Xavier Network meeting, Dublin 2024: Looking onwards in Solidarity.

The member organizations of the Xavier Network met in Dublin, Ireland from March 13 to 15, 2024. The meeting brought together the directors and international program coordinators of participating organizations from Europe, North America, and Australia, and the meeting was hosted by Irish Jesuits International (IJI)

The Xavier Network is an international mission and development partnership between Jesuit organisations working in faith to promote justice and was set up with aim of collaboration and partnership so that by joining together more can be achieved to support and stand in solidarity with the marginalised of our world.

As well as meeting to strengthen collaboration between members, the gathering also reflected on major projects where three key strategic partners presented on work to date. Two presenters, Caroline Sanga and Fr. Allan Ggita SJ from the Eastern Africa Jesuit Province joined virtually to talk about the work in South Sudan which is being supported by members of the Xavier Network. For Irish Jesuits International, development projects in South Sudan are a huge segment to their work, from education by way of teacher training, school feeding programmes and gender responsive education to water tanks and boreholes to address water scarcity.

Michael Schöpf SJ, International Director of Jesuit Refugee Service and Nacho Eguizábal, Associate Director, as well as Fr. Dani Villanueva SJ, General Coordinator of the international Federation of Fe y  Alegria also presented during the conference.

Together, the network explored how all international networks of the Society of Jesus, can best serve people on the margins of society, and live out the Universal Apostolic Preferences. Also put in focus was the humanitarian work of the network and the status of current emergencies including Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Haiti, and Nepal.

As always, the president of the conference of European Provincials, Fr Dalibor Renić SJ and the coordinator of the social apostolate, Fr Filipe  Martins SJ were also present.

The Provincial of the Irish Jesuits Fr Shane Daly SJ welcomed the group and encouraged the Xavier Network in their journey of reimagining the mission offices. He expressed the belief that the Xavier Network plays a key role in helping Jesuit Provinces be reminded that there is a bigger world that we are called to serve as part of the universal mission of the Society of Jesus.

The rich conversations among directors, programs coordinators and our guests during the conference put a spotlight on the significant ways in which the Xavier Network has grown as a community of solidarity over the years since its inception. Through reflection and evaluation on what has and continues to be accomplished was the conference focus and level of coordination in programming emergency and disaster response, and the development of common policies such as safeguarding policies.

Much remains to be done but Xavier network share a commitment to cooperation and service.

To find out more about the Xavier network, click the link: here 

Photo credit: CJI.