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Pope Francis

Pope Francis: No people is criminal and no religion is terrorist

February 17, 2017. Pope Francis has sent an important message to the Meetings of Popular Movements that is taking place in Modesto (California). The pope denounces the "moral blindness of this indifference”: "under the guise of what is politically correct or ideologically fashionable, one looks at those who suffer without touching them. But they are televised live; they are talked about in euphemisms and with apparent tolerance, but nothing is done systematically to heal the social wounds or to confront the structures that leave so many brothers and sisters by the wayside”.

The government of the Order of Malta will elect the successor of the Grand Master in April

February 15, 2017. On April 29, the Council Complete of State, the Order’s constitutional body, will elect the next Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta (or, as provided for in the Constitution, a Lieutenant of the Grand Master, to hold office for a year).
Pope Francis

Pope names a Special Envoy for Medjugorje

< style> February 11, 2017. Pope Francis has asked Henryk Hoser, S.A.C., bishop of Warsaw-Prague (Poland), to go to Medjugorje as Special Envoy of the Holy See. According< g> the Vatican, "the mission has the aim of acquiring a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation there and above all, of the needs of the faithful who go there in pilgrimage, and on the basis of this, to suggest possible pastoral initiatives for the future”.

Pope Francis advances eight new causes of sainthood

January 23, 2017. On January 20, Pope Francis met with Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to announce the publication of decrees for the advancement of eight causes of sainthood.

Father Balleis And The Jesuit Refugee Service


Peter. Balleis
Director, Jesuit Refugee Service

A triple mission. To accompany, to serve and to advocate. We only advocate or speak on a situation on behalf of refugees if we are also working in that situation with that refugee. We don’t talk somewhere in the air. A lot of advocacy works is on the ground in the field. Individual cases who need to get their food to ration carts who don’t know the system works or with local governments.

The organization has been sending relief to refugees worldwide for 29 years. Balleis grew up on a farm in rural Germany. He still remembers the defining moment that called him to help others while on a trip to Africa.

Peter Balleis
Jesuit Refugee Service

I still remember the first hand of a beggar in Akuru in a station asking for something. I was a bit helpless, what to do now? You know, seeing the poverty in Kenya. That challenged me saying I think I should...I can’t just make my normal career. I should respond to it.

JRS’s aid includes education, health services, and visits to refugee camps worldwide.


Though JRS considers itself a faith-based organization, Balleis says the organization’s mission is not to convert refugees to Christianity, but rather to offer them help in the most extreme of situations.

Peter Balleis
Jesuit Refugee Service

Before you hand out the services you make people into Christians, this is not our line. No way. The love of God, our service is there for everyone. In most situations the refugees have been non Christians or are not Christians.

JRS is active from Africa to the middle east. It’s loaned its share of aid and service to the neediest of scenarios including Darfur, Iraq and now Sri Lanka.

Peter Balleis
Jesuit Refugee Service
One of the biggest pains, suffering and conflict is Sri Lanka. The war goes on almost 20 years. The Jesuit Refugee Service works there almost since the beginning of the nineties. Then there was a ceasefire and again and now its becoming a total onslaught on people on both sides.

Sri Lanka’s civil war has left thousands displaced across the country. Balleis says his organization has been successful in providing aid to the crisis here because of special help from locals.

Peter Balleis
Jesuit Refugee Service
A lot of our collaborators are themselves refugees or teachers from the local population who, when people have to move from here to there, move with them and start immediately the village school again, and that’s something very touching but its very painful to see.

What’s certain is that Balleis and the Jesuit Refugee Service will continue to bring relief to people in all corners of the world regardless of their faith.