quarta-feira, 23 de abril de 2008

Report of the JPIC Zonal Coodenator SSPS

Sr. Benedikta, SSpS

Report of the JPIC Zonal coordinator SSpS

From MOOS 2005 – to the JPIC-Meeting in NITRA 2008

Since the last meeting of the European Group Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation - EURO JPIC - there were the following developments among the SVD and SSpS:
1st Theme of the meeting: DIALOGUE WITH ISLAM /Muslims
The EURO - JPIC - Assembly in Moos/Germany-South set for the next meeting as the working theme DIALOGUE WITH ISLAM. In Nitra we could win Fr. Marcus Solo SVD, as a speaker. While Markus Solo shortly before the scheduled date in 2007 went to Rome, he was not able to keep this date. We therefore changed the date for the JPIC meeting from September 2007 to April 2008. This brought some difficulties to the brothers and sisters in Slovakia. They had a very short time to make other arrangements.
2nd Change of Coordinator and preparation for the meeting
In Moos, Sr. Carmen Lee from England/Ireland took over for the SSpS as JPIC coordinator for Europe. Under her leadership, in collaboration with Norbert Mushoff, SVD, in the first two years this meeting was prepared.
These two meetings were held in Steyl and in Nitra. In 2007, Sister Carmen Lee was appointed Regional-Leader in England/Ireland, and she, therefore, was not able to continue as Zonal coordinator for JPIC. The EURO-Council elected then Sr. Benedikta Böckelmann, Germany, for this task. Under her leadership for the SSpS, the direct preparation of this meeting was done, together with Norbert Mushoff. The third meeting was in Steyl. It was not so simple for us to prepare the meeting. But now we hope, our meeting will be a good success.
3rd The aim of the meeting
I hope that this conference CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM DIALOGUE IN OUR MIGRANT MINISTRY will help us, to find criteria for our pastoral tasks, operations and projects. The dialogue with the different religions seems together with justice one of the most fundamental issues for the peace in Europe and throughout the world. Peace remains even in future very vulnerable. Being able to dialogue with other religions makes us able to work for peace. For this reason, I wish us a very good success.

Sr. Benedikta Böckelmann SSpS

SSPS of German Province

Sr. Benedikta Böckelmann, SSpS

Report 16

Report / German Province
Justice – Peace and Integrity of Creation

Coordination of he work of specific work areas in the province Every year, two meetings of the specific areas of work are thematically prepared, organized and carried out. Participating in this coordination were the provincial leadership, mission animation and JPIC.
The different groups of sisters in the mission areas such as mission animation, formation, vocation promotion, JPIC, media work and members care, came together to share their experiences with the provincial leadership. They met two times in order to work together to find agreements on topics and how to cooperate under a common theme. That meeting resulted in the joint training for all sisters in the province. The common theme for 2007 was "Globalization and its implications and consequences in today's world." For 2008 it will be the theme of the general chapter: "Afire with Christ - committed to Life" focusing on the implementation of the attitude of Jesus to the people in the present time. This working theme is subject to all groups in their respective areas.
Ongoing Formation
For all members of the SSpS communities in the province these seminars are the base for information. In these seminars the sisters receive encouragement and suggestions for responsible actions in our world. The annual theme in 2007 was "Globalization". For this theme common material was prepared. The speakers were all sisters from the province who offered in various convents a 3-4 day long seminar. Ten courses were in autumn 2007 and in spring 2008. The sisters were very open to this subject. For autumn 2008 and spring 2009, continuing seminars on ongoing formation for the sisters are planned under the motto of the general chapter "Afire with Christ – committed to Life". In our mind we should always be committed to today's life. Let us not withdraw into privacy or to allow a ghetto, but let us take on the challenge and respond to the questions of the people. The preparation of these seminars is still pending.
Fight against human trafficking and protection for women and girls against sexual exploitation. In this area work full time, Sr. Bernadette Dunkel and Sr. Benedikta Böckelmann. In a women's shelter in Duisburg maintained by Sr. Bernadette, there live several women who are victims of trafficking or victims of violence in family and partnership. The work is sometimes very stressful and requires a lot of dedication and strength.
In Boppard, Sr Benedikta works in the coordination of 12 counselling centres against human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls for the Women's organization SOLWODI - Solidarity with women in distress. A of her further tasks is the coordination of religious women in Germany and Eastern-Europe in the fight against trafficking in women. She leads as well a working group of religious women against trafficking of women und children.

A very important and impressive event was the "emergency-hotline” for women before, during and after the football World Cup 2006 in Germany (3 months). Thirty coworkers from all over Europe helped in the preparation, training and implement-tation of the emergency calls. The sixteen coworkers were sisters from various religious communities in Eastern and Central Europe, among them the SSpS Sisters Katarina Florková from Slovakia and Laetitia NN from Steyl. In the meantime there are requests from religious communities from Romania, South Africa, Switzerland, Austria, Britain and the U.S.A, which want to know about our experiences in this area. Some of them are planning for similar sports events and also for own actions against violence.

Participation in the demonstration against the G8 Summit in June 2007 in Heiligendamm, Germany
In Heiligendamm, near Rostock, under the German presidency the 8 heads of the governments of the economically well-to-do countries met, in order to exchange ideas on economic developments. In the beginning, these meetings had been held independently from the protocol of major conferences, in order to look for common interests, to get to know each other better, and to build a foundation of trust for joint actions in politics.
In the view of many non-governmental organizations the meetings are now a means of power in order to plan certain economic and political actions among the strong nations. This body is accused to show not enough consideration for the poverty realities in many countries, especially in Africa. Therefore, the protest in 2007 was aimed at:
- the lack of fighting poverty in Africa and in Central American countries.
- the lack of hunger eradication and of drinking water supplies.
- the hesitant consideration of the change in climate, (esp. the refusal of cooperation
of the U.S.A)
The protest movement had been planned by several NGOs over a long period of time. Ecumenical groups, which for years have been working primarily in the fields of environmental and development problems in the world organized within the protest movement their own protest group with work-shops and church services. At the same time, they participated in the great general protest demonstrations.
From the Steyler Missionary Sisters, several younger sisters and lay missionaries took time to participate in the demonstration. For the sisters and young people it was an important part of their commitment to peace, justice and care of creation. Sandra Lassak wrote a longer experience report.

AIDS Campaign (Work continued in Steyl)
Sr. Margret Theresa Driessen keeps on participating in meetings on this topic and afterwards distributes information material to the other sisters so that they are able to use it for their work and to share it with others as well.

Fair Trade (Laupheim) Sr. Charlotte Irmler does in addition to her work still very much in the field of "One World groups" and "One World-Shop" (fair trade). She is the local community leader and in charge of the liturgy for Sundays and Feast days in our house in Laupheim.
During the renovation of the house a solar power system was installed on the roof of one part of the house for energy production.

Sr. Benedikta Böckelmann, SSpS


Fr. Norbert Mushoff SVD

Report 15

JPIC Report GER, April 2008

Since May 1st 2007 the former GEN and GES are united in one GER Province. A new JPIC Coordinator and hopefully a Commission have yet to be founded. The former one collapsed, when the former secretary, a returned MaZ-man took on a new job. We had enjoyed the good cooperation of a representative of the Mission Procure, the Steyler Bank, the theology students, and the two provinces´ coordinators. We had been net-working with our SSpS Sisters, VIVAT International, NAD, ai, Südwind, Erlaßjahr 2000 and Pax Christi. We intended to concentrate on some of the Millennium goals, especially Good drinking water for 50% more of the thirsty of the world, Food sovereignty, Achieving Gender Equality, Access to Primary Education for all children, debt relief for the HIPC countries, our Moos resolutions, and submitting our signatures to requests to our Chancellor, ministers, and European Commissioners against injustices of the WTO and EPA-s.
During the Klosterfest 2007 however it became obvious, we do no longer exist, though I continued to cooperate with NAD, Gerechtigkeit Jetzt and Weltweit Taube Ohren to prepare for the Anti-Summit of the G8 in Rostock/Heiligendamm. But we have the assurance of our Provincial Bernd Werle that he has somebody in mind to revive JPIC in the SVD German Province. He can count on my cooperation as much as my new Migrant Ministry involvement will allow me, while Paul Heider says, his book-shop keeps him too busy.

Norbert Mushoff

JPIC Report, Euro zone SVD and SSpS 2008

From our JPIC Conference 2005 in Moos on the theme The Unredeemed World as an Ethical Challenge with the main points:
We have to learn from history
The role of the Prophets
Roots of Globalisation
The main views of the Great World Religions concerning human life, peace, family, justice etc. in this multicultural world
Our challenges as Religious and Missionaries in this world of today, our net-working chances.
What kind of net-working of spiritual powers are possible, and what are the roots of our
7. What explosive situations of today should be our main concerns?

From all this we had chosen our theme for the Nitra conference: Christian – Muslim Dialogue on the background of our Migrant Ministry in Europe. The Province Reports showed us the extent and variety of Muslims in our various nations of Europe from only 5000 Muslims in Slovakia to 3 Million in Germany, from the little tensions it causes in e.g. Portugal to the great fears in e.g. The Netherlands and Germany. (See the Province Reports! For our next Zonal Assembly I will give a Report on the SVD Zonal activities. But here I leave it for the mean time to our able writer of our Minutes from the Nitra Conference, Sr. Petra Simone Hanel SSpS)
I wish to make a strong appeal once more, to send your Province JPIC Report to the Zonal Coordinator at least annually, not only bring them along, when we have a Euro zone JPIC Conference!!!!!!! That way we can learn from one another and inspire one another much more intensively. And the Zonal Coordinator needs to give a report in the Zonal Assemblies to all Provincials. Without your Zonal Reports, he has little to report on. Apart from NEB actually no SVD Province sent anything since our meeting in Moos. The NEB Reports are inspiring and deal with a great variety of JPIC themes. They connect us, especially the new coordinators with what transpires in our AEFJN Office in Brussels and in VIVAT International. So feel free to order our English short version of the NEB Commission Minutes from Toon van Bijnen, our lively senior of the JPIC work in the Euro zone!!
As we are only half way through the Millennium Goals Period 2000 - 2015, report please on how the priorities of your SVD Province are coming on and progressing. If you are a new Coordinator for JPIC, ask please your predecessor or Provincial, what themes had been chosen and what so far has been done in your Province. Otherwise please identify your Millennium goals afresh. For the sake of poverty reduction worldwide, let us not relent and not resign to live up to this “Kairos”.

Here a word on the World Social Forum of January 2007 at Nairobi: We are grateful Fr. General invited all Zonal Coordinators to attend. We had great days with our VIVAT International representatives, our new aspirants of five Mission Societies wishing to join VIVAT, and our SVD AFRAM ZONE Provincial JPIC Coordinators. We met with 80 000 idealists and “ambassadors” and multiplicators for the ideas of “Another World is possible” the motto of that big important meeting for Social Justice, which counter-acts the Davos-Meeting of the big Industrial and Financial Powers of this world, the G8 so to speak, the WTO and EPA promoters, who in their very selfish ways try to secure and perpetuate exploitation of the poor through rich of this globe.
I wish all Province JPIC coordinators would get such a chance, at least once in their time of office, if they have served their provinces for more then one term of office. It was so inspiring, also to our SVD host communities in Nairobi!
Highlights of the meeting for me: meeting with Desmond Tutu of SA! Listening to the good talks of the VIVAT WORKSHOP on HOW TO HOLD TRANSNATIONAL COMPANIES RESPONSIBLE FOR INVIRONMENTAL HAVOC CAUSED IN POOR COUNTRIES.

It wa a very good preparation for our Workshop in Rome with the five new members wishing to join our VIVAT INTERNATIONAL. Our Coordinator General Michael Heinz together with Sr. Mary John SSpS and our two VIVAT leaders Gretta Fernandes and Bernard Espiritu have done extremely well in organising the workshop and let us in presentations and group work find out, what we could do together, if we stay, pray and work united. I was tasked to bring these five Congregations also together on a national level in Germany. That proved not successful, b´se all we could do, is and was done also by NAD (Network Africa Germany). We can avoid doubling! But in Rome, these congregations should cooperate closely. There they are together already. There they can also see, how best to share costs and personell ¡!

Both events prepared me also excellently for The G8 Anti Summit in Rostock /Heiligendamm in June 2007. It had the same theme: Another World is Possible. If only the Big Shots had attended our Anti Summit! If only they would have listened to our speakers and the concerns from the grass roots!!
But of course they didn’t. We strongly stood in for the Millennium Goals also prepared by our 80 big pupits depicting scenarios of injustices, the have-s against the have – nots, the exploiters versus exploiters. But it achieved something: conscientisation of Heads of States and Ministers of “Third World Countries. We told them of the true and dictatorious intentions of the EU, to force them to sign up to the end of December 2007 through signing EPA- s, so-called Economic Partnership Agreements, which in fact would have been merely to the economic and financial advantage of the rich European Countries and to keep the poor as perpetual providers of completely underpaid raw materials. But they resisted EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson, when the Heads of State and Prime Ministers of Africa met the Heads of State in Lisbon in November 2007. Yes we can be proud, that net-working with many others, our Network Africa Germany (NAD) together with the other national antenna of AEFJN had prepared us to prepare them to frustrate their collective selfishness, they had planned to inflict on those we support through our work of advocacy.
Let’s continue that way for the benefit of all the poor of all the world! We frustrated somehow the WTO and the EU, but in the name of our God, who is on the side of the poor. Well done, my good servant and my maid, I hear him say one day.

Go into the joy of your Lord!

Norbert Mushoff, SVD

Divine Word Missionaries Polish Province (SVD)

Fr. Jacek, SVD

Report 14

The Justice and Peace and Integration of Creation (JPIC) apostolate in the SVD Polish Province makes an effort to overcome various problems that are caused by migration, dysfunctional families, alcoholism, drug addiction, poverty, and youth unemployment.

There is a strong migration movement from East to Europe with Poland regarded as a transit country. The biggest number of immigrants that comes with the purpose to work in Poland is from Vietnam. There are about 60 thousands of Vietnamese immigrants and the majority of them is in Poland illegally. There is also a significant number of refugees from Chechnya and other countries of the ancient Soviet Union. Refugees from Africa and Asia regard Poland as a transit country on their migration journey to West Europe. A rising number of immigrants from China have been recently noticed.

The JPIC activities are to a large degree based on the work of volunteers and lay people. The JPIC activities take place in the three SVD communities as follows:

1/ The “Family Help Association – DROGA” in Białystok www.stowarzyszeniedroga.pl

The Association DROGA was founded by Fr Edward Konkol 20 years ago based on his experience of pastoral ministry amongst drug addicted youth in Białsytok. Since six years Fr Edward has been running the association together with Fr Gregory Lelang SVD from Indonesia. Every year students after the second year of theology are send to Białystok to do their regency program. This year there are two, Fr Andrzej Fałat and Robert Grzybek.

DROGA has two main projects: the Environmental Family House - “Nasz Dom” (eng. “Our Home”) that is run by Mrs Anna Tomulewicz and the Youth Centre for Therapy and Readaptation – “Etap” (eng. “Stage”) run by Mrs Elżbieta Powichrowska. There are also some other minor social and formation projects.

„Our Home” is a no public, multifunction, care and upbringing station for 1-18 years old children with hostel and daily part.

Main aim of “Our Home” is to help children and make their families more independent (which have a lot of problems – alcohol, unemployment, poverty, violence).
“Our Home” can take care of about 60 families (100 children).

Our station helps children and their families which live in Bialystok and its environs. They are directed by : Family Court, social workers, school pedagogic or other social institutions. Aspect and scope of help on each stage determines family assistant with family’s therapist (after specialist consultation) based on family background diagnosis, needs, weak and strong points of family.

Organisational structure is adapted to actual needs consideration with permanent components:
- kindergarten – to 20 children
- family groups – to 50 children (in 4 groups)
- group of youth becoming independent – to 15 children
- support groups for children and families benefit from monitoring help (daily support centre) – to 30 persons
- parents groups – initial motivation, therapeutic, moulding parental and marital skills, monitoring – support, mutual assistance.
- intervention group – to 10 persons
- hostel group – to 10 persons.

“ETAP” was founded in 1998. Its main goal is giving a wide range of help to the people from groups of risk, experimenting and addicted (to alcohol, drugs, internet, gambling). It helps also young people with behavioural and emotional disturbances or after suicidal attempts. ETAP helps their families too.

The employees of ETAP are: psychotherapeutics, clinical psychologist, certified specialists of therapy of addictions, social therapists and psychiatrist. ETAP is open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. till 8 p.m.
It realizes tasks related with preventive maintenance and therapy in 4 ways:

Guidance centre of addiction treatment. The range of actions:
- individual psychotherapy
- group psychotherapy
- system therapy of families
- psychiatric and psychological diagnosis; diagnosis of the specialist of therapy of addictions
- Guidance and consultations
- specialist consultations for professionals who have contact at work with the problem of drug addiction ( teachers, educators, judicial curators, policemen, doctors, nurses etc.)

Daytime Centre of addiction treatment:
- open Monday – Friday from 2p.m. till 8 p.m.
- therapeutic program lasts 6 months
- it was made for young people (aged 16-24) who are drug addicted and were diagnosed before in the Guidance Centre

The range of actions:
- group psychotherapy for people addicted to drugs
- therapeutic community
- individual psychotherapy for people addicted to drugs
- individual psychotherapy for parents of the people addicted to drugs
- psycho educational classes
- spirituality classes
- alternative forms of spending free time

Intervention and Guidance Outlet for Children and Youth with drug addiction problem “Dom Powrotu” (“House of Return”)
- street therapy for people addicted to drugs; contact with clients in places of high risk of drug addiction (shebeens, pubs, bars, discos, mass events in open air)
- guidance for people addicted to drugs and their families regarding:
* crisis situation in private life – legal and social advice
* making people aware of addictive substances
* different forms of getting help from specialists
* different forms of spending free time
- Crisis interventions for people addicted to drugs and their families:
* replenishment of shortage of clothes, hygienic staff, cleaners etc.
* food
* medical help, psychological help
- Motivation and support in starting addiction treatment

Prevention Centre - Range of actions:
- Prevention of addictions classes (for children, youth and students)
- psycho educational classes for people from groups of risk
- psycho educational classes for volunteers
- trainings for young leaders (preparing to work with people addicted to drugs)
- trainings for professionals who have contact at work with the problem of drug addiction (teachers, educators, judicial curators, policemen, doctors, nurses etc.)
- Parents Academy – workshops for parents
- Prevention Specialists Academy – workshops for teachers, educators

2/ Fu Shengfu Migrant Center in Warsaw

Since 10 years Fr Edward Osiecki SVD has been involved in the pastoral ministry amongst the Vietnamese Catholics in the area of Warsaw. Based on his experience the SVD Polish Province has opened a refugee center in Warsaw. The center was registered in September 2005 as the Fu Shenfu Migrant Center. The Center is on the second floor in the Publishing House ‘Verbinum’ building in Warsaw and consists of a reception hall, three offices and a language classroom.

