Monday, July 6, 2009

Ambos Nogales—Both Nogales.
It’s the term used to describe an urban area that straddles the U.S.–Mexico border. To the north is Nogales, Arizona; to the south is Nogales, Sonora. All around is the Sonoran Desert, crossed and recrossed by seventeenth-century Jesuit missionary Eusebio Kino in his ministry to Pima Indians. Today a tall fence and a border checkpoint mark the area as one where northbound immigration, illegal and legal, meets southbound
repatriation, forced and voluntary. This January marked the start of the Kino Border Initiative (KBI)
a ministry that bridges the border as well. It’s a collaborative ministry in a big way; it’s a binational project of the Jesuits of the California and the Mexico provinces, the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist, the dioceses of Tucson and Hermosillo, and the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. To read please click "I Was Hungry" ~ photos by Robert Dolan, SJ

Women and children, the immigrants most vulnerable to exploitation, have a safe place to stay in Casa Nazaret, a few apartments staffed by the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist.

Primary Sources: Oral history project preserves Jesuits’ first-hand accounts for the future
by Peter Feuerherd

The year was 1975. Fr.Aram Berard, SJ, from RhodeIsland, was ministering in a village in Vietnam. It was not a good time to be an American there. As the Communists were advancing on Saigon, Berard visited his superiors in the city days beforeits fall and went back to Can Tho, his village, to wrap up business and saygoodbye to his parishioners before leaving the country. But the South Vietnamese government fell and the last Americans left, crowded into helicopters atop the U.S.embassy, the day that Berard was to have returned to Saigon and flown out. Berard was left behind. A bishop advised him to throw away his U.S.passport and take on the identity of a French priest. All during his trek back to Saigon, he wore a hat, glasses, anda soutane, a French-style cassock. He spoke in the tones of the Sorbonne,where he had studied just a few years before. He invoked the spirit of hisFrench ancestors.
According to Berard, the Communists,after they seized control, wanted no foreigners in the country. It still took him four months, however, to secure permission to fly to Bangkok, where he got a new U.S. passport. Berard passed away in November, but his story of those eventful years will live on, thanks to an oral history projectof the New England Province thatbegan four years ago. Project directorFr. Richard Rousseau, SJ, and assistantFr. Paul Kenney, SJ, have compiled the stories of scores of other New England Jesuits. Photos, tapes, and transcripts ofthe interviews are available on line as well as in booklets.

Fr. Aram Berard, SJ (second from right in back), tells in his oral history segment how he posed as a French priest and relied on the help of Vietnamese locals when stuck in Vietnam after the fall of the South in ’75.

For the full article... Primary Sources - Company Magazine

Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, the Society's general from 1965 to 1983,
got a shoeshine and quickly returned the favor.

Mass to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ, 1907 - 1991

Homily given by Father Michael Holman SJ at Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon, on Saturday, 10 November 2007.

As a young man he volunteered to leave his native Spain and to live the rest of
his life in Japan. He arrived in 1939, with little of the language and even less understanding of the culture. After the attack on Pearl Harbour and the declaration of war two years later, he was imprisoned on suspicion of being a spy. He had nothing, but with God he had everything; this wasn't second best, this was the best; this wasn't failure, this was success. This is why his words in his final illness, give us the character of that faith which shaped the whole of his life, and can give shape to our lives too: 'More than ever I find myself in the hands of God. This is what I have wanted all my life, from my youth…but now the initiative is entirely with God'.

This certainly has a hold over me, but there's much more. Fr Arrupe never failed to paint an attractive picture of the God we can depend on, whom we would want to depend on, a God whose name is first and foremost 'Compassion'. God taught him this in his experience. As a medical student, he travelled with his mother and family, shortly after his father's death, to Lourdes where he encountered his Jesus tangibly present amongst the poor, Jesus the compassionate one. 'In one solemn moment', he later remembered, 'a paralysed nun and Jesus Christ came face to face. I don't know
how they looked at each other but in that instant there was a great contact of love between them'. This experience gave him his vocation and it seems to me to have shaped the rest of his life.

This man of compassion, who wouldn't be motivated by his example? Once as Jesuit General walking in the streets of a city in Ecuador, Fr Arrupe was approached by a child beggar offering to shine his shoes, he knelt down and polished the boy's shoes instead. The Christ who became poor is to be served in the poor and the poor are only served when like Christ we share the life of the poor.

To read Fr. Holman's entire homily at the Mass to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ... Homily given by Fr. Michael Holman SJ at Sacred Heart on Arrupe from the The Jesuits in Britain website.

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