Once known as the “Mission Office” of the Jesuits in English Canada, Canadian Jesuits International (CJI) has more than 50 years of experience in global solidarity.
Its history is closely linked to that of Canadian Jesuits who went to the Darjeeling region in northeast India, following an invitation to the Upper Canada Jesuit Province to serve there in 1946.
The Province established the Darjeeling Mission Service the following year to support this mission. In 1955 it was incorporated as the Canadian Jesuit Foreign Mission with a fourfold mission:
- to promote interest in and support foreign missions;
- to do awareness-raising and education;
- to publish information and educational material;
- to receive gifts.
The name of the corporation was officially changes in 1979 to the Canadian Jesuit Missions, to include the missions to the aboriginal populations of northern Ontario.
Over the years the Province of the Jesuits in English Canada supported the work of missionaries in northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Armenia, Ukraine, in Zambia, Uganda; Nairobi and Jamaica.
In 1995, while the official name remained the same, the office began to be known as Canadian Jesuits International (CJI) and this is the name it uses today. This was motivated by a wish to reflect changes in the understanding of mission and international work.
In January 2004, Jenny Cafiso was appointed as new Director of CJI, and in the same month a new Board of Trustees of CJI was appointed.
The board has continued to oversee the transformation of the mission and work of CJI into what it is today expanding its scope of operation to new regions and with new local partners, based on the principles of reciprocity, solidarity and partnership and with a renewed emphasis on education and advocacy in Canada.