Jesuit Social Services

International engagement

 

Jesuit Social Services as part of the broader Jesuit community

Reflecting its Jesuit and Catholic foundations, Jesuit Social Services undertakes a number of activities in co-operation with others in the Catholic community. These include:

International Jesuit Prison Network

Many Jesuit organisations and individuals around the world are working in prisons, or with former prisoners as they transition back into the community. Until recently, however, it wasn't easy to connect with each other or even to have an overview of who was involved in this work.

The International Jesuit Prison Network, led by Jesuit Social Services, was established in 2013 with the aim of connecting Jesuit prison ministries throughout the world, in order to support each other in our work of accompanying prisoners and creating communities of solidarity. In particular, the network provides a platform for sharing experiences and information about local situations, sharing ideas about models of practice and interventions, and identifying current issues and common concerns where we could work together to address injustice (eg the death penalty, overcrowding, and protection of young people in prison).

Prisoners and ex-prisoners are among the most vulnerable and marginalised people in every country, and we believe there is benefit in sharing experiences and ideas and mounting advocacy campaigns in partnership across the Jesuit network. The International Jesuit Prison Network, in keeping with Catholic Social Teaching and the Ignatian heritage of its members, strives for a just, humane and effective justice system in all countries that reflects the dignity of all people.

Learn more about the International Jesuit Prison Network here.

View the lJPN newsletters here:
First edition - March 2014
Second edition - May 2014
Third edition - July 2014
Fourth edition - September 2014
Fifth edition - November 2014
Sixth edition - February 2015
Seventh edition - April 2015
Eigth edition - September 2015

Leadership of the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network on the Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources (GNMR Network)

The most recent General Congregations of the Society of Jesus have stressed the centrality of justice as a key expression of faith. At the General Congregation held at the beginning of 2008 (GC35), an important addition to 'faith doing justice' was the focus on 'reconciliation with creation.' This has been referred to as being a triptych of relationships i.e. in right relationship with God (faith), with each other (justice), and with our environment (reconciliation with creation). Also at GC35, the reality that the Society of Jesus is 'one body with a universal mission' was stressed.

Later in 2008, five global Ignatian advocacy priorities were identified: Peace and Human Rights, Education for all, Migration, Ecology, and Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources (GNMR). All Conferences and Provinces were asked to commit to these priorities. Networks were established to advocate in this five fields.

Jesuit Social Services Chief Executive Officer Julie Edwards has been involved in these networks from the outset, and in particular was an early participant in the GNMR Network. In 2013 she took up the role of leader of this Network, and is chairing a core group with representatives from Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia Pacific, South Asia and Africa who have undertaken to promote GNMR issues in their region. This core group will disseminate information regarding GNMR issues, and contribute to advocacy and capacity building activities globally.

View the GNMR updates here:
First edition
Second edition
Third edition

An overview of steps being taken by the Vatican to protect our planet is given in this article published in Renew Economy.


Advocacy for People Seeking Asylum

Immigration has had a profound influence on Australian society with 27% of the population being born overseas. Australia has a proud record of bring a tolerant and welcoming country, particularly for people fleeing persecution. However, over the past two decades this reputation has been diminished by an increasingly inhumane approach to people who arrive in Australia by boat seeking asylum. Current policies fail to deal with the more complex issues of international flows of refugees, and represent a failure in moral leadership from our politicians.

In 2013, we developed a statement around asylum seeker policy and had over 70 Catholic organisations endorse it. This, and an associated petition, can be seen at http://asylumseekercampaign.com.au. We are now working with other Catholic organisations to lobby for change to the current political stance.