Jesuits in Social Action (JESA) South Asian Secretariat was formally initiated in 1973 to assist the provincials to translate the faith – justice mandate of GC 32 into action in all the ministries and in particular in social action ministry of the Society of Jesus. The primary function of JESA is to encourage and elicit well-studied and analysed responses and interventions from Jesuits and partners in favour of and with the marginalised groups and communities in various provinces, states in South Asian countries (assistancy). It would further promote and co-ordinate on-going action-reflections, interactions, research/study and actions leading to greater development and empowerment of the priority communities. It would also gather and disseminate information and knowledge for the benefit of the Jesuit Social action groups/Centres and communities through bulletins, and organise workshops, seminars, trainings and visits.
· Coordinating and facilitating all Jesuit involvement (province, zonal and national) in social Action/ field.
· Gathering data and information on national / south Asian issues and policies affecting the priority groups.
· Promoting analysis of central social issues affecting the masses; Furthering Human Rights perspectives.
· Initiating advocacy with and on behalf of the marginalized.
· Supporting action oriented researches.
· Linking up JESA with Social apostolates of Jesuits in other countries and with Social Justice Secretariat, Rome.
· Facilitating the JCSA President on matters of social concerns and involvement of the Jesuits.
· Animating South Asian Peoples' Initiatives (SAPI)
The Logo for Jesuits in Social Action (JESA) represents the awakening of the marginalised masses in solidarity with the people of the world. The chain of peoples with their hands crossed with others around the semi circle, drawn in warli art, represents the solidarity of the marginalised people the Jesuits work for and work with, and the Jesuits themselves also being part of this 'human chain', incorporating all the people of good will.
The blue color on the top gives a feeling of soaring high above their daily toils and troubles, their problems and stigma, to realise their full potential. The green color shows the hope of newness and freshness that is dawning in the lives of the people while keeping oneself deeply rooted in the struggles of the ordinary.
The tree represents the life and the deep rooted convictions and culture of the people to give life to all the people centred movements all over.
Milestones of JESA: JESA Secretaries:
Fr. Xavier Jeyaraj SJ (CCU)
(1 July 2007 - 15 October 2011)
- Strengthened South Asian Peoples' Initiatives (SAPI) at the Zonal level especially in the Central and South Zones.
- Intensified Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks at local, national and international levels along with SJES and made the first move to initiate the South-South collaboration.
- Began monthly E-Newletter as well as occasional JESA Dispatch to disseminate information and news to all.
- Published JESA Catalogues in 2008 and 2011.
- Initiated the move towards Rights Based Approach (RBA) in our social action centres and strengthened the collaboration with civil society groups and People's Movements.
Fr. Joseph Xavier SJ (MDU)
(July 2001 - 30 June 2007)
· Initiated and set up a secular platform 'South Asian Peoples' Initiatives' (SAPI) in 2004 and helped in the active participation of JESA & SAPI delegates in various Indian, Asian and World Social Forums and published issue based campaign materials and booklets.
· Promoted campaign and movement based approach in the involvement.
· Strengthened the Central Zone collaboration and coordination with the establishment of Bagaicha in 2002
· Organized regular summer programme for Scholastics and others on social analysis with the collaboration of national centres.
· Published triannual JESA Catalogues in 2002 and 2005.
Fr. Tom Kavalakatt SJ (DUM)
(1 Sept. 1995 – June 2001)
· Became the first full-time Secretary of JESA and Shifted the office of JESA to Indian Social Institute, New Delhi
· Conducted JESA evaluation for South Asia in 2000. Based on the report submitted to JCSA a document ‘Walking with the Poor’ was published, which gives certain guidelines and directives.
· 23 Jesuit delegates from various provinces participated in the Naples workshop on “The Characteristics of Jesuit Social Apostolate” in 1997
· Initiated a process of setting up a Zonal Centre called ‘Bagaicha’ at the central zone.
Fr. Vincent Mooken (GUJ) (Part-Time Secretary)
(9 May 1989 - 31 August 1995)
· 1989 - 93 - Stayed at Surat. Was Director of Navsarjan, Surat and JESA Part-time Secretary
· 1993 - Additional charge of JRS-South Asia, Director and moved to ISI - Bangalore
· Helped out in the Andhra Cyclone Relief works and also Earth quake in Maharashtra
· Started the JESA Newsletter titled "OPTIONS", which was later discontinued
· Initiated Annual Social Action Retreat, to help the Social Action Jesuits to articulate the Spirituality of Struggle and incarnation.
Fr. Aloysius Fonseca (BOM) Part Time Secretary
(3 July 1987 – 8 May 1989)
Fr. Aloysius Irudayam (MDU) Part Time Secretary
(6 April 1985 – 2 July 1987)
Fr. Robert Cutinha (KAR)
(March 1981 – 5 April 1985)
Fr. Anselm Miranda (AND)
(December 1977 – March 1981)
Till 1981, The Secretariat was called Jesuit Socio-Economic Development Secretariat (JESEDES)
Fr. Andre Bruylants (CCU)
(1973 – December 1977)