Summer 'Jesuits & Friends' is out now
The Summer 2015 edition of Jesuits and Friends takes us from the devastation faced by remote communities in Nepal to the serenity of the North Wales countryside; and from the celebrations surrounding the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero to the streets of South Africa, where post-apartheid democracy is still to be realised.
From Kathmandu, Fr Jomon Jose SJ describes the events of 25 April when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. The Jesuits in the country immediately launched a relief effort, focussing principally on remote communities, including villages of Dalits and marginalised people. Their work is on-going and it will take many years for the people of Nepal to rebuild their shattered country, but Fr Jomon ends his article on an optimistic note, saying: "Everywhere one could see people helping each other out ... The people are not defeated."
Destruction of lives and the environment
The Jesuits' work in Nepal is being supported by Jesuit Missions, as are the Jesuits in Guyana, where education and the environment form the foundation of their work. The Amerindian people in this South American country have an identity and traditions that go back thousands of years; yet they are being eroded by commercial interests (especially logging and mining), which offer them a way of life that is unsustainable in the long term. That is one of the main reasons why the Jesuits are working with the Amerindians to ensure the survival of local knowledge and wisdom, particularly through the preservation of their language. "The mining and logging companies who are arriving with false promises of material benefits are systematically destroying the lives of the people and the environment that provides for their needs," writes Ged Clapson, in conversation with the Regional Superior of Guyana, Fr Paul Martin SJ. "The destruction of the rainforest and the indigenous people for whom it is home has a wider consequence as well, with extensive impact on the global climate."
Cultural integration in Manchester
Elsewhere in Jesuits and Friends, novice Steven Edmunds reflects on his experience in the L'Arche community in Preston; Julian Filochowski considers how the Jesuits influenced Archbishop Oscar Romero who was beatified earlier this year; and British-born Iraqi Hussein Al-Alak writes about the various groups of people from the Middle East who have settled close to Holy Name Church in Manchester, which has become a focus for religious and cultural integration.
Also in issue 91 of Jesuits and Friends, Fr Simon Bishop SJ considers the future of the Jesuits' spirituality apostolate in Britain and Henry Longbottom SJ asks what the Catholic Church is doing to promote protection of the environment, following the publication of Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato Si'.