Celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat (SJES) in Africa by Charles Chilufya SJ

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The Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM) launched its celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat (SJES) during the occasion of the annual meeting of the Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network of Africa (JENA). The JENA Annual Meeting had three segments to it: the JENA Annual Assembly which focused on the Network annual review and planning; the first annual JENA Conference , which focused on the role of the intellectual apostolate in the implementation of the UAPs; and finally the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the SJES.

The celebration of the SJES Golden Jubilee coincided with the celebration of women’s day in South Africa, which itself is a celebration of the triumph of justice when some women in 1954 demanded for rights of movement during the time of apartheid in South Africa. The celebrations, which gathered Jesuits and lay people took the form of mini conference during which those gathered reflected on various justice issues confronting Africa and those presenting touched on the situation of migrants and women in Africa and proposed possible solutions. The mini conference also focused on the Universal Apostolic Preferences whose highlight was a though-proving and inspiring interpretation of the UAPs by young people represented by Nouthando Honono.

A major highlight of the Golden Jubilee celebration was the Holy Eucharist presided over by Fr. Xavier Jeyaraj, the head of the SJES. The celebration of mass was colourful and was animated by the beautiful singing by the Jesuit Soweto Parish, St. Martin de Porres, Choir. The spiritual meal of the Eucharist flowed into a celebratory dinner shared by all those present.