More than 230 million children around the world live in areas affected by armed conflict. Although there is no accurate data on the total number of child soldiers, it is estimated that there are around 250,000. Child soldiers — some as young as 6 years old — are forced to fight and kill. They are also compelled to participate in espionage, support armed groups as informants, and engage in illicit activities such as drug production.
Prayer and supporting JRS and Entreculturas programs can help ensure that children do not spend their childhood on a battlefield. People are also encouraged to support Pope Francis' initiative by signing the related petition.
Below is The Pope's Video — a worldwide call to turn prayer into "concrete gestures" — from December 2016, in which the pope prays that the scandal of child soldiers may be eliminated.
Father Ed Sthokal, SJ, had never considered becoming a retreat director; he never even specifically trained for it. The plan for the young Jesuit was to teach English literature, perhaps go on to run a university department in the field.
So how did he end up spending 58 years as a retreat director at Demontreville Retreat House in Lake Elmo, Minnesota?
September 22, 2017 — Hurricane Maria has left devastation behind in Puerto Rico, and Jesuit school and parish families need our help. The Central and Southern Province Jesuits are accepting financial contributions to aid in recovery.
Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Vincent A. Hagarman, SJ, who died on September 10, 2017, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 95 years old. He is preceded in death by his twelve siblings. May he rest in peace.