Madagascar: a new social centre is inaugurated

The Arrupe Centre was inaugurated in Antananarivo at an impressive ceremony in May between the 12th and the 15th. This new social centre sponsored by the Society brought together local church people, civil society activists and academics and four visiting Jesuits from Africa and Rome. Pierre Andre Ranaivoarson SJ, Director of the Arrupe Centre, remarked that the inauguration was an opportunity to introduce the work of the social centre to a wider public and to manifest its link with the mission of the Society. The theme of the inauguration was ?The Impact of the structure and organization of the Catholic Church in the social life of Madagascar.? Fr Franco from the Social Justice Secretariat in Rome, offered reflections on the social apostolate of the Society and its experience in India; Antoine Bérilengar SJ from Chad, Social Apostolate Coordinator for Africa and Madagascar, spoke about the Society?s commitment in general and about the special challenge in Chad, the need to work for greater justice in sharing the new oil wealth. Sharing the experience of the very active Zambian Jesuits and the Church?s commitment to promoting faith and justice, Pete Henriot SJ, director of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection in Lusaka, said that a social centre?s activities should be firmly based on the Church?s social teaching. Michael Czerny SJ, director of the African Jesuit Aids Network, challenged the Arrupe Centre to offer the theological and spiritual resources needed to effectively face the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The inauguration ended with a special Mass that was attended by the Prime Minister of Madagascar. [HL50503] Contact: Pierre Andre Ranaivoarson SJ, Director, naivosj@simicro.mg