Philippines

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.

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.

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.  

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.

A gift of joy from God

Gratitude and joy for the love of God recently inspired two young Jesuits to write a song. Deacon Soo Young Theodore Park SJ from Korea and Scholastic Jun-G Bargayo SJ from the Philippines say the song Kutafuta Mungu (“Finding God” in Swahili) was a gift for them as 2017 began.

The inspiration to compose the song came the night after Soo Young’s diaconate ordination.

Ignacio de Loyola now available on DVD

Those not able to watch “Ignacio de Loyola: Soldier, Sinner, Saint” in theatres will soon be able to watch it in their homes with the commercial release of the DVD on February 18 in the Philippines and in spring in North America.

Produced by Jesuit Communications Foundation (JesCom) Philippines, the feature film is a modern look at the story of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, often called “The Saint of Second Chances.”

Philippine Jesuits join bishops in opposing efforts to revive the death penalty

The Philippine Jesuits have joined the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in condemning efforts to revive the death penalty.

Of giving much and receiving more

The Asia Pacific Tertianship programme includes a two-week Christmas exposure programme during which the tertians spend two weeks with various communities. They offer this joint reflection on the experience.

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?

EAPI: Moving beyond the reefs

On December 3, the East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI) concluded its nine-month celebration of 50 years of being faithful to its original purpose and mission - to form pastoral workers to go back to their local churches and “set the world on fire” with new attitudes, knowledge and skills to effect transformation.

“We have accomplished this in unique ways, especially with the participatory multicultural community living,” said EAPI Director Fr Arthur Leger SJ.

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