News - Ministries

On May 31, 2014, the  Yap Catholic High School (YCHS), located on a small Micronesian island in the Western Pacific Ocean, celebrated its first graduating class. Jesuit missionaries first established a mission in Micronesia in the late seventeenth century. At the end of the World War II, the mission was placed in the hands of American Jesuits.  Now Jesuits serve in a number of ways on the islands of Pohnpei, Chuuk, Guam, Yap and Palau.
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.
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.
On June 19, Jesuit Refugee Service Syria was honoured with the 2014 Prix Caritas award in a ceremony in Lucerne, Switzerland. Nawras Sammour SJ, JRS Middle East North Africa Director, received the award on behalf of JRS Syria. The award honours JRS for its "tireless and courageous commitment for the benefit of the persecuted and suffering people in Syria. For bearing witness in the form of humanitarian aid, standing by people in need irrespective of their religious and ethnic affiliations".
On the morning of April 7, 2014, Dutch Jesuit Fr Frans Van der Lugt was beaten by armed men and killed with two bullets to the head in Syria. Fr Frans had worked in Syria since 1966 and, despite the dangers, insisted on remaining in the city of Homs in solidarity with the people who could not leave the city.  "I don't see Muslims or Christians,” he said a couple of months before his death. “I see, above all, human beings.” Fr Frans worked hard to bring Syrians of different backgrounds together and encourage dialogue between them; his favourite word had been "forward."
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. 
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.
Having made communication one of the Province’s priority missions, the Jesuit Vietnam Province has been sending scholastics to media outlets across the world for the Regency stage of their formation, during which they work for two or more years in a ministry. Stephen Tran Thien Kinh SJ and Anthony Nguyen Van Loi SJ are two of these Vietnamese scholastics.  They were assigned to Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia, where they hope to acquire skills in media that will prepare them for ministry in their Province.
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.