Building Bridges

The complexity of the problems we face and the richness of the opportunities offered demand that we build bridges between rich and poor, establishing advocacy links of mutual support between those who hold political power and those who find it difficult to voice their interests (Decree 3, number 28).

Thus, Jesuits and partners in mission advocate at local, national, regional and international levels. How do we do it? What is our understanding of Advocacy?

It is not easy to define advocacy, but the following definition may serve as a helpful starting point. “Citizen centered advocacy is an organized political process that involves the coordinated efforts of people to change policies, practices, ideas and values that perpetuates inequality, prejudice and exclusion. It strengthens citizen´s capacity as decision makers and builds more accountable and equitable institutions of power” (Veneklasen and Miller, 2002)

A way of doing advocacy can be called “Ignatian” when the works (centres, institutions) and/or platforms share Ignatian characteristics of advocacy. Hence, any work that a) intentionally seeks God in all things; b) practices Ignatian discernment and c) engages the world through a careful analysis of the context in dialogue with experience and seeking right decision for the sake of action with openness to evaluation, can be called Ignatian.

Elements of Ignatian advocacy


In solidarity with the poorest and most marginalized


  • Intellectual rigor and competence


  • Loving and world affirming


Contemplative in action (discernment)


  • In the Church for the world


Open to partnerships with others and practiced in a communitarian environment

To learn more:
Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat, January 2010: Introducing the Ignatian Advocacy Network,

Promotio Iustitiae Nº 101, 2009/1: Ignatian Advocacy Workshop