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Pope Francis appeals for the security and dignity of migrants

After praying the Angelus before thousands gathered in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, Pope Francis appeals to the international community on behalf of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

After reciting the Angelus at noon on Sunday with thousands of the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis made an appeal regarding “the shipwreck of boats laden with migrants in the waters of the Mediterranean” which have been reported in the news in the past few weeks.

“I express my pain before this tragedy,” he said. He then assured his thoughts and prayers both for the migrants involved, and for their families.

He concluded directing a strong appeal to the international community asking them to “act decisively and immediately so that similar tragedies might be avoided and to guarantee the safety, respect for human rights, and the dignity” of all those involved.

25 Jul 2018 - 09:27

JCAP major superiors meeting in Nagasaki
The JCAP major superiors began their assembly in Nagasaki today (July 16).  The five-day meeting is also an opportunity to learn about the Jesuit history in the host province and the local context.  This time the learning began a day earlier with Sunday Mass in the Shrine of the Twenty-Six Martyrs of Japan.  The 26 martyrs were a group of Catholics executed by crucifixion on February 5, 1597.  Three of the martyrs were Japanese Jesuits – St James Kisai, St John Soan de Goto and St Paul Miki.

A tour of the Twenty-Six Martyrs Museum and Monument followed.  The museum's collection includes important historical articles from both Japan and Europe such as original letters written by St Francis Xavier and examples of "fumie" or treading images. Every year from 1629 to 1857, Nagasaki residents were forced to go through a ritual of stepping on bronze images of Christ or Mary to prove they were not Christians. 

Fr. George Pattery SJ (POSA) is attending the meeting representing the South Asia.

19 Jul 2018 - 16:54

It was a week during which the momentum of the global Jesuit education network was very much evident.  For the education secretaries of the six Jesuit Conferences, the Secretary for Education and those working in the secretariat, the recent International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education meeting was an opportunity to understand the state of Jesuit education in the world, talk about the projects of the Education Secretariat and discuss initiatives that support the construction and consolidation of the Jesuit schools network.

“It’s always inspiring to meet with the other education secretaries and to discover all the good work that’s being done all around the world. There’s so much diversity in our Jesuit schools, but it’s also amazing that we share a common underlying mission and set of Ignatian values,” said JCAP Education Secretary Fr Johnny Go SJ of the meeting held in Rome from May 23 to 26.  “I always learn so much meeting with these Education Secretaries and hearing about the different ways that our schools are facing the challenges of our work of education today.”

Fr Go shared with the group that for the past two years, the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) has been conducting IGNITE (Ignatian Initiative for Teacher Excellence) workshops regularly – three a year – for teachers, staff and school leaders. The newest projects being developed include a teacher volunteer programme among Jesuit and Ignatian schools, and a student video conferencing project that will promote interculturality and global citizenship.

JCAP is also sponsoring the II Colloquium JESEDU-Jogja 2020, when schools from all around the world will gather at Sanata Dharma University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia to learn from one another and to explore working more closely together as a global network.

“It has been a wonderful week of work with the Commission,” said Assistant for Special Projects Rafael Galaz. “I think there is a common feeling of the special momentum in the global network at the moment which was evident when each member presented a report with the featured news of his/her region.”

The topics covered included the development of Educate Magis, a platform aimed at connecting schools and allowing for global collaboration at the service of the mission, and the evaluation and follow up of the Action Statement of the International Congress of Jesuit Education Delegates(JESEDU-Rio2017).  With new inputs from JESEDU-Rio2017, the Commission resumed the discussion on the Education Delegate’s role at the Province level and began the process to find agreement on some common fundamental requirements for the job. They also continued the conversation about associated/partnered/endorsed/companion schools as they are classified in each region.

The Commission also took time to reflect on Fr General Arturo Sosa’s invitation to discern the Universal Apostolic Preferences for the mission of the Society in accordance with the decrees of General Congregation 36 and related documents.  The result of their discernment will be presented to Fr General.

Fr José Mesa SJ, Secretary for Education, was not able to be in Rome for the meeting but joined the delegates virtually, which was a new and positive experience.

“I think it’s fair to say on behalf of the Commission that we ended the meeting feeling challenged to keep working hard, but also very reassured by the fruitful results of this period,” said Galaz.

At the end of the meeting, the Commission celebrated the Eucharist in the Camaretas also known as the “Room of Ignatius” where St Ignatius spent his last days before passing away on July 31, 1556. [Educate Magis]

19 Jul 2018 - 16:39

Fr Arturo Sosa, SJ to young Ignatians: “Choosing is an exercise in freedom.” 

