Kevin Hargaden, team leader at the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, spoke with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications ahead of the launch of the think-tank’s strategic plan 2019-2023 which took place on 5 December 2019 in Gardiner Street Parish, Dublin. In this podcast interview, Kevin lays out the path of concrete action addressing issues such as homelessness and care of the earth. He talks about his own faith in God and remains hopeful in the midst of challenging times.
Kevin says that the strategic plan aims to live out the Pope’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’. This involves entering into dialogue with farmers regarding environmental policy and to “influence policy for the sake of justice”. He is open to engaging with parishes: to help people move beyond an individualised Christianity and to enter into dialogue on matters of faith and justice. He says, “We’re doing this explicitly Christian work and the people who are explicitly non-Christian are much more interested in it generally.”
Kevin refers to Fr Peter McVerry SJ, a member of centre, as an exemplar in the midst of the “cold wind” toward religion. He fully supports Fr McVerry’s work with the homeless and also makes the point that “climate grief is an even bigger threat to us than homelessness anxiety”. The strategic plan is deeply integrated with the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Jesuits and according to Kevin “the vision at the very core of it is that we are following Jesus Christ to the margins”.
Listen to the podcast interview above».