About Poverty and inequality: Technological advancements have resulted in an explosion of material goods and a wide variety of services. These however remain far beyond the reach of the poor, millions of whom wage a daily battle for survival. Due to various social, political, economic and religious reasons, millions are pushed to the margins of society.
About the Ecological Crisis: Our wasteful use of material resources has caused a rapid degradation of the natural environment. The poor and marginalized are the most affected by this crisis. We are called upon to heed the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, doing all we can to care for our common home.
The immense suffering and injustice in our world is a scandal that goes against the Divine plan and offends the very concept of human dignity. Our Jesuit institutions are committed to forming ‘men and women for and with others’ – a phrase so dear to the hearts of my predecessors, Fr. Pedro Arrupe and Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach. We endeavour to build up structures that will support the poor and help them rise to a reasonable standard of life. At the same time, we seek to form the conscience of individuals to promote a culture of fraternity and acceptance.
Reconciliation with creation has taken on a new urgency in recent times. This requires a multifaceted approach that challenges the dominant models of development and promotes a greater respect for God’s creation. At the macro level, we join hands with other experts to identify the roots and solutions to the ecological crisis. We also recognize the challenge to examine our own consumption patterns and adopt lifestyles that reflect our commitment.
We, Jesuits cannot do all this singlehandedly. We need your cooperation and collaboration. Together, much can be done and achieved. It gives me much consolation to know that you alumni are already in these two areas: social work and ecology. I encourage you in the spirit of the “magis” (which is a Latin word in Jesuit spirituality) to do more in these lines and to do it better.