Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

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]

Jesuits Help Build New Homes in Chile

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The latest images from Chile, where a 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck on Feb. 27, include scenes of neighbors helping neighbors in building simple homes, known as mediaguas, to shelter up to 30,000 families who lost their homes. David Bruna, SJ, a Jesuit scholastic, has sent photos of construction spearheaded by Un Techo Para Chile (A Roof For Chile). He and another scholastic Javier Celedon, SJ, are among the many students and volunteers wielding hammers across the earthquake scarred landscapes of Chile. To see more photos, click here.

The Maryland Province Jesuits, who have a longstanding relationship with the Chilean Jesuits, have established a Chile Relief Fund to collect donations on behalf of the victims of the devastating earthquake which struck Chile on February 27. In addition, they have created a blog, jesuitchileaid.blogspot.com, to provide updates and photos of relief efforts to help victims of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake.

Maryland Province Jesuits Blogging for Chile Earthquake Relief

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The Maryland Province Jesuits, who have a longstanding relationship with the Chilean Jesuits, have established a Chile Relief Fund to collect donations on behalf of the victims of the devastating earthquake which struck Chile on February 27. In addition, they have created a blog, jesuitchileaid.blogspot.com, to provide updates and photos of relief efforts to help victims of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake.

Their blog includes a recent update from Jesuit Father Eugenio Valenzuela, Jesuit provincial of Chile:

Listening everyday to the news about how the earthquake and the tsunami have affected and damaged our country, we are more aware that we have to face a hard and long reconstruction in our country.

We are launching campaigns in order to collect food, water, diapers, mattresses, blankets, tents, etc. Some are also aimed at recruiting volunteers. All these donations are going to be sent to the most affected areas of our country.

All the members of the Jesuit communities in Santiago are supporting in many ways the different initiatives by: volunteering, repairing houses, hosting victims of the earthquake, etc.

Since the catastrophe happened we got all hands on deck and have launched a national campaign “!CHILE SE LA PUEDE!” which means “Chile you can do it.” Through this campaign we encourage people to make their donations (money, non-perishable food, blankets, coal, diapers, etc.). It is a successful campaign so far and we have had a great response from the Chilean population as well as from many volunteers who are joining us from different parts of our country. This shows the strong commitment and solidarity that many people have with other Chileans who are suffering.

Jesuit Brother Jim Boynton’s Reflections from Haiti

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Jesuit Brother Jim Boynton has been on the ground in Haiti from the moment the earthquake hit in January. Br. Boynton teamed up with an group of former Marines who had honed their medical and emergency skills while deployed to Iraq and Afganistan and helped them as they provided assistance to the critical injured and wounded in Port-Au-Prince. During this time, Br. Boynton provided his own insights and reflections via the emergency team’s blog. The Chicago and Detroit Provinces have collected all of Br. Boyton’s blog posts and compiled them into one location on their website, which also includes information on how to help with the Haitian relief and rebuilding efforts.

Here is a recent blog post from Br. Boynton:

There are now over 40 camps of refugees in Port-au-Prince with population estimates ranging from 240,000 to 600,000. Each of these camps is filled with children who have been away from school for about a month, and who wander aimlessly with little to keep them occupied. Last week some of us were talking about the possibility of setting up refugee schools for these kids, and two days later the Jesuit Province was behind the idea. Foi et Joie (Faith and Joy), the school system I work for, will be setting up camp schools in three of the largest areas of displaced people in the city. Our estimates are that we will be educating around 7,000 students, something that even raised the eyebrows of our friends over at UNICEF.

As you can imagine, the planning going into this is enormous, and includes recruiting teachers; requesting funding; meeting with other NGO’s; securing tents, classroom materials, and everything else that any school would have. At times it seems overwhelming, but I do have confidence in our team and the products of the Fe y Alegria educational system around the world. One walk through the camps lets me see firsthand the tremendous need in the educational area, and rekindles the hope that some of these emergency schools might grow into something permanent.