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In keeping with the spirit of GC 36 and as a follow-up of the recommendations given in the recent letters of Fr.General on Discernment in Common, the Assistancy organized a workshop on ‘Discernment in Common and Apostolic Planning’ for the representative Jesuits from the Provinces of the North and Central Zones. It was held in Navjivan Renewal Centre, Delhi from 6th evening to 8th evening April 2018. Twenty-five Jesuits from the provinces of Darjeeling, Delhi, Jamshedpur, Madya Pradesh, Patna, Ranchi and Nepal Region participated in it. Frs. Siji, Brian Pereira and Raj Irudaya were the animators of the workshop.

The participants were helped to reflect on the deliberations of the first fathers in Venice and the development of discernment in common in the Society after Venice till now. The letters of Fr.General on Discernment in Common and Universal Apostolic Preferences were also shared and reflected upon. The method of spiritual conversation was used for group sharings. The participants also went through an exercise of choosing universal apostolic preferences. They were also introduced to the aim, method and process of apostolic planning. The active participation and involvement of the participants made the workshop very fruitful. The participants were all given the copies of the resource materials used during the workshop. They also felt confident to conduct this workshop in their respective provinces.

We sincerely thank all the Provincials who had sent their men to this workshop. We are also much grateful to Fr. George Peter, the Director of NRC and the administrator Fr. Anil Minj for having helped us to conduct this workshop in a conducive ambience. The same workshop will be also conducted for the representative Jesuits from the Provinces of South and West zones from 4th evening to 6th evening, May 2018 in Indian Social Institute, Bengaluru.

  • Raj Irudaya, S.J.

For the Organizing Team


16 Apr 2018 - 13:48

Ecology and Global Citizenship and Human Rights Educational Seminar

The Jesuit Education Association of South Asia (JEASA) organised a 2 full day consultation on Ecology and Global Citizenship programme Consultation for the Zonal Educational Coordinators and the PCEs of the Central Provinces was held on 14-15 April, 2018, at Indian Social Institute (ISI), New Delhi. ADO was the partner of the programme. Mr. Lourd Baptista, Fr. Sunny Jacob SJ, and the PCEs prepared the seminar and prepared the action plan for the Assistancy. Fr. Robert Athikal SJ (PAT), Fr. Lancy SJ and Mr. Jothi (GUJ)were the resource persons for Ecology while Dr. Aloys SJ and Dr.Cyril SJ (MDU) were the resource persons for Global citizenship and HRE.

ECOLOGICAL Prodramme: LEAF Model

We, the humanity as a whole, have let down our future generation with broken home; the earth they have inherited is polluted and on the verge of total destruction. For the change to be brought in, it’s important that we train them to be the agents of change for a greener earth. LEAF program initiated by Gujarat Jesuit Ecology Mission & Green the Blue Charitable Trust is primarily a leadership and environmental education program with innovative pedagogy. The program enables the children to learn about key environmental issues and develop solutions to mitigate them. Some of the sustainable practices they learn are put into use in the schools and at their houses.

LEAF program thus was designed and experimented as a pilot program in 2014 with 25 students at St. Joseph’s High school, Vadodara. We scaled up this program in a gradual manner every year and this year we have introduced it in eight schools situated at different parts of Gujarat. In the year 2017 to 2018, 401 students are participating in the LEAF program.

LEAF program consists of eight day long workshops conducted within a span of ten months. The workshops are conducted outside the classroom often in places such as organic farm, bio-reserves, solar hubs, herbal garden and institutions where sustainable practices are implemented. In this way, students get firsthand experience of eco-friendly practices.  TARU MITRA experience too was shared by Robert, which is a well known model in India.


Saint Ignatius of Loyola strongly believed:

  • Faith must translate into working for justice.
  • No true expression of faith where concerns for justice and human dignity are lacking.

Social justice

  • At the heart of Ignatian spirituality.
  • It tells us that, when people are suffering hardship and oppression, their business is our business.
  • It calls us to open our eyes to the needs of others who may be suffering due to the way we are living our lives and to respond accordingly.
  •  It calls us to be faithful, to be trustworthy, to be compassionate and to stand up against injustices we see in the world around us.


  • We are all CITIZENS of this Earth which God had given to each one of us
  • Each of us has and equal RIGHT to live a life of DIGNITY

This calls for holding our Governments accountable to

  • the Constitutions and form of Government that ensures Equality, Justice and Fratertnity
  • Care for our Earth as it is our only HOME

Exercise our GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP and make a Commitment that every person on the face of this earth enjoys his/her Citizenship


  • Explore different definitions of Global Citizenship and
  • Understand why it is important to teach and accompany our students to become global citizens.
  • Brief look at Global Citizenship in the context of the Society of Jesus.

