Migration

Addressing the “bookends of rejection” in Australian history

Australian Jesuit Provincial Fr Brian McCoy has announced a project to bring together the Jesuits' concerns for Indigenous Australians and asylum seekers, which he describes as "the bookends of rejection" in Australian history.

The first bookend, Fr McCoy said, is the arrival of the First Fleet of convicts and military from Britain in what is now Sydney in 1788.

Working with Vietnamese migrant workers in Japan to help their country

Once a year, the lilt of the t’rung and the rise and fall of the sounds of the danbau transport audiences at a charity concert in Tokyo to the mountain regions of Vietnam. The performers are Vietnamese migrant workers in Japan, and this year’s concert featured a choir called “Cecilia”, that usually serves at the Vietnamese Sunday masses at St Ignatius Church next to the Jesuit Tokyo Social Center.

Charting a new course for the migration network

The word “discernment” has become all the rage within Jesuit circles following the 36th General Congregation. Fr General Arturo Sosa has even appointed a special counsellor to oversee the process of discernment and apostolic planning in the Society.  So it was fitting that the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific’s (JCAP) migration network examined the journey so far and charted a new course at its fourth annual meeting held in Tokyo from March 23 to 26.  A new plan for the future was called for.

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.

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.

A transformative encounter with migrants

Barnabé Hounguevou is a scholastic from Benin, West Africa staying in Arrupe International Residence. He was one of 39 participants in the Scholastics and Brothers Circle Workshop held in Seoul, South Korea from December 19 to 28, 2016.

Fr General calls for societies to welcome migrants and refugees

On January 13, Father Arturo Sosa SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, joined the community of Centro Astalli (Jesuit Refugee Service Italy) in commemorating the International Day for Migrants and Refugees at the Church of Gesù, the Mother Church of the Society in Rome.

“This moment presents an important invitation to the Society of Jesus to accompany, with its few resources, and to share in the anxieties and hopes of the refugees here in Italy and everywhere in the world,” said Fr Sosa at the event.

Understanding the impact of migration on children

Much has been written about migrant workers and their lives and trials working in foreign country.  What is often overlooked, however, is what happens to the children who are left behind by their migrant worker parents.

How do the children cope with the absence of one or both parents? How are these children perceived by a society that still values traditional family and gender roles? To what extent does migration change the idea of child welfare or parenthood?

Called to be companions, not just problem solvers

Eka Tanaya of the Australian Province was one of 39 participants in the Scholastics and Brothers Circle (SBC) workshop held from December 19 to 28, 2016 at the Jesuit Apostolic Center in Seoul, South Korea.  He shares his reflection on the workshop, which was themed “Understanding Migration: The South Korea Experience Guided by the Ignatian Teaching Paradigm”.

The day after the last term of my teaching regency at St Ignatius’ College, Adelaide, I immediately flew to Seoul for the SBC workshop. Seoul was my second SBC, after the one in Cambodia in 2012.

The ordeal of a foreign spouse in Japan

Anastasia* is from Latin America. A few years ago, she married a Japanese man in her country and in April 2015, they took their toddler son to Japan to visit his grandparents. While they were in Japan, they took their son for a general medical check-up and found out that he had a heart problem. They went to the United States and Latin America for second and third opinions, but could not decide on the best treatment for their son.

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