Jesuits in Asia Pacific: News Bulletin October 2016

From the President

Called to collaborate in the mission of Christ Jesus

Timor-Leste Region Meeting 2016“The Society of Jesus can develop only in collaboration with others: only if it becomes the least Society that collaborates. We want to collaborate generously with others, inside and outside of the Church, in the awareness, which comes from the experience of God, of being called to the mission of Christ Jesus.”  Our new Fr General Arturo Sosa in his first homily as Superior General spoke words to live by.  They resonate with our apostolic plan for the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific and challenge us to implement it.  More

From the Provinces

New Superior for Jesuits in Malaysia and Singapore

Fr Christopher Soh SJOn November 8, Fr Christopher Soh SJ officially becomes Regional Superior of the Malaysia-Singapore Jesuit Region (MAS), taking over from Fr Colin Tan SJ who has completed his six-year term. Fr Soh was ordained on July 30, 2005 and professed his final vows on July 4, 2011.  He is a popular homilist, and his blog, “Breaking The Word”, began as a response to people asking for a copy of his homilies.  It is not surprising then that, when he was considering the priesthood, he was initially attracted to the Redemptorists, whose ministry of preaching and hearing confessions inspired him.  More

Dreaming of an established Church in China

Fr John Lee Hua SJFour hundred years after Francis Xavier died on an island off the mainland, the Jesuits continue to dream of establishing good relations between the Church and China.  According to Fr John Lee Hua SJ, Provincial of the Chinese Jesuit Province, it is a dream too for Francis, the first Jesuit Pope. In an interview with The Tablet while in Rome for the 36th General Congregation, Fr Lee said that Chinese Catholics believe Francis will realise his dream, in spite of the many setbacks in recent years to efforts to re-establish diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China.  More

From the Ministries

Reuniting families separated by detention

Family at the Immigration Detention Centre BangkokSeeing divided families is a painful sight and this is often the case in immigration detention centres where women and men are held in separate detention cells. For 25 years, the Jesuits have been working closely with the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) in Bangkok to facilitate the release of detainees and help them return to a life of dignity and freedom with their families. Two years ago, Jesuit Refugee Service Asia Pacific handed over responsibility for this work to the Jesuit Foundation – Prison Ministry Thailand.  More

A path to self-determination through education

Tboli S'bu Senior High School ProgrammeA close encounter with the Tboli communities in Lake Sebu in the Philippines reveals their great love and pride for their cultural identity. This can be felt in the way they assert and protect their rights and in their local governance. A spirit of unity, collaboration and openness manifests not only during festivities but also in the daily rigours of life. Perhaps it is this same spirit that inspired the then Secretary of the Department of Education Br Armin A Luistro FSC and Fr Joel E Tabora SJ, President of Ateneo de Davao University, to establish jointly a culturally-sensitive and responsive senior high school programme designed for the Tboli communities in Lake Sebu.  More

The most heart-warming Mid-Autumn Festival

Vietnamese lanternThe mooncakes might have been hard and the lanterns dim but this celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival was the most heart-warming one the migrant workers have had in a while. The Rerum Novarum Centre in Taiwan had invited Vietnamese and Indonesian migrant workers to celebrate the last day of the Mid-Autumn Festival with Taiwanese friends at the Jesuit theologate. On the afternoon of September 17, six young men with one umbrella braved the typhoon to go to the market and came back with a selection of goods to cook for the next day. No one said a word of reproach about their culinary skills. It was their effort that counted.  More

Jesuit Mission Australia provides aid in flood-ravaged Vietnam

Vietnam flood 2016Jesuit Mission is working with local Catholic Church groups to provide urgent emergency response to families affected by severe floods in Central Vietnam. Over 600,000 people have been directly affected by the floods, with an estimated 100,000 houses fully submerged. The torrential rains started on October 13, causing some of the worst floods ever experienced in the provinces of Quang Tri, Quang Binh and Ha Tinh. It is believed water discharged by two large hydropower dams the next day, without adequate warning to communities already battling the heavy rains, added to the severity.  More

Jesuit Formation

The simple life as a symbol of resistance

Santris (students) living in Pesantren Ath-ThariqThere were about 20 santris (students) living in Pesantren Ath-Thariq, when we stayed there for our immersion. On our third night, one of our scholastics picked up the guitar and all of us, including the female santris, gathered around him singing cheesy Indonesian pop songs about love. We stayed up until 11 pm, singing in the hut where they learn to recite the Qur’an in the cold mountain breeze. There are no television sets in sight in the pesantren. Playing outside and socialising are highly encouraged. They take in santris as young as eight to those who are college students.  More

General Congregation 36

Pope Francis’ visit to the Congregation

Pope Francis' visit to the CongregationPope Francis joined the delegates for morning prayer on October 24 before speaking to them about the way forward for the Society of Jesus.

Read the full text of Pope Francis' message here.
See photos of the visit here.

Other Jesuit News

Rebuilding Nepal from the rubble

Golma devi School Sindhupalchowk ConstructionReconstruction efforts are gathering pace in Nepal more than a year after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the country on April 25, 2015, causing massive destruction of infrastructure and killing more than 9,000 people. The Nepal Jesuit Social Institute (NJSI) has been actively involved in relief and rehabilitation work and is now concentrating its efforts on supporting the building and rebuilding of schools, hostels, houses and women’s shelters in different districts.  More

Conference Calendar
November 5 to 6Theological Cooperation Working Group Meeting, Manila, Philippines
November 6 to 13Advanced Ignatian Teaching Programme, Kamakura, Japan
November 13 to 19Leadership Development Programme III, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
December 3EAPI 50th Anniversary Culminating Programme, Manila, Philippines
December 5 to 6JCAP Consult, Manila, Philippines
December 19 to 28Scholastics and Brothers Circle Meeting, Seoul, South Korea
December 26 to 30Jesuits Among Muslims in Asia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

In this issue

Called to collaborate in the mission of Christ Jesus

New Superior for Jesuits in Malaysia and Singapore

Dreaming of an established Church in China

Reuniting families separated by detention

A path to self-determination through education

The most heart-warming Mid-Autumn Festival

Jesuit Mission Australia provides aid in flood-ravaged Vietnam

The simple life as a symbol of resistance

Rebuilding Nepal from the rubble