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Care and collaboration in a broken world: Urgent action for the Oikos

13 May 2020

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Ecojesuit released a video in time for Earth Day 2020, Urgent Action for the Oikos. Its theme: the balance of life, the oikos of economy and the oikos of ecology. It is a reminder that everything is interconnected; we are all living in the same world – the same “household” – where we must learn to strike a balance.

It recalls the words of Pope Francis in the encyclical Laudato Si’: “The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation.”

It is a call to action for dialogue and engagement with discernment. This complicated crisis we face is both ecological and social; it cannot be solved by individual efforts. The reality is that we all need to come together and create a relationship where we all share in the solution.

Ecojesuit pushes the need for solidarity in every aspect of its work. Essentially a way of linking Jesuit institutions and people around the world who care for our common home, it brings people together through different efforts. Communication, raising awareness, mobilisation, and dialogue are some of the core endeavours of the network. It does these through online publications, various programmes, discussion platforms, resource sharing, and workshops.

In 2008, during the 35th General Congregation (GC35), environmental and ecological challenges were incorporated into the mission of the Society of Jesus. A document was released: Healing a Broken World, developed by a task force at the appeal of then Fr General Adolfo Nicolás SJ, convened by the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat and the Secretariat for Higher Education.This “special moment of joy” was a step forward from GC35. Ecojesuit emerged as a response.

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A view from Balay Laudato Si’, August 2019 (Art by Margarida Alvim)

In 2010, Ecojesuit was initiated online by the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) and the Jesuit European Social Centre. A decade later, it is one of the most active Jesuit networks, linked with the six Conferences and many other global networks within the Society of Jesus and outside of it. This highlights the special focus on collaboration and networking.

As Fr Tony Moreno SJ, JCAP President, remarked in the Ecojesuit video, “There is a big shift from ‘we have collaborators’ to ‘we are collaborators.’”

Ecojesuit’s spirit lives on in the Universal Apostolic Preferences – all of them, not only the fourth preference of caring for our common home. It encompasses all the preferences: journeying with the youth – who play an extremely important role today in becoming proponents of climate justice. We are also learning from the youth and together we walk with the poor and the outcasts of the world, to further the mission of reconciliation and justice. It is a journey that shows us the path to God, of finding hope and healing in the midst of a broken world.

The Ecojesuit video can be viewed in the following:

  • Urgent Action for the Oikos: Ecojesuit – with English subtitles 
  • Acción urgente para el Oikos: Ecojesuit – with Spanish subtitles 
  • Action Urgent pour l’Oikos: Ecojesuit – with French subtitles 
  • Acção urgente para os Oikos: Ecojesuit – with Portuguese subtitles 
  • This story was originally published in the JCAP news.

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