News
Jesuit Superior General Calls for the Welcoming of Migrants

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

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.

Brother Richard J. Devine, SJ, longtime missionary to Japan, entered into God’s peace in Tokyo April 10. He was 83. Originally a member of the California Province, he transferred to the Province of Japan.

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.

Santa Clara University Law School alumna Lizbeth Mateo, JD, ’16 has reached another milestone: She’s the first undocumented immigrant named to statewide post in California.

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.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Mission Magazine - Fall 2017

Mission Magazine - Fall 2016

Mission Magazine - Spring 2016


Companions
Fall, 2017

Update
Summer, 2017

Update
Spring, 2017


Loyola Institute for Spirituality
Loyola Institute for Spirituality (LIS), founded in 1997, is located in Orange, CA. LIS provides many programs and services for individuals, parishes, and dioceses throughout Southern California and beyond.