Since 2015, Fr. Thomas Smolich, SJ, has served as International Director for the Jesuit Refugee Service which was founded in 1980 by former Jesuit Superior General Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ. JRS accompanies, serves and advocates for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced people. Headquartered in Rome with ten regional offices around the world, the organization has more than 1,800 staff and volunteers, including 70 Jesuits, and serves upwards of 950,000 refugees per year. In addition to health and social services, JRS offers formal and informal instruction — from pre-school to vocational training to computer and language classes — to approximately 280,000 children, young people, and adults each year.
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Jesuit Alumni and Friends of Detroit Event