diumenge, 7 de gener de 2018


Publicado en Alfa y Omega el 2017-12-21


Publicado en Alfa y Omega el 2017-11-30


Publicado en Alfa y Omega el 2017-11-09


Publicado en Alfa y Omega el 2017-10-19


Publicado en Alfa y Omega el 2017-10-05


Publicado en Alfa y Omega el 2017-09-14


10 d'Octubre 2017

10 de Octubre 2017

dilluns, 18 de desembre de 2017



Photo: Albert González Farrán/JRS

Sinar was born in Benamayo, Blue Nile (Sudan) but has been forced into exile several times. Now, he finds himself stranded in Doro refugee camp in Maban, South Sudan.

He seems to be thoughtfully wondering until when will he have to live far away from his beloved homeland. He is part of a very large group of 140,000 Sudanese who were forced out of their villages by the bombs in late 2011. Sinar and his people are now literally caught between two wars, the one at home (Sudan) and the one that broke off in December 2013 here, in the country hosting them (South Sudan). In Maban, several conflicts overlap with no end on sight.

In former times the people of Israel grappled with the excruciating experience of exile, of being crushed and forced out of their promised land. For decades they were thrown into confusion and despair, as reflected in so many passages of the Old Testament, most especially the psalms and the prophets.

Being witness to this too long exile, one cannot avoid wondering why. Flipping through my journal I found this piece I wrote last Christmas:

26th December 2016, Feast of St. Stephen.

During the last few days there has been intense armed fighting around here. On Christmas day we managed to celebrate morning mass but in the afternoon the shooting intensified and we are now holed up in our compound. Most of our neighbours have left their homes seeking for a safer place. Yesterday afternoon, sitting under the huge baobab tree in front of our house, Mary and Lucy, our two lovely little neighbours of 5 years of age, came to me and sat on my knees. Their mothers were hurriedly packing their few belongings, ready to flee, while the sound of shooting could be heard at a distance. Contemplating their little faces full of fear, remembering deeply desolated that I had already seen them fleeing in three more occasions recently, a desperate cry found words within my pained soul: ‘until when my God will your people have to suffer?’

It has never been easy for us human beings to reconcile with the dark and apparently senseless portions of our individual and communal itineraries. To try to ignore them helps nothing even if the flickering Christmas street lights and the consumerism frenzy seem to invite us to do so. Deep down though, we all long to comprehend the meaning of so much evil in our world. We desire to find humane ways of accepting it, lessening it and accompanying each other through it. Was not this what Jesus told his beloved disciple and his mother from the agony of the cross (John 19, 26-27)? Was not this what Etty Hillesum, in the midst of great persecution, also expressed by reminding us that “we should be willing to act as a balm for all wounds”?

My journal last year ended:

In most places Christmas is a time for peace and joy. Here in Maban we have been reminded once more of the terrible mystery of evil, of the broken world in which God decided to become human. But that is not all. Because our God became human not despite the darkness and the evil of the world. On the contrary, God became incarnate in these awful realities in order to make redemption and reconcile all and everything to Godself.

Here in Maban, in a forgotten little corner of the world, on the side roads of progress, where tens of thousands are living a too long exile, Christian hope is born again in the lives of those of Sinar, Mary and Lucy.

Article originally published here: 

dissabte, 29 de juliol de 2017


Besides being my doctor and taking care of my health, Doctor Atar has been an inspiration to me all these three years. I think you will enjoy this story about him:

dijous, 27 de juliol de 2017


The graduants listening attentively to the speeches - Credit: Alvar Sánchez / JRS

H.E. Luke Sadalla, County Commissioner, adressing the graduants and showing them one of the certificates, Credit: Alvar Sánchez / JRS

Fr. Pau Vidal SJ, Antonius Kamerika-UNHCR, H.E. Mansoor Mustafa, H.E. Luke Sadalla, We Kuoch and Al Asir Nyangos, during the graduation, Credit: Alvar Sánchez / JRS
Article published by JRS USA webpage here:
South Sudan: A Graduation Ceremony Marks Success of Learning in Peace 

Una versión abreviada puede encontrarse aquí, cortesía de Entreculturas:

dissabte, 22 de juliol de 2017


This one only available in Catalan. Este escrito sólo disponible en Catalán.

dissabte, 8 de juliol de 2017

JRS Maban Blog

Un artículo introduciendo el Blog de JRS Maban: 

You will find all the past JRS Maban newsletters here: 

Alumnas de la escuela infantil de Gulawein durante el recreo. Casi trescientos niños y niñas de la comunidad local reciben educación en esta escuela que empezó hace más de dos años bajo el árbol. Foto: Albert González Farran / JRS

Seis años de independencia en Sudán del Sur: educamos para la reconciliación


Entreculturas acaba de publicar un breve artículo a propósito de los seis años de independencia de Sudán del Sur con una selección de fotos de los proyectos del JRS Maban.


Estudiantes de escuela para desplazados internos en Huffra cantan durante la asamblea antes de volver a clase. Estos estudiantes tuvieron que huir de su pueblo natal, Jammam, en febrero de 2015 debido a los combates entre el gobierno y la oposición y hasta día de hoy no parece que puedan volver a sus tierras pronto. Credit: Albert Gonzalez Farran / JRS.

dissabte, 8 d’abril de 2017




This piece was recently published in jrs.net webpage. As a matter of fact it is a revised and expanded version of a reflection I wrote in this blog a year and a half ago or so.

"Paradoxically, it is among those who most intimately know the power of death 
that we find the most stubborn faith in the power of life and, therefore, 
in the power of the God who is the source of life.” 
Roberto Goizueta 

Maban, 5 April 2017 - I hail from Barcelona, Catalonia. I joined the Society of Jesus in 2000 with a deep desire to serve the poor. This initial impulse has been refined and purified from just serving to something deeper and more reciprocal, which is journeying with those at the margins of history and society. I have been privileged to be able to be with JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) for some years now. First in Liberia, later briefly in Nogales (USA-México border), more recently in Kakuma camp (Kenya) and now in Maban (South Sudan).

Sharing with refugees I realize that what really drains their energy is the memory of the brutality of what they had to go through, the loss of their beloved ones and most of all the uncertainty of when this too long exile will finally end. The longing of their homeland is an open wound in their hearts. Thus, in a real sense, as a fellow Jesuit once said, being with JRS means touching the failure of humanity in its most radical expression.

However, in Liberia, Nogales, Kakuma and Maban I have witnessed that the lives of the forcibly displaced are not only cramped by sorrow, wretchedness, violence and suffering but also punctuated by joy, celebration, healing, transformation and beauty. With the refugees I have experienced time and time again that mysterious human capacity to celebrate life in the midst of death.

I was recently meditating with this beautiful prayer attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, the founder of JRS:

"Nothing is more practical than finding God,
than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything."

And it dawned on me:

Indeed, I have really found God in the forcibly displaced,
I am really in Love in a quite absolute and final way
My imagination is full of faces - both joyful and sad - of displaced people,
I get out of bed because of the displaced,
in the evenings I prepare things so as to be a better companion to them the following day,
Over the weekends I celebrate mass with them,
I read about them, I know so many of them by their name,
It breaks my heart when I witness once more women and children having to run away from home,
I wonder in amazement at the joy and hope they share with me.

Yes, I think I am madly in love and I shall stay in love with God, a displaced God.
It has decided everything in my life.

Thank you JRS for making it possible, for allowing me to journey with the forcibly displaced and discover God with and in them.