Xavier Network meeting: Onwards in solidarity

March 28, 2024 in Featured News, News

The member organizations of the Xavier Network met in Dublin, Ireland from March 13 to 15, 2024. The meeting brought together the directors and international program coordinators of participating organizations from Europe, North America, and Australia, and the meeting was hosted by Irish Jesuits International (IJI)

The Xavier Network is an international mission and development partnership between Jesuit organisations working in faith to promote justice. They believe that they can better support and stand in solidarity with the marginalised of the world through collaboration and partnership.

The Provincial of the Irish Jesuits Fr Shane Daly SJ welcomed the group and encouraged the Xavier Network in their journey of reimagining the mission offices. He expressed the belief that the Xavier Network plays a key role in helping Jesuit Provinces be reminded that there is a bigger world that we are called to serve as part of the universal mission of the Society of Jesus.

As well as meeting to strengthen collaboration between members, the gathering also reflected on major projects where three key strategic partners presented on work to date.

Two presenters, Caroline Sanga and Fr. Allan Ggita SJ from the Eastern Africa Jesuit Province joined virtually to talk about the work in South Sudan which is being supported by members of the Xavier Network.

For Irish Jesuits International, development projects in South Sudan are a huge segment of their work. They provide teacher training, school feeding programmes and gender-responsive education as well as water tanks and boreholes to address water scarcity.

Michael Schöpf SJ, International Director of Jesuit Refugee Service and Nacho Eguizábal, Associate Director, as well as Fr. Dani Villanueva SJ, General Coordinator of the International Federation of Fey Alegria also presented during the conference.

Together, the network explored how all international networks of the Society of Jesus, can best serve people on the margins of society, and live out the Universal Apostolic Preferences. Also in focus was the humanitarian work of the network and the status of current emergencies including Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Haiti, and Nepal.

As always, the president of the Conference of European Provincials, Fr Dalibor Renić SJ, and the coordinator of the social apostolate, Fr Filipe Martins SJ were also present.

Joe Munnelly, Communications Officer with IJI said, “The rich conversations among directors, programs coordinators, and guests during the conference put a spotlight on the significant ways in which the Xavier Network has grown as a community of solidarity over the years since its inception.” He noted that the conference focused on what has been and what continues to be accomplished. “They reflected on the level of coordination in programming emergency and disaster response, and the development of common policies such as safeguarding policies, he said, concluding that, “Much remains to be done but Xavier network share a commitment to cooperation and service.”

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