JRS

Fr Tom Smolich SJ
We should “move beyond fear”, following the Paris terrorist attacks, according to Father Tom Smolich SJ, the International Director of Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS), and should recognise that refugees are also fleeing atrocities.Speaking on Vatican Radio, Fr Smolich acknowledged that there is the risk of a backlash against refugees – especially after more than a dozen states in the US said that Syrian refugees are no longer welcome due to security fears and the call from some European countries...
Credit Jeremy Pollack
Advent Vigil at St Margaret's Westminster, arranged by the Churches' Refugee Network - a network of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.ALL WELCOME  -   for all or part of the time.Speakers, silence, meditation, discussion, and engagement.
JRS audience with Pope Francis  Credit Osservatore Romano
Pope Francis addressed the Jesuit Refugee Service on Saturday, at an audience to mark JRS’ 35th anniversary. He told staff and friends of the agency that “the decision to be present in areas of greatest need, in conflict and post-conflict zones, has brought you international recognition for your closeness to people and your ability to learn from this how better to serve.”The Jesuit Refugee Service was founded in 1980 by the then Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ. “He...
A refugee child at school in the Central African Republic (Laura Sheahen)
On Saturday, 14 November at 12pm, 15 refugees, as well as staff and friends of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), will attend a private audience with Pope Francis. The Pope will speak about the importance of education for refugee children and youth as a means to build peace and foster the development of more resilient and cohesive societies. The event will commemorate the 35th anniversary of JRS, founded by the former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Pedro Arrupe SJ. Pope Francis...
Fr Jacques Mourad (Ziad Hilal SJ/ACN)
Fr Jacques Mourad, the Syriac Catholic priest who escaped earlier this month after being held captive in Syria by Daesh (ISIS), has said that prayer helped him remain calm and at peace during his five months of captivity. In addition to praying to the Virgin Mary, Fr Mourad said he also prayed to the founder of the Jesuits, St Ignatius Loyola, and Blessed Charles de Foucauld, whose martyrdom in 1916 led to the founding of the Little Brothers of Jesus. And he said he felt supported by the...
Jonathan Moore
Jonathan Moore, whose play Iñigo on the life of St Ignatius had great success in London earlier this year,  is volunteering his time to direct Acting and Drama workshops with refugees for the Jesuit Refugee Service at the Hurtado Centre in Wapping.The workshops take place weekly and are attended by a diverse group of asylum seekers from countries including DRC, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Russia and Belarus.Moore commented  “the participants enjoy the relaxed, fun atmosphere in...
Fr Dermot Preston SJ
The head of the Jesuit Order in Britain, Fr Dermot Preston SJ, has today written to the Prime Minister to urge a change in policy towards refugees in the light of the current crisis in Europe and the Middle East.Fr Preston urges the Prime Minister to have the courage and ambition to use his leadership to set a tone of welcome and hospitality to those seeking our help at this desperate time.  He believes the Prime Minister has a unique opportunity to lead Britain in a way that can awaken...
Refugees in temporary shelter in Nickelsdorf Austria
Fr. John Dardis SJ, President of the Conference of European Jesuit Provincials, has written an open letter to all Major Superiors of Europe, including British Provincial Dermot Preston SJ about the current Refugee crisis and its call for our response.Fr Dardis reminds his colleagues of the great example set by the Geneva Convention’s measures for refugee protection in the aftermath of the Second World War and calls for its values of solidarity and hospitality to be put into action.  He...
A Mosaic of the world
I have lived in London for 18 years and to celebrate I decided to walk around it, yes, the city that is! I came to London by choice, as an 'economic migrant' perhaps, but to pursue my career and make my home here. It is a city that I have come to know and love well through friends, politics, culture and community groups. Many of the people I work with now did not choose London, but came fleeing for their safety in search of asylum as refugees. Life in London is a struggle for survival and many...
Welcoming those that come to the JRS Day Centre
Fr Michael Smith SJ reflects on his experience so far working as a volunteer at Jesuit Refugee Service UK's Thursday Day Centre.     I'd been a Jesuit for around 17 years when Father Pedro Arrupe started the Jesuit Refugee service in 1980. Father Arrupe was one of the best known and most admired of recent Jesuit generals – the people who run the Jesuits world-wide. I knew that it operated in many places in the world, trying to do in each place what refugees in that area...

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