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An Interview with Father Felix Raj, SJ, Vice-Chancellor, St. Xavier's University By Pawan Dalmia - Editor - We Xaverian 

1) What is your feeling after your dream of St. Xavier's Uniersity is realized?  Its not my dream alone, it is the dream of the whole Xaverian Family, it includes the Jesuits, alumni, alumnae, the people of Kolkata, the Government, including the Honorable Chief Minister and many more.  It is a collective dream, I was there to give a lead; yes the dream has been realized, it has become a reality but the vision 2020 must now take a different shape as vision 2025, because this vision must continue. We are still in the process. Our journey has been a successful one, there has been a lot of development in the university campus; students have been admitted, professors have been appointed, construction of buildings is going on, we are concentrating on offering to our students & faculty, as much facilities as possible for academic teaching, learning, research and consultancy.  I am sure with the support of many people, alumni association & the Xaverians, we will be able to successfully complete this vision and be at the service of thousands of students. I feel very happy that this collective journey has been very fruitful & I am grateful to all those involved & to God almighty for his blessings & guidance.

2) Kindly tell us the story of journey of how your dream of SXUK came into realty?  It is a journey; rather a long journey right from 2010 when we began to expand St. Xavier's College, establishing St. Xavier's University (SXUK) was a part of that expansion, we started working towards that and that's how the journey for the university began.

3) You always say - "if it is God's work, it will happen" ! Will you kindly share this conviction of yours? First & foremost, I am a Jesuit & my primary conviction is that everything I do is God's work, it is God who is working through me, I am only an instrument, this is what Saint Ignatius of Loyola and the Society of Jesus have taught me. If it is God's work, no one can stop it. Everything is possible for God. There are always people who differ from you or disagree with you. That doesn't mean you should stop the work. There will always be some Judases in our mission of announcing God's reign and denouncing evil in us. And around us. I don't think, I had the slightest idea of starting SXUK, it all happened spontaneously; that is why I believe that it is the work of God and so in the last six years we could successfully journey towards this goal of establishing the university. Nothing stopped us because God was there; God has been inspiring us to work for this goal, for this vision. Sometimes, our work may not be God's work, because it may be out of selfish motive or it may be out of self centeredness, egoism might come in, so it may be an individual's achievement, individual mission, but often, if it is an individual's mission, if it is not God's plan, it stops, but whatever is God's work continues. ThenHand of God guides you. God chooses us as his instruments & makes us work; it is He who inspires, so we need to put our total trust in Him and continue the work, He will take care of everything.

4) What are the factors on which you are going to give stress in the teaching, learning process in SXUK? Off course, we need to give focus on different methods of teaching and also more effective ways of learning and facilities are provided taking into account these requirements; classrooms, libraries, research centers, studios, hostels all these are facilities that we offer, for a good academic environment so that teachers can teach well and students can learn.  We have started a good process and I am sure this process will be strengthened as we go on. We started with six courses, now we will have ten courses, five P.G. Courses, five undergraduate courses and an MBA programme; we will have in July 2018 around eleven hundred students. We want to introduce, taking into account the future needs, more courses relevant to our students, so that these courses open up avenues for further studies, research or for proper placement. We are discussing amongst the faculty members, on how and what type of courses we must introduce. We are thinking of starting Ph.D programme from 2019 and a law college in the near future & a sports academy soon.

5) What are the expansion-plans of SXUK? In terms of expansion of the university, we are thinking of academic expansion; by 2025 we must have at least 8,000 students in the university, we must introduce more courses, with CBCS (choice based credit system) & a cafeteria system in which students can choose their courses. We will also emphasise on skill formation, we shall also use the facilities for neighborhood children who want to study; we want to build up a good rapport with the neighborhood, so that SXUK is a center of change and development in the neighborhood. We are also thinking in terms of physical expansion; improvement of facilities, sports facilities, games facilities, hostel facilities, library facilities, research facilities, recreational facilities, medical & health care facilities, placement, proper placement of our students, all these will be looked into as we grow. We are also thinking in terms of collaborating with other universities.

6) Do you have any plan to open a Law School in SXUK in future? Yes, we have a plan to open a law school at Saint Xavier's University & I will be soon appointing a committee to look into it and taking advice from our alumni who are experts in this field. Thank you Pawan. God bless you. By email :

19 Sep 2018 - 19:09

New wine, old wineskins – Past, present and future 

Closing of the Extended General Council

"You don't tear a piece of the future to mend the holes of the present, already old, and preserve the comfort of the known space and the traditional ways of doing."

