Archive for the ‘Justice’ Category

Jesuits Teach Nearly 4,000 Afghan Youth

SCHOOL_(600_x_405)The vast majority of Afghans want peace, according to Jesuit Father Stan Fernandes, an Indian Jesuit who directs the Jesuit Refugee Service in the strife-torn nation.

“The rebels are about 10,000, but attract the attention of the international community,” he told the Fides news agency. “Our mission is to give voice and hope to 99.9% of the Afghan population, who struggle every day with all their heart to go forward and to build a better tomorrow.”

JRS has been working in Afghanistan since 2005, when a team of Indian Jesuits started programs in the field of education: today in the “Technical High School” in Herat, there are 600 students taking courses in electricity, electronics, construction, trade. Since 2006, the religious also teach English, computer science, biology and physics to more than 3,000 university students in Herat, Bamiyan and Kabul.

“Children and young people are tired of war and very few of them have the opportunity to go to school,” he added. Jesuits are now teaching 600 students at a technical high school in Heart, 3,000 university students in Herat, Bamiyan, and Kabul, and 200 elementary school students who are refugees in Sohadat.

[Jesuit Refugee Service/USA]

Jesuit Comments on the Christian Response to Osama bin Laden’s Death

martinAs word got out that Osama bin Laden had been killed by a Navy SEAL strike team in Pakistan, television and the Internet quickly began to feature images of spontaneous celebrations outside the White House and at ground zero in New York.

Just as quickly, blogs and social media pages such as Facebook began to rage with debates: about the morality of bin Laden’s killing and how it was accomplished and about the appropriateness of the celebratory atmosphere. Others questioned the meaning of the “justice” described by President Barack Obama in announcing bin Laden’s death.

In one of the Catholic blog discussions, Jesuit Father James Martin, culture editor of the Jesuit magazine, America, captured some of the more charitable threads of the Internet debate:

“The Christian is not simply in favor of life for the unborn, for the innocent, for those we care for, for our families and friends, for our fellow citizens, for our fellow church members or even for those whom we consider good, but for all.  All life is sacred because God created all life.  This is what lies behind Jesus’s most difficult command: “I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” wrote Martin.

“As a Christian, I am asked to pray for him and, at some point, forgive him. And that command comes to us from Jesus, a man who was beaten, tortured and killed. That command comes from a man who knows a great deal about suffering. It also comes from God.”

To read Jesuit Father James Martin’s full blog post on the Christian Response, please visit America Magazine’s In All Things blog.

[Catholic News Service]

Jesuit Comments on the Christian Response to Osama bin Laden's Death

martinAs word got out that Osama bin Laden had been killed by a Navy SEAL strike team in Pakistan, television and the Internet quickly began to feature images of spontaneous celebrations outside the White House and at ground zero in New York.

Just as quickly, blogs and social media pages such as Facebook began to rage with debates: about the morality of bin Laden’s killing and how it was accomplished and about the appropriateness of the celebratory atmosphere. Others questioned the meaning of the “justice” described by President Barack Obama in announcing bin Laden’s death.

In one of the Catholic blog discussions, Jesuit Father James Martin, culture editor of the Jesuit magazine, America, captured some of the more charitable threads of the Internet debate:

“The Christian is not simply in favor of life for the unborn, for the innocent, for those we care for, for our families and friends, for our fellow citizens, for our fellow church members or even for those whom we consider good, but for all.  All life is sacred because God created all life.  This is what lies behind Jesus’s most difficult command: “I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” wrote Martin.

“As a Christian, I am asked to pray for him and, at some point, forgive him. And that command comes to us from Jesus, a man who was beaten, tortured and killed. That command comes from a man who knows a great deal about suffering. It also comes from God.”

To read Jesuit Father James Martin’s full blog post on the Christian Response, please visit America Magazine’s In All Things blog.

[Catholic News Service]

Jesuit Discusses the Intertwined Relationship of Social Justice and Environmentalism

Within the Society of Jesus’ governmental structure, five areas of apostolic importance have been identified and given special attention. One of these apostolic sectors is Social Justice & Ecology, which is headed up by Jesuit Father Patxi Álvarez de los Mozos. Recently appointed to his role this year, Fr. Álvarez de los Mozos explains the intertwined nature of working for social justice with a connection to ecological issues during this video interview he recently conducted with National Jesuit News during his visit from his headquarters in Rome to the United States.

On this Earth Day, Álvarez de los Mozos encourages Jesuits and their partners to work toward justice, peace and environmental care.

Jesuit Reflects on 25 Years of Prison Ministry

Jesuit Father Ted KalamajaShare

Jesuit Father Ted Kalamaja has spent the past 25 years of his life working in a New Orleans prison and said he has loved every minute of it.

It’s a ministry he discovered during a sabbatical in Berkeley, Calif.  Fr. Kalamaja said he was thinking about what he wanted to do and when he went to a prison it hit him: “There was this huge mess hall and there were all these inmates sitting there in blue denim. I knew then that this was the reason I was brought there. I could minister to these men because there was nothing between me and these inmates. I had free access and felt they needed me.”

It began as a six-week stint as a chaplain to the prison and became his calling.

Today Kalamaja is a chaplain at the New Orleans Parish Prison, where he said, “There has never been any trouble or violence in the prison for me. These are just poor, poor people and our culture has ripped them off.”

There are only two things that can keep these young men out of prison: “their family and the church,” Kalamaja said.

Read more about Kalamaja and his prison ministry at the Wisconsin Province website.