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

May 16, 2019 — This past Saturday, May 11, the Jesuit Province of Canada celebrated the priestly ordination of Adam Douglas Hincks, SJ (Canada) and Edward Dawson Penton, SJ (Canada) and 5 diaconal ordinations at Saint Paul's Basilica in Toronto.

May 16, 2019 — Here is a brief summary of news and events that have happened or will happen in the next few days.

Father Gilles Morissette died in the evening of May 12, 2019, at the infirmary of Richelieu. He was in his 80th year and in religious life for 56 years. He devoted much of his time to spiritually accompanying people "who have been placed on his way".

May 16, 2019 — The magazines Relations and Au cœur du monde have just launched their new editions. These have us travlling to various places leading us to view the world in a critical and contemplative manner.

May 16, 2019 — From May 1 to 3, dozens of Directors of Apostolates gathered at the Villa St. Martin retreat centre in Montreal. They began to reflect about that very same question: how to start appropriating the UAP in our local Canadian contexts.

May 16, 2019 — The Jesuit Curia in Rome has just published a set of resources entitled: “Praying with the Preferences”, which provides seven documents to enable the reader not only to pray but to enter more deeply into the journey of renewal and conversion offered by the UAP.

May 9, 2019 — On May 7, the founder of L'Arche, Jean Vanier, passed away in Paris. This “giant of God’s kindness,” as the Vatican stated, touched the heart, among others, of several Canadian Jesuits.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Relations Mai 2019

Canadian Jesuits

Jesuit (Winter 2019)



Centre de spiritualité Manrèse

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