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Samuel Rayan SJ:

Condolences Message from P R John SJ, Principal, Vidyajyoti College of Theology, Delhi

The Merciful God has blessed Fr. Samuel Rayan with a long and fruitful life!

Fr. Samuel Rayan is a poet-theologian who worked many years in Vidyajyoti, College of Theology, Delhi and inspired many students to commit themselves to God and His people. I am blessed to be one of his students in the year 1996-1999. He taught me, mission (Mission Dei) is a mystery rooted in the Trinitarian sending within the Divine and the Holy Spirit is renewing the face of the earth: “each particular reality... is on a mission to the rest.... in an intricate web of cosmic interdependence...”


Samuel Rayan is regarded as a human-creative,poet-theologian. He pioneered a new and different approach in theologizing. One encounters in Rayan’s writings truly Indian and genuinely Christian. He is not merely an inner club theologian but who is constantly in touch with the grass-root groups and social activists. Since he is in touch with the grass-root groups so also his theological reflections are embedded in bringing out the underside of the human history namely, the oppression and marginalization.The paramount concern of Rayan is always the human person. According to him the human person is endowed with value and sacredness, rights and dignity. Rayan is truly fascinated by the love of his master Jesus and in the light of this revelation he looks at human person as a pearl. The human person seems to hold the center of values and of concern. Hence, Rayan calls for radical humanism. With Jesus everything must orbit around human person and serve human’s true and total well-being. To devalue human person in favor of power of parliament, profit or prestige, be it sacred or secular would be the ultimate evil, the one thing he would fight to his last breath. Human person is the point to which the sacred as well as the secular should converge in readiness to serve.Rayan describes the human-divine in a poem:

little candle,
i wish you would touch me
with your fiery finger;
clasp me in your blaze,
and kindle at my centre,
till i too glow and melt,
and bear on my heart and head
the searing sorrow of my people,
and thaw in love and dissolve
in service of light and warmth
and fresh dreams and hopes
spread out at their sacred feet (Rayan 1993: 251)

In his death and breath, we have lost a ‘special theologian’ but his inspiration will continue and may his relentless search for humanity will long live! May his soul rest in peace!


3 Jan 2019 - 04:41

Jesuit Father Samuel Rayan, a renowned proponent of liberation theology, died on January 2. He was 98.

He died around noon at Nirmala Hospital, Kozhikode, Kerala, where he was undergoing treatment for old age ailments for months.

Father George Mutholil, Kerala Jesuit provincial, told Matters India that the funeral details will be decided in the evening.

Father Rayan was born on July 23, 1920, at Kumbalam in the Kollam district of Kerala into a family of two girls and six boys. He entered the Kerala province of the Society of Jesus in in 1939. He was ordained a priest on March 24, 1955.

Born in and brought up in a village in Kerala, he devoted many years to the study of Malayalam literature. He mastered Sanskrit and is well read in Indian religions and philosophy.

In 1991, a Festschrift was published in his honor. Bread and breath: essays in honor of Samuel Rayan, S.J., on the occasion of his 70th birth day included contributions by Gustavo Gutiérrez, George Soares-Prabhu, and Jon Sobrino.

Being a radical humanist, Father Rayan was convinced that the human person in community is the object of God’s special love. He spoke for the care of the earth, concern for life and commitment to people. His theologizing is deeply rooted in his life, his land and his commitment to Jesus.

According to Father Rayan, theology is a reminder of the great demands of the Kingdom. For him the central mission of the Christian faith is its insertion into the concrete and daily life of the people, especially of the most marginalized and oppressed members of the social body.

“Rice is for sharing, bread must be broken and given. Every bowl, every belly shall have its fill, to leave a single bowl unfilled is to rob history of its meaning; to grab many a bowl for myself is to empty history of God,” he used to say.

(Curtesy: Matters India)

2 Jan 2019 - 16:43

Card. Charles Bo sdb, (Yangon), New President of FABC pays homage to Asian Liberation Theologian Jesuit Father Samuel Rayan, 2 January 2019. It is with deep sense of sorrow and humility that I dedicate my first message as president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC) to pay homage to a giant of Asian Liberation Theology, Jesuit Father Samuel Rayan who died today on 2nd January 2019. Church in Asia condones the death of leading Asian theologian who died around noon today (2 January 2019) at Nirmala Hospital, Kozhikode, Kerala, India where he was undergoing treatment for old age ailments for months. Being a radical humanist, Father Rayan was convinced that the human person in community is the object of God’s special love. He spoke for the care of the earth, concern for life and commitment to people. His theologizing was deeply rooted in his life, his land and his commitment to Jesus the Liberator. For Fr Rayan the central mission of the Christian faith in Asia is its insertion into the concrete and daily life of the people, especially of the most marginalized and oppressed members of the social body. Fr Rayan used to say, “Rice is for sharing, bread must be broken and given. Every bowl, every belly shall have its fill, to leave a single bowl unfilled is to rob history of its meaning; to grab many a bowl for myself is to empty history of God.” 

