Founded in 1980 by former Jesuit Superior General Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., JRS accompanies, serves, and advocates for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced people. Headquartered in Rome with 10 regional offices around the world, the organization has more than 1,800 staff and volunteers, including 70 Jesuits, and serves upward of 950,000 refugees per year. In addition to health and social services, JRS offers formal and informal instruction — from pre-school to vocational training to computer and language classes — to approximately 280,000 children, young people, and adults each year.
“JRS goes where the need is greatest, to places where others are unable or unwilling to go. JRS witnesses to who we are as evangelizing people. Whether someone is a Catholic or not is not the question — we are there to preach the good news,” says Fr. Smolich.