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The Annual Meeting of the Commissions’ Secretaries of the Assistancy was held on 3 & 4 August in St.Xavier’s campus, Jaipur. The warm hospitality and support of the Jesuit community made our meeting quite comfortable and fruitful. The theme was, ‘Collaboration and Networking: Formation of Lay Collaborators. Fr. George Pattery made a presentation on the Formula of the Institute to help us to connect with our roots, to discover the passion of the First Fathers and to explore its impact for our mission today. Fr. Siji made a presentation on Collaboration and Networking: Jesuit Perspectives. He highlighted the development of collaboration and networking from the GCs 31-36 and the letters of our Generals and also the opportunities and challenges in collaboration today. We had personal prayer and reflection and used the method of spiritual conversation for our sharing and deliberations in small groups and plenary sessions.

We had a panel discussion in the afternoon with our lay collaborators working in our institutions and parish. Mr.MichaelCasteline, Ms.Neelam Chopra, Ms.Roxanne and Ms.Rose Martin shared with us frankly their experiences and expectations of their collaboration with the Jesuits. In the evening Fr.JossieD’Mello made a presentation on ‘Formation of Lay Collaborators’ with six well-planned modules which were taken up for our personal reflection and sharing in groups. The deliberations helped us to work on a concrete module on the formation of lay collaborators.

On the second day Fr.POSA shared with us the different happenings and initiatives taking place in the Assistancy which gave us a panoramic view of the journey of the Assistancy in the recent years. He invited the secretaries to continue to collaborate through their commissions for the mission given to the Assistancy. We also had a sharing by each secretary about the activities, initiatives and challenges of the respective commission. It kept us very well informed of what is happening in other commissions and also helped us to explore the possibilities of inter-ministerial collaboration. We also took for our in-depth discussion the important issues that emerged from our common sharing. On the whole it was a deep experience of realizing the needs, importance and ways of collaboration and networking especially in relation to the formation of our lay collaborators. We are extremely grateful to Fr.VarkeyPerekkatt and his community for their hospitality, generosity and support in helping us to have this meeting in a conducive and atmosphere. We were also happy to visit the new school and college and see its steady growth. We thank very much Fr.John Ravi and his community for their kind hospitality.

Reported by

Raj Irudaya, S.J.