Jesuit Superior General Calls for Welcoming Migrants in Society

January 16, 2017 — On Jan. 13, Father Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, joined Centro Astalli (Jesuit Refugee Service Italy) in commemorating the International Day for Migrants and Refugees at the Church of the Gesù in Rome.


Fr. Sosa gave a talk to commemorate the International Day for Migrants and Refugees. (Patrick Mulemi, SJ)

“This moment presents an important invitation to the Society of Jesus to accompany … and to share in the anxieties and hopes of the refugees here in Italy and everywhere in the world,” Fr. Sosa said.

The event’s theme focused on young immigrants and refugees, and four young refugees — from Syria, Guinea-Bissau, Iran and Afghanistan — sat with Fr. Sosa and gave their testimonies before Father General delivered his speech.

"It means a lot to me that Pope Francis decided to dedicate this day to refugee children," said Aziz, a 20-year-old refugee from Guinea. He had to leave his country when he was 16 years old, and he travelled across Mali, then Niger, Libya and finally Italy. 

Fr. Sosa described how he encountered refugees on the border between Colombia and Venezuela, where he is from. “I met entire families that had been forced to abandon everything to save lives threatened by injustice and violence that has taken hold of our societies. I met children and young people who had been forced to become soldiers and to participate in wars so far away from their dreams, thoughts and desires.”

But, he said, he also encountered the “generosity of many families who welcomed the refugees as brothers and sisters in search of a new life.”


Refugees presented Fr. Sosa with an icon of the three kings. (Martina Bezzini / Jesuit Refugee Service)

Fr. Sosa said he has witnessed the pain resulting from abuse by police and human traffickers. “Therefore, the efforts of closely accompanying the refugees and migrants, particularly the young and vulnerable, are close to my heart. I wish to encourage and promote efforts that ensure the protection of life and the hope of the child and adolescent refugees, especially those recruited by traffickers.”

He asked Europeans to “demand that governments create reception systems, with facilities adequate and conveniently located throughout their territories to ensure a humane reception of migrants, especially to young people.”

Concluding his talk, Fr. Sosa invited those gathered to “step up your effort to make our societies places of genuine welcome to those who are suffering because of the need to migrate.”

At the end of the ceremony, Fr. Sosa received a gift from the migrant community at Centro Astalli: an image of the Magi coming to visit the child Jesus. In the image, the Magi are not kings, but rather poor migrants. [Sources: Jesuit CuriaJRS]





Recent News

April 17, 2019 — This coming April 22, 2019, we will be celebrating two events: Easter Monday and Earth Day. “Today, the waves of personal and planetary destruction roll back to sources of hope,” states Erik Oland, Provincial of the Jesuit Province of Canada, in a new letter.

April 18, 2019 — Two Jesuits, Leonard Altilia and John O’Brien, comment upon the Pope’s latest Apostolic Exhortation through a Jesuit and Canadian perspective.

April 18, 2019 — How can old Jesuit manuscripts written in indigenous languages have become such a hot topic? Because they fit perfectly into one of the four Jesuit Universal Apostolic Preferences as well as into UNESCO’s theme for 2019, namely the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

April 15, 2019 — The 9th edition of the Lonergan Symposium will be held next May 4, jointly organized by the Centre Culturel Chrétien de Montréal and the Lonergan network.

April 11, 2019 — How can the Church, this two-thousand-year-old institution, still reach today's youth? Fannie Dionne dwells into 3 points of Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation.

April 11, 2019 — A book devoted to reconciliation with indigenous peoples was launched on March 27, at McGill University’s Newman Centre.

April 11, 2019 — Next July, after 14 years as Managing Director, Mireille Chilloux will leave her position at Mer et Monde.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Jesuit (Winter 2019)

Relations - avril 2019

Loyola Today



Centre de spiritualité Manrèse

Prenant appui sur l’importance qu’Ignace accordait à son expérience personnelle de ...