Archive for February, 2010

Jesuits Offer Spiritual Exercises Blog for Lent

Spiritual Exercises Blog
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A group of Jesuits have launched The Spiritual Exercises Blog, which “will offer daily reflections over the course of Lent based on the prayers proposed by St. Ignatius Loyola, S.J., in his Spiritual Exercises.  By Easter, one who has followed these reflections regularly will have a basic introduction to the whole of the Spiritual Exercises.” Here is the introductory post.

Jesuit Father Ken Gavin, Director of JRS/USA, Speaks with NPR on Outreach to Haiti

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Jesuit Fr. Ken Gavin, Executive Director of JRS/USA and Fr. Perard Monestime, Director of the JRS project in Haiti, discuss options for water project.

Jesuit Fr. Ken Gavin, Executive Director of JRS/USA and Fr. Perard Monestime, Director of the JRS project in Haiti, discuss options for water project.

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Jesuit Refugee Service/USA’s National Director Jesuit Fr. Ken Gavin was on NPR’s Talk of the Nation yesterday to discuss how outsiders can help communities, like those in Haiti after January’s devastating earthquake, in crisis. Some volunteers rushed to Port-au-Prince to help with no idea how to provide food, water and shelter for themselves. When is it appropriate for outsiders to help and when is that better left to locals? What’s the goal? How long do you stay?

Having recently returned from Haiti, Fr. Gavin discussed these issues and explained JRS’s mission of accompaniment:

Father Gavin on NPR: “When we talk about our work in Jesuit Refugee Service, we say that what we do is accompany, serve and advocate or defend the rights of refugees or forcibly displaced people. And that term, accompaniment, as you say, Neal, is incredibly important, because I see it as the envelope out of which all our service and all our advocacy – however important they are – flow from that sense of accompaniment.

And what we mean by that, I think simply, is to be close to the people, to be in solidarity with them, to step into their shoes, to experience their hopes and losses. Our sense of accompaniment comes from that spark of the divine that we recognize in every human person. It comes from our believing that even in the greatest tragedies like Haiti, that our God stands present with people in their suffering.”

To hear Fr. Gavin on the Talk of the Nation program, you can listen from NPR’s website or download the podcast. Fr. Gavin was interviewed by National Jesuit News before his trip to Haiti, you can view his video interview here.

National Jesuit News is urging people to give to the Jesuit organization Jesuit Refugee Service to help those in Haiti.

To support JRS/USA’s humanitarian response to the emergency needs of the Haitian people, please click here to be directed to their secure website and choose “Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.”

Or you may send a check to:

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
1016 16th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

Checks should be made payable to “Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.”
Please clearly note “Haiti Earthquake Relief” in the memo field on the check.


Jesuit Offers Reflections for Lent in Podcasts

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Again this Lent, the Chicago and Detroit Provinces of the Society of Jesus are offering audio reflections (on CD and in podcast format) by Jesuit Fr. Pat McGrath. Each podcast is approximately 6 minutes in length and includes accompanying scripture readings for each of the reflections. The podcasts can be downloaded here.

Jesuit Discusses the Needs of Deported Migrants


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Jesuit Fr. Sean Carroll, the Executive Director of the Kino Border Initiative (KBI) discusses how the KBI responds to the needs of deported migrants, who are often deported far from family and friends and who may have suffered physical or emotional trauma, in this video clip from the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. Fr. Carroll spoke during a one-day conference, Crisis at our Borders: The Human Reality Behind the Immigration Debate.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, the Jesuit Conference of the United States, Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service, the Institute for the Study of International Migration, and the Woodstock Theological Center hosted the conference in October, 2009 on the Georgetown campus in Washington, D.C.

A series of panel discussions at the conference aimed to put a human face on the migrant experience by sharing personal narratives of individuals crossing the border; explored political/legal, economic, ethical and law enforcement perspectives on the current immigration system; made the case for policy changes, discussed ways in which the current system is failing immigrants and our communities. It also explored the prospects for immigration reform, discussed the key players in the process and talked about what such reform may look like.