This introduction will serve as a foundation for the remaining modules which explore important topics within Global Citizenship Education. 


  • Human Rights and Global GoalsExplore the themes of Human Rights, the Sustainable Development Goals and Catholic Social Teaching.
  • These themes serve as a framework for us to work together as Global Citizens and to respond to the Social Injustices of our world.

This module will be an important introduction to the next module on Social Justice. 

Social Justice

  • Consider other intrinsic concepts which are related to the different dimensions of the human being, to society and to their dignity and well-being. 
  • Values that we believe should be implicit in our behaviour (way of proceeding), in the dynamics and social structures which guarantee that dignity and well-being for all people are a matter of individual responsibility and commitment, as well as the responsibility and commitment of the community and of institutions.  
  • In this sense, for the Society of Jesus, justice is placed at the heart of its mission, obeying the promotion of it from the service of faith which is required, and in the continued and committed search to build bridges, particularly for the benefit of those most excluded in society.
  • Will deal with following concepts and their correlation:
  • Poverty,
  • Peace and Reconciliation, and
  • Human Mobility (or Forced Migration).
  • All these from the lens of Human Rights

Right to Education


(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Education is a fundamental human right and an essential factor for the fulfilment of other rights –

  • Enables children to develop their full potential to lead a full and productive life
  • It is the primary responsibility of every society.
  • The benefits of education are not exhausted in those who receive them, but extend to society as a whole and affect very different dimensions of progress, empowerment and collective well-being.
  • This module concentrates on understanding the importance of education as a Human Right for all people and on what we understand as quality of education – History of Right, Right to Quality Education, What can we do?

Caring for the Common Home

What kind of world do we want to leave for the next generation?

  • A question to answer in the context of climate change and its effects on livelihood. The world we inherited is not the world we will hand over.
  • UN has taken the lead and so has Pope Francis and Jesuits – intrinsic to Ignatian Spirituality
  • UN data of last two decades - Average global temperatures rose by 0.85 degrees Celsius, average global sea levels rose by 19 cm and emissions of carbon dioxide worldwide have increased by almost 50 per cent since 1990. These have far reaching impacts on people’s lives everywhere.
  • However those who will suffer the most will be the world’s poorest, most vulnerable communities.
  • Commitment to address climate change - December 12th 2015, adopted the Paris Agreement on climate change.
  • Not only nations but also individuals and groups are concerned and so on September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda.
  • Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.” This is an important step; an evaluation of these goals demonstrates the urgency and importance of caring for our common home. The United Nations envisages that all people will have to contribute to achieve these goals.
  • Pope Francis -  Laudato Si: Caring for our Common Home, presents his concerns and emphasises the need for all to understand the possible repercussions of these changes and initiate necessary interventions to address these concerns. 
  • The Module will look at the call from Pope Francis and will examine the relationship of Ignatian Spirituality and the Environment.
  • Having explored Social Justice earlier, it will now also look at Ecological Justice and explore actions to be implemented as responsible global citizens to maintain and sustain our common home.

Sunny Jacob SJ


15 Apr 2018 - 13:50

Pope Francis released an apostolic exhortation in which he aims to “repropose” the universal call to holiness – which he says is the mission of life for every person.

Published April 9, Gaudete et exsultate, or “Rejoice and be glad,” is Francis’ third apostolic exhortation. It is subtitled “On the call to holiness in the contemporary world.”

The 44-page exhortation explains that holiness is the mission of every Christian, and gives practical advice for living out the call to holiness in ordinary, daily life, encouraging the practice of the Beatitudes and performing works of mercy.

Pope Francis gives a general audience address on the Mass last month (CNS)

