Jesuit Father Alexis Prem Kumar in 2013. (Photo: Jesuit Refugee Service)
Indian Jesuit Released after Eight Months in Captivity in Afghanistan
February 22, 2015 — After more than eight months
in captivity, Jesuit Father Alexis Prem Kumar has been released from Afghanistan and has returned to his native India. Fr. Prem was
serving as country director in Afghanistan for Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) when he was abducted by a
group of unidentified men on June 2, 2014.
JRS said in a statement that it is “immensely grateful to the Indian
government for its role in achieving his release.”
eight months have been a long and difficult period of uncertainty for Fr.
Prem's family, friends and colleagues. You cannot imagine our relief that he is
now home, safe and sound. We are aware of the tireless efforts at many levels
to achieve his release, and we are grateful for the consolation we have
received from the prayerful support of countless friends — including those of the school children from
the school where he was kidnapped," said Jesuit Father Peter Balleis, JRS
Fr. Prem was taken
by a group of men in western Afghanistan while on a visit to a JRS-supported
school for refugees. JRS has worked in Afghanistan since 2005, and even during
the difficult months of Fr. Prem’s captivity,
JRS continued to run its programs in the country to ensure that Afghan students
had access to quality education.
Before moving to
Afghanistan five years ago, Fr. Prem worked for JRS serving Sri Lankan refugees
living in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
"Our attention now turns to the welfare of
Fr. Prem. All of us will do whatever we can to ensure that Prem receives the
necessary attention and support from his family, his Jesuit brothers in the
Society of Jesus, and his many friends and colleagues in JRS," said Jesuit
Father Stan Fernandes, JRS Regional Director in South Asia.[Source: Jesuit Refugee
Gonzaga University has hired Jacob H. Rooksby, JD, PhD, as the new dean of Gonzaga University School of Law. He will start his term on June 1. Rooksby succeeds Dean Jane Korn, who began her tenure in 2011.
Father Francis “Frank” Goodman Hernandez, SJ, longtime teacher of physics and computer science at Jesuit High School, Carmichael, Calif., entered into God’s peace April 11 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos.
Kate Hannick, a Seattle University junior and economics and public affairs double major, has been named a 2018 Truman Scholar, one of only 59 selected this year by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.
Psychology doctoral student Liliana Campos Ramales won’t graduate for another two years, but she already knows the types of patients she wants to work with as a psychologist – undocumented residents who face constant fear of being discovered and deported.
Gonzaga University will welcome eight new Act Six Scholars to the incoming class of 2022. The urban and community leaders from Spokane and the Tacoma-Seattle area will receive full-tuition, full-need, four-year scholarships as members of the latest Act Six cohort.
The Board of Directors of Verbum Dei High School announced the appointment of Father Stephen A. Privett, SJ, as president. Father Privett will lead the Catholic boys high school that has been acclaimed for providing its South Central Los Angeles students a rigorous college prep curriculum for more than five decades.