Sixty-five young people of Ignatian charism from the Jesuit province of Bolivia had a meeting this Sunday with the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa.
Strengthen their spirituality and share the progress of the preparatory work for the Synod of Youth to be held in October 2018 and communicate their concerns to Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ were part of the objective of this meeting.
The young people expressed their desire to know how the Jesuits face the task of increasing the commitment of young people to the mission of the Society and of the Church in general.
Fr. Arturo Sosa indicated that the Society should offer young people a path that appeals to freedom of choice, that is, that their work is to generate proposals that facilitate the choice of young people for a commitment to the mission of the Church.
"Choosing is an exercise in freedom" the Jesuit Superior General told the young people.
In this sense, it is essential to make it easier for young people to know the reality in which they live, to interpret it and to have a free choice through this reading. With this, Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ, indicated that the Society can only show ways, but not impose them.
The young people will share for analysis in their respective works this and other themes that Father General shared with them such as the inclusion of people with sexual differences, citizen participation in political life, and the inclusion of young lay people who have completed a university degree in the works of the Society of Jesus.
The participants of this meeting were young people of Ignatian charism who study or collaborate in schools, parishes or youth groups of the Province of Bolivia.

18 Jul 2018 - 06:21

VATICAN : Cause of Jesuit leader Fr Pedro Arrupe to open by Junno Arocho Esteves (Catholic Herald via CNUA)  Preparations to launch the Cause of Jesuit leader Fr Pedro Arrupe have begun. The general postulator of the Society of Jesus said he had begun compiling all of the writings of Jesuit Fr Pedro Arrupe and seeking eyewitnesses who can attest to the holiness of order’s late superior general.

The massive task of compiling a list of 120 witnesses, especially those who personally knew Fr Arrupe, should “be finished in about a year,” Jesuit Fr Pascual Cebollada, the postulator, told the Catholic News Service. “I can tell you that these witnesses will be from various places: from Spain where he was born; Japan where he was first sent by his superiors; and from Rome where he lived the last years of his life,” Fr Cebollada said.

During a meeting in Bilbao, Spain, with Jesuits and lay associates on July 11, Fr Arturo Sosa Abascal, superior general of the Society of Jesus, announced that “we have seriously begun the process for the beatification of Fr Pedro Arrupe.” “We are still at the beginning of the process, but Cardinal Angelo de Donatis, the vicar of Rome, has given the Diocese of Rome’s approval to open the process of beatification,” Fr Sosa said.

Fr Cebollada, who is responsible for overseeing the Causes of Jesuits, told CNS that he has met the judicial vicar of the Diocese of Rome to discuss the initial phase of gathering information regarding Fr Arrupe’s life and works. He also is collecting all of Fr Arrupe’s writings, which will be studied by theological censors who will “testify whether or not there is anything against the faith or tradition of the Church.” “This is the type of work that we have begun to do,” Fr Cebollada said. “We are in the preparation phase that is done in every Cause.” Once the postulator has the list of potential witnesses and has collected the writings, the formal opening of Fr Arrupe’s Cause would be opened by the Diocese of Rome, which is the diocese where the former superior general died.

Born in Spain, Fr Arrupe entered the Society of Jesus in 1927. Following the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain in 1932, he continued his studies in Belgium, the Netherlands and the United States. After ordination, he was sent to Japan in 1938. According to the US website of the Jesuits, Fr Arrupe was serving in a Japanese mission outside Hiroshima when the United States dropped the atomic bomb there in 1945. The Jesuit priest, who studied medicine before entering the society, and several companions “were able to give aid to 150 victims”.

“[Father] Arrupe is the best of the Jesuits, although this may sound exaggerated and emotional,” Fr Cebollada said. “But for many of us, from different generations, Fr Arrupe is an example of being rooted in Christ, a man of the Church, a man who follows the calling of the Holy Spirit and, without fear, made the decisions he needed to make because he was rooted in God.” For this reason, he added, the announcement of the first steps of Fr Arrupe’s Cause made headlines even though the formal opening of the Cause “will take almost a year to complete.” In 1965, Fr Arrupe was elected superior general of the Society of Jesus. He resigned in 1983.

Fr Cebollada told CNS that Pope Francis and countless other Jesuits who lived during and after Fr Arrupe’s death in 1991 continue to be inspired by his life and spirituality. The general postulator recalled Pope Francis’s meeting with a group of Jesuits during his visit to Peru in January, in which the Pope recalled “the grace of the generalate of Fr Pedro Arrupe”.

