News - Ministries

There is no institution so old that it has nothing left to learn – and the Catholic Church must commit to learning about and changing its practices in relation to ecological issues. This was the message from Colombian Jesuit Fr José Mesa, Secretary of Primary and Secondary Education at the Jesuit Curia in Rome and one of the keynote speakers at the JCAP Education Colloquium in Sydney.
The first Jesuit university in India was inaugurated on July 7.  Located in Bhubaneswar, the capital of the state of Odisha, Xavier University (XU) is also the state’s first Catholic university and the fourth Catholic university in India. In his address, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the new university aims to be a centre of both academic excellence and sound ethical values, and thanked the Jesuits in Odisha for taking establishing it.
The Loyola School of Theology (LST) in Manila has begun offering a theology programme through which students, especially Jesuit scholastics, can engage with Asian contexts.
“Carry your cross!” This was the challenge of Bishop Honesto Ongtioco to the 13 Jesuit deacons he ordained on September 14, 2013. The Jesuit ordinands included nine from the Philippine Province – Manases L Amanence SJ, Guillrey Anthony M Andal, SJ, Antonio M Basilio SJ, Eric Anthony S Escandor, SJ, Erik John J Gerilla SJ, Jose Emmanuel A Liwanag SJ, Ruben B Orbeta Jr SJ, Neupito J Saicon SJ, and Irmo Fracis A Valeza SJ.
There is no institution so old that it has nothing left to learn – and the Catholic Church must commit to learning about and changing its practices in relation to ecological issues. This was the message from Colombian Jesuit Fr José Mesa, Secretary of Primary and Secondary Education at the Jesuit Curia in Rome and one of the keynote speakers at the JCAP Education Colloquium in Sydney.
Rommel Villanueva is one of the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, known as Yolanda in the Philippines.  A fisherman in Barangay Binudac in the island of Culion, his boat was destroyed by Haiyan, which was one of the strongest tropical storms ever recorded.  With no boat, Rommel, 29, was dependent on other boat owners if he wanted to fish and provide for his wife and two young children.  For months he had to look for space on a boat every day in order to fish, and if no boat owner would take him, then he was not able to fish that day.
Solid formation of Jesuits is critical for the Society of Jesus to effectively carry out of its mission. It was with this uppermost in mind that 20 Jesuits came together in the annual JCAP Formators’ Circle meeting held in Singapore from June 27 to 30. The Jesuits were mainly Formation Delegates of the provinces, regions and missions within the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific as well as rectors of colleges and other key personnel in the area of formation.
The Society of Jesus in Korea celebrates five new Jesuit priests.  Fathers Andrew Sung-gyoon Lee, Simon Mon-hoi Kim, Benedict On-dohk Kang, Thomas Min Han and Igwan Su-yun Park were ordained to the priesthood on July 2 at Myeong-dong Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea. More than 1,500 people participated in the ordination mass concelebrated by Most Rev Peter Chung Soon-taek OCD, Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul, and 80 priests. 
Deacon John Joseph Zhang SJ from the Chinese Province shares his experience of the East Asia Theological Encounter Programme (EATEP) 2014 held in Chiangmai, Thailand from April 28 to May 17.
The Loyola School of Theology (LST) in Manila has begun offering a theology programme through which students, especially Jesuit scholastics, can engage with Asian contexts.
Fr Michael Hansen SJ says he hopes the launch of his new book will help open up even more people to a model of spirituality that harkens back to Ignatius’ earliest ministry.  The First Spiritual Exercises: Four Guided Retreats, published by Ave Maria Press, was launched at Campion Retreat Centre in Melbourne on May 24.
Energised and inspired by its first experience of MAGIS in Madrid in 2011, the Korean Province is deep into preparations for MAGIS-World Youth Day (WYD) 2013 in Brazil. Fr Joseph Songyong Choe SJ shares their preparations with us.
From Australia has come a new online book, The Francis Effect: Living the Joy of the Gospel, which offers insights from Catholic leaders in the country on the challenges and inspiration needed to fully live the joy of the Gospel in varied ministries.  Jointly published by Catholic Mission and Catholic Religious Australia, The Francis Effect is an opportunity to engage with Evangelii Gaudium in an active and practical way.    
Redfern Jarjum College, a Jesuit primary school for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, was officially opened on April 13, with a number of dignitaries giving the school and its students their blessing. 
Being able to adapt to new technologies and seize opportunities when they arise are the keys to a successful media organisation, delegates at the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) Social Communications meeting in Taiwan heard last month.“Media comes from grabbing opportunities,” said Director of Kuangchi Program Service (KPS) Fr Jerry Martinson SJ, in his presentation to delegates on the first day of the meeting, which was hosted by KPS, the Jesuit production centre in Taiwan. 
A documentary produced by Jesuit Communications Foundation (JesCom) in the Philippines was the only Asian finalist out of 74 nominees around the world for Best Documentary Film at the XXIX International Catholic Film and Multimedia Festival in Niempokalanow in Teresin, Poland.
There is no institution so old that it has nothing left to learn – and the Catholic Church must commit to learning about and changing its practices in relation to ecological issues. This was the message from Colombian Jesuit Fr José Mesa, Secretary of Primary and Secondary Education at the Jesuit Curia in Rome and one of the keynote speakers at the JCAP Education Colloquium in Sydney.
How we manage our natural resources on this planet, and do so in an inclusive way, is the challenge of present and coming generations.  A three-day conference on Transformative Land and Water Governance held in the Philippines in May sought to address this challenge.
A network on migration has been formed within the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific, comprising Jesuit institutions working on the issue – Tokyo Migrant Desk in Japan, Yiutsari in Korea, Rerum Novarum Centre in Taiwan, UGAT Foundation in the Philippines, Sahabat Insan in Indonesia, JRS Asia Pacific, and Jesuit Social Services Australia.
Happy Feast of the Ascension of our Lord! In today’s Gospel from Matthew, our Lord sends his disciples to the ends of the earth with a mission of love and service. Within their lifetime those disciples, despite their simple backgrounds, had overcome all obstacles to tell their story and to share their dramatic message of conversion with peoples at the very edges of the known world. What courage and initiative they showed, strengthened by his parting words – “know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time”.
The Jesuits in Cambodia are exploring spirituality as a new ministry in and for the Cambodian Church. A Spirituality Committee was established in May 2013 to investigate the needs of the Cambodia Church in this area and in what ways the Society of Jesus can respond to these needs. In his letter announcing the committee, Fr Oh In-don SJ, the Delegate of the Korean Provincial to the Cambodia Mission, said that with this committee, “we are entering a new phase of serving the Cambodian Church”.
Annie Abuca, currently the Grade School Assistant Principal for Administration and Supervision at Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu, Philippines, reflects on her experience of the recent Workshop on Ignatian School Leadership for leaders and administrators in Jesuit schools across the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific.