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

October 19, 2017 — Today, the Society of Jesus celebrates the eight North American Martyrs.

October 18, 2017 — The Ecological Examen is a reflection tool to heed Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’ to care for creation and to reconcile our relationship with God, creation and one another.


October 16, 2017 — Yesterday, Pope Francis canonized 35 new saints, including Brazilian Jesuit St. André de Soveral.

October 14, 2017 — The story of American-born Jesuit Father Walter Ciszek (1904-1984), who spent 23 years in Russia in Siberian labor camps and Soviet prisons.

October 10, 2017 — The Clinic has intensified its efforts in the wake of the rescission of DACA by the Trump Administration.

October 5, 2017 — Fr. Jean Denis Saint-Félix, SJ, has been named the new Secretary of the Office of Justice and Ecology at the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S.

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 10/2/17

America 9/18/17

America 9/04/17



Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House
The Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House is located on the shores of Lake De Montreville in Lake Elmo, Minn.