Paul Martin SJ

Cardinal Hummes (r) with Pablo Mora SJ in Guyana in 2016
Fr Jim Conway SJ is returning to Guyana this week to help run the pre-synod meeting of the eastern region of Amazonia. Pope Francis announced the Synod on the Amazon following his trip in January to Porto Maldonado in Peru, when he expressed grave concern for the indigenous peoples and the ecology of the Amazon region.  The pope appointed a pre-synod council to prepare consultation documents to which interested groups respond, and which are analyzed to inform the synod working...
Workshop on bilingual schooling for Wapichan children
Paul Martin SJ, Regional Superior of Guyana, reports on a ground–breaking new education initiative for Wapichan mother-tongue children, with its roots in Jesuit accompaniment of the Rupununi communities.‘O Kaimen,’ (O Good), an essential Wapichan refrain, echoed across the Rupununi savannah last week as participants gathered at St. Ignatius Mission near Lethem.There is a great wisdom, that our increasingly individualistic and materialistic world largely ignores, in that famous African proverb “...
St Aloysius Church, Glasgow. Alpine Stewart/Creative Commons
The Church of St Aloysius in Glasgow is expected to be packed tomorrow for the funeral of Fr Aloysius Church SJ, a native Glaswegian who spent almost 40 years in Guyana. The Jesuits in Guyana are celebrating a Memorial Mass for him today and the Regional Superior in the country, Fr Paul Martin SJ, says that Fr Church was a much loved missionary.“Fr Aloysius was instrumental in facilitating the renewal of the Church here in light of the Second Vatican Council,” he says. “...
Paul Martin SJ working with the young Catholics of Guyana
The Jesuits in Guyana are working with the Diocese of Georgetown on a programme to help the country’s young people become leaders in the Church and to be stewards of God’s kingdom. The diocese’s youth office is currently running a youth camp in Kayuaka – for seniors and juniors – to provide a starting point for leadership-training programmes in the diocese, through prayer and activities that help them to identify their strengths as leaders in their churches.The...
The new church of St Ignatius in Lethem, Guyana
The parishioners of St Ignatius Mission in Guyana have thanked a London parish for helping them secure a statue of their patron, St Ignatius Loyola, which travelled halfway across the world to be installed.For many years, the Catholics in the small Amerindian village of Lethem, tucked away on the edge of the Amazonian rainforest and savannah, wanted a statue of Ignatius Loyola. The mission is located miles away from any source of statues or other piety items; but as they prepared to open their...
Sacred Heart Church, Georgetown, Guyana
Catholics in Guyana are eagerly looking forward to the reopening of the historic Church of the Sacred Heart in Georgetown. And while the Jesuits in the country see the rebuilding of the church as a sign of what can happen when people come together and work for a common goal, they are also excited by further developments for the Catholic community in Guyana.Formerly staffed by the Jesuits, the wooden, 155-year old Sacred Heart Church was devastated by a blaze that started when electrical...
Guyana’s new president, 69-year-old retired army general David Granger has been sworn in after his multi-ethnic opposition coalition won the South American country's general elections. The Jesuit Superior in Guyana, which is a Region of the British Province of the Society of Jesus, says he prays the result will mean an end to the racial politics that Guyana has experienced under the previous administration.Guyana's elections commission rejected a demand for a full recount from former President...
The Jesuit Superior in Guyana has advised caution over the result of the country’s General Election. On Thursday, the election board announced that the country’s multi-racial opposition coalition had polled 5,000 more votes than the People’s Progressive party (PPP) led by President Donald Ramotar, which has held power for the past 23 years. However, President Ramotar has challenged the result; and Fr Paul Martin SJ describes the mood in Guyana as still one of uncertainty.“Shops are still closed...
The people of Guyana voted in National and Regional elections on 11 May, with the Jesuits urging that people move beyond the racial tensions that have marred the electoral process since independence. Guyana is much more than the small coastal strip where the sugar plantations used to be. If the descendants of the slaves brought from Africa and the Indentured labourers brought from India to work on those plantations, could turn their gaze inland, they would recognise that the real wealth of the...
Jesuits in Guyana are joining others who work across the vast Amazonian rainforest to protect the world’s largest eco-system – and its peoples – from destruction. In January, Jesuits who work in this region of the world launched the Pan-Amazonian Project in Manaus, Brazil. And this week saw the gathering in Rome of a new international network: the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network (REPAM). This was established last year in Brazil and consists of bishops whose territories include Amazon regions,...