Jesuit Dispatch (Syria):
On June 16, the Provincial of the Middle-East Province reported of deteriorating conditions in Homs, where the Jesuits have a parish in one of the neighborhoods under attack. “The situation is very delicate, and each attempt to enter the old part of the city means suicide. Bombing has gone on uninterrupted since Thursday and gives no respite, and the widespread presence of numerous snipers makes entering the old part of Homs impossible… The problem is catering for the daily needs, since we cannot send them any goods from here, as the roads are completely blocked.” Click here for full report shared via Digital News Service SJ (June 21 issue).
Creighton University is the first Catholic, Jesuit University to achieve Fair Trade status.
The designation is given by Fair Trade Colleges & Universities USA and you can click here for press release.
Shortest Summer Ever:
Michael Rossman left for Nairobi one day after province days and immediately began faculty meetings at Loyola High School in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Classes are now underway and you can follow Michael’s reflection on his blog.
JRS: New Statement on Gender Violence / Letter to G20 summit on care of refugees:
Jesuit Refugee Service officially signed on as a member in the civil society coalition of the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict. In 2011, the 10 JRS regional directors selected gender-based violence as an advocacy priority /// To mark the occasion of World Refugee Day 2012 held on June 20, JRS International issued a letter to leaders attending the G20 Summit to put hospitality at the heart of globalization and not lose sight of the needs of more than 45 million forcibly-displaced migrants worldwide. Click here for both JRS stories and other news.
Jesuits at the Rio+20 Summit:
During the week of June 18, members of the Ignatian Advocacy Network ecology workgroup met together in Rio de Janeiro to take part in two parallel conferences on sustainable economy and the climate. The official United Nations “Rio+20 Earth Summit” brought together governmental, non-governmental and business leaders and the simultaneous “Summit of the Peoples” Conference was designed for grassroots social movements and activists. Attendees write that the official Rio+20 Summit was a foretold failure. “The final document requires no commitments on the part of governments at the international level. Nowadays we know that the problems related to climate change and preservation of the environment can be dealt with effectively, for we possess the resources for doing so. The solutions are expensive, but doing nothing now will involve far greater costs in the future. Not much time is left before we exceed the thresholds which will bring about irreversible changes….More interesting than the official gathering was the parallel “Summit of the Peoples” conference. It had more passion and less cool reserve; it had fewer technical resources, but was more lively and people-oriented; it was less artificial and cosmetic, more humble and real….The greatest hope is found in those conscious, active groups that are multiplying around the world…In the coming decades, the future of the planet and the fate of the poor, those who are most threatened, will be decided mainly by the cultural changes – changes of convictions, attitudes, commitments – brought about by global citizens who already share a common problematic and a common destiny. This is a privileged field for the mission of the Society and the Church.” Read more at the blog Ecojesuit
Jesuits Follow in the Footsteps of Migrants
On June 14, 2012, a group of Jesuits began a five-week journey along the “migration corridor” from Central America to the United States (El Progresso, Honduras to Nogales, Arizona). 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 established to chronicle their journey, they set forth their hope to better understand the complexities and hardships faced by migrants on their journey to the U.S. The blog is called Journey Moments: The Migrant Corridor, and it includes photos, reflections and a mapping of the journey (English and Spanish) Read more…
Other Immigration Developments:
On June 15, President Obama announced a policy change to provide administrative relief for undocumented youth and allow them to legally reside in the USA through work permits. This action would end the threat of deportation for almost 1 million undocumented immigrants below the age of 30. This is certainly an important step in the right direction toward the Church’s eventual call for comprehensive immigration reform to allow earned citizenship for many of the 12 million undocumented currently living in the United States. Click here for USCCB statement of support for the President’s move with a congressional call to action to go one step further and pass the DREAM Act. Click here for an overview by Catholic Legal Immigration Network
On June 25, the Supreme Court rejected most aspects of Arizona’s controversial and legislation known as SB 1070 which became a model for other municipalities and states. This flawed anti-immigrant legislation has been long criticized by the USCCB so the Supreme Court ruling was generally affirmed by the Bishops and immigrant rights groups. However, the Bishops caution that the ruling does not fully lift the requirement that immigrants have to show papers in some circumstances. This “show me your papers” provision may in time prove unconstitutional if it leads to racial profiling and other human rights abuses. Click here for USCCB statement on the Court Ruling and click here for a statement by Jesuit Advocates USA (a service of the Jesuit Conference and JRS)
As always, the go-to website is Justice for Immigrants.
Jesuit Higher Education Immersion Experience Coordinators Converge for Summit:
Twenty-five immersion experience coordinators from nineteen universities across the country converged for the Ignatian Immersion Experience Coordinator Summit sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network. The Summit was the first of its kind for the Jesuit university staff. John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, hosted the gathering which took place from June 19-21, 2012. Click here for full story and photos