Pope Francis “gave several examples of Fr Arrupe as a person who helped us Jesuits rediscover our spirituality in the 1970s,” Fr Cebollada said. Despite the Pope’s admiration for the late superior general, Fr Cebollada told CNS that Pope Francis will play no role in preparing Fr Arrupe’s Cause. “The Pope is the last person in this long process of discernment in a beatification or canonisation cause. He is the last judge, and, in the end, it is he who approves the decree. So, he cannot be in the middle of this; he, or his successor, is the one at the end [of the process] who would eventually sign the decree,” Fr Cebollada said. > > >




16 Jul 2018 - 13:50

Kyrgyzstan - A Call to Walk on the Silk Route

The land of snow clapped mountains and shepherds – Kyrgyzstan – was a huge and pleasant surprise for me. Civilizational movements happened along this route and its traits are still alive in this people. Manas the hero of the region, stands tall in the cities of Bishkek and Osh, with imposing statutes. Cultures and civilizations do not die; this is very true of Kirgizstan. The welcoming smiles of the children on the streets, the caring attitude of beautiful and sturdy women in the markets - Uzbis, Kyrgys and Russians, speak volumes of the inter-cultural ethos of the people. The region proudly retained its independent character in spite of and even after the Soviet occupation. Six Jesuits spread over a landmass of 198,500 sq km, inhabited by a population of 6 million bear witness to the courage and resilience of the Society to be present in this part of Central Asia with a tiny Catholic community scattered over the land. We have had South Asian Jesuit presence in Russia, through the ministries of Paul Chemparathy (NEP), late Fr.Victor (MDU) and recently Anil Macwan (GUJ) in Armenia. Thomaz Kot, Regional Assistant (Central Europe) and Tony Corcoran (UCS) Apostolic Administrator jointly invited me to visit Kyrgyzstan to explore possibilities of collaboration from South Asia. Late Fr. Leitner as Regional Assistant had initiated similar conversation. Possibly he is continuing that conversation from above! Our journey took us to Bishkek (Capital City), to Zalalabad in the outskirts of the capital city and to Osh (the other major city). We journeyed together, celebrated Eucharist together and interacted with the people around. At the State University in Osh there are several hundreds of students from India, studying medicine. From the Letter of Fr. Anthony Corcoran, SJ, the Apostolic Administrator: “As a Papal Mission entrusted to the Society, the Church in this country has been served well by the members of the Society, both local men and members from other provinces. … As Apostolic Administrator, it is my intention to further develop this bond between the Society and Church. The Regional Superior of the Russian Region, Fr. Boguslaw Steezek, has graciously agreed to help to assist in this process of requesting Jesuits from India arrive to engage in ministry here. …. The reasons for engaging Jesuits from your provinces are many. Most fundamentally, these are found in the quality and generosity of your Jesuits – and your unique experience of serving in the multi-ethnic and interreligious environments. We could learn from you in these matters.

The following note from the Superior of Russian Region, Boguslaw Steezek, SJ: “I am writing to you, with the desire to prusue further the Russian and the Indian Provinces concerning the possibility of Indian Jesuits serving in the country of Kyrgyzstan. As you are aware, the Russian Region has been in contact with the Conference of South Asia since August of 2010. My predecessor was able to visit India and speak with the Provincials during their Conference meeting in Goa in 2012. In subsequent years, the Region has continued this discussion with individuals and with Fr General, With this letter , I would like to reiterate our invitation/request. I will proide a brief overview of the situation in Kyrgyzstan,. In addition, I will propose a possible process for advancing this conversation. Kyrgyzstan is a Papal mission entrusted to the Society of Jesus. It is a former Soviet Republic where a small remnant of Catholic population remains. Approximately 87% of the population are Sunni Muslims. Most of these people are moderate, with a smaller percent practicing a more strict form of Islam. There is considerable openness on the part of both government and society regarding education and concerning questions of civil liberties. The country is rather impoverished; nevertheless, it is not without significant cultural assets. Although the Catholic population is a very small minority and the character of Catholicism of these faithful tends to be quite “traditional,” there is evident potential for developing our Jesuit presence. The Kyrgyz people tend to be accepting of foreigners. I am very confident that the presence of Indian Jesuit priests, brothers and scholastics would provide a profound enrichment to our apostolate endeavor.

At the end of a short (four days) but very engaging visit of the Region, I am pleasantly surprised to learn how the Society valiantly continued its presence in this country through many vicissitudes; perhaps the providential continuation of the Society through its presence in Russia during the suppression years, is indirectly challenging us to enter into renewed mission in this region. South Asia is well placed to engage this mission, through the educational apostolate, interreligious dialogue and the social engagement in this multiethnic, pluri-religious and civilizational context of Kyrghizstan. I am grateful to Fr. Thomaz Kot, Regional Assistant for Central Europe for taking the initiative to arrange for a visit, with the generous support from Fr. Tony Corcoran, the Apostolic Administrator for Kyrgyzstan. Let us discern the ways of the Lord and listen to the call of the Lord through these invitations extended to us in South Asia. I am inviting our men in South Asia to take this ‘call’ into their prayer and pursue the interior movements of the Spirit. May be the Lord has surprises for us.