2 Jan 2019 - 16:36


Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) honored Indian Social Institute at its Annual Conference held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on 17 December 2018 for taking up a number of serious studies on many aspects of Indian social situations. 

The citation praised the Institute for engaging with policy makers at the highest levels on behalf people at grass root levels.  Further praising the commitment of the Institute towards sustainable development and social transformation the citation acknowledged that the Institute is fully committed to relevant research, training, publication and advocacy aimed at integral development of marginalized communities, particularly the dalits, advasis/tribals, women, minorities, unorganized and landless laborers, in partnership with academicians, people's movements, human rights organizations and ecological movements nationally and internationally. Fr. Denzil Fernandes SJ, the Executive Director of ISI, received the honor on behalf the Institute in the name of all staff members.

DMC honored several individuals and institutions for their service to the people of Delhi and beyond. Among them were three Delhi Jesuits, Fr. Thomas  V. Kunnunkal SJ, for his contribution to education especially through CBSE and National Open School, Fr. Arunmozhi SJ for his legal interventions on behalf of the poor, and Fr. Victor Edwin SJ for his work in the field of Christian Muslim Dialogue.

18 Dec 2018 - 08:03

“God founded you as Jesuits”, Pope Francis reminds Jesuit students in Rome

On December 3, the Collegio Internazionale del Gesù in Rome celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding by Fr Pedro Arrupe. Pope Francis received some 60 staff and students from the college’s international community and urged them to base themselves in Jesus, to grow and take root against every spiritual worldliness and to mature in their mission.

The Pope recalled that it was the feast of St Francis Xavier, who wrote to his companions, “I beg you, in all your matters to base yourselves totally in God”. Pope Francis reminded them: “God founded you as Jesuits: this Jubilee is a moment of grace for remembering and feeling you are with the Church, in a Company and with a belonging that has a name: Jesus”.

The Pope also reminded his companions that they are called “to grow, sinking your roots” because “to have roots is to have a well-grafted heart, which in God is able to expand”. The heart that does not expand atrophies, he cautioned.

“To God, semper maior, we respond with the magis of life, with a clear and irrepressible enthusiasm, with the fire that blazes inside, with that positive tension, always growing, that says ‘no’ to any compromise”, he said.

Pope Francis told them, however, that “there is no growth without crisis” but assured them, “do not be afraid as there is no fruit without pruning or victory without struggle”.

He described spiritual worldliness, which leads to clericalism, as the greatest danger of our time, just as Fr Henri de Lubac SJ referred to it as “the worst evil that can happen to us”.

“If the worldliness affects the roots, goodbye fruit and goodbye plant”, said the Pope, but “if growth is a constant action against one’s ego, there will be much fruit.”

He identified two signs of growth: freedom and obedience. These two virtues advance if they walk together, he said. Freedom is essential, because “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”. He wished them “to be free sons who, united in diversity, struggle every day to conquer the greatest freedom: that of yourselves”. In this, “Prayer will be of great help”, he said. “It is the legacy that Fr Arrupe left us, his ‘swan song.’”

He continued that just as for Jesus the food of life is to do the will of the Father, they too must obey the Father and of the fathers that the church gives. “Freedom and obedience”, he said, “give life to that creative way of acting with the Superior.”

Finally, he told them: “One does not mature in the roots and in the trunk, but by putting out the fruits, which fertilise the earth with new seeds”. Thus Jesuits are called to be present “at the most intricate junctures, in the border lands, in the deserts of humanity”.

Pope Francis said a Jesuit may find himself like a lamb among wolves, but he should not be like the wolves. Instead, he should remain as a lamb. “In this way the Shepherd will reach him there, where his lamb is.”

Photos courtesy of Collegio Internazionale del Gesù Facebook page

10 Dec 2018 - 05:11


Jesuit Superior General Fr Arturo Sosa SJ told students of the Ateneo de Manila University to be agents of reconciliation, reiterating the call of General Congregation 36 to seek and promote reconciliation between man and God, reconciliation among men and reconciliation between man and God’s creation.

Fr Sosa met with the grade school, high school and college students on the morning of December 8 for a tête-à-tête after his tour around the campus aboard the university’s electronic jeepney. Student leaders asked Fr Sosa many questions, including how he became Superior General of the Society, why Jesuit homilies are short but profound and his message to young people, to which he responded by stressing the need for reconciliation.

