Fr Luis Ruis and Fr Fernando Azpiroz SJ
Thirty years ago, Fr Luis Ruiz, had his first encounter with a community of persons affected by leprosy in Taikam island, Guangdong Province China. Moved by their terrible situation, he decided to work together with local governments and church communities to change the conditions of leprosy patients. This was the beginning of Ricci Social Services, a Jesuit network created by him to bring relief, dignity and social justice to the poor and marginalised people in Mainland China and Macau.
Chitetezo mbaula is a low-carbon-emitting energy-efficient stove produced and distributed by JCED.
Pope Francis invites us “to acknowledge our contribution, smaller or greater, to the disfigurement and destruction of creation”. In other words, what is needed is not only the change of some countries or some people but the change of the whole of humanity. Each of us, at a personal level, is responsible for the global ecological crisis. Consequently, each person has to change his or her habits in order to preserve “our common home”.
While there is no universal definition of what justice is, the daily manifest of images and stories of injustice from across Ireland and the world is unambiguously clear. As Christians, we hold dear the notion that justice is closely associated with fairness and that we should always seek to form just and fair relationships; however, we also know justice is much more than this.
The concept of justice is best understood when we recognise God’s intention when He created the world; He wanted it to be a just place – where everything flourished. As we have been created to live justly in our connection to God, Creation, and Humanity, justice is not only about living properly and making good and honest relationships, it is also about our commitment to respond to injustice, ensuring that all of us flourish on this Earth.
JCED, Malawi. Female farmers in Kasungu use contour ridging as a soil and water conservation technique
I spent the last two weeks of September on a programme visit to southern Africa, taking in Zambia, Malawi and South Africa along the way. This was a first for me – my first time to visit our projects in these countries as well as to meet with colleagues, put faces to names and generally to get to know people and the work.