Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Jesuits Follow in the Footsteps of Migrants

For many of us, summer is a time to journey.  A time to travel, hit the road and explore. Whatever the locale, these summer excursions often have one common denominator:  a restful, relaxing, restorative destination.

Sometimes, the journey is anything but. On June 14, 2012, a group of Jesuits began a five-week journey along the “migration corridor” from Central America to the United States. Along the way, they have been visiting shelters, human rights organizations and parishes that assist migrants as they move through the migration corridor.

On a blog site they’ve established to chronicle their journey, http://themigrantjourney.wordpress.com/, the Jesuits say they hope to attain “a better understanding of the reality of migration and the difficulties encountered by migrants on their journey to the U.S.”  The blog, called Journey Moments: The Migrant Corridor, includes photos and a map of the journey and is presented in English and Spanish.

In Honduras, the Jesuits met up with a group of deportees recently returned to their country.

“With little governmental support, the human mobility ministry of the Catholic Church, along with other initiatives, has established an attention center to receive these migrants. Here, the migrants are given some food, medical attention (if needed), and a personal care kit. As we ourselves saw, this return contrasted wildly with the festive ambiance of more familiar airport reunions. Thursday, in the back of San Pedro Sula´s airport, there were no hugs, no smiles, no balloons, no joy. Instead, the travel-weary migrants exuded only sadness, disappointment, and apprehension.”

Several days later in Honduras, the group visited a community in the countryside, about 30 minutes outside of El Progreso, where they spent time visiting with families whose lives have been tragically affected by migration.

“Victoria told us her story through grief and tears. Her husband is counted among the ‘desaparecidos’, those migrants who are never heard from again after beginning the long, dangerous journey to the States. Victoria recounted how her husband left their home in order to provide a better life for their daughters. She has not heard from him in eight years and clings desperately to the hope that she will find out what happened to him.”

At another stop in Honduras, the Jesuits visited those who have suffered devastating injuries attempting to migrate to the United States.

“Many hoping to migrate to the United States ride on top of cargo trains.  The train reaches high speeds, with occasional sudden stops, easily causing people to fall. Sometimes, these falls are fatal. Other times, they injure people so badly that it takes years to recover. Meanwhile, their dreams of providing a better life for their families disappear. This is the case of Jose Luis Hernandez.  On the train up North, he suffered a terrible accident, losing one leg, one arm, and four of the fingers from his remaining arm. It has taken him years to recover, not only from the physical wounds, but also from the emotional wounds: the stigma of now being disabled, the shame of returning home with nothing, the sense of being a burden for his family.”

We invite and encourage you to follow this blog during the coming weeks as the Jesuits travel through El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico before entering the United States and stopping in El Paso, Texas and Nogales, Ariz.

In addition, thanks to the magic of Skype, internet cafes and file-sharing, The Jesuit Post, www.thejesuitpost.org  will also be following the journey.   Founded in February of this year, The Jesuit Post was launched by a group of young Jesuits who hope to draw the connection between contemporary culture and spirituality using a language and tone to which young adults can relate.

Read All About It! The Jesuit Post Launches

Last week, a group of young Jesuits launched a new website called The Jesuit Post.  Content will range range widely, with hopes of covering  “Jesus, politics, and pop-culture…the Catholic Church, sports, and Socrates.”

The first set of articles include pieces on Dr. Who, the New Translation of the Romal Missal, Tim Tebow, yoga, Paula Deen, and health care reform.

“It’s about making the case for God (better: letting God make the case for Himself) in our secular age,” says editor-in-chief (and Jesuit) Patrick Gilger.

To check out the Jesuit Post, they can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Jesuit Scholastic Reflects on Magis 2011 for the Huffington Post

Jesuit scholastic Michael RossmannJesuit scholastic Michael Rossmann, who is documenting his World Youth Day travels on video, has also written about his experiences on the Huffington Post.

“We have finally arrived,” he wrote on Aug. 16. “After three years of anticipation since the last World Youth Day, hundreds of thousands of Catholic young people have descended upon Madrid for the festivities surrounding World Youth Day, which officially starts this evening with an opening Mass in the heart of downtown Madrid.”