Fr General Arturo Sosa aboard the Ateneo e-jeepney during his campus tour

In the afternoon, it was the turn of the Jesuits to have an audience with their Superior General. Around 200 Jesuit priests, brothers, scholastics and novices gathered at the Cardinal Sin Center, Loyola School of Theology for a dialogue with Fr Sosa. Philippine Provincial Fr Primitivo Viray Jr SJ presented the situation of the Philippine Province, highlighting opportunities and challenges. Fr Sosa responded by giving an update on the status of the Society’s “Universal Apostolic Preferences”, which will be presented to Pope Francis to ensure that the Society’s mission in the next five years will come from the Holy Father himself.

Fr Sosa also talked about the critical challenges facing the Society such as living fully their vow of poverty, the development of a culture of safeguarding minors and vulnerable adults in our communities and ministries, and the issue of “clericalism,” one of the cardinal sins in the Church pointed out by Pope Francis early on in his pontificate. Fr General then answered some questions from the congregation.

Fr General Sosa addresses Philippine Jesuits

As it was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Fr Sosa presided at the Mass held in the Oratory of St Ignatius de Loyola. In his homily, Fr General underscored the virtues of the Immaculata and prayed that like Mary, the Jesuits may also say “yes” to the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society.

Fr General Sosa celebrates the Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception with JCAP President Fr Tony Moreno and Philippine Provincial Fr Jun Viray concelebrating

The evening concluded with dinner prepared by the Loyola House of Studies and entertainment from scholastics of the Philippine Province and Arrupe International Residence. [Jesuit Communications Philippines]

10 Dec 2018 - 04:59

Oran, Dec 8, 2018: The Catholic Church on December 8 beatified in the city of Oran seven French monks and 12 other clergy killed during Algeria’s civil war, the first ceremony of its kind in a Muslim nation.

May “Monsignor Pierre Claverie… and his 18 companions, faithful messengers of the Gospel, humble artisans of peace… from now on be called blessed,” said papal envoy Cardinal Angelo Becciu, reading the decree of beatification, the penultimate step on the path to sainthood.

Claverie, 58, was killed with his driver on August 1, 1996, when a remote-controlled bomb exploded at his residence in Oran.

He was among 19 clergy to be beatified, after their murders in a series of grisly atrocities between 1994 and 1996.

The ceremony was held under tight security at the esplanade of the Chapel of our Lady of Santa Cruz overlooking the Mediterranean city.

Some 1,200 people attended the ceremony, including pilgrims, relatives and friends of the beatified, many of whom came from abroad.

Opening the ceremony, Archbishop Paul Desfarges of Algiers paid tribute to “the thousands and thousands of victims of the Algerian civil war,” describing them as anonymous heroes.

A minute of silence was then observed.

Algeria’s 1991-2002 war between government forces and Islamists left up to 200,000 people dead.

In a message read during the ceremony by Becciu, Pope Francis spoke of his hope that “this celebration helps to heal the wounds of the past and create a new dynamic of meeting and living together”.

The 19 clergy were declared martyrs by the Vatican in January 2018, since they were slain “in odium fidei”, or out of hatred for the faith.

Pope Francis himself spoke of the beatification in prayers at Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican on Saturday.

“May this beatification be an incentive for all to build a world of fraternity and solidarity together,” the pope said.

by Matters India

10 Dec 2018 - 04:33

Jesuit Superior General elected President of Union of General Superiors

Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ has been elected president of the Union of Superiors General (USG). 

This group represents religious orders and congregations of brothers and priests around the world in almost all countries.

"I feel humbled to be chosen" said Fr. Sosa. “Religious provide an important and prophetic contribution in the Church today. They are working at dangerous frontiers and in difficult situations bringing the Good News and helping people find reconciliation and peace." 

The USG exists since 1955 and brings together General Superiors of the male religious orders and congregations.

Fr. Sosa committed the USG to ongoing collaboration with its sister organization, the UISG, which represents the female General Superiors.

Finally Fr. Sosa also thanked the outgoing president Fr. Mauro Jöhri, O.F.M. Cap. and Fr. Michael Brehl C.Ss.R., acting President, for their dedication and service.

29 Nov 2018 - 09:56

On Thursday, 15th November, at 2AM a Kenyan Jesuit, Fr. Victor-Luke Odhiambo, 62, was killed during the attack against the Jesuit community in Cueibet, South Sudan. Three other members of the community, who were already asleep during the incident, are reported safe [read more here]. A letter with condolences was addressed to the Eastern Africa Provincial, Fr. Joseph Oduor Afulo, by the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa:

November 15th, 2018

Dear Father Provincial, P.C.,

It is with great pain that I received the sad news of the attack of our companions in Cueibet and the violent death of Fr. Victor-Luke Odhiambo, S.J., the Principal of Mazzolari Teachers’ College (MTC) and Vice-Superior of the community.

