Misíon Jesuita San Francisco Javier

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Official name Misión Jesuita San Francisco Javier. Misión de Bachajón. Centro de Formación Integral para promotores indígenas A.C. (Jesuit Mission San Francisco Javier. Missio Bachajón. Centre for integral education of indigenous "experts" [promotores], civil association).
Country / Continent Mexico / South America
Director of the institute Calle Allende #5, Barrio Guadalupe, Chilón, Chiapas, C.P. 29940
Legal holder of the institute Pater Felipe Jaled Ali Modad Aguilar SJ.

Priest: Pater Conrado Bonifacio Zepeda Miramontes SJ.

Sponsor of the institute Fundación Interamericana, Fundación Bustos, Fundación San Ignacio del Loyola.
Year of foundation 1958
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers) Employees (empleados): 53, volunteers (voluntarios): 5, people working on fee basis (Honor personas arias): 53. Number of priests: 8, religious: 5 and lay people: 40 among the staff (colaboradores).
Staff members of your institute
Contact Calle Allende #5,

Barrio Guadalupe,

Chilón, Chiapas,

C.P. 29940


Contents

Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

Misión Jesuita San Francisco Javier. Misión de Bachajón. Centro de Formación Integral para promotores indígenas A.C. (Jesuit Mission San Francisco Javier. Missio Bachajón. Centre for integral education of indigenous "experts" [promotores], civil association).

Director of the institute

Calle Allende #5, Barrio Guadalupe, Chilón, Chiapas, C.P. 29940

Legal holder of the institute

Pater Felipe Jaled Ali Modad Aguilar SJ.

Priest: Pater Conrado Bonifacio Zepeda Miramontes SJ.

Fundación Interamericana, Fundación Bustos, Fundación San Ignacio del Loyola.


Vision / mission statement

THE MISSION. The mission Bachajón is one organisation integrated in the diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas, which is entrusted to the Society of Jesus and consists of a pluralistic, diverse, self-managed and inculturated team of men and women with different life forms, which together with the service agencies in the community support and promote integral through reflection as well as comprehensive education and training pastoral, social and organizational processes, which help the indigenous and mestizo people living in the area of his mission to strengthen and develop the organisation (ts'umbaliletic) of their rights and their own life and developing systems and to contribute to the process of justice and harmony in the region.THE VISION: We are a pluralistic, diverse, self-administered and inculturated team of men and women in the service of ministries and municipalities in the area of mission Bachajón and in close cooperation with them; we put our hope on building the Kingdom of God and His righteousness to the way of Jesus; we seek to contribute mainly to the strengthening of: indigenous autonomy, ecclesiastical autochthony, integral sustainable development, interculturalism. By an appropriate institutional cooperation, we try locally and regionally to strengthen the cultural, religious, social, political, economic and environmental aspects and represent the multiculturalism in the mission area of Bachajón, so that we together with the peoples with whom we work (from the organisation of ts'umbaliletic) [Tseltal: "the root from which we come,"] to dynamise the own life and development systems and achieve our rights. We hope to contribute to this process of justice and harmony in the region and to have an abundant life with dignity and hope in anticipation of the feast of the kingdom.

Main areas of work

STRATEGIC LINES. In order to correspond to what we have stated in our vision and mission, we prioritize the following lines of high importance:I. Indigenous autonomy.II. Ecclesiastical autochthony.III. Integral sustainable development.IV. Strengthening of the own culture, starting from the Interculturalism.V. Institutional Strengthening.

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

584 communities in the ethnic Mayan-Tseltal communities of Sitalá, Chilón, Yajalón, Ocosingo, Salto de Agua and Pantelho, in Chiapas, Mexico. We work for about 5,000 "employees" of these Ermitas and various processes. Among others, 180 deacons, 120 diaconate candidates and 3000 catechists. We co-ordinate with their dioceses to contribute to the inculturation of the liturgy, together with a group of translators, which are priests, nuns, lay people and others.

Year of foundation

The mission Bachajón was founded on 3rd December 1958.

Organisational structure of the institute

Annex 1.

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)

Employees (empleados): 53, volunteers (voluntarios): 5, people working on fee basis (Honor personas arias): 53. Number of priests: 8, religious: 5 and lay people: 40 among the staff (colaboradores).

Staff members of your institute[2]

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

80% with university degree, both licentiate and Master and a Person with PhD.

Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to? And what are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

Option for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his/her Church. Option for working with women, adolescents and children. Option for the inculturation of the Gospel. For the formation of autochthonous church, from a perspective of sustainable tzeltal home and with close links to the world church. Option for the poor and most marginalized of our communities. Option for protecting the Earth and the territory. Option for indigenous autonomy.

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

The inculturation of the Gospel through an integral way in the indigenous Mayan communities of Chiapas.

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

There is a high variety of diploma courses: Theology (Bacharelat?) for deacons and deacon candidates, conflict resolution, guardian of the earth, health; national and tzeltal language and culture, coffee school.

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?

18 different processes: deacons, deacon candidates, professionals (promotores) for health; experts for solutions of common problems, both civil and ecclesiastical; adult catechesis, inculturated children's catechesis, catechesis of mestizen-children, mestizen-pastoral, guardians of the earth, youth coordination, women, cooperatives for coffee and honey, Teologié India, spiritual retreats, inculturated liturgy and translations, central management, social organisation and analysis of reality.

What does this mean for the areas of catechesis, deaconry and liturgy?

Great emphasis, that is the backbone of all our processes, for example there is a comprehensive process of inculturated education for children and adults written in their own language (tzeltal), for the diaconate (deacons) there is the theological Bacharelat and for the liturgy there is an extensive process of translation and inculturation .

What notion of God inspires your work?

A God who is love, who respects all cultures and people. A God who is fighting for life and a God who wants the "lequil cuxlejalil", to "life the good" for all.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

That is central and the source of inspiration, the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What processes do you use or develop to analyse reality? How are these elaborated and how are they linked to pastoral care? How do you pass these processes on?

We have a team that analyzes the reality with the methodology of Pierre Bourdieu, and is repeated in all courses, both with the heads of each process and any coordination as well as all persons who participate in our formation/training courses (5000 "servants" who work with 584 parishes in different processes).

What prophetic approaches does the institute put into practice with a view to shaping society?

The gospel is a source of inspiration for the collaboration in building the Kingdom of God that we build from our Today: the word of God with the word of reality with the word of our Mayan ancestors leads us answers of the challenges that we live in the present.

What does the work of the institute involve exactly? (Framework conditions? Publications? Courses? Lectures? Congress?...)

It is very different. Graduate courses, three-year compact training courses (inter-regional), 23 three-year courses (interzonal), where the inter-regional courses are reproduced.

What magazines, periodicals, books, manuals, work aids, methodological instructions etc. does your institute publish?

All of the training process have their folders, which are distributed (in tzetal) to the coordinators at least three times a year. In 30 years of intensive work we have translated the Bible into local languages.

What do you consider to be the most important service of your institute?

The different degrees we have, with the various items/offices, and the big interregional courses.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

We have a strategic plan for 2010-2017, each year the operational plans will be evaluate and activities will be reprogrammed to reach the strategic lines of our mission Bachajón.

What are the most important developments that you are dealing with at present?

All the aforementioned processes.

What are the main difficulties your institute is confronted with in its work?

That we have no funds available to cover/support our work. We are always in deficit in the various diplomas and processes, especially in the pastoral area, the organisations control these processes from day to day less.

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

To have influence on the lives of youth in order to continue building an autochthonous church.

What hopes, dreams and visions do you have for your institute?

Many, the power to influence the reality by what provides our strategic planning.

To what extent does your institute support laypeople in the Church and in society?

Total, this is our commitment (self-commitment).

How do you communicate your experiences and results to the respective local church, to neighbouring local churches and to other addressees (e.g. institutions affiliated to you)?

We are linked in different networks, both at the diocesan level and in local churches, regional and state networks where we communicate what we do.

To what extent does cooperation with the Bishops’ Conference of your country or with your diocese take place?

We totally belong to the diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

The question is not clear. But we are connected to the network of indigenous pastoral and other instances.

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

We belong to different networks of the Society of Jesus.

What kind of interreligious cooperation does take place with non-Christian religions?

No formal.

What kind of ecumenical cooperation does take place with non-Catholic churches?

No formal.

Which theological mergers/associations are you affiliated with (personally or as an institute)?

Universidad Iberoamericana and their department of theological science (Ciencias Teológicas) Teologado de la Compañía de Jesús.

How can we assist you with your intercontinental exchanges and with exchanges between the continents?

Firstly, by helping us get to know the different projects in which we are working on similar topics. Second, by helping us to get financing to implement our projects. Thirdly, by communicating our experience of God and work that helps us to build up the kingdom.


  1. It would be interesting to know among other things whether course participants are active at parish, diocesan or supra-diocesan level and whether courses are attended by priests, religious or laypeople.
  2. It would be interesting to know among other things whether the staff members of the institute are priests, religious or laypeople.