Dear friends and visitors,
Greetings of Peace!
I welcome you all to this website. This is an attempt of Jesuit ministries in the Philippine Province and their partners to bring together our ideas and initiatives to promote peace in Mindanao. This brand of peace is founded on faith, rooted in justice and respectful of cultures. Our pathway to peace is inter-faith, intra-faith and intercultural dialogue, leadership training and collaboration.
Riding on the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus, I felt it was timely to revisit our apostolic frontier. After the Society of Jesus was restored, the Jesuits came back to the Philippines with a clear mandate to go to “Mindanao and Jolo” and re-commence the work of evangelization. Today, Mindanao remains for us an apostolic frontier. Peace is still elusive in Mindanao. The centuries of neglect, conflict, injustice and poverty continue to hound the Mindanawons.
The Zamboanga standoff on 9 September 2013 which lasted 19 days displaced more than 100,000 residents. This challenged the MILF-GPH peace process and brought to the fore again issues affecting Muslim-Christian relations. This clearly showed that the quest for peace is fraught with uncertainties and complexities.
Redefining our apostolic frontier and making sense of the Zamboanga crisis triggered the coming together of Jesuits and their partners on 26 – 28 December 2013. This meeting was dubbed “Mindanao Conversations”. Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) gladly hosted this gathering of Jesuits, their lay partners in various ministries, representatives from the Church, Bangsamoro, indigenous peoples, military, peace advocates, development practitioners, educators and engaged citizens. The results of the Mindanao Conversations were summarized into ten “Action Points”. These points defined our lines of engagement. The participants were resolved to translate these Action Points into realities. They were further revised and prioritized.
After consulting parties concerned, I then created the Executive Committee (Execom) to ensure that the Action Points are going to be followed through, monitored, evaluated and eventually achieved. Continuing conversations regarding the Action Points can be gleaned from this website. To guide the Executive Committee to attain its mandate, an Advisory Committee was established. I am grateful for the works of these two committees. I thank Fr Joel E Tabora SJ, AdDU President, for chairing the Execom and linking it with the Advisory Committee. I thank the Ateneo de Davao University for hosting Mindanao Conversations and this website. Finally, I thank Mr Romulo Vinci R Bueza, Technical Assistant to the AdDU President, for his work as secretary and for doing the spadework leading to the launching of this website.
This website tracks the development of the Action Points. This website welcomes your contributions, comments and suggestions so that together you can journey toward our quest for peace. We are grateful for your contributions.
Let peace dwell in our hearts and in our lands.
Antonio F. Moreno SJ
Philippine Province of
Society of Jesus