  • “I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile.”
  • “Holiness is the most attractive face of the church.”
  • “The important thing is that each believer discern his or her own path, that they bring out the very best of themselves, the most personal gifts that God has placed in their hearts, rather than hopelessly trying to imitate something not meant for them.”
  • “In times when women tended to be most ignored or overlooked, the Holy Spirit raised up saints whose attractiveness produced new spiritual vigor and important reforms in the church.”
  • “We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case.”
  • “We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.”
  • “This holiness to which the Lord calls you will grow through small gestures.”
  • “Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy.”
  • “Thanks be to God, throughout the history of the church it has always been clear that a person’s perfection is measured not by the information or knowledge they possess, but by the depth of their charity.”
  • “Jesus explained with great simplicity what it means to be holy when he gave us the Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-12; Lk 6:20-23).”
  • “Giving and forgiving means reproducing in our lives some small measure of God’s perfection, which gives and forgives superabundantly.”
  •  “We need to think of ourselves as an army of the forgiven. All of us have been looked upon with divine compassion.”
  • “The saints are not odd and aloof, unbearable because of their vanity, negativity and bitterness. The Apostles of Christ were not like that.”
  • “In this call to recognize him in the poor and the suffering, we see revealed the very heart of Christ, his deepest feelings and choices, which every saint seeks to imitate.”
  • “It is true that the primacy belongs to our relationship with God, but we cannot forget that the ultimate criterion on which our lives will be judged is what we have done for others.”
  • “The saints do not waste energy complaining about the failings of others; they can hold their tongue before the faults of their brothers and sisters and avoid the verbal violence that demeans and mistreats others.”
  • “Christian joy is usually accompanied by a sense of humor.”
  • “The saints surprise us, they confound us, because by their lives they urge us to abandon a dull and dreary mediocrity.”
  • “A community that cherishes the little details of love, whose members care for one another and create an open and evangelizing environment, is a place where the risen Lord is present, sanctifying it in accordance with the Father’s plan.”
  • “I do not believe in holiness without prayer, even though that prayer need not be lengthy or involve intense emotions.”
  • “We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable.”
  •  “The devil does not need to possess us. He poisons us with the venom of hatred, desolation, envy and vice. When we let down our guard, he takes advantage of it to destroy our lives, our families and our communities.”
  • “Discernment is not about discovering what more we can get out of this life, but about recognizing how we can better accomplish the mission entrusted to us at our baptism.”
  • — “Let us ask the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us a fervent longing to be saints for God’s greater glory, and let us encourage one another in this effort.”.

> > >

11 Apr 2018 - 16:01

Kolkata: The Karwan-e-Mohabbat, a civil society initiative of solidarity and conscience in response to rising hate violence, visited the victims of Asansol riot in Bengal on April 8.

“It is the dominant who have the power and knowledge and the look at the weak as the means to perpetuate violence,” said Jesuit Father Arjen Tete, professor of theology from De Nobili College, Pune.

To speak of the collective silence, the Karwan–e-Mohabbat was crafted as a journey of atonement, solidarity, conscience, and justice. Since September 2017 it has visited eight States.

It journeys in solidarity with victims of hate crimes in India.

The shocking lynching of a 16-year old son (Md. Sibghatullah) of Imam Mohammed Imdadullah in Asansol in West Bengal is a point in a case. Asansol is around 200 km from Kolkata.

Md. Sibghatullah just finished his Grade 10 exams and was lynched on Wednesday went to nearby Mosque, some 500 meters South of the Noorani Mosque where his father is Imam.

The Riot was instigated with the Ram Navami celebration recorded songs which said, “Topiwale bhi sar jhukake Jai Sri Ram bolega” (Men in caps will soon lower head to say Jai Sri Ram).

The body of the boy was found on Wednesday late night after brutally tortured by the violent mob.

From different walks life, people praised the Imam who preached peace at the funeral of his son.

On April 8, Karwan consisted of many Human Right activists and concerned citizens from different parts of the country.

John Dayal, one of the members of the Karwan from Delhi, said that he was ‘happy to meet the Imam who preached peace’ even when he lost his young son and contained the violence.’

Harsh Mander who is considered to be the man behind the Karwan said, “We are very timely to sympathize with the victims.

There were initiatives by both the communities to help the victims in their locality.

The Karwan visited besides the Imam, the victims of riot who lost the houses and valuables in the houses and shops in the locality, Rail Para which is also called Islam ‘para’ and Rama Krishna Para.

Some 10 houses were razed to the ground on the day of the riot but interesting initiatives were the decision of the local temple trustee to put up the ‘Muslim Darga’ in the Hindu vicinity and one Khan donated Rs.10000/- each to the burned down houses who are Hindus.

The locals suspect that the politicians have created the problem while the ordinary gullible people are the victims.

There were some 20 human rights activists present and embraced the Imam and other victims who lost their properties.

Udayani (awakening), the social outreach arm of the Calcutta province of the Society of Jesus, has been part of the Karwan in West Bengal both in the month of January and now and will remain in the future too.

By Irudya Jothi SJ

9 Apr 2018 - 06:44

Say no to divisive forces: Bishops 

Published on: 11:34 pm, April 8, 2018 by:

By Matters India Reporter

Sundargarh: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) and Odisha Bishops have urged people of Sundargarh district not to give in to divisive forces.

On 1, April 2018, in the late night of Easter Sunday, some miscreants vandalized a grotto outside the compound of St. Thomas Church, Salangabahal in Raurkela diocese, Odisha, mutilated the statue of Our Lady, and broke the head of the statue of Child Jesus in the grotto. They smashed a statue of Our Lady in another Grotto in Gyanpali village and attempted to burn the Church of the Victory of the Cross in Bihabandh.

The antisocial elements had also chopped off the head of a statue of a bull at the Shiva Temple in the vicinity.

On April 7, a delegation of Bishops which comprised of Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas SFX, the Secretary-General of the CBCI, Archbishop John Barwa SVD, Regional Chairman of the Odisha Catholic Bishops’ Council, Bishop Kishor Kumar Kujur of Rourkela, Bishop Telesphore Bilung SVD of the Archdiocese of Ranchi, Bishop Emeritus Alphonse Bilung of Rourkela, visited the affected areas.

The prelates addressed the crowds and thanked them for their peaceful and prayerful response to the incidents. They told the people that they shared their shock, deep anguish and pain. Condemning the attacks on both the Christian and Hindu places of worship, they exhorted them not to fall prey to the divisive forces.

According to the assessment of the security forces, there seems to be a systematic premeditated ploy to disturb the peace of the people who have been living in age-old harmony with each other in these villages.

It appears that the anti-social elements targeted the holy places of two communities seeking to create a communal divide.

Bishop Kujur thanked District Administration and the Superintendent of Police for their immediate action and for personally visiting and supervising the social security by camping in the locality, and for providing security personnel not only in the affected places but also giving adequate protection to the Churches in the district.

“While we reiterate that the incidents against the places of worship should have never happened and bring us shame and pain, we are proud of the people of Sundargarh District who have shown that we are capable of fighting the forces that want to divide us and polarize us,” bishops said in a press note.

9 Apr 2018 - 05:52



Alleluia! The Lord is Risen! This is the Good News that the Church proclaims to all of humanity. The resurrection is the foundation of Christian joy and Christian hope. With the resurrection of Jesus, we know that He is truly Lord and saviour of the world. With the resurrection, He shows us that the way to life is through love and service unto death. Most of all, the resurrection frees us from the fear of death as the end of everything in life. Christian hope in fullness of life after death takes away the sting of death.



31 Mar 2018 - 15:46

On this sacred day, we listen to the story of the passion of Jesus as told by John the Evangelist. When you listen to this account, you find it to be simply overwhelming. It is almost too much to take in at once. The passion of Jesus is a gripping drama that reaches down inside of us and evokes our deepest and strongest emotions. It almost defies words of commentary or explanation.

Each of us has stood near the cross at particular moments in our lives. We know this place well. The situation may have involved the serious illness or loss of a family member, grappling with a broken relationship, experiencing a terrible disappointment, facing a disability, a communal riot, unjust persecution, brutal lynching and murder of the 'other' or a thousand other things. Whatever the situation, we know that standing near the cross is indeed a painful place to be. The Gospels do not suppress or gloss over the pain of the cross. In an era in which talk about a Messiah who had been crucified sounded ludicrous to many people, the Christian Scriptures presented the death of Jesus directly and vividly. For Christians, keeping the memory of Jesus’ death is a living reminder that we are never alone as we stand near the cross in our own lives. While our faith does not magically remove the pain of that place, you and I are assured that Jesus, the crucified Son of God, is in solidarity with us at that place. He is intimately close to us because he has experienced that place in the most personal and intense way possible.

Standing near the cross of Jesus is also, however, a powerful place to be. It is powerful not because God finds any joy in human suffering. It was human beings, not God the Father, who put Jesus on the cross. Christianity is not a cult of suffering. Standing near the cross of Jesus is a powerful place to be because it is the place where the power of God is present and at work – quietly, faithfully, patiently at work from within. At his own moment of death, Jesus held on to the hand of his Abba God, and, even in this hour of darkness, experienced communion with this tenaciously faithful God. And God was present and on the move to bring life out of death. The flow of blood and water from the pierced side of Christ is a sign of that new life that will become manifest in the raising of Jesus from the dead.

