Set the world on fire

The latest Jesuit Mission Gratitude Report tells its own story
about making a lasting difference to the marginalised.

 WALKING WITH THE EXCLUDED 

The guiding vision of Jesuit Mission Australia (JMA) is working towards an inclusive and just world where humanity flourishes. As Pope Francis says, “For the poor to overcome their oppressive situation, they need to sense the presence of brothers and sisters who are concerned for them and, by opening the doors of their hearts and lives, make them feel like friends and family.”

Founded in 1951, JMA is the international development organisation of the Australian Jesuits. JMA partners with Jesuit networks overseas to deliver community-led, sustainable programs that cultivate resilience and self-reliance for vulnerable communities, primarily in India and south-east Asia.

In the words of Australian Provincial Fr Quyen Vu SJ, “I have seen our Jesuit Mission community truly opening their hearts with compassion and generosity to make a tangible difference to the lives of our sisters and brothers living on the global margins. This solidarity enables my Jesuit brothers and their lay collaborators to accompany marginalised communities to liberate themselves from poverty and injustice.

“In 2023, our joint efforts positively impacted the lives of over 260,000 individuals through various projects spanning Asia and Africa. In addition, we reached another 290,000 people through our Lok Manch advocacy and tribal empowerment project in India. This was made possible through collaborative initiatives with the global Jesuit network.

“I sincerely express my gratitude for all that has been generously contributed towards building a more inclusive and just world, where humanity can truly flourish. I would also like to thank the Jesuit Mission Board and staff here in Australia who work tirelessly to facilitate our local and global efforts. As we renew our commitment to work together to uplift communities around the world, let us draw inspiration from the wisdom of St Ignatius: ‘Go forth and set the world on fire.’”

JMA CEO Helen Forde said: “I am deeply moved by the faith, compassion and action of our Jesuit Mission family. As our sisters and brothers overseas faced another year shouldering hardships including war, conflict, natural disasters and poverty, you have not turned away. Once again, you, our faithful companions in mission, have stood in solidarity with the most vulnerable members of our global family.

“You prayed, acted and responded to our call to serve, raising an incredible $7 million in the last year. This extraordinary outpouring of love – including the compassionate efforts of all our supporters, parishes, committees, schools and volunteers – has enabled our local Jesuit partners in 14 countries to reach more than 550,000 people through 63 life-changing projects.

“Thanks to your generosity, our partners on the frontlines could deliver prompt, life-saving relief and ongoing support during the darkest times. The trust that you place in Jesuit Mission and our partners is humbling, and something we do not take lightly. Jesuit Mission is committed to stewarding all donated funds to best serve our global family as we work to empower the vulnerable, to challenge unjust structures that perpetrate poverty, and to create a world where all people are equal.

“I sincerely thank our project partners overseas who work hand in hand with local communities to realise our mission, and our dedicated Board, staff and volunteers whose passion inspires me every day.”

Read the JMA 2023 Gratitude Report here.

Banner image by happyphoton, Canva.