Established in 2007, the Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice wants to make a difference. We engage people in deeper thinking and sharing on what’s going on in our globalized world, starting with their own experience.
While we humans are social beings who depend on community, many of us experience isolation and a sense of powerlessness that leaves us disengaged in the face of a chaotic world. The daily headlines warn us of failing democracies, conflict and unpredictable environmental changes. This creates fear, often unexpressed, and a preoccupation with personal security. Social media compound this by replacing depth in communication with information overload that can overwhelm us.
To achieve its goal of building a better world, the Jesuit Forum brings together small groups of people, who want to – and can – make a difference, to reflect, share and speak openly and honestly on a range of issues. Through active listening and dialogue – two critical skills Jesuit Forum participants practise – these small groups work to build trust and foster effective decision-making in confronting injustices.
The hope is that this trust-building approach will counteract the growing privatization of peoples’ faith and deepest convictions. Rather, it fosters friendship, energy, enthusiasm and a deeper understanding of the world in which we live. The Jesuit Forum helps to uncover creative solutions that are within us and direct them outward, helping us determine what we can do with others to build a better world.
In addition to facilitating small groups, the Jesuit Forum also produces materials that help groups discern the “signs of the times” and understand the complexities of the many social and ecological justice issues we face on a global level.
Two recent publications, grounded in Catholic social teaching, are Living with Limits, Living Well! Hints for neighbours on an endangered planet and an insightful workbook on Pope Francis’ The Joy of the Gospel. These and other materials are available from our office. Visit our website to discover Open Space, our quarterly publication you can download in PDF format.