For us, too, despite its pain, standing near the cross can be a powerful place to be. It is, in our context of unjust treatment, accusation, harrasment, violence, leagal hurdles, hatred and hate violence, killing and ethnic cleansing.....Standing near the cross of Jesus is a painful and a powerful place to be. As we pray this Good Friday, we are invited to stand there with Jesus and his disciples. And we are called to trust that what is happening there is what happens wherever the God of Jesus Christ is present: God is faithfully present and at work to bring life out of death. We believe that this, in fact, is what God does for a living.

29 Mar 2018 - 19:22

Dhaka: Bangladeshi Church is mourning the death of a prominent priest who taught at the country's only major seminary for decades and played a vital role in the translation and editing of important Church documents, including those of the Second Vatican Council.

Father Bernard Palma passed away in Dhaka on March 23 following a cardiac arrest. He was 75.

He was buried at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church cemetery in central Dhaka on March 24 after the funeral Mass celebrated by Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario of Dhaka and attended by thousands of Catholics.

"Father Bernard was a vital to the church and the living embodiment of the spirit of the Second Vatican Council. He was a man of wisdom and prayerfulness. His life and works have made a lasting contribution to the church," Cardinal D'Rozario said during the homily.

Father Palma entered Little Flower Minor Seminary in Dhaka in 1956 and studied at Christ the King Major Seminary at Karachi, Pakistan, from 1965 and in 1971 was ordained a priest 1971.

He studied dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Urbanian University in Rome, where he did his doctorate.

From 1981-2006, he taught at the Holy Spirit National Major Seminary and was editor of various theological publications.

He authored several books and translated into Bengali language the Catechism of the Catholic Church and documents of the Second Vatican Council.

From 2006-2013, he was the spiritual director of St. Joseph's Seminary and retired from active priestly ministry in 2014. 

28 Mar 2018 - 07:10

Two days of Jesuit Conference Core Team on analysing the current issues of the Assistancy met at Delhi on 26 and 27 March 2018. Dr. Rudy Heredia SJ presented the Concept paper on "Another India is Possible: Contradictions and Dilemmas in Indian Society". There was quality intellectual discourse on 6 major areas of concern. As per the purpose of the formation of the Core Team, it will come out with research papers and findings time to time.Out of the 13 members from all over India 11 of them attended this important meeting. The Core Team will deciminate their findings to POSA and JCSA and all the Jesuits in the Assistancy.     

27 Mar 2018 - 14:11

It is said that the title that Ignatius liked most about himself was ‘Inigo the Pilgrim’.  There was this ‘wanderlust’ in him, not just for travelling but for seeking.  Ablaze with God, Ignatius never stopped seeking. God is the ever-greater one, always ‘upsetting’ the point of arrival. Manresa and Montserrat are not past stations for Inigo; they were permanent spaces in him even when he was settled in Rome.                                 

Jesuits are in ever-seeking and eve-finding mode - unsettled settlers, always at home and always on the move.  This dynamic dimension of our call distinguishes us from others.  Pope Francis surprises us yet again in the new Sapientia Christiana, when e says: “The theologian who is satisfied with his complete and conclusive thought is mediocre. The good theologian and philosopher has an open, that is, an incomplete, thought, always open to the maius of God and of the truth, always in development, according to the law that Saint Vincent of Lerins described in these words: annisconsolidetur, dilatetur tempore, sublimeturaetate (Commonitoriumprimum, 23: PL 50, 668)”. Pope Francis seems to have captured this pilgrim mind-set of Inigo: ever seeking, always developing and on the move.

Are we Jesuits losing this pilgrim mind-set of Inigo? Have we become settlers looking for tenure in an institutional set up? Or are we perennial seekers? Are we perceived as ‘seekers’ of God?  Or are we seen as ‘vendors’ of religion as Gandhiji had once said of Christian missionaries? Do we have an ‘experience’ of the Ultimate that we want to share with our fellow-citizens, rather than institutional benefits that we want to advertise?

In ‘Why I am a Hindu’, ShashiTHaroor says that he loves Hinduism for its flexibility and open-endedness in belief systems, and distances himself from Hindutva that is so rigid and narrow. Do genuine seekersfind a home with us Jesuits?

We are surrounded by settlers who define the borders and consider others as alien. Cow-nationalism,  saffron-religion and crony-capitalism make perfect bed-fellows. The perennial quest for the Ultimate that marked the soul of India is deliberately forgotten and consciously abandoned for the trivial.

The task ahead for us is to go back to our roots; to rediscover the spiritual quest; to continue travelling. Let us form circles of seekers; citizens of a republic where everyone is welcome; everywhere is home.

George Pattery,sj


22 Mar 2018 - 17:30