As stated in a letter on the social apostolate written in 2000 by then Superior General of the Society of Jesus Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ, the preferential option for the poor has marked the whole history of the Jesuits since its very earliest origins. The work of social ministries has assumed various forms according to times and places, but it has and always will be grounded in the justice of the Gospel.
Our faith call to confront the structures of our world that perpetuate poverty and injustice is the embodiment of God’s love and saving mercy. As the Jesuits declared at the 32nd General Congregation in 1975: “The mission of the Society of Jesus today is the service of faith, of which the promotion of justice is an absolute requirement. For reconciliation with God demands the reconciliation of people with one another.”
In each province and assistancy, the work of social ministries animates the justice and charity dimensions of the Jesuit mission across all of our works: Jesuit communities, parishes, middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities, and ministries that directly serve those who are poor and marginalized. Social ministries concretely embody the faith-justice mission of the Jesuits in real commitments and renders it visible. Through social research and publications, advocacy and human development, and direct social action with and for the poor, the service of faith and promotion of justice remains at the core of the identity of our Jesuit communities and institutions.
Social Ministries in the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces
At the province level, the provincial's assistant for social ministries accompanies, supports, and encourages the social justice work at Jesuit communities and institutions, providing resources and opportunities to link local issues to the advocacy focus areas of the Jesuit Conference of the United States. Learn more about our current advocacy focus areas (education and solidarity with Africa, domestic poverty, and migration and immigration) by clicking on the Jesuit Advocacy link to the right. Visit the National Jesuit Committee on Investment Responsibility (JCIR) page to learn about the efforts of the Jesuits to change the behavior of corporations through shareholder advocacy and socially responsible investments. Read about social ministries activities and sign up for future e-newsletter additions at Social Ministries News. Review a full list of Jesuit and affiliated social ministries programs in the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces at the Partners in Ministry page.
Stories on the Care for Creation
During 2016, the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces of the Jesuits will share monthly stories that feature ways Jesuits, lay collaborators and our ministries are responding to the call of Pope Francis to care for our common home. Any ministry may contribute a story. The Provinces hope to share uplifting experiences that encourage each of us to act justly and compassionately. We pray, as the Holy Father writes, that these stories of prayer, education and concern for our planet bring joy, hope, and inspiration to preserve God’s Creation. Click here to view them.