“And on earth, peace, goodwill
among people.”

– Luke 2:14

Dear Friend,

As I prepare for Christmas this year and reflect on its promise of peace and goodwill, I remember the members of a farming community in Cotuí, Dominican Republic, which the Jesuit-run Centro Montalvo accompanies. When I visited them, they were keeping a peaceful vigil just outside of a mining site, to protest the fact that the Pueblo Viejo mine had made their source of water undrinkable and the land so contaminated that they could no longer grow their crops or feed their animals.

Mother and child in South Sudan. Photo: The Jesuits Eastern Africa Province (AOR)

Some armed men had come at night to destroy their small post where they had kept their peaceful protest; they had also cut down the tree which had given the protesters shade from the sun, to ensure they would not come back. Undeterred, the members of the community moved their post down the road. This community is determined to make real God’s promise to bring on earth peace and goodwill among people.

The Gospel for this much-awaited season of Christ’s birth reminds us that peace and goodwill among people
is not only possible. It is a promise. It is a promise that I believe will come to fruition if we, as St. Ignatius oncesaid, “Act as if everything depended on you; trust as if everything depended on God.” The farming community in Cotuí understands this message perfectly.

The call to peace is urgent. The ongoing conflicts in Ukraine, Ethiopia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iran, to name only a few, have forced millions to flee a: over 7.6 million Ukrainians have registered for temporary protection across Europe, and in Yemen, the eight-year-old conflict has spawned one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises with around 17.4 million people in need of food assistance, according to UNICEF.

The call to peace is urgent because against the backdrop of armed conflict, our planet is also dealing with an ongoing climate emergency that is only expected to get worse. Ethiopia has about 2.7 million internally displaced people because of armed conflict and natural disasters, including an unrelenting drought. Closer to home, thousands of people were evacuated, others lost homes and property in September as Hurricane Fiona slammed into Eastern Canada. Climate experts warn that this could be a harbinger of our future as climate change worsens.

Our partners in Asia, Africa, and Latin America who are still reeling from the aftershocks of the Covid-19 pandemic have not been spared from these crises. Their response however is to bring “on earth peace, goodwill among people”.

In India, Lok Manch, a people’s platform supported by the Jesuits, is making real the promise of peace and goodwill by helping poor and marginalized communities who lack access to food, housing, health, and education. They help them build climate-resistant communities and safeguard their forests.

Jesuit-run Centro Montalvo, in the Dominican Republic, helps fulfill the promise of peace and goodwill, by supporting communities affected by mining companies that displace people from their land, destroy their natural resources, and violate their human rights. Economic support, awareness raising and community organizing empower people and promote peace, justice, and care for creation.

Jesuit-run Radio Progreso and ERIC (Reflection, Investigation and Communications Team) builds peace on earth and goodwill among people, by speaking out for the most excluded communities who experience poverty and inequality in Honduras, and by making their voice heard even in the face of violence.

Our Jesuit partners and the communities they work with understand the promise of Christmas for peace and goodwill. It is a call to each one of us to love our neighbour and to work so that everyone can live with dignity.

Your continuing support for CJI projects has illustrated how positive change, though hard-won, is possible. In Zambia, the Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre, a Jesuit-run farming training institute, has trained hundreds of small-scale farmers – both men and women – to become organic farmers. Their livelihoods have improved, and they are helping to address climate change.

We count on your loyal and generous support, so that this Christmas, we will come closer to achieving God’s good news of peace and goodwill for all people.

With gratitude, I wish you a happy, peace-filled Christmas!

Jenny Cafiso
Executive Director

Banner photo: Farmers grow organic vegetables in plots of land at the Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre in Zambia. Photo: Katrin Morales/Jesuiten Weltwelt



27 November 2022

“The night is far gone; the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness
and put on the armour of light.”

– Romans 13:12


Farmers throughout India learn how to plant saplings to help them adapt to climate change. Photo: Lok Manch 

The mission of Lok Manch, a people’s platform supported by the Jesuits, embodies the way of peace that asks that
we uphold the inherent dignity of people. Lack of access to food, housing, health, and education is a sad reality for many rural and urban populations in India. The catastrophic impacts of climate change compound an already challenging situation for many. Poor and marginalized people help build climate-resistant communities by learning how to plant saplings and create carbon sinks; they receive lessons on how to safeguard forest resources and conduct proper waste management.


4 December 2022

“In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.”
– Psalm 72:7


Leoncia Ramos (centre), with Ludovino Fernández
and Sonia Perdomo, speaks about human rights
abuses in Sto. Domingo, Dominican Republic. Photo: Centro Montalvo

Centro Montalvo promotes peace, justice, and care for creation in the Dominican Republic. This Jesuit-run centre, supports communities affected by mining companies to protect their land and uphold their human rights.
Extraction activities by companies, some of them Canadian, are affecting the health of people and animals, and
agricultural productivity in vulnerable local populations. They are displacing people. Community organizing empowers people to assert their autonomy, right to food security, and human rights. It also lets righteousness flourish and peace abound.


11 December 2022

“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus.”
– Isaiah 35:1


Farmers at KATC show products from oats harvested in their organic farms. Photo: KATC

Hope blooms in the Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre (KATC), a Jesuit-run farmer training institute in Zambia, where hundreds of small-scale farmers are reaping the benefits of organic farming. The knowledge they have gained helps improve their livelihood and helps them adapt to and address climate change.
Trainees, about 30% of them women, learn about agroecology, a socially just, environmentally friendly, and economically sound method of farming. Farmers not only care for the earth, but also lift their families out of poverty, promote food security, and health and nutrition.


18 December 2022

“The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.”
– Psalms 24:1


Radio Progreso-ERIC enhances full participation and active citizenship of marginalized communities. Photo: Radio Progreso-ERIC.

In the face of growing violence and threats, Jesuit-run Radio Progreso and ERIC (Reflection, Investigation
and Communications Team), remain steadfast in working for social change that benefits the most excluded
communities in Honduras. Several journalists, environmental activists, and human rights defenders, including some from Radio Progreso-ERIC, have been assassinated for daring to speak out against widespread poverty, inequality, and corruption in the country. They may have been silenced, but their message of peace, solidarity with the poor and just economic, political, and social alternatives live on.