Jesuits from different parts of the world gathered in Cambodia recently to dialogue with Buddhist monks, engaging them on three levels – academic, spiritual and practical. This holistic approach to inter-religious dialogue is one that has prevailed in the regular Christian-Buddhist Workshop of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific for many years.
Landing in Siem Seap on the second leg of his first trip to Asia Pacific, Fr General Arturo Sosa quickly found himself in completely different setting. From Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country with about 350 Jesuits and many institutions and collaborators, he was now in a largely Buddhist country, with a small cohort of 26 Jesuits working with a modest number of collaborators.
Superior General of the Society of Jesus Fr Arturo Sosa arrived in Yogyakarta, Indonesia today, July 11, on the first leg of his first visit to the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP).
Tomorrow, Fr General will meet with the Jesuits of the Indonesia Province for talks pertaining to General Congregation 36, which elected him as Superior General last year, and directions of Jesuit life, mission and engagements.
Life in rural Cambodia is hard, especially for small farmers. Each year, they struggle to get a decent yield to provide for their families. This is why the Centre for Research on Optimal Agricultural Practices (CROAP), a demonstration farm located a few kilometres from Pursat City, is introducing to farmers in the village of Keov Mony in Pursat a promising new method of rice farming.
Across the world from Rome, a mini-forest is growing to help offset the carbon footprint of the 36th General Congregation (GC 36). As the 215 delegates from 62 countries met in the aula of GC 36 last October, members of Jesuit Service Cambodia and Banteay Prieb, a Jesuit vocational school for persons with disabilities, planted 400 seedlings of native hardwood trees, including several locally endangered species, on one-hectare of land owned by the Jesuits near the school.
“It is outrageous that new cluster munitions are still killing people in Syria and Yemen in 2016 and causing so many new refugees,” said Sr Denise Coghlan RSM, Director of Jesuit Refugee Service Cambodia.
The Cluster Munitions Monitor for 2016 released on September 1 documented this use and also the progress being made in stockpile destruction, clearance and assistance to enhance the quality of life of the survivors.
The education secretaries within the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) met from May 30 to June 2 in Siem Reap, Cambodia to discuss, among many things, possible projects for collaboration. Guiding the discussion around how members of the Asia Pacific network of Jesuit schools can assist and support each other’s projects was the new JCAP Coordinator for Basic and Secondary Education, Fr Johnny Go SJ, who took over the role from Fr Christopher Gleeson SJ recently.
Banteay Prieb, a Jesuit vocational training centre in Cambodia, is launching an education program for people with intellectual disabilities next month. The program, which begins with 11 students, builds on the centre’s 23 years of experience serving people with physical disabilities as a result of war, land mines, polio and accidents.