Father General Arturo Sosa was preaching at the closing of the weeklong Extended Council, which began on 3 September and ended on 7 September at the General Curia, in Rome. In his reflections on the Gospel of the day he said: "Jesus warns us against the temptation to close ourselves in the present for fear of being snatched away by the novelty represented by an uncertain future,"

Referring to the ongoing discernment about universal apostolic preferences of the Society, Father General stated:

"During this week, we have experienced another stage in the long journey of discernment about universal apostolic preferences. We thank the Lord for having accompanied us on this journey and supported us in our search for novelty, so often brought by the freshness and enthusiasm of our companions in the shared mission. We have tried to look at the present human story with the eyes of the Crucified-Resurrected."

In addition, Father General urged the Society to heed the invitation to conversion:

"With the help of those who generously accompanied us in the various sessions - we tried to look at the complex reality of today's world and its tendencies, with the gaze of the crucified-resurrected and our limited reality as a religious and apostolic body. From this gaze the invitation to personal, community and institutional conversion emerged forcefully as a condition for the possibility of serving Christ's mission in the world as part of his sinful Church."

Father Sosa also reminded the Jesuits of the importance of prayer while engaged in the mission of being ministers of reconciliation.

"We have also reiterated the need to heal our wounds and collaborate in the healing of the Church to become ministers of reconciliation in the human story seriously wounded by injustice and sin."

Referring to Saint Paul, Father General urged the congregation to always remember that "We are stewards of the mysteries of God. Attention: stewards, not owners or masters. They are the mysteries of God and must remain so. Paul concludes: what is required of stewards is that each one be faithful. This also requires fasting and prayer, to receive the gift of fidelity in the service of faith and the promotion of justice and reconciliation."

Father Sosa concluded his homily with an expression of gratitude to the Lord.

"With a heart full of gratitude for so many gifts received from the Lord in our journey as an apostolic body and for the graces received during this week, we also turn to Mary and Joseph. They were the couple who knew how to visit the future and prepare new skins to receive the newness of God, so that they may lead us by the hand in the direction of the encounter with Jesus and we can become messengers of hope."

[Original omelia IT]

12 Sep 2018 - 18:08

Mother Teresa was regarded and adored as the ‘Saint of the Gutters’ even when she was alive. Officially acknowledging her as a Saint is a fitting tribute to someone who has meant the world to millions all over, very specially to the poor and the marginalized; to the excluded and the rejected!

Very symbolically, Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997. ‘Teacher’s Day’ has traditionally been observed in India on September 5 as a tribute (on his birth anniversary) to the late President of India Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who besides being a great educationist and philosopher, also believed that education is the key to India’s inclusive development. As a young nun in the Loretto Convent, Mother Teresa was trained to be a teacher.

She embraced this profession with great love and dedication. This was evident in the many years she taught in the St. Mary’s Bengali Medium School for girls in Kolkata. When she left the Loretto Sisters in 1948 to found the Missionaries of Charity, she never stopped being a teacher!

She was convinced that the poor children of the slums in Calcutta (her new home) had to be taught the 3Rs (reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic) but more than that, she realized that education had to be inclusive and value-based.

For Mother Teresa, Jesus was the Master Teacher; and she did all she could to communicate HIS values to those around her. Over the years Mother Teresa became the embodiment of many values but high among them were the values of Jesus: Compassion, Courage and Commitment.


If ever one would dare give a core competency to Mother Teresa, it is the single characteristic of being a compassionate person. She lived this quality in a way, few humans have ever done; her love for the marginalized and the vulnerable and particularly for the poorest of the poor was boundless. She was able to give and not to count the cost. It was her ability to be compassionate towards others that motivated her to found the Missionaries of Charity. She was effusive in her compassion for others. It was a common sight to see her embracing someone –who lesser mortals would find any excuse to be a mile away from.


It takes courage to answer a call and Mother Teresa demonstrated this value many times over. As a very young European, she left the distant shores of her country to come to serve in India. Living in India in those days was not easy, yet she opted for a tougher life, literally ‘pitching her tent’ among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Kolkata. She had to face several obstacles all through her life but she faced them squarely, proving that she was truly a woman of substance.

