أخبار ذات صلة
Easter Greetings from the AMC!

Easter Greetings from the AMC!

It has been a challenging year for many migrants in Lebanon. Our community members have weathered rising rents and scarcer work, fears of expanding conflict, travel restrictions, and a whole host of daily difficulties. And yet, Easter joy abounds! The joy of the resurrection was made obvious this last week here in the AMC. Our whole community gathered for the Paschal Triduum to walk with Christ through his death and resurrection.

قراءة المزيد
Tertianship is what tertians give to each other

Tertianship is what tertians give to each other

The third batch of tertians in Bikfaya have just graduated their school of the heart. Theirs has been a very particular class. It is true of every class, and of each tertian. But armed conflicts leading to displacements and disruptions are not a common tertianship experiment. I am so grateful that all participants kept safe and well, and even drew no little spiritual profit from the difficult situation in which they found themselves.

قراءة المزيد
D’Ankara à Belfast, Le Caire, Ephèse, Nicée, Eskişehir, Almaty (et bien d’autres lieux!)

D’Ankara à Belfast, Le Caire, Ephèse, Nicée, Eskişehir, Almaty (et bien d’autres lieux!)

Qu’est-ce que vous faites à Ankara? Telle est souvent une des premières questions que j’entends lorsque je voyage. Chacun de nous quatre avons bien sûr nos activités habituelles: Michael écrit pour diverses publications (maintenant sur “l’appel universel à la sainteté”); Changmo étudie le turc, commence à s’engager avec les jeunes à la paroisse et s’acclimate peu à peu à la Turquie; Alexis, responsable de cette paroisse turcophone et de la formation de ses catéchumènes, est également impliqué dans des médias et la gestion pratique de la résidence; quant à moi, supérieur de celle-ci, je travaille dans la formation et l’accompagnement au service de l’Église de Turquie, et ai quelques engagements en dehors du pays pour le dialogue interreligieux, à divers titres.

قراءة المزيد

Early in October, on a visit to Washington DC and Detroit with Fr Dan Corrou, I was overawed to see the level of interest in the mission of JRS Iraq as well as in the desire to establish a Jesuit community in this country. The welcome and support of JRS/USA in DC were amazing. It was a blessing to meet a small number of donors who believe in and want to support the mission of the Society among forcibly displaced persons in the Middle East. In the Detroit area, home to tens of thousands of Iraqi Americans, I was left speechless by the enduring appreciation and gratitude expressed by several elderly alumni of the former Baghdad College and Al-Hikma University for the Jesuits who dedicated themselves to the Iraq mission until their expulsion in 1968 and 1969 respectively. Our meetings with leaders from the Chaldean Community Foundation were a testimony to the lasting impact of scores of American Jesuits who left the known, embraced the unknown, and served with every ounce of their energy. 

On 20 October 2014, JRS Iraq turned 7 years old. This is far from an anniversary to be celebrated. Rather, it is a reason for intensifying prayer for God’s glory to shine on this land and for Iraq’s people to be blessed with peace. Closures of camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in federal Iraq in late 2020 and early 2021 drove down official figures quite significantly. In the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, however, tens of thousands of IDPs still continue to live in camps. From the outset, however, JRS Iraq focused its energies to serve out-of-camp IDPs and, among them, the most vulnerable. This is the raison d’être of JRS’s continued presence and integrated multi-sectoral interventions among displaced Yazidi genocide survivors in Sharya, near Duhok. JRS Iraq’s other major involvement is in Qaraqosh, in the Nineveh Plains—the humble town visited by Pope Francis on 7 March 2021 that is the hub of Christianity in federal Iraq. Here, against the many odds and against the backdrop of a shaky security situation, Christian returnees seek to rebuild their lives. Circumstances vary greatly from those in Sharya, but JRS maintains a consistent level of discreet but effective multifaceted support, focusing on education, mental health and psychosocial support, and financial assistance and food aid to the most vulnerable. Despite the multiple challenges posed by pandemic related as well as access and bureaucratic restrictions, JRS has served tens of thousands of persons in both federal Iraq and in the Kurdistan Region, in on-site as well as outreach activities. In the second half of the year, JRS undertook five needs assessment visits to the Sinjar district and to the largely destroyed western side of Mosul city. In the latter, a very substantial distribution of quality food aid reached some 400 families, mostly Muslim remainees. JRS has also begun a pilot intervention in Sinjar, providing transportation to Sharya or Duhok for mental health cases who need psychotherapy and follow-up care or medication by JRS.

