Accompaniment on Today’s Margins
Jesuits and their lay colleagues throughout the world are missioned to accompany the most vulnerable. Through journeying with those on the margins, we form the communities and relationships that are at the heart of our mission.
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) launched its Mercy in Motion campaign to expand its education outreach to refugees and forcibly displaced men, women and children. JRS has recognized the needs of those in need – who spend an average of 15 years displaced - and the launch of the campaign, coinciding with the Jubilee Year of Mercy, aims to double the number of people served by JRS educational projects to more than 220,000 by the year 2020.
Members of the USA Northeast Province were among the 90 Jesuit social ministries representatives from 12 Jesuit provinces that gathered at Casa Manresa Altagracia, in Santo Domingo, to discuss how the Society of Jesus can work together across the region to respond to the shared issues of concern – an economy of exclusion, the environment and natural resource extraction, violence and organized crime and migration.
Le Moyne College welcomed its first cohort of students to its Collegiate Scholars Program, a bold initiative launched in the fall of 2015, modeled after the successful Cristo Rey high school model. The program offers financial, personal and academic support to students who show evidence of great promise, but who have limited financial resources. Eleven college freshmen students have been working with an academic advisor, a Scholars Program advisor and an internship advisor and were matched with internships at sponsor organizations to underwrite as much as two-thirds of the cost of their college expenses.
Following a very successful year, the Campus Kitchen program at Saint Peter’s University increased its annual goal, aiming to serve more than 30,000 meals next year. The program saves food that would be wasted from dining halls, cafeterias and grocery stores, and creates nutritious meals for those struggling with hunger. Because of the generosity of a growing list of food donors and the hard work of student volunteers, plans are underway to expand the kitchen space.
Each year, students at numerous New York City area Jesuit high schools partner to take part in a Solidarity Sleep-Out to raise awareness about teenage homelessness. While the sleepout location rotates, each school takes a turn hosting and organizing a service opportunity, a speaker from Covenant House, prayer and reflection, and the overnight outdoor experience.
Dan Corrou, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic in his third year of theology studies at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. In 2014, he returned to the U.S. after three years of working with the Jesuits in the Middle East, responding to the influx of Syrian refugees who flooded Lebanon and the surrounding areas to escape violence. Earlier this year, he spoke at a Jesuit Connection event, about how his time in a city far from home allowed him to connect deeply with Ignatius' calling to go where needs are greatest while always serving on the peripheries.
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