News - Ministries

Earlier in July, Jesuits and their representatives from around the world met in Melbourne, Australia to develop ways to expand collaboration among Jesuits in higher education.  Fr Joel Tabora SJ, a speaker during the conference and current chair of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU-AP), shares here some of his insights following the international event.
With the cooperation and support of a considerable circle of lay experts as well as the advice of Jesuit educators in Asia Pacific, the Jesuits in Thailand are embarking on an ambitious education project to serve the poor, especially the indigenous communities in the northern mountains of the country.  An assistant professor at Mae Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai has been hired to conduct a feasibility study that will help the Jesuits work out many of the details of the proposed college.  It should be completed in August. 
American Jesuit scholastic David Romero began his Regency in the Philippines, working with Casa Bayanihan and living in the Arrupe International Residence where the community comprises Jesuits of 15 nationalities. His year in AIR left him with a profound sense of gratitude to God for giving him and the others in the community the chance to share their lives together and for what he has learned from these relationships.
The Loyola School of Theology (LST) in Manila recently announced its partnership with the East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI) in offering one of its graduate programs in pastoral ministry beginning in August 2015.
The fury and ferocity of floods becomes more amplified when one sees the situation first hand. The data, descriptions and dashboards of information fail to project the face of people and their experience at the ground level.  At the invitation of the Bishop of Kalay (Sagaing division – the place that took the brunt of floods), we visited Kalay.  As the plane descends (roads are still to be repaired) an eerie scenario unfolds. A vast expanse of clay mud covers hundreds of acres where there were once villages and flourishing farming communities. Only water now.
A black and white photograph caught the eye on entering the meeting room for this year’s Social Apostolate meeting in Kuala Lumpur. It showed six men, all Jesuits and all Caucasian, deep in thought. The photograph was taken sometime in 1971 when the Committee for the Development of Socio-Economic Life in Asia (SELA), the predecessor of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific social apostolate office, had a meeting.
Taiwanese Scholastic Aloysius Hsu SJ shares his experience of Vipassana Meditation and the 2015 East Asia Theological Encounter Programme (EATEP) held from July 22 to August 17 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. EATEP is a programme of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific that provides Jesuits in formation with opportunities to deepen their dialogue with other faiths, particularly Buddhism, and to enrich their perspectives on theology in Asia. 
From May to August, the Chinese Jesuit Province saw four Jesuits from three countries ordained to the priesthood in ceremonies held in its four territories.  A Jesuit from Burundi was also ordained to the diaconate during this period.  John Joseph Zhang SJ was ordained priest in northern China during the Easter Season. He has been assigned to Casa Ricci Social Services in Macau.
Taiwanese Scholastic Aloysius Hsu SJ shares his experience of Vipassana Meditation and the 2015 East Asia Theological Encounter Programme (EATEP) held from July 22 to August 17 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. EATEP is a programme of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific that provides Jesuits in formation with opportunities to deepen their dialogue with other faiths, particularly Buddhism, and to enrich their perspectives on theology in Asia. 
Sri Lankan Jesuit Scholastic Anthony Prathap Raj participated in the recently concluded Asia Pacific Theological Encounter Programme in Indonesia. Now back in the Philippines where he is studying theology at the Loyola School of Theology, he shared this reflection of his one-month immersion experience of Islam with us.As a Jesuit scholastic rooted in Ignatian Spirituality, I went to Indonesia ready to see God in every encounter I had with our Muslim brethren, and open for change and transformation.
The decision some years ago within the Chinese Province to set up a youth ministry in Taiwan is bearing fruit.  What began with a monthly youth mass at the Magis Youth Centre in Taipei has grown into a full-blown program with workshops in Ignatian spirituality, counselling, recollections and retreats, movie nights, and exposure trips.
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.
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.
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.
Delegates from across Asia Pacific gathered in Melbourne for a three-day meeting recently, sharing experiences and building bridges between the diverse social communication works in the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific.
The album produced by the Jesuit Music Ministry (JMM) for the Philippine Papal Visit made it to the top 10 of the Original Pinoy Music (OPM) charts in January.  This is the first time a JMM album has reached the top 10.  “Mercy and Compassion: Songs for Pope Francis” landed in the second spot of the OPM list and in the third spot of the Overall best-selling albums for the fourth week of January. A copy of the album was presented to Pope Francis when he met with Jesuits in the Philippines on January 16.
With the cooperation and support of a considerable circle of lay experts as well as the advice of Jesuit educators in Asia Pacific, the Jesuits in Thailand are embarking on an ambitious education project to serve the poor, especially the indigenous communities in the northern mountains of the country.  An assistant professor at Mae Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai has been hired to conduct a feasibility study that will help the Jesuits work out many of the details of the proposed college.  It should be completed in August. 
With sustained winds of 160 mph, Super Typhoon Maysak struck the Pacific region just before Easter, causing severe damage throughout Micronesia. Maysak struck the island of Chuuk on March 29, bringing down communications system from the island, and hit the island of Yap on March 31. Jesuits from the USA Northeast Province, the Province of Indonesia, members of the Jesuit Volunteer Corp and residents of Micronesia staff the two schools that suffered losses.
For World Refugee Day this year, the Tokyo Jesuit Social Center chose to focus on raising awareness of the plight of the Rohingya in Japan. This decision stemmed from a Skype discussion the Migration Network of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific had about the thousands of Rohingya from Myanmar stranded in the sea by the coasts of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. On his return to Tokyo, Fr Isamu Ando SJ, who heads the centre’s migrant desk, asked himself what could possibly be done in Japan.
The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) in Australia was officially launched at the start of World Refugee Week (June 14 to 20) in the country. Backed by leading Catholic peak organisations and convened by Jesuit Social Services, CAPSA aims to change hearts and minds across Australia in support of the abolition of harsh asylum seeker policies.The initiative wants to build on work being done in Catholic schools, parishes and organisations across Australia.
The decision some years ago within the Chinese Province to set up a youth ministry in Taiwan is bearing fruit.  What began with a monthly youth mass at the Magis Youth Centre in Taipei has grown into a full-blown program with workshops in Ignatian spirituality, counselling, recollections and retreats, movie nights, and exposure trips.
What is the mission of a local superior?  Superiors and potential superiors from 11 of the provinces, regions and missions in our Jesuit Conference found themselves exploring and reflecting on this question during a recent workshop held in Seoul, Korea.  The 36 Jesuits were participants in a Workshop for Local Superiors organised by the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific from October 4 to 10.