Adrianus Suyadi, SJ, country director of JRS Indonesia
Daniel Villanueva, SJ, in his thesis, states “JRS was (and still is) the most Ignatian institution I have ever known. So many things about it impressed me: the type of work, the way of proceeding, the radical orientation to mission, the composition of the teams, the flexibility of the institution, and the overlap between community and mission. Why is the Society not learning from JRS, which embodies Jesuit principles so well?”  This statement expresses what I personally feel working with JRS for almost eight years. JRS has been my school where I can learn to become a Jesuit. In JRS I find a genuine Jesuit mission among the poorest. Jesuit life is based on mission, on being sent. Something is not working if a Jesuit (like me) is not radically available to be sent. 

In JRS I find this spirit of availability. All JRS teams hold this spirit in order to respond to the great of refugees and internally displaced people. Before signing one’s contract to become a JRS staff member, one must agree to be available to be sent to wherever JRS is present. I am personally amazed by our lay staff who express freely the spirit of our mission; willing and able to move from one place to another according to the needs of the people we serve. 

And then there is the mission of the Society of Jesus.  The Jesuit mission is “the promotion of justice and dialogue with culture and other religions in the light of the apostolic mandate to establish right relationships with God, with one another and with creation.” JRS is on the front line of this mission; JRS puts this mission into practice.  JRS teams, especially those who serve the people in the field, often experience how hard the struggle against injustice is. 

There are many lessons to be learnt working in JRS. On this occasion I would like to thank my team sincerely and JRS as an institution from whom I learnt and am still learning how to become a Jesuit. I am aware that you are my lay collaborators and colleagues/family/JRS team from different backgrounds, including cultures and religions, have taught me how to be a Jesuit. I do believe if we — lay people, religious people or Jesuits — can faithfully hold the JRS’ spirit and mission in serving the poorest people, you can legitimately claim that you are a Jesuit. You are the people who live the Ignatian spirit, the spirit to work with and on behalf of God to fight for justice and peace for those who are oppressed and neglected. Congratulations to JRS for 30 years anniversary; congratulations to all of us at JRS. 

Adrianus Suyadi, SJ, country director of JRS Indonesia

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