Pastoral ministry is mostly focused on the Vietnamese immigrants. Two persons are fully involved in the pastoral ministry amongst the Vietnamese people in the area of Warsaw. The Vietnamese Catholic Community office is based in the Center. Sunday Mass is said for them once a month in the neighboring parish for the community of 200 people. The SVD house chapel is also used for other religious services. The Vietnamese Catholics have an opportunity to come for the pre-sacramental catechesis and learn in their native language in the Center.

The Holy Eucharist is also said every Sunday in one of the refugee reception centers in Warsaw. A group of volunteers comes every week for a meeting prayer together with refugees. There is a Catechesis classes for those refugees who are interested in Christianity.

The Center runs the following projects:
- internet café free of charge for refugees is opened 5 days a week from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Polish classes are given by teachers voluntarily; there are two classes for Vietnamese and a couple of small groups for Africans and Asians;
- tolerated stay office for Vietnamese people (tolerated stay is a temporary residency card for foreigners in Poland); since the year 2006 thanks to our project two hundred Vietnamese have been granted with the tolerated stay and 400 are waiting for the decision;
- Chechen refugee-children project “Children of the World Kindergarten” (artistic workshops, integration dance activities, excursions, etc.);
- law and psychological counseling;
- religious and social meetings on various occasions (World Day of Migrants and Refugees, World Refugee Day, Christmas, Easter, International Volunteer Day, Chinese New Year, etc.);

Two new projects:
- “Artists without borders” – a theatre project for refugees that consists of preparing a play based on a refugee story in Poland in which refugees themselves will star together with Polish amateurs actors;
- Polish classes for Chinese immigrants.

Four confreres and two sisters are involved in this apostolate:
- Fr Antoni Koszorz SVD – director, pastoral ministry amongst Chinese immigrants, member of the editorial staff of “China Heute” (Polish edition).
- Fr Edward Osiecki SVD – vice-director, pastoral ministry amongst Vietnamese immigrants, tolerated stay project coordinator, refugee reception center chaplain.
- Fr Jacek Gniadek SVD, Justice and Peace referent, finance officer, Chechen refugee-children project coordinator, in charge of preparing new projects from the European Refugee Found, Polish teacher in the new project for Chinese immigrants.
- Fr Vo Khanh Thanh Joachim SVD – pastoral ministry amongst the Vietnamese Catholics in Warsaw.
- Sr Maria Kwapisiewicz FMM, secretary, social worker, Polish classes coordinator, prayer group coordinator.
- Sr Weronika Klebba SSpS, social worker, language teacher, ministry amongst Chinese immigrants (new initiatives).

3/ JPIC apostolate of the coordinator in Chludowo

Fr Mirosław Piątkowski, JPIC coordinator in Poland, belongs to the community of Chludowo near Poznan where he is JPIC various activities.

For the year 2007/08 Fr Piątkowski is in charge of young foreign students who are studding Polish language at the University of Poznań and are accommodated in Chludowo. There are two conferees from Indonesia, two from Togo and one from China.

The coordinator is in charge of developing SVD students’ awareness of the JPIC. For this purpose last year a three days workshop was held in Białystok for confreres in temporary and perpetual vows who were interested in JPIC issues. Two representatives of the Foundation for homeless People “Barka” (eng. Bardge) from Poznań were invited with lectures. This year a workshop on volunteers’ formation will be held in Pieniężno in autumn.

The coordinator runs a formation project for volunteers (JUPIC Net for God) together with the International Ecumenical Fraternity – ‘Net for God’ for unity and peace in the world of the francophone Community Chemin Neuf. After two year of working together an idea of creating an Association has been born to support Christian initiatives for building justice and peace and missionary animation. A group of volunteers is working at present on drafting a status and preparing necessary documents for the registration.

The coordinator in collaboration with the local school and commune runs a familial project “Parafiada” that lasts two weeks in summer. The project activities include competition between children and youth in many sport disciplines, promotion of fair play rules, artistic performances and competitions.

Three ten days holiday camps “JUPIC – Youth without borders” for poor children with some aspects on missionary formation were organized by the coordinator in Nysa (2006), Zakopane (2007) and Bieszczady (2008).

The coordinator is also in charge of Christian formation meetings for the pro-family political party League of Polish Families that are held once a month in Chludowo.

The coordinator works for the Provincial Arnold Janssen Spirituality Team. Last year together with Fr Jacek Gniadek prepared and led a retreat focused on some aspects of the JPIC issues. The retreat was given in four different communities for all the confreres in temporary vows and 50 confreres in perpetual vows.

Mirosław Piątkowski SVD,
JPIC Coordinator
SVD Polish Province

SSpS of Poland Province

Report 13

Read by Sr. Yuvensia Daso, SSpS


Since the downfall of Communism we have seen rapid changes in our society both positive and negative. One of the more negative ones is a growing number of unemployed people which in return increases poverty and widens the gap between rich and poor. This is also a reason for which we as a province became more sensitive to the cry of the poor and we moved into the regular social work.

1) A Children’s Home is one of the activities developed in this time of rapid changes.
Children’s Home, opened on January 9, 1995 has been caring for children from dysfunctional families. The main focus of our program is placed on education, formation into self-education, self-reliance, self-discipline, and spiritual growth. There are also recreational occupations and art-therapy that help the children to relax and to develop their own hobbies, skills and abilities.
Every year some special prophylactic programs are offered on alcohol, drug-addicts and others. Our goal is to help the children to stand on their own feet so that with God’s help they can be prepared for life better than their parents were. In our Home for Children we create an atmosphere of acceptance, loving care and security so that the children feel loved. Besides, one hot meal a day is served. At Christmas time we organize Christmas Eve dinner (an important polish custom), celebrating together. Easter we celebrate together as well. Before important feasts, the children are prepared to the sacrament of penance and the Eucharist. During the winter and summer vacations many excursions are organized to visit beautiful spots and cities in our country. Unforgettable memories of joy that bind us into one family are shared and treasured for a long time. The local government of Racibórz, evaluating our activities, put our Home for Children on the list of priorities and consequently, sponsored renovation of the house (roof, windows, dining room, bath-rooms, hot water and heating system, etc). As the time goes on we have been receiving a lot of finances from the Local Fund of Racibórz. By taking part in competitions and winning different prices our Home for Children received enough money to purchase material for the art-therapy, manual work and food for children. Recently we also received some computers that are a great help for us.
Let me add that the children take part in various ecological competitions. Sisters of our community in Racibórz help them a lot but there are many lay helpers who carry out this important project.
Since the very beginning teaming up with lay volunteers we have been working on to turn a house received from the government into a real Home for Children. It is a great joy to see how the street rascals have been slowly growing into young people who care for life and are able to express their gratitude for the hand one day given to them. Let me share here, that some of them by now are gr. 12 graduates who carry out their studies.

2. Working with the Poor and Needy

In the recent years we had many poor families coming to our provincial house’s door. First of all, they have been served with soup only and gradually other services were offered to them. Since Sr. Antonia Gruntowska started to work in the apostolate among the poor and needy (2001) the help have been offered on different levels. E.g.: the families affected by alcoholism have been helped through:
Awareness raising and hospitalized cure
Care for the mothers with children whose husbands are alcohol addicted
Helping those unemployed to find a job
Since the beginning of 2005 we started a Prophylactic Program for the Families which fosters sober life. The program is sponsored by the Local Government. Staff members who carry out the program are well prepared professionally (social worker, psychologist, lawyer and one of our sisters who dedicates her service to women). According to both: the participants and the teaching-staff, the program has good impact on the participants.

3. Migrant Centre: meeting people of different cultures and religions migrants became a challenge for our society in the last decade. The Migrant Centre in Warsaw was opened by the SVD in September 2005, to create a gathering Centre for different groups of the national minority existing in Poland, mainly in Warsaw and surroundings. Four of our junior sisters and two of the finally professed sisters took up a voluntary work in the Centre in order to serve the people of these groups in form of social and spiritual help taking into focus especially those who are most in need, who are alienated, seeking a shelter and dignified living conditions in our country. Our sisters work mainly with the children, young people and women of Chechnya. It has been a good experience to work with the people of different culture, mentality, language and religion. The Fathers work with Asian (e.g.: Vietnamese) and African people, teaming up with different institutions.

Sr. Miriam Długos SSpS

SVD of Slovak Province

Fr.Pavel Kobliha, SVD

Report 12

For many centuries the area of today’s Slovak Republic was centre of interests of many nations. Romans, Germans, Turks and Hungarians. All of them wanted to conquer the territory between the Danube and High Tatras and settle there. But none of them were able to subjugate Slavs and stay here forever. But right because of these interests Slovakia is influenced by many nations now and they take part in Slovak citizenship. The biggest minority group, with about 10% of inhabitants, is Hungarian minority. They inhabit mostly the southern part of Slovakia, along the boarder with Hungary. The fact is that they have their own political party, which is widely supported also by non-Hungarians, and has its place in coalition. However, in real life, there are different relations between Hungarian and non-Hungarian people. In minds of Slovaks is deeply engraved, that we had to live under pressure of Hungarian reign for many years. And so people behave. Though, when one gets any closer contact with them, he realizes that they are like other normal people. What a surprise!
Ethnic groups:With our EU entrance is joined the discussion about some racial problems with gipsy ethnic group. Actual problem is illegal interruptions of young gipsy girls. However is the truth, everybody knows how these people live, in what conditions. We know it, and people from abroad know it as well. But they believe this is because of big discrimination and generally bad social conditions for ethnic groups in Slovakia. I think, maybe as most Slovaks that they caused it themselves. They have this way of life simply in their blood. So, the fact is that every employer rather employs a guy with a good social hinterland, and whom he can trust. So then the bigger half of gypsies does not have any job. It means no nice income, what reflects in bad home and social hinterland. This is a very simple view, but we can call it vicious circle. Anyway, there live many other minorities in Slovakia. For example Czechs, Germans, many other Slavs tribes, like Croatians, Slovenians, Russians, Ukraine’s, and polish people and so on. The newest minority which is rising are people from East Asia. We can see “Chinese” shops on every corner.

Racism is not widespread in Slovakia. The fact is that over centuries, the inhabitants lived an isolated existence and were not used to meet people of other races, except for Roma (Gypsies). Slovakia has never had colonies so that people from Africa and other continents apart from Europe were practically never seen here until well into the 20th century. Their lifestyles and social institutions, including slavery, were totally unknown to people here.
The Roma people (as Slovak Gypsies prefer to be called), form a relatively important minority group in Slovakia. Their problem is a very high unemployment rate, reaching 100% in some settlements. This is the main cause of their low living standards, which in turn bring about high crime rate and misuse of social resources. As a result a gulf developed between them and the majority population. However, racist physical attacks are few and far between.
The number of foreigners of different skin coloring increased during the past years mostly due to students from African and Asian countries. Many of them have learned the Slovak language, married local people and happily raising families. They have very nicely integrated into the society.
When shopping in open-air markets, you will see many vendors of bargain-price Asian clothes and electronics. almost exclusively they have some from Vietnam. They can speak little more than a few phrases in Slovak, other than the prices of their goods, but many people like to do business with them, because their goods are cheaper than similar articles in regular shops.

The Vatican championed the rights of gypsies, admitting its own past prejudices and calling on governments to improve the shunned nomads' lot. Presenting a new document on gypsies, Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao said while they had a right to their identity as a traveling people, they frequently met with "indifference or opposition“.
The report - Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of Gypsies - said gypsies were a people "abandoned by men but not by God" and outlined the "special pastoral approach" that the Catholic Church intended to adopt to help them
Key objectives were education and professional training for the population, as well as equal rights for men and women, it said .
"Of course they, too, have duties" towards the society in which they live, Cardinal Fumio Hamao said.
In this connection, the guidelines referred to the need to encourage "honesty and righteousness" in those who lived on the fringes of the law, helping them to abandon drug trafficking, theft and other routes to "easy money“.

War and terrorism in Slovakia /Muslim threats?

So far, touch wood, there were no terrorist attacks in Slovakia. Because Slovakia is a very small player on the international scene and there are no cities with over half a million inhabitants, the risk is not as high as in some other countries and cities. (For instance: the Czech Republic). Nevertheless the threat of terrorism is taken seriously and all necessary preventive measures are in place.

Social Ministry with the drug and alcohol addicted:

Following the rehab program, it is used to restore the former addict's ability to focus on real life goals and to return a level of self-control to the individual. This greatly improves the former addicts' ability to face the realities of life and reduce the need for drugs to escape the difficulties of life. Often, an addict commits harmful acts, both to themselves and their loved ones that traps them into further drug use.

Our “Novy Svet” rehab campus, in which Br. Maros Butala, (svd supervisor) works, is a comfortable house aimed at healing and appropriate for all ages. The addicts are treated with respect and are allowed to be themselves. Fr.Pavel is a spiritual director of these addicts. Br.Maros is a supervisor and Mr. Ladislav Nemeth is in charge of all rehabilitation centre. Of course there is a whole team of people working with them. A group of at least two people are necessary to provide the weight to break through the denial of the addicted person. An especially effective member of the confronting group is the employer or supervisor.

SSpS Slovak Province

Sr. Yuvensia Daso, SSpS

Report 11

In the last few years the SSpS in Slovakia have started and are developing some new projects.

1. Working with the Roma Children (Gypsies)

We are developing our apostolate among the Roma people who make up approximately 5 % of Slovak population. One of the groups most affected by the current social and economic situation is the Roma minority. This group has the highest unemployment and the least chance of finding a job, along with low level of education and nearly no possibilities for re- qualification. Roma people are one of our priorities. Our Sisters work with Roma people esp. children in almost all of communities in Slovakia and in the Czech Republic. We started a special project with Roma‘s children in Nitra - Orechov Dvor.

In year 2005 we were asked by the vice mayor of Nitra to start apostolate with people who were not able to pay the rent for their houses and ended on the street. The vice mayor of Nitra wanted to help them and so they built for them outside the city 2nd class flats in Orechov Dvor. They saw that the people esp. their children need help and that they need somebody who has time for them. At that time an international junior sisters group who prepared themselves for final vows in Ivanka pri Nitre was asked by the PLT to start this apostolate. In Orechov Dvor live presently 250 people. Our sisters offer their help to those children by helping them with their homework, by playing and singing with them, drawing, painting and so on. The Tertians visited the children in 2005 once a week but since 2 years Sr. Pia Michalicova and Sr. Katerzyna Niezgoda go every day from 1 .pm to 5 .pm to them. Bishop Viliam Judak of Nitra is ready to help us and came already few times to visit the place. Since the beginning of this year one Salvatorian-Father comes twice a week to give the catechesis and prepare the people to receive sacraments. Most of the Roma people are Catholics and are proud to be Catholics. They love Mary very much and take refuge to her. Since 2 months also the students from the University of Nitra come twice a week to work together with our sisters. The main problem is the isolation of the people in this place and a very poor infrastructure Our Sisters share one room with the Kindergarten which uses it in the morning and they use it in the afternoon. We initiated the project to get there portable structures in which the people can meet and which can serve as social centre. The city of Nitra got already the structure and they should be put there this year. We feel that our apostolate with Roma people is a real priority here and now. In our last Provincial chapter in November 2007 we discussed this issue at length and decided to collaborate in this apostolate with the Roma Cathedra of the University in Nitra. In the meantime we prepared the contract about the collaboration between the City Nitra, the University of Nitra and our Congregation. The contract will be signed this year. It is not easy to carry out this ministry but we are glad that we are doing it. We try to introduce to these children spiritual values, which can bring them much more happiness than merely physical pleasures. They can see and experience that God is able to bring them many good things and they can put their trust in God.

2. Working with women.

Working with women and for women has been practiced by the community of the provincial house for more than 10 years in Women prison in Nitra. The sisters go there every Sunday for visiting, preparing the Holy Mass, and teaching catechism. They do this ministry in collaboration with the prison chaplain. In February this year at the meeting with Bishop R8bek, the prison chaplain and the directress of the prison we evaluated this apostolate. We saw the need to have more time for catechesis. We see also very important the collaboration not only with the prison chaplain but also with the psychologist of that place. The prison in Nitra is the only one women prison in Slovakia.
The Novitiate in Nitra assists to abandoned mothers with their children in collaboration with the city Nitra.
In the Czech Republic our sisters work with abandoned women in the Christian charity. Women who are there are mostly refugees. They openly share their life experiences with the sisters. Our sisters also look after their children when their mothers go to work.
One of our sisters works together with an MSC father and psychologist, helping sexually abused women.
Another sister works with AA in Pereš nearby Nitra and the community in Ivanka pri Nitre is ready to welcome those people so that they can share their experiences about the change in their lives.
We are happy that since 10 years also these areas remain not only not taboo but the needed help can be given to the people.

3. Mass Media

In this field we try to keep alive our history esp. from the communist time. Sr. Ivica Kúšiková is presently working on a project called Witnesses of Faith in which religious women from different congregations are telling stories from the communist regime. We feel responsible to pass on the truth to the next generations. A documentary film with that topic was made about the Slovakian province two years ago.

These are the main areas in which we are developing our social and cultural and spiritual work as a part of our JPIC program. There are many other smaller fields in which we work in the frame of JPIC.
Sr. Yuvensia Daso, SSpS,

SVD NEB _ Province

Br.Toon van Bijnen, SVD
Report 10

Because there are many new coordinators among us, I like to present you a little bit the organisation of our JPIC working.
Since 1986 we have not only a JPIC-coordinator but a commission of 6 members, belonging to different communities so that all confreres are presented. There has been a strong continuity in this commission. Three of the actual six members are from the very beginning up to now full members and even coordinator. The commission is very well rooted in the provincial structures, because three of us are members of the provincial council. This has been all the 22 years so. So we enjoy the full support of the provincial authorities and a sufficient budget. Sometimes the provincial is attending a meeting. The commission is advising from time to time the provincial council.
We are meeting 7 or 8 times a year, in different communities so that all confreres are aware of our apostolate. Once a year there is a joint meeting with the SSpS-commission in a SVD or SSpS-community. The agenda is made up by the coordinator and sent to the members. All members are in turn making the report, which is sent to all our members, to the provincial and to the SSpS members of their commission. A summary in English is made for VIVAT International, the general coordinator, the Euro zone coordinator and everyone who wants to receive it. Maybe we will send it also to the members of the VIVAT International-antennas in Belgium and the Netherlands. But up to now these antennas are not yet functioning. Included in an internal news bulletin, that is distributed every two months among the Dutch and Belgian confreres, we provide always a JPIC bulletin with information about campaigns and situations; three items in each edition.

Actions of the commission
The actions of the commission are mostly dealing with lobbying; so working for structural change.
Most of our actions are undertaken in co-operation with other NGO's so as VIVAT International, Oxfam, Pax Christi, AEFJN, Lenten campaign, Jubilee 2000, Amnesty International. The last three years we have been campaigning for:
1. Fair trade. We signed petitions to EU commissioner Peter Mandelson, Heads of State, Prime Ministers, defending the rights of the poor countries in the WTO conference of Hong Kong. Several times petitions to de EU authorities, demanding to change the proposed new EPA's at January 1, 2008.
2. Every year we signed petitions to the Heads of State of the G8 for cancelling the foreign debt of the poor countries For this question our members have a subscription to the magazine Jubilee Nederland, what is regularly discussed in our meetings One of our members prepared a detailed study for the AEFJN 3 We pay a special attention to the EU policy for Africa. There were several protests against the unfair trade by dumping Belgian class-books as a “gift” to Congo; dumping medicines to African countries, and most of all against the protection of European agro products and the free export to African countries.
4. More than 2 years we have been dealing with the water provision in African countries. We campaigned against privatisation of water by big companies. One commission-member was co-editor of a detailed study about people’s right to water.
5. Another member is in the AEJPN responsible for food-sovereignty of the African people. The commission signed petitions for this right.
6. In our Peace Apostolate we participated in the campaign Control Arms and several times we signed petitions against the trade in small arms and against the system of child-soldiers; against the new Japanese army (changing article 9 of the Constitution). Every year the International Peace-day and the Peace-day of the religious and the Peace-weeks in the Netherlands and in Belgium are celebrated. We are actively cooperating.

7. Over the years the commission is dealing with alternative banking. On the proposal of the commission the province co-finances a small banking project in the Philippines.
8. Belgium and the Netherlands are among the most "multinationalised" countries in the world. Amsterdam is the number one in the world with the most nationalities, Antwerp is the number second. This is for our commission the main challenge: building a peaceful multinational, multicultural and multi-religious society. One community is living in the most multicultural and multi-religious area of the town. Others are working in parishes where there are over 90 nationalities.
One of us has been halftime working for refugees, providing lodging and legal assistance; others are doing so regularly.
We are taking part in campaigning for asylum-seekers. We have signed petitions against the detention of children in refugee camps. We take regularly part in vigils of asylum-seekers. In the Netherlands we signed petitions to the government demanding a “general pardon” for people without legal documents, who are over 5 years in our country. Every year we are present at the vigil in memory of 11 asylum-seekers who died by fire in a detention camp. Regularly there are manifestations against racism, where we are present. In short, we are campaigning against every restriction of migration.
For the cohabitation with other religions one community is organising multi-religious meetings in our house, where Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians are invited. Also a multi-religious Christmas party was held in our house. We are taking part in iftars and the end of Ramadan-celebrations and joint prayer services and workshops on this matter. One of us is working in a diocesan commission to promote harmony among religions, by preparing the liturgy for the 7 Sundays between Eastern and Pentecost, (which give a good opportunity to open up the minds for other people), by organising conferences with a imam, a rabbi and a catholic priest, by writing a booklet about the meaning of Abraham for Jews, Christians and Muslims, by publishing about multi-religious conferences and documents. Another confrere is giving instructions to migrant imams for their integration in the European situation. Some have regular contact with Muslim leaders.

Actions of all confreres
2 or 3 times a year the commission invites all confreres for prayers and for petitions. We see it as our duty to animate all SVDs in our province. The coordinator is sending an appeal to the rectors of the communities. The response is very good; about 90%, we may say. So, every year there are prayer services and celebrations in every community at World Peace-day: also at World Aids day ad some others. Actions as "stand up against poverty" and "1 minute put out the lights" are well done in the communities.
The last years the confreres signed petitions to the Top G7/8 for cancelling if the foreign debt of the poor countries; They signed petitions to Ministers and Commissioners in order to change the WTO-policy and the EPAs There were petitions, addressed to the Minister of Agriculture, to change the Africa-policy: a petition addressed to the Minister of Home Affaires, protesting against the detention of children in refugee camps; a petition for the regularisation of illegal migrants without documents. For these problems prayers are said during Eucharist and prayer services.
So we are happy about this good response. Sometimes it happens that a confrere does not agree with the commission. But we are happy about his attention for world problems and we give him a proper answer. We think, that the JPIC commission in our province is well accepted by all SVDs. In the annual report of the province the coordinator is invited to write his survey over the last year. Finally the coordinator is as observer admitted to the provincial chapter, where he is presenting his report and proposals, which can be discussed. So, JPIC is well integrated in the NEB province.

Toon van Bijnen svd
JPIC Coordinator

SVD of Province Austria

Fr. Patrick Kofi Kodom, SVD

Report 9

Our situation in general:

There is a team of three confreres involved in JPIC issues:
Fr. Oskar Becker, Br. Franz Eichhorn, Fr. Patrick Kofi Kodom

The dialogue with Muslims was formerly done by Fr. Markus Solo.

Other main fields are:

Migration issues

Refugees, prisoners, asylum seekers, deportees

Statement of concern from our communication and media

Regular meetings with the SSpS

Ecological concerns e.g. St. Gabriel is heated mainly by solar power.

Seminars and talks

Fr. Patrick is especially involved in the ministry of refugees and deportees. Many asylum seekers end up in deportation camps waiting to be send back to their home countries. The regulations in the EU are getting tougher and to work with and for these people seems to be a bit dangerous sometimes.

Patrick Kofi Kodom, SVD

English/Irish Region SSpS

Sr. Sujata Sawarimuthu, SSpS

Report 8

The Sisters in England and Ireland are very much involved in justice and peace issues in and outside of their communities

WOMEN'S PEACE GROUP: We have joined the Birmingham Women's peace group. It is a group of women from all faith backgrounds, who have been meeting regularly for the past 15 years, listening to one another's stories, sharing common concerns and discussing issues of peace and justice in our world. They represent all faiths, races and ethnic backgrounds, all age groups and come from a wide variety of social positions. We try to put aside our differences in the common quest for peace and explore practical ways of giving expression to our feelings of compassion for those in need.

Few examples will be given

DROP-THE -DEBT-FAST: A 36 day rolling fast will demand debt cancellation for 36 poor countries. The fast will begin as the World bank and International Monetary Fund hold their Spring meeting from 12th April and end on Sunday, 18th May when we mark the 10th anniversary of the Birmingham G8 Human Chain. Each day we will focus on one country that urgently needs the chains of unpayable and unjust debts to be broken.

We will join the fast for a day or more in our areas and the rest of the actions will be explained.

IMMIGRANTS AND ASYLUM SEEKERS: Some of us are involved working with Asylum seekers and of their concerns. We had few failed Asylum seekers living under our roof until their cases were heard once again and have become the part of UK refugee status. Our main work with refugees is to teach them English, help them with their paper work and to be a moral support whenever and wherever is possible.

Few examples will be given.

MEDAILLE TRUST: It is a charity founded by Catholic nuns, brothers and priests with the aim of helping women, young men and children who have been freed from sex-trafficking and their empowerment, enabling them to regain their sense of dignity and self worth. This is done by providing safe housing and offering opportunities for physical and psychological healing and rehabilitation.

Please read "my story" from this magazine. More explanations will be given later.

Sr. Sujata Sawarimuthu

SSpS Province of Austria

Sr. Felixine Kofler, SSpS

Riport 7

1) Themes of self-awareness carried out in a concrete way:
· Trafficking women in Austria and Europe (Angelika Kartusch)
· A series of reports about Islam (P. Dr. Markus Solo)
· Workshop on Reconciliation in every day life Dr. Pete Hämmerle)
· Persevering development (Dr. A. Strigl)
· Forming Creation and Preservation - a Contradiction? (Dr. W. Stark)
To all these meetings were invited our sisters and people from the parishes.
· Workshops "Christian Hospital" for the leading members of the staff by Dr. P. Zulehner.
· Seminars: to get off drugs, alcohol, smoking
· Evaluation-Day "Coping with conflict and stress-situations"

2) Participation in Signing Actions (CSI, AI), yearly March of Demonstration in Silence for the persecuted Christians; candle of Hope
3) Supporting GFS-magazines: "Ost-Westwind", "Pax-Christi", "Unser Projekt", „Missio"
4) Fair trade: EZA and Bio products from small shops in the surrounding area
5) Some community have their own bio garden
6) Cooperation with Local Authorities in cleaning promenades of the river banks.
7) Donations for Projects producing lasting energies (wind, sun, foto voltaik)
8) Very important is the direct contact to people in need: cooking and distributing soup
to the homeless; one sister gives medical help; counselling of people (Oase); Hospiz; Caritas work in the parish; commitment regarding threatened unborn life - accompanying traumatized women; women in crises and language-students can live with us for a
limited time; eg. 4 Sisters from Zambia stayed with our Vienna-Community a few months A new challenge is our own school with ever more children from different cultures and Churches.
Hospital-projects: "Village of Peace". "International Alliance for children", sick, handi­capped children from war-torn countries get medical help and care. Our senior-nurses give special attention to patients before and after operation. Club-food-project in Mali/West Africa. The same Orthopedic Hospital releases doctors 3­4 times a year for this mission. Pro iect "Donationsbox" for HIV/AIDS. Project "Family-friendly-Hospital" to make life easier for nurses with a family.
9) Attitudes
Mediation of peace; simple life style; second hand-clothing; getting together with neighbours and owners.
Careful and gentle way with the gifts of the creation and gratefulness for the beauty of The nature. Trips with public traffic whenever possible.
10) Celebration - Prayer: Day of Creation and "Erntedankfest". Prayer-Hotline:
We notice a growing interest for GFS. Yet our co-responsibility of the consumer-goods of our Western World - as we are part of it - is in need of improvement.

