Laudato Sí and ‘Go Wild for Life’

g tree trunk
An old Oak tree. Photo-credit ©: C. Devitt

Go ‘Wild for Life’ on June 5th. It’s the United Nations World Environment Day (WED) of awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Each WED is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. This year the theme is the illegal trade in wildlife.

Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries. Above all, WED serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something to take care of the Earth or become an agent of change.

Year of Mercy: Education in South Sudan

teacher training jrs
A Sudanese refugee teacher pauses after finishing her courses for morning, before attending JRS teacher training courses in the afternoon.

“I’ve lived through three decades of war and I’ve never experienced as much violence as I did a few weeks ago,” said South Sudanese Sister Elizabeth Waraga, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Education Coordinator who works in Yambio, South Sudan.

Yambio: a safe haven no more

In January 2016, heavy gunfire between government and opposition forces rained on the small South Sudanese town of Yambio. Sister Elizabeth and her colleagues hid for hours.

Nepal Earthquake one year later

Nepalese Family after earthquake
A family in Jaretar, Kavrepalanchowk at candle making training


Ever since the earthquake that devastated Nepal on 25th April 2015, the Nepal Jesuit Social Institute (NJSI) has been actively working in the 11 most affected districts.

With the Emergency Phase of work fully completed, the Institute moved into rehabilitation activities and to date has erected semi-permanent structures for 15 schools. It has assisted 89 schools, unreached by government assistance, with student and office furniture, white boards, educational materials and recreational materials.

A Jesuit moves on

martin with album

Fr Martin Curry SJ leaves the Irish Jesuit Missions (IJM) this month after 10 years’ dedicated service. He returns to his beloved Galway to take up new duties there. Martin’s persevering work assisted Jesuit works in securing funding for programmes and in following through on their progress.

“Galway’s gain is our loss”

This new chapter in Martin’s life was marked by his friends and colleagues at an event held in his honour on Wednesday 20th April.

“Galway’s gain is our loss”, said Rosaleen Kenny, IJM Receptionist, to widespread agreement as she thanked Martin for being a wonderful friend and colleague.

Martin kept everyone laughing with his usual wit and self effacing quips and admitted to being surprised that so many accepted the invitation to be present at his event.

Fr John Guiney SJ complimented Martin on his wonderful companionship, sense of humour and skills in relationship building, adding: “In Swahili we don’t say bye bye - ‘kawheri’. We say ‘tutaonana’ - we’ll see each other again”.

Mother Earth Day and the Paris Agreement

COP21 Paris Agreements

Paris Agreement (google creative commons)

This Friday, April 22nd, marks the celebration of Earth Day, the annual event which brings together millions of people from around the globe to express support for environmental protection. Earth Day 2016 marks the 46th anniversary of the first Earth Day which is often credited as playing a fundamental role in launching the modern environmental movement. More recently, the concept has been expanded to become Mother Earth Day, based on the simple yet profound recognition of the interconnectedness between all species on Earth and with the Earth itself, and the need for humanity to live in greater harmony with the natural environment.

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