News
Jesuit Superior General Calls for Welcoming Migrants in Society

On January 13, Fr. 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 the Superior 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. 

Father 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)

Father 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 18, 2017 — At a Liturgy of Remembrance, Contrition, and Hope, the Jesuits expressed sorrow for enslaving and selling 272 men, women, and children.

April 18, 2017 — Jesuit Fr. Timothy Kesicki's remarks, on behalf of the US Jesuits, at the Liturgy of Remembrance, Contrition, and Hope.

April 16, 2017 — Happy Easter to you and your loved ones! Enjoy Easter prayers and reflections from the Society of Jesus.

April 14, 2017 — As Jesus hung on the cross, he uttered seven last phrases of great meaning to those contemplating his passion and death. Today, on Good Friday, we remember his Seven Last Words, which have been widely used in Good Friday homilies.

April 12, 2017 — For Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, his mother’s Friday evening meals during Lent are among his greatest childhood memories.

April 11, 2017 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Robert W. Leiweke, SJ, who died on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. He was 89 years old. May he rest in peace.

April 10, 2017 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Br. William E. Biernatzki, SJ, who died on Saturday, April 8, 2017. He was 85 years old. May he rest in peace.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Jesuits Spring 2017

Jesuits Fall-Winter 2016

Jesuits Summer 2016



Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago
Located 80 miles north of Milwaukee, the Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago welcomes men and women of all faiths to its silent preached and directed retreats.