She was often accused of “conversion” (that continues even today from the RSS and their ilk). In March 1996 when she visited Ahmedabad, the Municipal Commissioner hosted a reception at his residence inviting several eminent citizens of the city and also the Mayor and her husband to it. The Mayor’s husband wanted to trap Mother with that stereo-typed question, (in full glare of the media) “Mother, why do you want to convert people?” – pat came a reply “who am I to convert?I can never convert. Only God converts! From this moment onwards, I will pray to God to convert you too”. The ‘protester’ stood there just too shell-shocked to say another word! Mother Teresa proved that she had the courage of her convictions!

5 Sep 2018 - 09:05

Dhaka: The Catholic Church in Bangladesh plans to treat the welfare of families and poverty, as well as environmental protection and migrant welfare, as pastoral priorities in the next decade. New guidelines state that such an approach would "give witness" to the Church in the low-lying nation. A 12-point 'mission statement' was issued at the end of a national pastoral workshop of the Catholic Church held Aug. 28-31 at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Bangladesh secretariat in the capital, Dhaka. It was themed 'Communion: Witness of the Church in Bangladesh.' 
Pastoral priorities are to include spirituality of communion in individual, family and social life as well as the formation of faith, evangelization and pastoral services. Also cited was educational opportunities and values formation together with family life and pastoral services to marginalized communities and the poor. Further, priority would be afforded to socio-economic development and self-reliance, inter-religious harmony and Christian unity as well as enhancing religious vocations and services.  There would also be an emphasis on safeguarding the environment, civic rights' awareness and improving health services, advancing political engagement and the adopting of new technologies as well as use of the mass media. The workshop drew about 200 participants, including all the archbishops and bishops of eight Catholic dioceses, and representatives of clergy, religious and laypeople along with social and political leaders from across Bangladesh. The Church's pastoral priorities aimed to meet challenges of the times, said Holy Cross Archbishop Moses M. Costa of Chittagong, who was the president of organizing committee. The announced priorities would be the Church's guiding light for the faithful to be emboldened through a sense of communion, he said. 
The detailed pastoral guidelines would be distributed with a view to dioceses determining how to implement them, Archbishop Costa told Multi-faceted challenges could result in discord and disunity, he said, adding that great feats could be achieved if people work together. Diocese-wide pastoral workshops would be held to consider the priorities, said Bishop James Romen Boiragi of Khulna in southern Bangladesh, which is vulnerable to climate change. As well as the formation of communion, the resulting diocesan pastoral plan would seek to tackle adverse impacts of climate change, Bishop Boragi told Many Catholics see the pastoral plan as needed, but difficult to implement. "Nowadays, faithful in many places are gradually distancing themselves from clergy and religious, largely because priests and religious are less interested in pastoral and family visits," Babli Talang, an ethnic Khasia Catholic woman from north-eastern Sylhet Diocese told "Also, church officials often fail to take up a strong stance on issues of justice and peace. "Priests and religious need to be close to people in order to make the pastoral plan a reality." While the issuing of pastoral priorities is seen as a positive thing, there are concerns that the Church has in the past been lacking in fulfilling them. "Issues like migration, climate change, concern for the poor and indigenous communities are really important," said Kerubin Hembrom, an ethnic Santal Catholic from northern Dinajpur Diocese. "My concern is church officials cannot fulfil them alone unless laypeople are strongly involved. "In many places, people are not closely attached to the Church despite being members, so the Church has a lot to do to unite people and work for common good." In Muslim-majority Bangladesh, with a population of 160 million, Christians account for less than a half percent or about 600,000 people. The Catholic Church has about 350,000 members, from Bengali and indigenous ethnic groups, in eight Catholic dioceses. 

Source: UCAN

5 Sep 2018 - 08:52

The Church in India on August 25 organized programs in various parts of the country to observe the tenth anniversary of the anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal, a district in Odisha state.

More than 1,500 people attended a function in Bhubaneswar the capital of Odisha.

“We feel the pain of what happened but no anger. Our religion does not allow us to keep anger,” said Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), one of the prelates who attended the program at St Joseph’s High School grounds in Bhubaneswar.

