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2019 is the centenary year of the International Labour Organization. At the International Labour Conference that is taking place this week, delegates from around the world are celebrating that anniversary and seeking solutions to the challenges of the future of the world of work. What are those challenges and how is the ILO uniquely placed to address them? In an article that first appeared in the social justice journal of the Italian Jesuits, Giacomo Costa SJ and Paolo Foglizzo answer those...
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The prospect of true peace is as bewildering and demanding as it is wonderful, says Theodora Hawksley CJ. The same can be said of resurrection, and so the Easter story can speak daringly to us as we seek to understand what peacebuilding really looks like in a divided Britain. ‘Jesus’s greeting, “Peace be with you”, does not mean, “Let bygones be bygones”- so what does it mean? The results of the European elections told us something that we already knew: this country is deeply divided. Pro-...
Peter Canisius by Moriz Bermann
The Society of Jesus has recently announced four Universal Apostolic Preferences, which are intended to guide Jesuit works in their mission of reconciliation and justice over the next ten years. The preferences, says Thomas Flowers SJ, ‘are a call to a renewed personal, communal and apostolic discernment of how to serve the Church and the world today’. What can the modern Society learn from the example of a sixteenth century Jesuit who had to listen carefully to the way in which God was calling...
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At the beginning of Lent, Pope Francis asked us in his Ash Wednesday homily to think about where we are heading on the journey of life. Formed by our Lenten discipline and with Easter eyes, we now hope to be able to see more clearly the contours of that journey, for ourselves and others, says Joseph Simmons SJ. ‘No matter where we are in life, we are always somewhere on the Easter path.’ My childhood had many grand traditions. One of them was that every year on our birthdays, Grandma...
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The late American football player and coach, Vince Lombardi, was an inspirational figure, so much so that the most sought-after prize in his sport, the Super Bowl, is now named in his honour. Before his sporting career took off he was a candidate for the priesthood, and studied at Fordham University in New York where he was powerfully influenced by its Jesuit ethos. He is credited with several stirring sayings about the importance of character and integrity, which many people attribute to the...
Stephen Noon SJ
Earlier this year, Fr General Arturo Sosa SJ announced four new Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus for the next ten years: Promoting Discernment and the Spiritual Exercises; Walking with the Excluded; Caring for Our Common Home; and Journeying with Youth. Jesuit scholastic Stephen Noon is confident that the Spirit has been at work in the discernment of these priorities for the Jesuits. It was not quite at the same level as my childhood eagerness for the coming of Santa...
From ‘Saint Paul Writing His Epistles’ by Valentin de Boulogne, via Wikimedia Commons
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the usage of the lectionary that determines the readings we hear each time we go to Mass, and Lent is a particularly good time for us to pay special attention to it, says Peter Edmonds SJ. How do St Paul’s words in the second readings that we will hear on the Sundays of Lent help us to appreciate the gospel texts that follow? It is easy to overlook anniversaries. One that we may not have noticed is that fifty years have passed since the approval...
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Do we have an ethical framework that allows us to ask appropriate questions about the way in which the financial sector operates? Patrick Riordan SJ draws on a Vatican document and a book published in 2018 to explain why we need to ask particular questions about how the markets contribute to society – ultimately, do they make or take value? Experience and evidence over the last decades has demonstrated, on the one hand, how naive is the belief in a presumed self-sufficiency of the markets...
From 'The Painted Life of Mary Ward', #28
Born on 23 January 1585, Mary Ward founded the congregations for women based on the Jesuit model that we now know as the Congregation of Jesus and the Loreto Sisters. She faced frequent and powerful disapproval as she pursued the path along which God was leading her. Theodora Hawksley CJ celebrates Mary Ward’s remarkable capacity to resist opposition and to hold on to the truth that she had discerned, and highlights five ways in which we can follow her example. One of the things I love...
From Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan
Theresa May has warned of ‘paralysis in Parliament’ in the event of her Brexit deal being rejected by the House of Commons on Tuesday 15 January, and called on the MPs who will be voting to support the deal ‘for the country’s sake’. But what does it mean for parliament to do what is for the good of the whole country? Patrick Riordan SJ draws on the philosophies of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Hobbes to help us think about how the Will of the People can be discovered and acted upon in any...

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