As women following Jesus, we are happy to give our power and voice to the poor who challenge us and enrich us with their gifts.

Sr. Felixine Kofler SSpS

SVD, Irish & British Province (IBP)?

Fr. Finbarr Tracey, SVD
Report 6
1. What are the JPIC ministries in the Irish & British Province (IBP)?

a) Migrant and Refugee ministries. There are now 10 confreres working in with migrants and asylum seekers, eight on a full-time basis and two on part time basis. There are three serving the Polish Migrants in three different dioceses in Ireland, one serving the Migrants from Brazil in a fourth diocese, and another serving the Filipino Migrants in the Diocese of Bristol in England. One confrere in the Archdiocese of Dublin is working with Asylum Seekers and Refugees under the auspices of the Jesuits. Part-time work is carried out for the Slovak, Filipino and Brazilian Migrants in Dublin.

b) Justice and Peace Issues and Media
- with reference to poverty, religious and cultural differences, anti-racism, etc. JPIC is working with Kairos Communications on TV programmes which focus on these issues.

c) Advocacy covering a range of issues through special committees. This work is carried out in conjunction with the Conference of Religious in Ireland (CORI) cf. www.cori.ie/justice and the Irish Missionary Union (IMU).

2. What groups do you work with collaboratively?

a) Ten of our members are working in the migrant ministry in collaboration with parishes and various
b) We have one confrere working closely with the Jesuits in the area of refugees and asylum seekers.
c) Our work in the media is in collaboration with Kairos Communications, an SVD media ministry.
d) The JPIC coordinator works with the Conference of Religious in Ireland (CORI) and the Justice
Commission on a range of issues related to a more equitable economy. The CORI Justice Commission has a g
good deal of influence in its social partnership role with the Government and works on a variety of issues
related to poverty and migration, housing, health and education.
e) The World Magazine also publishes JPIC articles. RESPONDING TO CONFLICT (RTC)
f) The Mission Secretary works closely with the Irish Missionary Union (IMU) and the Irish Missionary
Resource Service (IMRS) in providing funds for overseas development projects.

3. How do you perceive your role as JPIC coordinator? Do you think it is important? Is JPIC dimension and ministry considered important by your province?

The role of the JPIC Coordinator is most essential in setting the agenda for such a ministry. A lot will depend on the coordinator in relation to the direction the province will take on these issues. He can set new agenda, (which may call for research), link with Vivat International, help to coordinate the various projects within the province and in general raise the profile of JPIC among the confreres.

Traditionally the SVD in Ireland have not understood JPIC work to be an important part of its ministry. With the influx of migrants from different parts of the world it has increased in significance and the IBP was among the first to respond to the needs of migrants. The SVD always recognized the work of development agencies like Trocaire, Concern, GOAL, etc. But global issues related to sustainable development, the environment, human rights etc demand a new commitment from missionary orders.

4. Have you/do you work with VIVAT International? How might VIVAT better serve your needs as a JPIC coordinator?

I am presently linking up with Vivat International for research work with a two-fold purpose, a) academic; and b) in relation to how best to promote a greater degree of solidarity in our work, particularly in reaching a consensus about SVD priorities and goals.

7. Expectations from the generalate JPIC coordinator?

I would like the JPIC coordinator to build a consensus among the provinces in regard to how we might best respond to present global issues in development. The history of our society’s involvement in JPIC and how it sees itself in relation to the Social Teachings of the Church, the practical way in which we engage with issues of faith and justice, all require a new impetus.

8. Name and province:

Finbarr Tracey, IBP


Fr. Paulino, SVD

Report 5

ITA SVD PROVINCE (1947-1965): The ITALIAN Province was established in 1965 as a separate unit from Switzerland. Now it extends over three countries: Northern Italy, Romania and Moldova with four principal languages: Italian, German, Romanian and Russian. The four SVD houses in Northern Italy (Vicenza, Varone, Bolzano, and Oies) are part of the province: the communities in Rome and Nemi are under the direct administration of the Generalate.

JPIC REPORT (as of April 02, 2008)
Specific JPIC animation of the entire SVD Province was not done much in the last five years. However, wherever we work we seek to promote: justice, peace and the integrity of creation, giving special attention to the poor, the marginalized and the aged.

Yet, as an SVD Province, in line with this mission: It exists an attention and a promotion of the dignity of the person and a help in difficult situations of the migrants and the refugees.

In Italy (1947-1965), we give particular attention, especially in Vicenza (1980) and in Bolzano (1960), to intercultural and inter-religious dialogue with immigrants; in other houses to a dialogue with faith seekers as we collaborate in the work of evangelization. Pastoral ministry to the Filipinos, Ghanaians, and Africans in general, some Asians origin were being accompanied by three confreres namely Fr. Paulino, a Filipino confrere, Fr. Joseph, an Indian confrere, and Fr. Stephen, a Ghanaian confrere. They do it as a migrant commission together with others in the Diocese of Vicenza. There is also collaboration with the works done by the Caritas regarding the migrants' situations, gypsies or Roma in our areas. It does exist also a collaboration and animation with regard to this aspect of JPIC, it was organized an ONLUS VAROM, a lay organization to give support to the Romania mission in terms of humanitarian help with their basic needs, and another thing was also considered the involvement of AMICI VERBITI, a lay group for the animation of mission needs and help in solidarity forms.

In Moldova 1996, we give particular attention to dialogue with faith seekers. lt does exists also in our parish Stauceni near the capital of Chisinau, meals help for the scattered flocks of children and adults in need, medical assistance to the sick and aged people in their homes, also an offering of lodging and food for those without houses.

In Romania 1991, we give particular attention to dialogue with the poor and marginalized and especially to ecumenical dialogue with the members of the Orthodox Church. lt does exists also for so many years now, initiatives for the poor and the needy together with Caritas di Iasi, a promotion and support of Anti Alcoholic Club and work for logopedia for those victim most, and a help for young mothers and a help after the school classes.

This brief report was prepared by:

Fr. Bumanglag, eimer agcaoili svd (PAULINO)

In the name of the Responsible JPIC Coordinator ITA SVD Province Fr. Franco Pavesi, svd

SSpS of Netherlands Province

Sr. Yuliana, SSpS

Report 4

In our Province there are two communities in which our Sisters specially work in the "migrant mission". And they are Tilburg and The Hague communities. These are international communities.

What are they doing there?
I can mention a wide range of activities.
First, Tilburg: the members of the community are supporting different organisations as: Economic Resource Centre for Migrants and Overseas Filipinos.
- aid to refugees/giving guidance and accompaniment to two families
- two Sisters are 'crisis buddies' for foreigners especially coming from Africa who are HIV-infected.
- one Sister works in an organisation called "De Ketting" (Chain) - this helps women to become aware of their dignity so they can stand for their rights. It is women empowerment.
- One Sister works in an organisation called "Mission Service Centre"- this gives help and assistance to the marginalized of the society - drug addicts, homeless, persons with psychological problems, people who cannot cope with the demands of the fast moving and fast changing society. She also works for ex-psychiatric patients by holding an evening where they can come together, relax and eat together. She is also responsible for a Children's Clubhouse, a group of children coming from poor families; they come together for recreation and socialisation. There is also involvement in an organisation or foundation "Religious Against Trafficking of Women."
Many Sisters of the Dutch Province are also involved in writing letters and Christmas cards to political prisoners and they do this via Amnesty International.

The Hague: What are the Sisters doing in The Hague?
- Until now there are still refugees waiting for the decision of the Dutch government whether they will be allowed to stay or to be sent back to their country of origin. The Sisters refer them to some organisations to be given the necessary help. Visiting them and listening to their stories are a good help. They encourage them also to learn the Dutch language. They also come to the Sisters' home for counselling or for language learning. These refugees come mostly from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Dutch government is becoming stricter to them and many were already sent back.
- One Sister coordinates with the Commission for Filipino Migrant Workers. By networking with other organisations, they hope to be granted amnesty by the government. -The alarming existence of youth delinquency and family problems are everywhere. The Sisters respond to this by continuing contact with parents and youth in the area. Through Humanitas, an international organisation, the Sisters reach out to many families. The aim is always to come to dialogue, whether through cultural or religious activities. This is our mission. In the process of doing this, we learn that real dialogue starts in our hearts.

We always hope that all our efforts be fruitful and be blessed by the Lord, the GOD of justice and peace.