Bishop Mascarenhas thanked God for “the gift of faith” of Kandhamal martyrs and prayed for a change of heart of the perpetrators of the violence. The prelate also prayed for justice for the victims and the “grace for all Indians to live in peace and harmony,”

The theme of the event was “Praying for peace, reconciliation, and harmony.” The CBCI and the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, Odisha, jointly organized the program.

A new book on Kandhamal, “Flames of Faith in Kandhamal,” was released on the occasion.

The book’s author Father Udayanath Bishoyi, a native of Kandhamal and professor of theology, prayed for peace in Kandhamal.

In New Delhi, more than 300 people attended a prayer meeting organized the Delhi archdiocese and the Indian unit of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). They prayed for the survivors of Kandhamal violence and justice for them. The meeting also prayed for the nation, its leaders, judiciary, law enforcers and the flood-affected people of Kerala.

Kishore Digal, a Kandhamal survivor and a pastor, shared what he and his family experienced during the riots and afterwards.

Human rights activist Father Ajay Kumar Singh explained the current situation in Kandhamal and the state government’s reluctance to pay enhanced compensation to the survivors as ordered the by Supreme Court in 2016. He noted that some people who attacked Christians in Kandhamal were their friends and associates.

New Delhi also witnessed a national “Convention and Exhibition” on Kandhamal violence on August 25.

A group of artists and photographers attended the event pegged “Kandhamal: Never Again” at Constitution Club.

The event captured the ten years since of impunity, communal terror, intimidation, impunity, complicity, an elusive justice, no rehabilitation, and broken lives. The images of paintings and pictures will show the sheltered calmness of the fields and the forests hide a brutal past and an uneasy present.

Some photos exhibited were by photographer and journalist Joe Athialy, who works with the Centre for Financial Accountability. He contributes photos in National Geography Magazine

On August 23, Swami Agnivesh, eminent social activist and Hindu reformist leader, released the Hindi translation of the investigative book ‘Who Killed Swami Laxmanananda?’ by veteran journalist Anto Akkara at a function in New Delhi. A documentary on “Innocents Imprisoned” was screened at the program.

Violence against the Christians of Odisha erupted in Kandhamal district with untold savagery, ‎with ‎Hindu ‎right-wing groups blaming Christians for the August 23, 2008, murder of Hindu ‎leader ‎Swami ‎Laxmanananda Saraswati, despite Maoist rebels claiming the assassination.

More than 100 people were killed and at least 64,000 displaced.

According to local sources, although over 3,300 complaints were made to the police, only 727 cases went to trial in fast-track courts, where more than 88 percent of the accused were acquitted.

Source: Matters India

27 Aug 2018 - 16:17


An endowment fund has been launched to honour the legacy of Fr Adolfo Nicolás SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus from 2008 to 2016.  The fund will support the work of the East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI), where Fr Nicolás was director from 1978 to 1984.  The mission of EAPI is so close to his heart that after his resignation as Superior General in October 2016, he asked to return to EAPI as spiritual director and consultant.

The Adolfo Nicolás EAPI Endowment Fund was officially launched on August 4 at a testimonial dinner held at the Ateneo de Manila University, hosted by the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific and the Philippine Province. More than 100 Jesuits and friends gathered to honour Fr Nico, as he is fondly called, and to bid him farewell as he was to leave for his home province of Japan on August 6.

Several of Fr Nicolás’ friends sent video testimonials.  Among them were current Superior General Fr Arturo Sosa, Regional Assistant for Asia Pacific Fr Danny Huang, Myanmar Mission Superior and former JCAP President Fr Mark Raper and former Japanese Provincial Fr Shogo Sumita.

Fr Nicolás had not wanted a testimonial dinner or to be immortalised in an endowment fund, but he agreed to both because of his affection for EAPI. “We know you are one who does not wish to be in the limelight … but you have allowed it only because you believe it is for EAPI and not for yourself,” said Philippine Provincial Fr Primitivo Viray Jr SJ.

This attitude was, as Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific President Fr Tony Moreno SJ said, “typical of Fr Nico, always self-effacing, never self-referential”. His humility was clear in his message to the guests, read for him because of his slowed speech.  In it, Fr Nicolás said, “In this distinguished audience, there certainly are those who ask themselves for the meaning of today’s supper. Why a person, Adolfo Nicolás, who otherwise appears to be rather normal, in a time of so many, would give his name to a pastoral Institute and to fundraising? The answer is simple: because he believes in pastoral institutes.”
Fr Nicolás believes that “in Asia it is not enough to say that we must be humble and imbued by the sense of mystery and the like. Rather, we have to show the way, and this is pastoral”.

