News Detail
Top: Jesuit Luke Hansen. Bottom: The Jesuit delegation listens to a campesino farmer. Photo via America magazine.
“The people we met with are doing many positive things … but the major structural changes required to address the breakdown of civil institutions and the increasing levels of violence remain elusive.” —Jesuit Luke Hansen
Jesuit Delegation Explores Challenges Facing Honduran Society

September 19, 2013 — Last week, Jesuit scholastic Luke Hansen traveled across Honduras with a delegation sponsored by the Jesuit Conference in Washington, D.C., to learn more about the political and social challenges facing Honduran society. The group made stops mostly along the northern coast — the most violent region of the country — and met with campesinos (farmers), community leaders, Jesuit priests and their collaborators. 

Hansen wrote that the delegation’s purpose was to find out “how we — representing Jesuit ministries in the United States and Canada — might be in greater solidarity with Jesuits in Honduras and the communities they work with.”

The delegation also included Shaina Aber, policy director for social and international ministries at the Jesuit Conference; Jesuit Father Rafael García, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Albuquerque, N.M.;  Fernando Serrano, a professor in the College of Public Health and Social Justice at Saint Louis University; and other leaders of Jesuit social justice apostolates.

The Jesuits are engaged in a variety of ministries in Honduras, including a radio station, a social research and advocacy center, parishes, secondary education and even a community theater.

Hansen reported that “these groups are engaged in political and economic issues, and they have a strong and clear analysis of the problems, who suffers the most and who is responsible.

“We spoke with dozens of individuals who spoke fluently … about economic inequality, drug trafficking and gang violence, agrarian reform and land recuperation, environmental degradation and forced displacement of campesinos by mining companies, the highest murder rate in the world and the impunity that accompanies it.”

Hansen wrote that the challenge lies in developing an analysis of potential solutions and how positive social change will actually take place. “The people we met with are doing many positive things … but the major structural changes required to address the breakdown of civil institutions and the increasing levels of violence remain elusive.”

According to Hansen, the Jesuits in Honduras acknowledged their limited capacity to respond to the violence. “It is humiliating, frustrating,” said one Jesuit. “We are in desolation. Each of us has a creative ministry, but we are overwhelmed by the violence.”

The delegation found that many in Honduras said they felt isolated and ignored and that it meant a lot that an international group would visit them and listen to their stories.

Hansen concluded that it is urgent for Americans to call upon public officials in Washington to provide additional staff to help monitor and address human rights concerns in Honduras.

Read Hansen’s Honduras reports at America magazine here and here.


Recent News

September 23, 2016 — Thirty Catholic high schools throughout the world are taking part in the Ignatian Carbon Challenge, which is working to raise environmental awareness.

September 21, 2016 — This fall, 47 new Jesuit novices joined the Society of Jesus in Canada, Haiti and the U.S., the largest group of novices in the last 10 years.

September 21, 2016 — Jesuit Father Ante Gabric, a Croatian missionary who at times worked alongside Mother Teresa, is a candidate for sainthood.

September 19, 2016 — Fr. Fitzgerald died Sept. 17. He stepped down as president of Jesuit High in New Orleans in 2014, after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease.

September 16, 2016 — Tomorrow is the feast day of Saint Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621), a Jesuit who was one of the most important cardinals of the Catholic Reformation.

September 14, 2016 — The video features interviews with five Jesuits preparing to be priests and is designed to reach young men and draw them to the Jesuits’ vocation site.

September 12, 2016 — This summer, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Baltimore teachers launched Cura Urbi, a program giving high school students a closer look at some of the social justice issues in Baltimore.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 9/19/16

America 9/12/16

America 8/29/16



Jesuit Spirituality Center
Situated on 900 acres of farmland, the Jesuit Spirituality Center at Grand Coteau provides a quiet environment for those seeking God through the Spiritual Exercises.