Written by: Sister Imaria Niessen, SSpS

SVD Province of Spain

Fr. David Antona, SVD

Report 3

I cannot give a detailed report because it is only a short time since I was appointed for this job of JPIC Coordinator of our SVD Province.
We want to create a team of four people, waiting for one more to come from the house of formation. I hope we will be able to work as a team.
This now is in brief what we are doing in the field of JPIC:
A - In Madrid:
- We have a Filipino chaplaincy with a SVD priest from the Philippines.
- We have a Polish chaplaincy with two Polish priests from Poland.
- The community of Madrid supports this one.
B - In other parishes:
We work for justice and peace, taking as a priority the care for migrants and the poor.
C - In the parish of Sevilla, where I am working:
1) Migrants
Seville and the South of Spain as well, is the entrance door for migrants coming from Africa: Morikis, Sub-Saharans, Magrebhins, Nigerians etc. Many of them coming in the "bateras" - small boats - died, drowned in the sea. Others were taken back to their countries.
But we have also migrants from Latin America, from China and Eastern Europe: Romania, Poland and Russia.
We help them when learning the Spanish language and with the work-centres and provide for their legalization. We support them with money for renting a house through the parish Caritas.
They attend our religious celebrations, especially the Eucharist.
On April 26, 2008, we shall celebrate Palm Sunday and Easter with the Orthodox Christians from Romania.
When there is any Muslim migrant attending our Eucharist, we take the first reading from the Koran.
We held to interfaith prayer meetings with Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims.

2) - People, addicted to drugs
We visit them in prison, helping them on the social and psychological level. We pay attention to their families. We go on the streets and to places with young people who do not attend school. We work in colleges in the line of prevention.

D Participation in the issues of JPIC with CONFER - Confederation of religious congregations.
Thanks a lot for your understanding for not speaking English. For me it was like a new Pentecost because "love is the language that all people can understand". Although 1 did not understand so much, I have learned a lot.

David Antona, SVD


Sr. Ma. Mendes, SSpS

Riport 2


Aware of the priority presented by our Congregation regarding our presence among Migrants, Sister Quintinha is accompanying a group of Africans who animate the Mass every Sunday at 6:30 pm in Odivelas Parish. Most of them are student workers, some are working and others are only studying. The group has weekly Christian formation and a Retreat every four months prepared by Sr. Quintinha.

Once a week she works as a volunteer with Missionaries of the Holy Spirit attending the migrants who need help to get a medical doctor, a lawyer, documents, food, clothes, etc. ...

As a community of Casal de Cambra, we felt the need to extend our Apostolate (Catechesis, formation of Catechists...) and assisting the elderly, the sick who live alone with a minimum of resources, families in conflict, suffering women, the youth and children in situation of risk in the neighbour community of Casal da Mira where most of them are migrants coming from African Countries and others from Brazil. Very often, we are the "Voice of the voiceless" being the "bridge" between the poor and those in public authorities, asking for health treatment, housing, food, documents, social security, jobs, etc...

Sr. Iracema Casarotto is the one directly accompanying and attending this community. She together with the Sisters in the community feels that we are not sufficiently prepared for the challenges of different cultural expressions, traditions and behaviour of this people. They feel the incapacity of acting or responding to these cultural shocks, discrimination of migrants, lack of unity among the leaders, fear and lack of openness to new ways. ... Therefore, they feel the need of learning or deepening and valuing the people's culture in order to facilitate the promotion and their closeness to each other for greater integration in the community.

Before this challenge, the community decided to invite Sr. Quintinha being an African to help in this apostolate and she, together with Sr. Iracema attend this community twice a week.

The youth in the street involved in drugs; alcohol, prostitution violence, many single mothers, a great number of unemployed, people suffering from depression and many recent cases of suicide, is another concern of ours.

Regarding the inter-religious dialogue, we do little about the families who follow other believes.

Sr. Maria Mendes accompanies two other communities: the Timorese and Filipinos. She tries to support and help the Timorese who are studying in Portugal and/or who need help to get documents. Some of them are living in apartments, others with their relatives; the ones living with their relatives seem to have more possibilities to overcome the difficulties of migrating to an unknown country.

Periodically, Sr. Maria Mendes together with Timorese young people, gather to celebrate the feasts of Christmas and Easter. Besides this, with her support, the Timorese community is getting involved in diocesan events as well as national ones; a concrete example of this was the participation in International Congress of new Evangelization in 2005 where the group represented the voice of Timorese Migrants. Through these activities the young people seek to deepen their own culture.

Regarding the group of Filipino Migrants, most of them are women working as domestic helpers and in foreign embassies in Lisbon. The main problem encountered by these people is the difficulty of language. This Filipino community belongs to a movement called "Couples for Christ". Even being married, the women migrate to Portugal looking for "Green Pasture" in order to support their family, while the husbands stay behind in the Philippines to take care of the children.

This is a well committed group in living and witnessing their faith as Christians. Sr. Maria Mendes gives Spiritual Formation to these Migrants every first Sunday of the month through the participation in the Eucharist and preparation of themes that are in the programme according to the statute of the group.


Considering our option for Migrants, Sr. Maria Jose started a work of presence in Jesuit Refugees Service (JRS) in Lisbon in February, 2007.

JRS is an International Non Government Organization founded by Jesuits in 1980 and has the mission to accompany, serve and defend the Refugees and Migrants, giving priority to those in vulnerable situations. This Organization is present in five Continents in more than 40 Countries.

In Portugal, JRS was founded in 1992. During the first six years, JRS made an investment of another work of helping in awakening the Portuguese society about the problem of Migrants. From 1999, JRS opened the Centre for attending the public then step by step, different kind of services were offered to the migrant population.

Today, in this Centre JRS-Portugal are different kinds of service offered to the migrants, like social support particularly to those in situation of great vulnerability; support in looking for a job and house; support in recognizing those who are academically qualified; medical and psychological support and in situations of living legally; etc.

After arriving from Australia, Sr. Maria Jose made herself available to start a work-mission among the Migrants accompanied by JRS. She started the work as a volunteer in February 2007 and in July she was employed full time by the organization.
Sr. Maria Jose gives her psychological/emotional support to the migrants and as assistant of the Director of the Institution.

In our Mission in Portugal we try to reflect and share our experiences of encounter with migrants seeking to be open to the needs of people of our time.

Sr. Maria Mendes


Fr. Valentim Gonsalves, SVD

Report 1.

Christian-Muslim Dialogue in view of our Migrant Ministry

SVD in PortugalWhat about our mission on this aspect ?
Since the beginning this is a Christian country
According the census 2001:
84 % catholic (< 12 aged)
18,7 % "praticantes"
10,3 % take the holy communion
Other Christians (mainly in the line of evangelical groups) - 2%

Jews - 1.800
Hindus - 15.000
Muslims - 30.000 - 40.000
Other Christian denominations (mainly in the line of evangelical groups) – 2 %

Islam in Portugal

The Arabic/Muslim presence in our territory lasted for more than 4 centuries (714-1247) marked our culture, our history, our language (with more than 1200 words of Arabic origin, as regarding the capital: Lisboa=Al-Uxbûna)

Christians, Jews and Muslims lived together and peacefully. In the time of Crusades, they began to be expelled. The main task of first kings was the fight against the Moors. Our common imagery has a lot of legends about moors; since then they were out of the country, but not so far, and the fight continued sometimes in North Africa.

After colonial period, with the independence of former colonies, some people decided to maintain the Portuguese citizenship and came do Portugal. Many of them were Muslims, especially those from Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau.

The CIL (Islamic Community of Lisbon) was created in 1968 by a group of Muslim students, come from colonies. Before the creation, a commission of 10 elements (5 Muslims and 5 Catholics) asked the Municipality a ground for the building of the mosque. This was only achieved in 1977 and in 1985 the first part of the mosque was inaugurated; it was built with the Support of Islamic countries, and the Support of the Presidents of Lisbon Municipality.

Now the Muslim communities spread around Lisbon and some towns.
We cannot ignore their presence even in the urban scenery.

In our missionary ministry, how have we dealt with this ?

We have begun with the concern of being close to the people and especially with those in need of respect and friendship; this has been our way through the inter-religious dialogue.
Since the beginning of nineties in our work with migrants we walked together. The religious dialogue was a normal expression of our journey together.
The Kimbangist (African Christian group from Zaire/Angola) could use our space (room in the quarter), and some evangelical groups as well.
We made a journey of some years with some Muslims struggling for better conditions for the slum-dwellers and when new houses were available for them, a space for worship was built: a place for Christians (and it was offered to the Catholic parish, but in an "ecumenical spirit"): for some years it was used by Catholics, Adventists, Pentecostals, etc. Nowadays they have their own space. At our side the Muslims received their space, today transformed in the local mosque. The relationship Catholics /Muslims is very friendly. Sometimes we go to the mosque and to the church.

After September 11th, the concern about Islam increased a lot. Since the first moment we (I was member of JP Commission of the Religious in Portugal) made clear that we could not identify terrorism with Islam.
When celebrating the Ramadan, following the appeal of John Paul II, we went along with the Muslim community, and for the first time two Catholic priests took part in Idu-al-Fitre in the Central Mosque of Lisbon. This gesture was repeated there and in other places.

Important for us is to try to better know Islam. More important still is to try to make a common way for well-being, brotherhood and peace in our society. Sometime ago the JPIC of the Religious organized a meeting for Religious in the Central Mosque. The Imam welcomed us, began with a prayer for the Pope who was ill at that time, and gave us a lot of information on Islam.

In front of our house in Lisbon we have the "Ismaili Centre", a wonderful place of the Ismaili Community, a centre for science, culture, and religion. With them I have worked in a mixed group (Diocese of Lisbon/Agha Khan Foundation) dealing with social questions.

On July 2006 the so called "Forum Abraâmico de Portugal" was officially created, creating the dialogue among the believers of the three Abrahamic religions, and aiming to show the people that harmony and peace are possible.
In the last October 7 we all have attended the Religious Ceremony in the Jewish Cemetery in Lisbon, after the vandalizing of some tombs.
In the line of a suggestion of the Forum our JP Commission, invited the Religious communities to send a special season postcard to several Muslim communities in Portugal (around 30).