Father Victor Luke Odhiambo leaves a name, not only in South Sudan as the first Jesuit to die at the service of its people, but in the whole of Eastern Africa as a teacher of thousands of students in the Starehe Boys Centre in Nairobi-Kenya and in Loyola High School in Dar Es Salaam-Tanzania.

He was a very courageous man, intelligent, caring, creative administrator and above all a believer in the value of education. He was not afraid of venturing into the unknown even into the most dangerous of places once he was convinced it was the Lord’s mission. His example of selfless dedication as Headmaster and Principal remains a challenge to many of our younger brothers in the Society of Jesus. He is a light, which has been extinguished, after enlightening other lights. Like a grain of wheat that dies in order to bear much fruit. And this is our consolation.

Kindly assure all our companions especially those in South Sudan my closeness and prayers. Fr. Odhiambo gave his life for the people, the sons and daughters of God, following Jesus’ example. Our merciful Father will receive him with an open heart. Let us also pray for those who attacked the college premises and  killed Father Victor and for those who promote violence, may the Lord change their hearts.

Please do pass on my sincere condolences to all the members of your province and to his biological family, with the assurance of my prayers that the Lord grant them consolation. May the soul of our brother Victor rest in God’s peace and eternal happiness.

Fraternally yours in Christ,

Arturo Sosa, S.J.
Superior General

19 Nov 2018 - 08:44

Dhaka: Magis Bangla, the Bangladeshi chapter of an international Catholic youth movement sponsored by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), is marking its 12th anniversary in the country.

The Nov. 8-10 celebrations at Jesuit-run Novojyoti Niketan (Home of New Light) in Gazipur district near capital Dhaka include a gathering of more than 150 current and former members of the movement, meditation, formation sessions and cultural programs.

"Go for the Greater" is the theme of the celebrations.

Over the years, Magis Bangla has aimed to transform and transmit Christian values and spirituality with cultural and intellectual foundations for Bangladeshi Catholic youth, said Father Pradeep Perez, the movement's coordinator.

"Our aim is to embody and present Christian life and living in an alternative and extraordinary way, which breaks away from traditional classroom formation but is close to our daily living of life. Our formation is based on the teachings of Jesus with an emphasis on knowledge and culture," Father Perez told

Year-long Magis programs including youth camps, a carol and photography competition, musical drama on the life of Jesus, and celebrations of national and cultural festivals encompass the true spirit of Christian values, he said.

"Magis wants young people to have a better life, a life in fullness, for the greater glory of God," Father Perez added.

Magis Bangla members say the movement has changed their lives for the better.

"I have made some great friends since I joined the movement more than four years ago. Magis has taught me essential values including equal respect for everyone including women," photographer Amit Leonard, 26, told

"Moreover, I have learned how I can connect spirituality with everyday life. This is very important for young people."

Magis Bangla is a platform for "latent talents" and promotes awareness about social and family responsibilities, said Tithi Agatha Halder, a member since 2010.

"Everyone has got talents, but some are shy to express them in public. Magis gives young people a forum to express and manifest our talents through various activities. It gives young people confidence for their future lives," Halder told

"Magis helps us attain and use knowledge from practical experience of life, which is way more effective than conventional lecture-based formation."

Holy Cross Brother Ujjal Placid Pereira, secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Youth Commission, applauded the Magis movement.

"We are aware that Magis Bangla is very popular among young people, which means they find it interesting and useful. We appreciate this Jesuit initiative for youth formation, and I believe it can bring good for youth and the church," he told

However, Brother Pereira noted that Magis programs seem more about celebration than spiritual formation.

"The church teaches us that catechism and spiritual formation should be at the heart of the church's youth programs. Magis Bangla is a creative program, and it can do better by emphasizing more on catechism and spirituality," he said.

"Magis" is a Latin word meaning "more, better and fuller" and it also stands for "Marching and Growing in Solidarity." Magis came into being in 1997 before World Youth Day in Paris. It has become a major global Catholic youth movement.

Magis draws inspiration from Ignatian spirituality, initiated by St. Ignatius de Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. The Magis program focuses on prayer, spirituality, life sharing, reunions, volunteering, social help, art and music. 

Jesuits in Bangladesh started Magis Bangla on Sept. 9, 2007.

Source: UCAN

12 Nov 2018 - 07:39