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Experts Call for Africa’s Change of Tact in Realizing “Fratelli Tutti” Proposals

By Agnes Ineah | for ACI Africa

In Africa, efforts to attain economic freedom are not working since they have only widened the gap between a few rich individuals and the majority poor, religious experts who met to discuss Pope Francis’ new Encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, have said.

The leaders, including economic, political, and security experts from African countries and the Vatican, reiterated Pope Francis’ call for “a new economic model” that is all-inclusive in his new Encyclical.

Jesuits globally call for the immediate release from prison of Indian Jesuit Priest, Father Stan Swamy SJ

By Jesuit Conference of South Asia, New Delhi | 9 October 2020

The Society of Jesus throughout the world is calling on solidarity in the release of a Jesuit veteran unjustly detained for his activism in favor of human rights in Ranchi, India. Renowned Jesuit priest Stan Swamy was taken into custody by India's National Investigation Agency (NIA). Fr. Stan has worked tremendously to uplift marginalised, and vulnerable people, especially for the tribals in Jharkhand for several decades.  The Society of Jesus worldwide condemns the arrest of Fr. Stan Swamy, demand his immediate release, and we are calling on the Indian Government to refrain from arbitrarily detaining innocent law-abiding citizens.

'Fratelli Tutti' is Ubuntu by any other name

by Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator for National Catholic Reporter

"Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu." This saying exists in variant forms in Southern Africa's bantu languages and translates as, "A person is a person through other persons" or, "I am because we are."

Strikingly, Pope Francis' encyclical Fratelli Tutti contains an equivalent: "Each of us is fully a person when we are part of a people; at the same time, there are no peoples without respect for the individuality of each person" (Paragraph 182). In other words, we are "brothers and sisters all" (8).

Re-connecting: JCAM Child Protection Officers’ webinar

On September 24th and 25th, Child Protection Officers (CPOs) in the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar from the various Provinces and Regions converged online to attend a webinar organised by the JCAM Safeguarding Office. Despite the diverse geographical locations, languages, and the challenges presented by varied internet bandwidth, 20 participants set aside their time to take part in this webinar.  

New Regional Superior for Rwanda Burundi Region (RWB)

Father General appointed Fr. Fabien Gasigwa (48 years old) as the new Regional Superior of the Rwanda-Burundi Region. Fr. Fabien Gasigwa is the current Socius to the Regional Superior. He joined the Society in 1993 and was ordained in 2006. Before becoming assistant to the Regional Superior, he worked as treasurer and as superior of the Christus Community from 2012 to 2015.

Knowledge, attitudes, and practices research on covid-19 in Kenya and Madagascar – African Jesuits AIDS Network

By Caleb Mwamisi, AJAN Communications Officer

The African Jesuit AIDS Network is carrying out a survey on COVID-19. Its objectives include determining awareness levels, understanding perceptions, and practices regarding COVID-19. Dr. Robert Oswago, a social researcher from Pwani University in Kenya is the lead consultant in a process that involves four other co-investigators.

“Breathing Together” Ignatian Prayer Vigil, a step towards ecological conversion

In a letter addressed to the Social Centres, Jesuits, and partners in mission, Fr. Xavier Jeyaraj SJ the Secretary for Social Justice and Ecology (SJES) invited all to join the global Ignatian family in a prayer vigil dubbed “Breathing Together” for the Season of Creation. The prayer vigil which is similar to the Pentecost vigil of May 30 has been organised by a number of Jesuit institutions and networks from different parts of the world and will focus on three lungs of the earth: the Amazon, the Congo Basin, and the Asian forests.

Jesuit Institute of Theology (ITCJ) in Abidjan opens the 2020/2021 Academic Year

by Jude Forbi SJ

On September 11, 2020, the Jesuit Theologate, Institut de Théologie de la Compagnie de Jesus (ITCJ) in Abidjan officially opened the Academic Year 2020/2021. The event was attended by the majority of the permanent faculty members and staff, old and new members of the student body, members of different religious congregations, and other invited guests. With the impressive turnout for the opening ceremony, everyone present was conscious enough to respond positively to the invitation to wear their masks and to maintain a safe physical distancing throughout the ceremony.

Consiglio Allargato: Renewing Our Commitment to Jesuit Vocation and the meaning of Religious Life

News from the Meeting of Father General’s Expanded Council

The virtual Consiglio Allargato (Expanded Council) of Father General held from 7 to 11 September 2020.

The meeting went well. If I recall correctly, it was the first time that an entire Consiglio Allargato  focused on one single theme, namely “The Jesuit Vocation today: Its meaning, its living and its promotion.” We spent the five days in prayer, conversation and deliberation on the various aspects of the Jesuit vocation.

Children have ‘nowhere to turn' as COVID-19 hits protection and social services

by Beatrice Mumbi, JCAM Safeguarding and Child Protection Coordinator

It is time to invest in child protection at home.

When COVID-19 related restrictions began, nobody knew how long they would last or what impact they would have on the daily aspects of life. Least expected were the negative consequences that most children have experienced during this time especially increased exposure to child abuse risks and actual abuse.

International Day of Clean Air for blue skies 7 September

by Rampe Hlobo SJ | Jesuits South Africa 

There is no doubt that the novel coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on many things, not least the world’s economies. However, the COVID-19 period briefly and ironically resulted in desirably cleaner air and clearer skies. As the virus ravaged lives, countries went under severe lockdowns; travel restrictions, together with the industrial downturn, saw air pollution dropping. The air cleared, mother earth and her creatures had a chance to breathe again. The quality of the air we breathe improved dramatically as pollution decreased, thanks to the temporary restrictions.