Syria

Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States are remembering James Foley and his family this weekend: today (Saturday 18 October) would have been his 41st birthday. Foley was an American journalist and video reporter who was abducted in 2012 while working as a freelance war correspondent during the Syrian Civil War. An alumnus of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he was beheaded in August 2014, becoming the first American citizen killed by IS (Islamic State).The death...
Prayers were offered in Jesuit parishes on both sides of the Atlantic at the weekend for the repose of the soul of Jesuit alumnus, James Foley, the American journalist murdered in Syria. A mass of remembrance for the former Marquette University student was held on Sunday at his hometown church in Rochester, New Hampshire. Prayers were also offered for all those caught up in conflict - especially in the Middle East - and for those who work for justice and reconciliation.In Britain, congregations...
Despite personal risk, Jesuits continue to lead and serve in war-torn areas of the world. Why is this? And what can we learn from their approach?In a video produced by the Ignatian Network (IN), Syrian Jesuit Tony Homsy SJ—who knew the murdered Jesuit Fr  Frans van der Lugt SJ (pictured) —reveals his own hopes and fears as he returns to his home country after a six year absence.We also hear from an American Jesuit who has been in Amman, Jordan for years, and who argues a...
The parents of kidnapped Jesuit, Fr Paolo Dall'Oglio, have appealed for information about him - exactly a year after he disappeared in Syria.There has been no news of the Italian priest since his disappearance in the Syrian city of Raqqa on 29 July 2013. Yesterday, the video below was issued."This has also been a long time, too long, for a land ravaged by war and infinite suffering like Syria," says his mother. "We ask those responsible for the disappearance of a good man, a...
Tony, the blog writer, taking a break on his back at the side of the road
Continuing the blog from the intrepid Camino walkers from Farm Street Church in aid of Syrian refugees.To all those of you who are heartily sick of hearing me complain about my blisters I have a very special treat in store for you. The heat yesterday was so intense that my backpack - coupled with my own sweat took a couple of layers of skin off of my back. Andrea has just very kindly slathered me in miraculous cream so I write to you this afternoon lying on my front in my hotel-bed, slippery as...
An image of the mountains in Spain
I used to have an aunt who wasn't an aunt but a family friend. The only problem with Proxy-Aunt was that no-one could remember whose friend she was or indeed which branch of the family she had previously befriended. So in mind of this cautionary tale let me introduce you to our cast of characters - those mad creatures who will be walking, walking, walking over Northern Spain to raise money for upwards of twenty million Syrian refugees. Firstly there is our mentor, the woman who put the...
Andrea Lari, International Development Officer for JRS, will give a presentation on JRS’ work in Syria and answer questions on the situation there. This event will take place in the Farm St Church Parish Hall.  A collection will be taken for the work of JRS. From the JRS international website: Beirut, 23 June 2014 – How can a country educate every child when its population has expanded by 25% in less than four years? To address the needs of Syrian refugee...
The work of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria has been recognised with the 2014 Pax Christi International Peace Award. Since 2011, JRS Syria has concentrated on helping vulnerable people who have remained in the country, despite the violence that surrounds them. The award was made at the weekend at the Sarajevo Peace Event 2014.JRS Syria was recognised by Pax Christi in particular for its interfaith work. The agency provides support to anyone in need, with a team made up of people...
In the Lauriston Jesuit Centre we have just completed an interesting, challenging and stimulating series of four lectures on the values which are inscribed on the Mace in the Scottish Parliament. These same values are also at the heart of the Curriculum for Excellence being adopted by schools in Scotland.  What are these values?  Are they values I respond to?  The values are justice, compassion, wisdom and integrity.  These are big words which take a lot of unravelling....

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