Assistant Coordinator for the “Deeper Renewal” Processes of the JCEP Justice Networks and the Event Officer of the Loyola 2022 Justice and Ecology Congress
Filipe Martins SJ has been appointed the new Justice Renewal Assistant Coordinator and Congress Officer at the Jesuit European Social Centre (JESC). Working as the new Justice Renewal Officer, Fr. Martins hopes to work towards a bigger cooperation in the field of justice within the European Union. On this first remarks on the new role, Filipe Martins SJ shares that: “It is with joy that I welcome this new mission of joining the JCEP/JESC team in an international environment such as Brussels where global politics and networking have as much impact as the local action I was engaged in before.”
My name is Filipe Martins, I was born in Lisbon in 1970 and I have a twin brother. My university degree is in Electronics Engineering from the Technical University of Lisbon. I had a 6-month Erasmus experience in Louvain-la-Neuve (so it’s a kind of a return to Belgium). Right after graduation I’ve spent the year of 1994 as a volunteer with “Leigos para o Desenvolvimento” in Mozambique, working on education and capacity building of young people in the impoverished province of Niassa. On my return to Portugal I joined the Jesuits, doing my Philosophy studies in Braga (Portugal) and Theology in Madrid (first cycle) and Rome (second cycle on Fundamental Theology, with the inspiring Irish Jesuit teacher and writer Michael Paul Gallagher). Probably as a consequence of my own personal journey going through different stages, I’ve always been interested in the sharing and dialogue with the personal quests of people inside and outside the church, united by the desire of the common good and working side-by-side in order to make the world a better place.
In Portugal I’ve worked in University Pastoral Work in Coimbra, also serving as the Vocations Diretor of the Province (2006-2011) and member of the Magis 2011 Spanish-Portuguese team. During Tertianship in Spain I lived a strong 6-weeks experience in Ceuta, one of the two Spanish “enclaves” in Morocco where a lot of immigrants either from the Magreb and Subsaharan Africa try to enter the “european fortress”. So on my return to Portugal (2012) I was appointed director of “Centro São Cirilo”, a shelter for homeless nationals and foreigners in Oporto. I eventually became the Social Delegate of the Province, collaborating with JRS Portugal and other NGOs as well. I was then appointed the Socius of the Province for a brief period (2016-18). During that time I led the team that created and implemented the SPC – Safeguarding System for Minors and Vulnerable Adults in the different social and educational institutions of the Portuguese Province. Finally I was asked to “change fields” again in 2018, and was sent to lead a renewal of our “Colegio das Caldinhas”, a huge compound of schools (regular private school, professional formation, music, and state-funded nursery school), where I’ve been until now.
When I think about this new move, I’m bound to miss the everyday noise and joy of toddlers and youngsters, and the common work with so many committed families here. I’m very grateful for some wonderful experiences in the past of working and discerning together, by sharing commitment and transparency, in these various cities and works I had until now. And as happened in every transition, I have absolutely no doubt that I will find no lesser joy and commitment in the people with whom I’ll be working in Brussels. So I look forward to it!
Filipe Martins SJ
Justice Renewal Assistant Coordinator and Congress Officer