As 2021 comes to an end, the situation in Iraq continues to be marked by instability and multiple uncertainties. Challenges abound. Although the election was held on 10 October, a new government has yet to be formed. A recent UN report lists Iraq as the world’s fifth most vulnerable country to the effects of climate change. 25% of the 40 million population of this oil-rich country live below the poverty line. 1 million people are estimated to be in acute need. Another recent report shows that 5 million orphans, or 5% of all orphans globally, live in Iraq.

The humanitarian situation on the Poland-Belarus border that made news headlines in the fourth quarter of 2021 clearly shows that not all is well in Iraq and that those who have the means will risk everything to find durable solutions for their families and themselves. 

In 2022, JRS looks forward to launching new programmes in both Sinjar and Mosul. When the time comes, the establishment of a Jesuit community and of one or more new Jesuit works in Iraq should not be a nostalgic return to a past that cannot be retrieved but a forward-looking mission in the spirit of Fratelli Tutti. The Lord continues to invite us to be prophetic—may He find us responsive to this call.

Joseph Cassar SJ

Country Director, JRS Iraq

أخبار ذات صلة
Easter Greetings from the AMC!

Easter Greetings from the AMC!

It has been a challenging year for many migrants in Lebanon. Our community members have weathered rising rents and scarcer work, fears of expanding conflict, travel restrictions, and a whole host of daily difficulties. And yet, Easter joy abounds! The joy of the resurrection was made obvious this last week here in the AMC. Our whole community gathered for the Paschal Triduum to walk with Christ through his death and resurrection.

قراءة المزيد
Tertianship is what tertians give to each other

Tertianship is what tertians give to each other

The third batch of tertians in Bikfaya have just graduated their school of the heart. Theirs has been a very particular class. It is true of every class, and of each tertian. But armed conflicts leading to displacements and disruptions are not a common tertianship experiment. I am so grateful that all participants kept safe and well, and even drew no little spiritual profit from the difficult situation in which they found themselves.

قراءة المزيد
D’Ankara à Belfast, Le Caire, Ephèse, Nicée, Eskişehir, Almaty (et bien d’autres lieux!)

D’Ankara à Belfast, Le Caire, Ephèse, Nicée, Eskişehir, Almaty (et bien d’autres lieux!)

Qu’est-ce que vous faites à Ankara? Telle est souvent une des premières questions que j’entends lorsque je voyage. Chacun de nous quatre avons bien sûr nos activités habituelles: Michael écrit pour diverses publications (maintenant sur “l’appel universel à la sainteté”); Changmo étudie le turc, commence à s’engager avec les jeunes à la paroisse et s’acclimate peu à peu à la Turquie; Alexis, responsable de cette paroisse turcophone et de la formation de ses catéchumènes, est également impliqué dans des médias et la gestion pratique de la résidence; quant à moi, supérieur de celle-ci, je travaille dans la formation et l’accompagnement au service de l’Église de Turquie, et ai quelques engagements en dehors du pays pour le dialogue interreligieux, à divers titres.

قراءة المزيد
بفرحٍ وقلوبٍ مضطرمة – الذكرى السنويّة العاشرة لاستشهاد الأب فرانس ڤان دِر لوخت اليسوعيّ

بفرحٍ وقلوبٍ مضطرمة – الذكرى السنويّة العاشرة لاستشهاد الأب فرانس ڤان دِر لوخت اليسوعيّ

في حمص، في المدينة الّتي لم يخذلها ولن يتركها الأب فرانس، اجتمع لفيف من المؤمنين بحضور ممثّلي الكنيسة المحلّيّة بأطيافها كافّة، حبًّا ورغبة في الاحتفال وشكر الله على شهادة هذا الكاهن الهولّنديّ الّذي قدّم لأبناء سوريا الكثير حتّى الموت.

قراءة المزيد
Share This