News

Jesuits Around the World Newsletter


February 19, 2013
Vol. XVII, No. 4

The last two years have seen the development within the Society of what we call the Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks (GIAN). The five existing networks are centred on Ecology, Right to Education, Management of Natural Resources and Minerals, Migration, and Peace and Human Rights. Promotio Iustitiae no.110 is completely dedicated to the Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks. Along with other articles, it includes the position documents of these networks, a summary of what they are currently doing, and their plans for the future. Please find here the link to the publication: http://www.sjweb.info/documents/sjs/pjnew/PJ110ENG.pdf

  

USA: International Ecology Project

The International Ecology Project (IJEP) is a three-year collaborative project between Loyola University Chicago faculty and scholars from Jesuit institutions around the world to create an online Living Textbook that addresses select environmental science challenges from an integrated scientific, moral, and spiritual perspective. This Living Textbook will be a curricular resource in environmental science for teachers and students in Jesuit institutions of higher education and secondary schools worldwide. The IJEP emerged as a response of the Higher Education Secretariat to the challenge of Father General Adolfo Nicolás to the Society of Jesus to redouble its commitment to environmental stewardship in gratitude to God for the gift of the natural world, contained in his 16 September 2011 letter to Jesuits around the world and where he referred to the document Healing a Broken World (HBW). In light of today's serious environmental challenges, HBW's 'recommendation four' asked Jesuit institutions of higher education to "engage students in transformative education." The recommendation's third section specifically called for development of "curricula that address sustainability issues and impart a certain level of environmental literacy." For more information: www.luc.edu/ijep

 

USA: Saving the Earth as a New Frontier

Jesuit Father John Surette, of the New England Province, has a dream for the Society of Jesus. Responding to Father General Adolfo Nicolás's call for Jesuits to explore the "frontiers, those geographical and spiritual places where others do not reach or find difficult to reach," Fr. Surette looks to a frontier very close to home: planet Earth. "Forests are shrinking, water tables are falling, soils are eroding, fisheries are collapsing, rivers are running dry, glaciers and ice caps are melting, coral reefs are bleaching, the ocean is becoming more acidic, the atmosphere is warming, plant and animal species are going into extinction at a greater rate and the children of all species are increasingly being born sick. In all of this and much more we are reaching the limits of what life on Earth can tolerate," Fr. Surette writes. A member of the Society of Jesus for 55 years, Fr. Surette has spent the last 22 years giving retreats and workshops on eco-spirituality. He sees the state of the Earth as one of the most important issues today: "What is happening to Earth belongs to an order of magnitude beyond any other into which we Jesuits have poured out our apostolic energies in the past. It is of greater magnitude than any of the present day social justice issues." Fr. Surette believes that Jesuits are called to make a religious response to Earth's fate. "This appears to be the most challenging role that we Jesuits have ever been asked to assume," he writes. "It will require that we move beyond any denial and paralysis and that we move into the future with hope, courage and intention" Surette concludes.

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