot run in Bendum and Zamboanguita, Bukidnon last year.

Church for Atitjere community opens

Jesuit Social Services (JSS) recently organised the opening and blessing of the Atitjere Church, a project it co-facilitated in the Sandover region of Australia’s Northern Territory.  JSS’ involvement in the project stems back to 2012, when its Central Australian team was invited to visit the Atitjere community, 215 kilometres from Alice Springs at the foot of Mount Palmer.

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