Social Justice

Schindler's Factory in Krakow Schindler's list installation from wikimedia commons
‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’Tertullian, writing in the 2nd Century, says that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the Church. And, since he was there at the time, I guess we have to take his word for it.One thing that only occurred to me recently: martyrs are only canonized with hindsight, and usually a few hundred years after the event. In any culture, at any time, there are only a very few people with the integrity and foresight to...
American circus showman, P.T. Barnum. Wikipedia Commons
From Antony Egan SJ at the Jesuit Institute South AfricaThe famous American circus showman P T Barnum allegedly said "There's a sucker born every minute!" People are gullible, believing anything so long as you package it correctly, say it loud and often enough, and come across as being authoritative. It's the essence of political, economic and religious fundamentalism, the oxygen of populism, and the root of the violence and xenophobia that plagues our era.Consider xenophobia in its various...
South Africa's Finance Minster, Pravin Gordhan. Flickr
By Russell Pollitt SJ, Director of the Jesuit Institute South AfricaFinance Minister Pravin Gordhan made a strong call to conversion in his 2017 Budget Speech. Quoting Pope Francis he said, “Reforming the social structures which perpetuate poverty and the exclusion of the poor first requires a conversion of mind and heart”. He went on to say, “We need to radically transform our economy so that we have a more diversified economy, with more jobs and inclusivity in ownership and participation”....
Refugees Welcome, printed on concrete
Welcome the needyCan our world ever have been more divided than now? In the lifetimes of many of us, we have not known such pain and division. An ugly licence to hate and to exclude is in the air; attitudes and behaviours that are usually, by common consent, unacceptable have been unleashed. It has shockingly become quite alright to despise the other, to embrace selfishness and to act with indifference towards those who come, in need, to us and to our countries. Narrow nationalist populism,...
Join the Pope in prayer every day throughout 2017
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network has been growing and developing in many innovative ways over the past year. The ministry itself continues the work, of many decades, of the Apostleship of Prayer; but there’s a new name, a new energy and new methods of presenting the message. This does not mean that the previous work has been replaced, but developed, not least in the light of so much change and innovation in the world around us.The Second Vatican Council (1962-65)...
Margaret Hassan (Fitzsimons)
Around about this time twelve years ago, you may just remember, the whole country was talking about Margaret Hassan, a middle aged woman from Dublin who worked most of her life as an aid worker in Iraq and, that winter, was tortured and killed on television. Her horrific death brought her fifteen minutes of fame and subsequent oblivion. I want to briefly to remind you of the story of her life, because I believe it is the best expression I know in action of the words of this Gospel.She was born...
James Conway SJ
Only as a Jesuit, could I dared have hoped to have been given so many incredible opportunities to see and experience life in all of its diversity.I write this piece on the tenth anniversary of my ordination. Such milestones punctuate our lives. They help us to pause and look back over the paths we've trodden. I entered the Jesuit novitiate when I was 31 years old and so brought with me a fair amount of lived experience. The thread, or one of them, which connects my life 'before' and...
One human family and refugees welcome banners
As the days really shorten and darken in the nations of Britain and of the northern hemisphere, the monthly Universal Intention of the Holy Father, commended to the church though his Prayer Network, keeps us mindful of the awful suffering of refugees, many of whom have come to these nations to escape persecution and violence. We are invited, through prayer and reflection, to grow in compassion for all displaced people, most of whom experience great need and pain. We have a powerful reminder of...
In this month of September, we get ready to say goodbye to summer for another year. Some of us have to get used to going back to work after a summer break or,to get ready to go back to school or to begin a new course of studies, perhaps in a new place. We need to keep in mind that summer holidays and the possibility of studying are among the opportunities unavailable to many people for whom life is a struggle that has to continue no matter what month or season it is.A disadvantaged family might...
Nine male prisoners mainly in their 20s and 30s, took part in a Week of Guided Prayer in Brixton Prison. One man was in segregation but was able to have a fruitful retreat thanks to daily visits from the chaplain for spiritual direction. The participants were dedicated and attended each day.God was definitely at work before and during the retreat and will continue to be now it has finished. We had initially planned for four Jesuit priests to help as spiritual guides but three of them had to...

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