Jesuits believe that Christian faith demands a commitment to justice. This means confronting the structures of our world that perpetuate poverty and injustice. As the religious order declared at its 32nd General Congregation in 1975: “The mission of the Society of Jesus today is the service of faith, of which the promotion of justice is an absolute requirement.”
This mission takes many forms, including works of service, justice, dialogue, and advocacy around the world. And it is not without cost: more than 45 Jesuits have been killed for their work on behalf of the poor and marginalized since the declaration of General Congregation 32. Among them are six Jesuit educators at the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in San Salvador, El Salvador. Jesuits Ignacio Ellacuria, Ignacio Martin-Baro, Segundo Montes, Juan Ramon, Joaquin Lopez y Lopez and their housekeeper Elba Ramos and her daughter Celina Ramos were murdered in the early morning hours of Nov. 16, 1989, by military officers in El Salvador.
The primary purpose of the Jesuit Committee on Investment Responsibility (JCIR) is to advocate for and effect change in corporate behavior by coordinating shareholder advocacy initiatives at both the province and national levels. JCIR province representatives collaborate to identify economic justice priorities and to work together to promote corporate social responsibility consistent with just sustainability in the community, the environment, and the economy.
The JCIR works to expand awareness of socially responsible investment in Jesuit-related institutions; to organize and incorporate the resources of as many provinces as possible and to involve Jesuits in broad collaborative efforts with other members of the faith community committed to socially responsible investment.
Socially responsible investment (SRI) is, for Jesuits, the work of structural justice. It involves using the investment portfolios of the seven U.S. Jesuit provinces as well as the two Canada Jesuit provinces to influence corporate policy decisions that determine corporate operation in this country, and throughout the world. Jesuits also have the opportunity to make investments in places where traditional investment moneys do not flow, such as in community development loan funds which help develop the human capital, economic infrastructure and affordable housing stock in underserved, undercapitalized areas.
Find out more on the Jesuit Conference Website.
Pope Francis calls us in a particular way to offer immigrants “warmth of the love of Christ.” Read about the many ways the Jesuits of this province are Welcoming the Stranger.
For action alerts and news about social ministry, see our monthly newsletter, Compassion.