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Global: JRS and the European Confederation of Jesuit Alumni reflect on the global migration and refugee situation
14 September 2016

Refugee woman sitting in a refugee transit camp in Croatia (Darrin Zammit Lupi/Jesuit Refugee Service)
"We can no longer take the suffering of others for granted, we must come together and mobilize our compassion to make a globalized difference. It is the role of each one of us to ensure those who have lost their homes do not lose their hope." Pope Francis
Rome, 14 September 2016 – On Friday 16th of September, at 11:30 a.m., at LUMSA University, Fr Thomas H Smolich SJ, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) International Director, will speak at the European Encounters of Jesuit Alumni "Global Migration and Refugee Crisis: Time to Contemplate and Act", hosted by the European Confederation of Jesuit Alumni (ECJA), and supported by the World Union of Jesuit Alumni (WUJA).

Fr. Smolich's intervention will focus on the Jesuit answer to the migration phenomenon and on what the Jesuit Refugee Service does to respond to the refugees' needs. Reflecting also on the three pillars of JRS mission, accompanying, serving and advocating, the International Director will provide information to help the audience understand the complexities surrounding migration in a faith-inspired and comprehensive manner.

On September 14th, the European Jesuit Alumni will begin their meetings in a three days encounters, rich with initiatives, workshops and discussions to analyze how, as Europeans and as Christians, they can take and active part to the resolution of the many challenges Europe is facing vis-à-vis the migration influx.

In order to gather in depth information and pluralistic points of view on the matter, at 9:30 a.m. on Friday September 16th, integration and cultural identity, social, economic and religious issues will be addressed holistically by IlhamAllah Ferrero, Secretary General COREIS (Italian Islamic Religious Community), Chiara Peri, Advocacy Officer at Centro Astalli (JRS Italy), and by Jill Drzewiecki, Mercy in Motion Campaign Development Coordinator (JRS International Office). 

On Thursday and Friday the participants will also have the chance to attend an experiental tour, organized by the JRS International Office, where they will meet refugees served by JRS, to better understand the many challenges they deal with in a large metropolis such as Rome.

These intense days of European encounters promise to be a series of moments in which former Jesuit students acquire spiritual and intellectual knowledge to open up their souls and minds, a knowledge that will guide and inspire them, once back at home, to live their lives as true followers of Ignatius.

The programme will conclude on Saturday after a private audience with Pope Francis. 

Event information:
Friday, 16 September 2016, 09:30 -13:00
LUMSA University, Sala Giubileo, via di Porta Castello 44, 00193 Rome, Italy

For more information:

Jill Drzewiecki, JRS Mercy in Motion Campaign Development Coordinator, - tel. 3454378095
Giulio D'Ercole, JRS Mercy in Motion Campaign Communications Coordinator, - tel. 3403552538
Juan M. Montoya, WUJA Program Coordinator / European Encounters of Jesuit Alumni Logistics Coordinator, - tel: +32 470 196 011

Press Contact Information
Martina Bezzini