Before arriving in Madrid, Rossmann participated in the Jesuit-sponsored program Magis, where nearly 3,000 young people from Jesuit universities and parishes from around the world were sent out in groups to participate in service projects or walking pilgrimages.

Rossmann spent a week with 26 other pilgrims living and working with African immigrants who labor in agriculture on the southern coast of Spain.

“This is the first trip to Europe for many of the students I am accompanying and is certainly the most intimate encounter with people from other countries,” he wrote. “While speaking different languages at times hindered communication, boundaries quickly broke down in sharing the common difficulty of trying to fall asleep while sharing a gym floor with snorers who were heard by all people, no matter the native tongue.”

Rossmann continued, “On a deeper level, many expressed the significance of what it meant to be a part of something much larger than themselves, as was evident in sharing the same faith and holding the same convictions, whether praying to God, Dios, or Dieu.”

Read more of Rossmann’s reflections at the Huffington Post. Below, you can view Rossman’s video with pilgrims he chaperoned to the southern coastal town of Roquetas de Mar in Spain to work working the elderly. Follow along with the Magis and World You Day pilgrims and their Jesuit chaperones on our microsite at www.jesuit.org/wyd.

Jesuit Father General Nicolás Celebrates Mass at Magis 2011 and Meets with Pilgrims

Magis 2011 officially started on Friday, August 5 with an opening ceremony on the grounds of the Sanctuary of Loyola in Azkoitia, Spain. More than 3,000 young people from 50 different countries gathered together on the grounds of the Sanctuary of Loyola where they were welcomed in their own official language and treated to a performance with dance, music, light and special effects.

Yesterday, around 3,500 people attended Mass celebrated by Jesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás in the plaza of the Sanctuary of Loyola. The pilgrims celebrated this special Eucharist before being sent forth to their experiences, which will start today in more than 100 locations across Spain and Portugal.

During his homily, Fr. General evoked the founder of the Society of Jesus in this significant place: “God is in the gentle breeze, in its peace and its refreshing calm. And Saint Ignatius tries to make us sensitive to that breeze, to the soft voice of God.” He also wanted to send a message to all the young pilgrims before they left on their experiences tomorrow, “If we are only worried about our welfare or success, we will sink helplessly. If we are worried about service and the suffering of others, where Christ lives… we will walk on the sea.”  After Mass, Fr. General, accompanied by all the concelebrants, prayed in the Chapel of Conversion of St Ignatius.

You can read more about Father General’s visit with the Magis 2011 pilgrims and their send off here.

Jesuit Reminds Vatican Blogger Meeting of Responsibility Associated with Influencing Culture

lombardiThe Catholic Church needs active members who blog, but Catholic bloggers also need the church, especially to remind them of the virtue of charity needed in their writing, said participants at a Vatican meeting.

The meeting was sponsored by the pontifical councils for culture and for social communications. The councils accepted requests to attend, then drew the names of the 150 participants once the requests were divided according to geography, language and whether the blog was personal or institutional.

The Vatican meeting was not designed as a how-to seminar, and it was not aimed at developing a code of conduct, but rather to acknowledge the role of blogs in modern communications and to start a dialogue between the bloggers and the Vatican.

Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of Pontifical Council for Social Communications, welcomed the bloggers to the Vatican and told them the Vatican wanted to begin “a dialogue between faith and the emerging culture” that is the blogosphere.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told the bloggers that while Pope Benedict XVI “is a person who does not Tweet or have a personal blog, he is very attentive and knows well what is happening in the world” and supports Catholic media efforts, as seen by his Good Friday television interview and by his book-length interview with the German writer Peter Seewald.

“Bloggers are important” for forming and informing church members, Father Lombardi said, but anyone who influences what Catholics think must recognize the responsibility that brings with it.

Father Lombardi said he had to thank bloggers for the times they acted to explain and spread church teaching and the thought of Pope Benedict.

But he also said that the whole question of bloggers’ self-centeredness and “ego” is “one of the problems which is worth reflecting on,” because while it is a danger for all communicators, a communicator who calls him- or herself Catholic must focus first on serving others.

[Catholic News Service]