Social Ministries Link Faith and Justice
Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J., executive director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, discusses the rewards of working with youths in the nation’s largest gang-rehabilitation program.
Solidarity with people on the margins and commitment to social change unites all of our ministries. The victories range from small—encouraging a homeless woman to exchange a garbage bag for a pair of pants—to life-changing, when gang members exchange guns for jobs, or communities work together to curb violence, improve education, and achieve other goals. The following ministries serve various communities within the California Province:
Companions in Ignatian Service and Spirituality
The Companions program of prayer and Ignatian spirituality enriches the experience of committed individuals, fifty and older, involved in volunteer community service with the poor, marginalized and socially vulnerable. The Companions program is a partnership between the California Province, the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education at Santa Clara University, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, and the Diocese of San Jose's Institute for Leadership in Ministry. Participants in the Companions program commit to consistent weekly service to the poor and marginalized; and a commitment to daily prayer and devotion, individual spiritual reflection with a director, periods of retreat, and monthly meetings to engage in communal spiritual formation with one another. For more about the Companions, go to http://www.ignatiancompanions.org/.
Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative (JRJI)
JRJI is a pastoral ministry of restorative justice that strives to heal broken relationships between those who are incarcerated and their families as well as victims of crime through prayer, education, and advocacy. JRJI provides chaplaincy services such as spiritual counseling, prayer, liturgies, and retreats to incarcerated youth and the people affected by crimes throughout the Los Angeles area. JRJI produces prayer and liturgy materials for chaplains and detention ministers throughout California and beyond. JRJI provides educational talks, workshops, and retreats to faith-based communities seeking to understand the principles and practices of restorative justice and the biblical call to accompany the imprisoned. JRJI participates in statewide and national advocacy to transform the legislative and cultural obsession with incarceration into a genuine concern for a justice that heals the personal and communal wounds caused by crime. Based in Culver City, California, JRJI is a collaborative project of the California Province of the Society of Jesus, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Homeboy Industries. Father Michael Kennedy, S.J., is Executive Director of the JRJI.
Kino Border Initiative (KBI)
KBI is a binational effort to provide social, pastoral, and educational ministries to migrants and the communities most affected by them on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Based in Nogales, Ariz., and Nogales, Sonora, KBI is a partnership of the California Province of the Society of Jesus with the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, the Mexican Province of the Society of Jesus, and the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist in collaboration with bishops and leaders of the Diocese of Tucson and the Archdiocese of Hermosillo, Sonora. In Nogales, Sonora, KBI operates a humanitarian care center for deported migrants and a short-term shelter for deported women. For more about the KBI, go to http://www.kinoborderinitiative.org
"The virtue of solidarity is not a private feeling of empathy or friendship with people whom we know well or the poor person we happen to meet on our life's journey... It relaizes that the quality of our lives is instrinsically linked with the quality of the lives of others..."
Paul Locatelli, S.J.