George Pattery, SJ

 Provincial of South Asia.

11 Jul 2018 - 18:51

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams

                                                                                                                 -Eleanor Roosevelt

New Delhi, 22nd June 2018: This year’s Graduation Day Program was organized by JRS at St Francis De Sales School, Janakpuri West. It was a matter of great pride for all the staff and students since it was the first time the graduation day program was held outside its usual location i.e. the JRS Life Skill Training Center, Chanakya Place. The guest for the program came for various institutions like Jindal Global University, Jesuit in Social Action (JESA), Indian Social Institution (ISI) , Secretary JEASA, and Socius-JCSA.

The certificates were awarded to the tailoring (basic and advanced), computer (basic and advanced) and beautician (basic) students who successfully completed their training at the center. This year there were 83 students in total who graduated in the above courses. The students had toiled tirelessly through unforgiving hardships living as Urban Refugees in New Delhi. They were now about to see their dreams of graduating come true. The jubilation, the smiles and tears of joy told it all. 

Pari, a 27-year old trainee, explains how the beautician course taught her many new skills of personal care which she would like to pass on to her daughter. She now plans to continue with the advanced course at the centre. In the future she intends to start a small beauty care salon at her home to cater to the needs of her fellow Chin Community women.

Jessica Field a professor with Jindal Global University gave the graduation day message of hope and confidence, encouraging the students to continue pursuing their dreams. The students and staff at the center organized a wide variety of cultural performances, which included different types of dancing and singing in English and their local language; Mizo. Many of the women were excited about performing on stage for the very first time in their lives.

Zuali, 43-year old basic tailoring teacher, explains how nervous and excited she was to come up on stage and sing in English along with her students. She was very proud of them and mentions who hard they all trained for the big day.

 Apart from tailoring classes, JRS Urban Refugee Project in Delhi also conducts Spoken English classes to help the students improve their communication skills.  After the completion of their courses the students startup small entrepreneurial initiatives with their skills and abilities in stitching, embroidery  and sell and market their products like shirt, blouses, bed sheets, pillow covers etc. among the members of their community, friends and relatives and also abroad thereby inspire and encourage women from their community to do the same.

This year the students and their family members joined in the graduation day program. Gabi, 23-year old computer class student shared his experience of how grateful he is to Jesuit Refugee Service for the opportunity to learn various computer skills which could help him find a job in the city. The program ended with lunch for all the staff and students who came dressed up in their traditional Chin costumes as they remembered refugee day that was on the 20th of June followed by group photographs of the students, staff and the guest.

                                                                                                                      -Steffi Ebnett


10 Jul 2018 - 07:40

International Conference on the 3rd anniversary of Laudato Si’

Ms Mercy Pakiwag, a Pulangiyen community member, shares her community’s concerns and actions in the culture and ecology session of the Living Laudato Si’ workshop recently held in Bendum, Mindanao, Philippines with around 30 Asia Pacific participants. The backdrop is a Pulangiyen community mural of their ancestral domain. Mercy joins the Vatican’s international conference on the 3rd anniversary of Laudato Si’ on 5 to 6 July. (Photo by A Ignacio/ESSC)

Ms Mercy Pakiwag, a Pulangiyen community member, shares her community’s concerns and actions in the culture and ecology session of the Living Laudato Si’ workshop recently held in Bendum, Mindanao, Philippines with around 30 Asia Pacific participants. The backdrop is a Pulangiyen community mural of their ancestral domain. Mercy joins the Vatican’s international conference on the 3rd anniversary of Laudato Si’ on 5 to 6 July. (Photo by A Ignacio/ESSC)

On the occasion of the third anniversary of Laudato Si’, the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development is organizing an International Conference on the 3rd Anniversary of Laudato Si’: Saving our Common Home and the Future of Life on Earth from 5 to 6 July 2018.

This conference aspires to communicate the deep urgency and profound concern for the precarious state of our common planetary home and reiterate the “need for substantial changes in policy and lifestyle to safeguard Creation.”  It brings together representatives from civil society, religions, churches, scientists, politicians, economists, and grassroots movements to properly assess the extent of the ecological crisis and develop plans of action for the care of our common home.  The goal is to spur in everyone an ecological concern that springs from our faith that everything in God’s creation was entrusted to our care.

