In May 2019, Father Arturo Sosa, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, renewed the Jesuit Society’s commitment to JRS.
In a letter entitled “Renewed Commitment of the Jesuit Refugee Service” that was addressed “To the Whole Society of Jesus and Partners in Mission,” Fr General outlined the realities of the current global refugee crisis in explaining the necessity for full support for JRS. “With such grave and urgent needs, JRS must strive to be even more effective in its programmes and advocacy.”
“No one can be unaware of the many political movements that stoke resentment against refugees for electoral gain,” wrote Fr General.
Unfortunately, and as JRS Australia’s Director, Carolina Gottardo has repeatedly outlined “Australia has one of the most punitive policies affecting people seeking asylum in the world.”
On multiple occasions, the United Nations, as well as Jesuit and other Catholic leaders have condemned Australia for inhumane treatment of many people seeking protection. These are the policies that JRS Australia seeks to influence, each and every day, the policies that result in so many women, men and children suffering.
Fr General quotes Pope Francis ‘who has called on the international community to have a shared response to refugees and migrants that can be articulated in four verbs namely “to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate.” Pope Francis has also insisted that what is needed is a change in attitude “to overcome indifference and to counter fears.”
In his letter, Fr General reminds us that the “mission of JRS must be shared by all our institutions…[This] shared mission of reconciliation and justice…dedicates itself anew to the accompaniment, service, and defence of refugees around the world.” We wish to thank you, our friends and collaborators, for sharing this mission with JRS and for walking with us.
Join the community of welcome.
JRS is active in the community in advocating for positive change for refugees and people seeking asylum. We work with individuals, schools, parishes, community groups, and all people interested in making Australia a safe, welcoming and humane place. If you wish to become involved, we would love to hear from you. Please email Anne: firstname.lastname@example.org
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