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

I want to thank the members of the Province for their warm welcome to me since I arrived in the Province. I am humbled by your patience as I struggle to learn Arabic and learn how to live and serve in Syrian society and culture.  

In early 2018 I began working with JRS a remote part of South Sudan. I returned to Ireland in early 2021. Given my mother’s advanced years, I was discerning with my Provincial that I might stay in Ireland for my next mission. On a Friday in April we were close to a decision on an assignment in Ireland. Over the weekend, JRS International Office contacted my Provincial and by Tuesday I was heading to Prov PRO and to JRS Syria! Such is the God of surprises. 

I have been surprised by many things in my first months in Syria.  Most of all I am surprised by how many smiling faces I see and how much laughter I have hear each day. It seems to me that Syrians easily find joy in many ordinary things and draw strength in the warmth of relationships of family and friends. Of course behind all the smiles and laughter is a fountain of tears that has shed many times and has volumes of tears yet to flow. They are a people crushed by not broken.

Friends and family members often ask me ‘what is the difference between Syria and Africa?’ Of course I always answer that it is impossible to compare and contrast human suffering across contexts. However as I reflect on the question and as I listen more to the stories of people I meet here, I am struck by how much people here have lost. Perhaps it is this dimension of ‘loss’ that strikes me again and again as pervasive and perhaps this gives a particular colour to the suffering that is common in Syria. Closely linked to this sense of loss, or perhaps a part of the loss, is the loss of belief in a future and the dreams of life. I have been struck by the amount of times I hear people say; ‘things are worse now than they ever have been’ and the struggle for daily basics has intensified during the year gone by. As hope is scare and people continue to leave or want to leave the country, it is all the more important that JRS stand with people in the pitiful present and whisper hope.

I have always been struck by the a line in Gaudium et Spes; ‘…{t}he future of humanity rests with people who are capable of providing the generations to come with reasons for living and for hope. (- Paragraph 37). This line has never had the strength of resonance than it has for me these days. It is not surprising then that the central mission of JRS and indeed all Jesuit ministry in Syria is one of kindling hope.

JRS seeks to offer hope, healing and capacity for dreams, to over 1,500 children attending our education support programmes in our community centres in Aleppo, Homs and Damascus. A wide range of peace building activities and programmes to promote social cohesion is another plank of the way JRS seeks to accompany and promote hope. Offering free health care with dignity remains a key service of JRS in Syria. 

More than what we offer is the way we seek to serve, and I am so grateful to see a heritage of interreligious working in the JRS team. The team is packed with people motivated by compassion and the desire for honest effort. I think this witness of Christian and Muslins working together in the service of the most in need, is the most important way we say that the ‘peace’ the ‘Shalom’ given to us in the Incarnation is possible Syria. The present struggle and crisis is not the final word. Nshalla!

Fr Tony O’Riordan SJ

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
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