Fifteen representatives from Jesuit parishes and organizations in New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina, participated in a Day of Virtual Action in Spanish with a member of Senator Bob Menéndez's (D-NJ) staff on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.
This initiative was possible thanks to the efforts of the Office of Ignatian Spirituality (OIS) of the USA East Jesuit province, and the magnificent work of José Cabrera and the entire team at the Ignatian Solidarity Network, an organization dedicated to the development of social justice from an Ignatian perspective.
Events such as this are essential to the life of faith. The promotion of social justice is part of our commitment as lay people to the Ignatian mission. It was significant that we were able to take action in this way for the first time. As representatives of Jesuit institutions, we expressed our concerns about current migration policies and shared personal stories familiar to many people affected by recent policies and decisions regarding DACA and TPS.
Many of the young beneficiaries of DACA in our communities are healthcare workers. They have been on the frontlines in hospitals caring for COVID-19 patients. They are also teachers who put considerable effort into ensuring that children receive a high-quality education. These young people were raised and educated here in the United States, and they work everyday to make this country, which they consider their home, a better place.
Four members of OIS’s Comunidades Hispanas Ignacianas talked about their experiences, which reflect the feelings of many who do not dare to share theirs, either out of fear or because they have not had the opportunity or the means to do so. We heard poignant testimonies about family reunions, the frustrated dreams of those who fear losing TPS, families that could be separated, and wonderful leaders serving in Jesuit parishes who are soon to be deported.
The petitions presented to the Senator’s office were the following:
Restore access to asylum at the border.
Release detained immigrants so that they can be safe with their families.
Halt the deportation of immigrants, especially those that have tested positive for COVID-19.
Eliminate the restrictions for families that have a mixed status (and with ITIN) that qualify for federal economic aid.
Guarantee that those currently protected by DACA and TPS have stability and can stay safe without being deported.
Thank you to all who participated and facilitated this opportunity to share our experiences, put our faith in action, and continue our Ignatian work for social justice.
Zandra Schiemann is the Program Coordinator of Ignatian Hispanic Ministries at the Office of Ignatian Spirituality.
August 12, 2020 – These two Ignatian examens are intended to guide prayerful reflection on the role that race, racism, and racial bias play in our lives and society. The first examen is written for everyone. The second is written primarily for people who identify as white.
August 12, 2020 – In early March, Jesuit ministry changed nearly overnight. Emails poured in, summarized in the word “canceled.” Masses were canceled. Retreats were canceled. Even Holy Week, for a moment, seemed like it might effectively be called off. But with remarkable speed toward the end of the Lenten season—no doubt attributable to the adaptability innate to the Jesuit way of proceeding—the ministry of Ignatian spirituality moved online.
Elaine Ireland and Jim Palmer from Loyola on the Potomac Jesuit retreat house will lead our Examen Live! on Aug. 14, 2020, at 12:30 PM Eastern. At the end of the week, let's take a deep breath, remember that we are in the presence of God, and spend a few minutes in prayerful reflection. Sign up to receive updates and reminders.
August 3, 2020 – This month Pope Francis is asking us to join him in praying for The Maritime World. We pray for all those who work and live from the sea, among them sailors, fishermen and their families. Our world cries out for healing and renewal. May we place our hand into the hand of the God who calmed the seas that his beautiful gift of creation may be restored and all whose lives depend on the fruits of the ocean be protected, this day and always. As one, may we rejoice and give thanks. Amen.
On the eve of the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, we gather (online) to pray as one Ignatian community for healing, justice, and peace. Join us on Thursday, July 30, from 7:00-7:30 PM ET for this bilingual prayer service.
July 30, 2020 - Join Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, on Sun., Aug. 2 at 4 p.m., for a live, interactive discussion as he shares the Ignatian way of making decisions and the surprising closeness to God it brings, which is needed now more than ever. This event is hosted by the Jesuit retreat houses on the East Coast, and proceeds from the event will go to support their ministries.