EAPI serves the local churches in Asia Pacific with its focus on pastoral formation in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council. It envisions a new way of being Church by offering priests, religious men and women and laity a unique experience of learning and formation in community. The endowment fund will be used primarily to provide scholarships for participants from poorer countries and for maintaining the facilities.

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon and an EAPI alumnus, flew to Manila for the occasion. “Surely Fr Nicolás will be embarrassed by my words of appreciation. It comes from my heart because I have personally tasted his love for our Myanmar Church,” said Cardinal Bo who is the fund’s honorary chairman.

Cardinal Bo spoke of how EAPI has helped pilgrims like him find healing and a sense of belonging to a universal society. “For many priests and church personnel who came from Myanmar, emotionally, spiritually bruised and broken, the stay in EAPI was comprehensively healing… We went back with a great resolve to be better disciples of Jesus.”

Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, gave the apostolic blessing Pope Francis imparted with affection to Fr Nicolás and to all those present.

Cardinal Bo said that EAPI needs to reinvent itself as a new generation of Christians and Church emerges. “Politically and socially the world is on a spiral. Institutions like EAPI are vital. I am glad it is seeking monetary support for new efforts. The name of Fr Adolfo Nicolás is a live wire to this effort.”

The testimonial dinner raised about US$200,000 towards the endowment fund.  “The total target is of course huge, but for this initial phase of fundraising, we have set for ourselves the modest target of about US$1 million,” said EAPI Director Fr Peter Pojol SJ.  He thanked the many people who gave their support.  “We continue to count on you and many others like you to further the work of EAPI and the dream of Fr Nico,” he said. > > >



22 Aug 2018 - 19:32

The two day National Seminar on "Labour Migration in the Post Liberalization Era" on 18-19 August, 2018, concluded at Indian Social Institute, New Delhi this afternoon. The Seminar was jointly organized by the Indian Social Institutes, Delhi and Bangalore. The Seminar began with Fr. Denzil Fernandes SJ welcoming the delegates and an Inaugural Address by Fr. George Pattery SJ, the President of the Jesuit Conference of South Asia (JCSA). The Keynote Address was delivered by the renowned Labour Economist, Prof. Ravi Srivastava, who spoke on "Recent Trends in Migration and its Implications". Though he explained the trends in Migration in India from Census and National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) data, he lamented at the inability of macro data to capture the status "undocumented" migrants. There were 18 papers presented at the Seminar from research scholars, professors and academicians from different parts of the country. Besides presentation of academic papers, there was also a sharing of the activities of Jesuits and other organisations working for migrants in India. During the consultation chaired by Fr. Martin Puthussery SJ, the delegates resolved to work on the issue of migrants at three levels, namely (1) direct intervention with migrants, (2) research and documentation, and (3) advocacy leading to policy change. This would entail networking and collaboration with Jesuits Centres, CBCI Labour Commission and other Church organisations, NGOs working for migrants, social activists, research scholars, academicians, policy makers, Government agencies, etc. The Seminar concluded with an address by Ms. Suneetha Eluri, a labour consultant, who summarised the main themes that emerged during the Seminar. Finally, Fr. A. Selvaraj SJ proposed the Vote of Thanks, where he expressed his gratitude to all the delegates and those involved in successfully organising the seminar. (For more photos go to our Gallery)

Denzil Fernandez

19 Aug 2018 - 15:32


The Catholic Church has joined relief efforts as unprecedented floods and landslides continue to wreak havoc in India's Kerala state, killing 75 people within a week.

All 41 Catholic dioceses in the southern state have opened schools and other institutions to accommodate flood victims and are cooperating to send food, clothes and other relief materials to affected areas.

Thousands have fled their homes to reach safer places after incessant rain since Aug. 13 filled up reservoirs of Kerala's 33 dams to the brim, forcing authorities to open sluices. This left all 44 rivers to overflow and inundate homes, farms and roads and railways as floodwater gushed to the Arabian Sea on the state's western border.

"It is an extremely worrying situation," Kerala's Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told media on Aug. 15, noting that heavy rain was forecast for another two days.

A red alert has been sounded across the state as the heaviest rain and floods since 1924 continue, leaving about 75,000 people in relief camps and causing damage worth US$1.2 million to crops and properties.

