30 July 2010
|Returnees in Yei reenact the stations of the cross in 2009. Recently, JRS workers at Lobone strengthened their understanding of the church in Jesuit workshops (Angela Hellmuth/JRS)|
|“I want to put into practice what Jesus says in Matthew 25... What we do for others we do for him. This means we need to treat those who suffer with compassion.”|
Yei, 16 July 2010 - In early July, three Jesuits gave a day long workshop-retreat on the Ignatian identity and mission of JRS to staff members in three projects in Southern Sudan.
The workshops which took place between July 7 and 13, 2010 aimed to deepen JRS workers’ appreciation and knowledge of the Ignatian foundation of the organisation. Staff members in Yei, Kajo Keji and Nimule agreed that this goal was achieved. "I always wanted to know who this Arrupe person was," said Juan Vicky Robinah, JRS Secretary in Kajo Keji during a break. "Now I do. Now I understand," she added.
The retreat first introduced participants to the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, and offered some guiding principles of Ignatian spirituality. Participants then learnt about the life of Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ who founded JRS in 1980. Plenty of time was given to reflect both individually and in groups on the threefold mission of JRS, to accompany, to serve and to advocate and to share experiences. The day included festive meals and concluded with prayer and open conversations among staff.
"I want to put into practice what Jesus says in Matthew 25," said Eriga Victor, JRS Secondary Education Coordinator in Yei. "What we do for others we do for him. This means we need to treat those who suffer with compassion," he added. Many participants expressed interest in future retreats and workshops.
The three Jesuits who facilitated the workshop, Bernhard Knorn, SJ, Javier Montes, SJ and Fr. Kevin White, SJ, all work for JRS in Southern Sudan. They come from Germany, Spain and the US respectively. Two Jesuit scholastics from Hekima College in Nairobi, Kenya who are currently on a two month field assignments with JRS also assisted with the facilitation. A similar training was done in Lobone, the fourth JRS-run project in Southern Sudan, earlier this year.
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