Participation of indigenous and young people from Asia Pacific and the Oceania was requested with Ecojesuit coordinator Pedro Walpole SJ facilitating a session for the region and accompanying the indigenous group.  Ten participants are now ready to join from Thailand (Chiang Mai), Indonesia (Papua and Kalimantan), Federated States of Micronesia (Pohnpei), Republic of the Marshall Islands (Majuro), Republic of Palau (Koror), Philippines (northern Luzon and Mindanao).  There are also representations from South Asia, Latin America, Africa, among others.

The Conference is planned in connection with some of the major future events within the Church and in the civil society for the care of our common home: Season of Creation (Assisi, 1 September to 4 October 2018), the Global Climate Action Summit (San Francisco, 12 to 14 September 2018), the Synods on Youth (Vatican, October 2018), and on the Amazon (Vatican, October 2019), the annual IMF/World Bank meeting (Bali, 12-14 October), and COP 24 (Katowice, Poland, 3 to 14 December 2018).

6 Jul 2018 - 06:07

Loyola Press Publishing Company recently released information regarding the annual literary award given by the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada. The book Ignatian Pedagogy: Classic and Contemporary Texts on Jesuit Education from St. Ignatius to Today edited by Fr. José Alberto Mesa SJ, international secretary of Secondary and Pre-Secondary Education for the Society of Jesus, was awarded second place in the category Reference Books.

The book, currently available only in English, is a systematized compilation of the most relevant texts on Ignatian Pedagogy, from documents written by St. Ignatius himself to more contemporary texts and has been described as “an essential resource for anyone interested in the origin, development and contemporary understanding of Jesuit Education”. (

This acknowledgement encourages us to continue working for Jesuit Education. In the specific case of this book, I would like to highlight the work of the Loyola Press publishing house, which in true apostolic spirit dedicated itself to creating a text which was easy to read and which would encourage so many people who would like to know more about and deepen their understanding of the educational tradition of the Society of Jesus. This is a tradition which is still alive today thanks to the work of so many lay people and Jesuits around the world. We are currently working on the Spanish edition of the book which we hope to have ready soon” Fr. Mesa.

The Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada (CPA) is a group which is more than 10 years old and which brings together about 600 members linked to the media of communication and written press in order to offer the best communication of relevant content in public opinion from a Catholic perspective. Each year they organize an award under various categories.

In the case of the award granted to Fr. Mesa, it was given in the category B16 REFERENCE BOOKS: Books that provide in-depth resources in an encyclopedic or dictionary format.

Ignatian Pedagogy is extremely readable. Makes research of the subject easy and pleasant while imparting knowledge. A pleasantly readable typeface and line spacing help make this a valued reference.” The jury, 2018 Book Award Winners

How to obtain a copy of the book?

Currently a physical copy of the book can be purchased in some online bookstores, for example Amazon or Booktopia

Hard Cover: 600 Pages
Editor: Loyola Press (August 1st, 2017)
Language: English (Coming soon in Spanish)
ISBN-10: 0829445951
ISBN-13: 978-0829445954
Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches

To see the full list of winners of the 2018 Book Award full, please click here

29 Jun 2018 - 06:48

By Matters India Reporter

New Delhi: Pope Francis on June 24 appointed Bishop Felix Toppo of Jamshedpur as the new archbishop of Ranchi, the mother diocese of India’s tribal Catholics.

The Pope has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, who was the Ranchi archbishop for the past 34 years.

This was announced at noon in Rome and its corresponding time in India, according to a press release from the headquarters of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).

Archbishop-designate Toppo, a Jesuit, was born on November 21, 1947, in Tongo, a parish in Gumla diocese. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1968 and was ordained a priest in 1982. He has a Masters in Psychology from the Gregorian University, Rome.

He has served the Society of Jesus in various capacities as director of pre-novices, novice master and superior. He was appointed the bishop of Jamshedpur in 1997.

He is currently the governing body chairperson of the CBCI Society for Medical Education, North India; chairperson of the Regional Bishops’ Council of Jharkhand and Andaman and of two regional commissions; vice-chancellor of St. Albert’s College, Ranchi.

Earlier, he was the chairperson of the CBCI Office for Clergy and Religious and of the National Vocation Service Centre, Pune, for four years. Cardinal Toppo has been a bishop for the past 40 years. He became the bishop of Dumka in 1978, when he was 39. He is the first tribal cardinal from Asia.

He has served as the CBCI president as well as the president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, the national association of Latin rite bishops in the country.

25 Jun 2018 - 05:56