Jesuits are called to serve, accompany, work with and advocate for people on the margins—those who are ignored or forgotten by the rest of society. Social justice has long been at the heart of the mission of the Society of Jesus, always moving to the frontiers, to places which others do not reach or have difficulty in reaching.
In Australia, Jesuits and their lay companions have walked with people from many different backgrounds and in many different places, from indigenous people in the Kimberley region, to young offenders in cities, to migrants and asylum seekers in search of peace and security in our country. Many lay people are now part of our social ministries, increasing the professional capacity of our organisations.
Social justice initiatives in our Province are carried out in all of our ministries: in our schools, parishes, centres of spirituality and communications and in our work with indigenous people. Our specific social ministries include Jesuit Social Services, Jesuit Mission and Jesuit Refugee Service.
Jesuit Social Services
Jesuit Social Services are a social change organisation working to build a just society where all people can live to their full potential. They partner with community to support those most in need. They work to change policies, practices, ideas and values that perpetuate inequality, prejudice and exclusion.
Jesuit Mission Australia is the non-profit development and relief organisation engaging the ministries of the Jesuits and broader networks domestically and overseas. For over 60 years, they have worked to inspire social justice, support community needs and empower through education. They promote environmental sustainability and social development in marginalised locations, most recently in Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Myanmar. They also respond to disasters, helping people in their time of greatest need.
Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS)
Jesuit Refugee Service is an international Catholic organisation with a mission to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. They undertake services at national and regional levels with the support of an international office in Rome. Their programs are found in 50 countries, providing assistance to refugees in camps and cities, individuals displaced within their own countries, asylum seekers in cities (urban refugees) and people held in detention centres.