Water levels continue to increase in the plains amid threats of landslides in hilly districts. Road and rail lines remain flooded in several parts and the state's main Kochi International Airport has halted operations following the inundation of runways.

According to the federal National Emergency Response Centre, 187 people have lost their lives in Kerala since the monsoon season started in June.

"It is an unprecedented situation in my lifetime," said 70-year-old Father Jose Plachickal, vicar-general of Idukki Diocese, which covers one of the worst-hit hilly districts, home to the state's biggest dam. "The roads to many parishes are blocked because of massive landslides and uprooted trees."

Most people living near rivers lost all they had including homes when dam shutters were opened.

Many are moving out with whatever they can carry, fearing landslides from saturated slopes could hit their homes at any time, the priest said. But some believe their homes are the safest place.

"We cannot venture out of our homes … there is no guarantee to come back as you may face flash floods and landslides any time," said Cheriyan P.J., who lives in Valiyathovala village in Idukki district.

The 56-year-old Catholic farmer added: "Now we don't even feel safe in our homes as continuing rains have weakened our old houses. But where could I go?"

Father George Vettikattil, who directs Kerala Social Service Forum that oversees the Catholic Church's rescue and relief operations, said the situation is no better in other areas. "Thousands are in relief camps. Drinking water is a real issue in many areas. It is a terrible situation," he said.

In a report released on Aug. 12, the federal home ministry said 774 people had lost their lives in incidents related to floods and rain in seven states during the monsoon season.

The worst-affected states besides Kerala are West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam and Nagaland.

The church is "already out in the field" in Kerala through its social service wing Caritas India, the Indian bishops' conference said in a statement on Aug. 15.

Economic and collateral losses to people and their livelihoods are huge, though still need to be effectively calculated, it said, appreciating "the quick and efficient relief work" undertaken by the government and other agencies.

When the crisis is over, the causes of flooding should be analyzed to take "urgent steps to preserve our environment and prevent further ecological damage to our common home, Mother Earth," said the statement signed by conference secretary-general Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas.

Source: UCAN

17 Aug 2018 - 07:38

“I feel deeply grateful to God at the end of the TOT sessions seeing the participants entering earnestly into their task of preparing for the zonal programmes.  -  the programme went well far beyond our expectations. The participants took to heart the mission of conducting the zonal programmes. They have dispersed with a firm resolve to spare no efforts in preparing for the zonal programmes to the best of their abilities..” RC Chacko. On the  TOT workshop of REGAE II. This reflects the sentiments of the participants.

Fifty Jesuits from all the four zones participated in the ToT workshop held at ISI Bangalore. It was indeed a learning experience for the participants of the dynamics of REGAE with emphasis on spiritual conversation and learning ways to discern on Conference apostolic priorities, issues on governance especially on reorienting the many commissions and if need be to review the zonal and province boundaries.

Core Team convener Fr. Franco Fernando, sj was ill disposed and could be present for the TOT workshop. The rest of the core team members took up various responsibilities and did a marvelous job. At the end of three days there was desire, resolve and joy among the participants to take REGAE forward. They have planned around 60 programmes in all the zones, from September 2018 to March 2019.

A process is on that could give new enthusiasm for the Assistancy.

May the Lord accompany us in our journey to make our Assistancy affectively efficient and we may respond effectively to the challenges e face today. I am confident the 55 competent Jesuits will realise what we all desired for our Assistancy.  Joe Arun

The SAP and REGAE II was a beautiful experience: working together as one mind, heart and body.  It was a time to know interiorly the SJ, the South Asian Assistancy and many Jesuits of the Assistancy. The TOT was a great experience. We missed FRANCO very much. But we were united with him in spirit and prayer. JossieD’Mello

Deep within I feel confident that with Holy Spirit’s guidance and wholehearted support from JCSA, REGAE II will catch fire in the Assistancy and inspire us to seek God’s will in all our endeavours: Brian Pereira.





I join Brian thanking George Pattery and Core Team for their splendid Job.... Franco, we missed you physically but felt your presence in every activity for which you have put in your labour of love.All of you have enthused us IteImflamate Omnia. I am sure your and our hard work will bear abundant fruit in the Assistancy. Jerry Cutinha







14 Aug 2018 - 13:23

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.

5 Aug 2018 - 17:01