Some weeks ago, the leader of Muslim Community in our quarter Terracos da Ponte was invited to speak to volunteers that are preparing for their task in the missions. They appreciated it a lot.

Zonal Meeting of the JPIC Coordinators SSpS

Zonal Meeting of the JPIC Coordinators SSpS

Thursday, 3 April 2008

The main topics of the meeting were:

- Discussion about the main topic of the meeting:
Perhaps Poland, Romania and the Ukraine – none of these units had a Sister participating in the meeting - could be encouraged to work in the field of interfaith dialogue.

- Problem in certain provinces with appointing coordinators or teams at all, in some provinces to find younger sisters for this service.

Suggestions: To invite younger sisters to the JPIC meetings of SSpS / SVD;
To get them involved in JPIC issues with their ideas;
The Provincial leadership teams should officially appoint some of
them for a JPIC team.

- Which new topics should be taken up by JPIC?

Suggestions: chapter priorities
more stress on the work with women

- Reflection about the successor of Sr. Benedikta Böckelmann:
Criteria for a Zonal coordinator of JPIC:
Suggestions: She should be a Sister working with JPIC issues,
able to coordinate,
have a certain knowledge of the English language.

- Question why not combine MA (Mission animation) and JPIC?

Information: It seems that various provinces do MA in different ways and it is then even more difficult to find somebody as a coordinator who is able to combine both tasks.

The minutes were taken by Sr. Katarina Florková, finalized by Sr. Simone Petra Hanel

Inter-religious dialogue as a Necessity in our Migrant inistry

Results of group work: Tuesday, 01 April, 2008

1) What help has today’s talk and discussion offered me for my concrete ministry with migrants in Europe?

2) What could we as SSpS and SVD do together in this field of dialogue and how can we set up a European network?

Group 1

To question 1
1.1 It was waking me up: at home I come from a predominantly Muslim society but here it is not our problem. We had Hindu visitors. It is mind opening now to be aware of cultural, religious differences: the need for dialogue prevents conflicts and opens new ways through new insights. It also helps to face the closing in and old form of old communist times.
1.2 It was useful for my apostolate with migrants; it will help through me the diocesan priests in similar challenges. It is a complicated issue, made clearer by experts like Markus and Petrus. We have to take further steps to deal better with issue like fundamentalism, fanaticism and getting to know ourselves better.
1.3 Good to know more about the realities of Europe. It takes away fear of strangers and migrants. It gives increased confidence with people so far strange and possibly dangerous: through dialogue strangers can become friends and mutual respect is deepened.
1.4 What Muslims think about us, I did not know before. I know very little about the Koran.
The various Muslims of the various countries have their differences but at least they are religious contrary to secular people with no practiced religion.
1.5 People from Morocco are generally friendly but poor; they have a close relationship with family members. They come to the parish when invited and are ready for dialogue.
1.6 In Slovakia we hardly ever meet Muslims. But we take on the challenges as they come in ecumenical ways.
1.7 In Ireland, Muslims have a council of Imams of Muslims from 42 countries in order to create a better appearance for Islam.

To question 2
2.1 There is already an organized way between SSpS and SVD concerning how to deal with catastrophes in a combined way.
2.2 Europe seems complex but we have a study day for Muslims, Hindus and Christians – SSpS and SVD together. Sr. Melina is organizing it.
2.3 A SVD/SSpS network for migrant ministry of its own is not advisable because of feared expenses; if part of JPIC then okay!
2.4 Migrant ministry on sub Zonal level would be good; informing one another.
2.5 The Vatican extends greetings to Muslims each year at the end of the Ramadan. Perhaps we could take on this tradition for the Muslims in our neighbourhood.

Group 2
To question 1
- Presentation of statistics, reality of Islam in Europe has made me sensitive to it; that it is a reality that you cannot put side any more.
- The talk has caused or brought about some confusion/difficulty: to be or not to be involved directly; has made one realize that there is a need to read, study, make contact with Muslims, looking for opportunities to come in contact with them. There is a lot of information that you need time to sort out: what to do? What approach is needed?
- Have seen this as complicated; I know now something but there is more to it.
- Informal contacts, e.g. with Muslim women in the park – spontaneously talking with them, then getting invited to eat with them – this is a start!
- Openness to Muslim, especially women; speak with them, talk about their problems, like language etc.
- Providing space, protective space where they can be themselves.
- Renewed enthusiasm/awareness – that this is a chance, a challenge to grow in inter-religious dialogue; serious study, reading.
- To start from ourselves / from home – the way we treat each other will affect the way we treat migrants.
* Many personal experiences about contacts with Muslims, migrants were shared. This is dialogue of life!

To question 2
Austrian province: Two structures
A National Churches
- Filipino Church / Latin American Church
- African prisoners; illegal workers; in refugee or deportation camps.
Here SVD and SSpS can work together: SVD ministering to men, SSpS to women.
B Local networking/collaboration/more coordination
- strengthening local networks
European network
- Netherlands: networking with religious congregations and other organi-zations
- Exchange of information, experiences, ideas via email, internet, websites

Group 3
To question 1
Gaining more understanding of dialogue, but also becoming aware that it is complex and we can not simplify it.
Instead of thinking about dialogue be more busy with the struggle against racism which is presently causing conflicts in the country I am living and working with the migrants.
Inspired to go deeper into this field of dialogue, to avail myself for this ministry, take it more seriously. Discussions were also enriching.
It was encouraging to meet people who work towards the dialogue , because God comes to me in the person of a stranger: I can be open to share and receive.
Sceptical attitude, especially when seeing the expansion of Moslem coming from Turkey who are becoming majority – we cannot feel safe, but of course we have to do some dialogue.

To question 2
v SVD and SSpS need to get along well, first they have to be able to dialogue among themselves
v Possibility of joint community with migrant ministry
v A woman has an easier access to another woman and a man to another man – collaboration possible
v Identifying those who are working in this field and exchanging the information with them
v The practical support for the ones working on the grassroots level on the part of VIVAT is missing. It would be good to have an assistant which brings the concerns from the grassroots level to VIVAT and VIVAT practical help back to the worker on the grassroots level. Need for a clear identification as a member of an NGO (VIVAT) to have easier access to the offices.
v Suggestion to found an NGO similarly to Jesuit Refugee Services to get more tools (more financial support) from the government or other sources.

A 5
Results of group work: Wednesday, 02 April, 2008
1) What questions do Christians ask Muslims normally at their encounters?
2) What questions do Muslims ask Christians normally at their encounters?
3) How can we deal with these questions and answer them?

Group 1
To question 1
We remain polite with one another but the media ask more directly whether suicidal killings are a true Muslim way.
And we ask why the Muslims fight among themselves, e.g. Palestinian fanatics?

To question 2
Common questions: Sister, is one of the Fathers your husband? How can the three (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) be one God?

Fanatics disturb mutual services in East Timor but there is mutual acceptance in Flores.
In Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, Muslims aim to improve the image of Muslims. Moderate Muslims call themselves “radical” because of keeping the five pillars of Islam. They wish to do away with the practice of domestic violence, beating of wives and brutality; doing away with extremism. They stress a better education.

How do you reconcile the search for peace with the phenomenon of violence?
JPIC ministry in Indonesia/Timor is difficult and dangerous. You might end up in prison.
Social issues should unite religions but they not always do it.
The NGO “Frontline” from Ireland - coming out of AI - talks about peace between people without referring to religion, God and prayer easily. But when I participant – in the case mentioned – a Muslim did that way he was applauded. We should not hide our religiosity.
Human rights can be pursued as a witness to our believe in values (human and Christian).
Some of our human societies (African, Indonesian) practice prayers in public easily; Europeans do that in church or privately (only): secular society!
We talked about the difficulties migrants encounter when wishing to enter Germany.
In each of us there should be: openness, tolerance and respect for each other.

Group 2
To question 1
Most of the questions are practical in nature that is based on personal experiences of the participants.
- Why do Muslim women cover their heads?
- Why is there such a thing as taking revenge when a family especially a daughter is dishonoured?
- Why is there use of violence?
- What are the differences in religious practice of the Muslims in different countries – Morocco, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Somalia?
- How do you see sexuality? Why is it wrong to discuss sexuality in the presence of boys and girls?
- Why have women a lower status than men?
- What is the role of religion in the state? Separation between Islam and state?

To question 2
- Why do we have to shake hands with men?
- Why the use of sacramentals like statues, rosaries etc.?

To question 3
- Very important is to show openness, tolerance, respect and understanding towards them.

Group 3
To question 1
Questions from Christians to Moslems:
Ø Why are there so many limitations concerning for example expression of our faith when we come to predominantly Moslem countries (for example we are not allowed to bring along a bible, to worship freely…)?
Ø Why are they not ready to talk about their religion and their God?
Ø Why do they associate us – Christians- with the government and think we are influencing the state decisions?
Ø Why do they need “to be in charge“ when they become majority? Is the violence based on Koran?
Ø Why are the Moslem men allowed to have 4 wives and a woman is not allowed to have 4 husbands?

To question 2
Questions from Moslems to Christians:
- Why are they not given church yards to burry their loved ones?
- Why are they not allowed to do loudly their call for prayer?
- Why were the Christians violent in the past?
- Why do we recognize the marriage of homosexuals?
- Why do we not accept Mohammad as a prophet?