Kajiyama Yoshio SJ
New Director of Jesuit Social Center
I love the Social and Pastoral Bulletin. Even when I was working in Junior and Senior High School and in the Provincial’s Office, I enjoyed reading it. The articles basically invite people to recall the promotion of justice, update one’s own vocation, lead us to think globally, and shed light on the narrow environments of our daily life. There are articles that promote solidarity with other Jesuit members who, while struggling under difficult circumstances in various places, live in joy with many other people and dedicate themselves to God’s mission. There are reviews of useful books that help us think from a deeper perspective. Memorial articles about the lives of former staff members of the Social Center and of those who have contributed to the social apostolate confront us with questions regarding the type of our services. Since the Bulletin is sent privately to each person, everyone has easy access to it.
The Bulletin, which began as a Social Apostolate Letter in December 1980, was launched in May 1984 and has already reached its 200th issue. As one endeavor of our Japanese Province, the Bulletin has continued to provide good materials to help identify the signs of the times for many people who serve the cause of Justice and Peace in society. I sincerely appreciate the work of its first editor, Mr. Shibata Yukinori, who passed away on August 24, 2011, and his successors.
The Bulletin has reported for years on a series of important issues for the renewal of the Church, —like issues of war, democracy, refugees and migrant workers, the environment, globalization, abuse, mental health problems, family, international realities, gaps between the rich and the poor, Japanese immigration, historical awareness, the Constitution, minority groups, the disabled, homeless people, labor issues and human trafficking. It has also dealt with ecological issues, violence and harassment, the aging society, military bases and religious freedom. Its basic stand is reconciliation, justice, peace, hope and love—in other words, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God manifested by Jesus. It is by spreading the Kingdom of God that such issues and other new ones must be continually selected and faced from the standpoint of the Gospel.
I have been assigned to be the new Director of the Jesuit Social Center beginning in April 2018. It is my great desire to be of as much service as I can so that this Bulletin will continue to be of help to many people.