14 November 2016
MESSAGE from the JRS-MENA Regional Director Fr. Michael Zammit sj
on JRS 36th Foundation Day
(November 14th 2016)
It is once again a SPECIAL day for all of us who belong to the JRS family. We remember with much gratitude, Fr. Pedro Arrupe, a former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, who founded JRS on this day in 1980, as a response to the cries and plight of the ‘boat’ people, who were fleeing war and persecution in South- East Asia. The day also happens to be the 109th birth anniversary of Fr Arrupe.
It is a day of THANKSGIVING for all of us: for the whole JRS family; for the many who serve and do not count the cost; for the great risks which many of our colleagues and volunteers have to face daily; for our many collaborators, donors, partners; for all who enable us to do much more
It is a day on which we continue to pledge our continued SOLIDARITY to all our sisters and brothers in this Region and elsewhere, who are forcibly displaced, becoming refugees/IDPs
Exactly a year ago on this day Pope Francis speaking to the JRS family in the Vatican said,
” Fr Arrupe, who had lived through the atomic bomb explosion in Hiroshima, realized the scope of that tragic exodus of refugees. He saw it as a challenge which the Jesuits could not ignore if they were to remain faithful to their vocation. He wanted the Jesuit Refugee Service to meet both the human and the spiritual needs of refugees, not only their immediate need of food and shelter, but also their need to see their human dignity respected, to be listened to and comforted”.
Finally, may this day be one of renewal for each one of us to the ideals of Fr Arrupe and to our three foundational goals: to accompany, to serve and to defend the rights of refugees!
Happy Foundation Day!
Fr. Michael Zammit sj
JRS –MENA Region