The Jesuits in Africa
Jesuits have been part of the fabric of African society for the last 450 years. In the last half century the order in Africa has transformed from a ministry of foreign missionaries to a truly African body representing the aspirations of an organisation that is bound to supporting a "faith that does justice" as they express their love of God.
Close to 400 ministries under our direction
We have close to 400 ministries in schools, communities and projects in Africa. As a Society we are often associated with evangelism, education and priestly formation but we are also active in taking on some of key structural and spiritual challenges of our time like social injustice, health issues and poverty.
Dealing with the challenges of the day
Through the African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) we are helping people deal with the trauma of HIV and Aids both in terms of access to medical resources and in offering a network of collaborative organisations of support and advocacy.
Our companions in the Jesuit Refugee Service are helping some of the most marginalised families who have escaped conflict areas like Somalia, Southern Sudan and the eastern DRC, Congo. This is both in providing essential services, but also ensuring that there voice is heard by politicians.
You may also be surprised to find Jesuits are also working as social entrepreneurs, managing companies and services that are of benefit to their communities. In Zambia they are running a training programme for more than 1,200 organic farmers. In Madagascar we have a construction company capable of managing large infrastructural projects. In Zambia we have a media production company, Loyola Productions which helps create media necessary for spreading the Gospel and making a contribution to social causes.
Services to the individual
Spiritually we are exploring new ways to offer to lay persons our most noted experience of the 30-day Spiritual Exercises in a format that fits their daily lives and the rapidly changing realities of Africa.
These projects are just some of what is happening in our 9 Provinces and Regions. For Jesuits and our partners in ministry the important thing is that there is a real improvement is being made in people's lives. We are fortunate to have the Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, who is originally from Spain, as the 30th Father General of our Society. Father General has committed to lead the community until October 2016 when he will retire and we will have our General Congregation for the election of a new superior general.