- Who we are
- International Programs
- Ways to give
As I write this letter, Fr Stan Swamy SJ, an 83 year old Jesuit in poor health is languishing in jail in India on false charges. There has been an international outcry against his arbitrary arrest from religious and political leaders, civil society organizations and concerned individuals. Most significantly, thousands of poor marginalized people, especially adivasis (Indigenous people), have filled the streets demanding his immediate release and that of other human rights activists arrested with him. Fr Stan has worked tirelessly for five decades to defend their rights. He has shown them that God has not abandoned them. God is with them.
God is with us too, though many of us may feel lost as COVID-19 tests us in unimaginable ways: some have lost loved ones without saying goodbye, others have no source of income and they hear their children cry out of hunger, others are living in the streets with nowhere to go.
At Canadian Jesuits International (CJI), we hear from our Jesuit partners how the poorest people in Asia, Latin America and Africa are being affected by the pandemic. They have few resources to deal with it: overwhelmed health care facilities, overcrowded housing, no safety net to cover unemployment, schools are closed with no option for online education. It is estimated that millions of children, especially girls, will never return to school.
God is with us, in the midst of such despair. God is present when the Jesuit Migration Service or the members of Lok Manch offer meals to migrants stuck in their journey with nowhere to go; when the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) provides schooling to forcibly displaced people; or when children in South Sudan, who depend on going to school to receive a meal, still get nourishment at a Jesuit run school.
God is present in people like Fr Stan who are willing to stand up and defend the rights of people in countries like India, Honduras, Colombia or South Sudan. Jesuits and lay people work at great risk. A number of them have contracted COVID-19; some have lost loved ones; others have been arrested. Their action and commitment show us that God is with us.
God is present through your generosity. This Christmas we ask you to show the most marginalized people in the world that God has not abandoned them. This crisis is an opportunity for us to address inequalities in the world, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Thanks to your help, CJI has supported thousands of people through Jesuit initiatives in response to the COVID-19 emergency. This Christmas, we highlight four of these initiatives that give witness to God’s presence. We ask you to support them through our COVID-19 Christmas appeal.
The men and women involved in this work show marginalized people that God has not abandoned them. We ask you this Christmas to support them with a generous donation. By so doing, you show them that God has not abandoned us. Immanuel, God is with us!
Have a peaceful and holy Christmas! And may God be with you.
“When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.”
– Isaiah 64:3
“God will feed the flock like a shepherd and they will be carried in God’s bosom.”
– Isaiah 40:11
“God has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed and to release the imprisoned.”
– Isaiah 61:2
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God”
– Luke 1:30