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Rome. The International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education (ICAJE) met in Rome from May 23 to 26. The annual meeting is an opportunity for the six regional delegates, the Secretary for Education and the assistants to the Secretariat to come together, share the state of Jesuit Education in the world, the projects of the secretariat and discuss initiatives that can support the construction of the Jesuit School network.

At the end of the meeting the Commission celebrates the Eucharist on the Camaretas also knowns as the “room of ignatius” the place were he lives his last days before dead July 31th of 1556.

Important topics for this meeting were:

(1) The evaluation and follow up of the Action Statement of the  International Congress of Jesuit Education Delegates (JESEDU-Rio2017),http://jesedurio2017.educatemagis.org/en/

(2) Educate Magis: the commission had the opportunity to discuss the current development of this project aimed to connect schools and allow for global collaboration at the service of the mission. Some of the topics discuss:

  • Annual report
  • New challenges

(3) The commission had the opportunity to reflect around the invitation of the F. General to discern about the Universal Preferences for the mission of the Society, in the path of the  the decrees of the GC36 and the related documents. We will present to Fr. General our suggestions.

(4) The commission began the discussed of the education delegate role description at the provincial level and began a process to agree on some common basic ground for the job. We also continues the conversation about the associated/partnered/endorsed/companion schools as they are classified in each region.

(5) Fr. Mesa, the Secretary for education, could not be physically present but join the meeting virtually. 

(6) The Secretary for Education presented the report on Jesuit Education. today, the internal and external challenges and the current projects developed by the Secretariat. Also every region presented a executive report of his own region.

 

Participants:

José Mesa, SJ – (virtual participation) Chair, Secretariat for Secondary and Pre-secondary Education

Rafael Galaz – Assistant to the Secretariat for Special Projects

William Muller, SJ – Director of the JSN- Canada and US

Brian Flannery –  Member of the Steering Committee JECSE- Europe

Ilse Dekker -  Future Director of JECSE -Europe

Sunny Jacob, SJ – Secretary for JEASA - South Asia

Saúl Cuautle, SJ –  President of FLACSI - Latin America

Johnny Go, SJ – Secretary for Secondary Education JCAP - Asia Pacific. Assistant to the Secretariat for Mission and Identity.

Joe Arimoso, SJ – President of JASBEAM - Africa and Madagascar

Eamonn McGuinness - Director of Educate Magis. 

 

8 Jun 2018 - 08:35

Pope Francis on Sunday described the feast of the Most Holy Trinity as an occasion to celebrate God’s love for all of us.

By Linda Bordoni

Speaking to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus Prayer, Pope Francis remarked on the Feast we celebrate on the Sunday after Pentecost saying it calls us spread God’s love throughout the world.

He said that the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity highlights the mystery of God, Jesus Christ, who is One in the communion of three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Remarking on the liturgical Readings of the day help, the Pope said “they help us to understand that rather than wanting to reveal to us that He exists, God wants us to know that He is "with us", that He loves us, is interested in our personal history and takes care of each of us, starting from the smallest and the most needy”.

“He is God up there in heaven, but also down here on earth" he said.

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Pope Francis asks for prayers for peace in Africa

27/05/2018

 

Pope Francis asks for prayers for peace in Africa

Underscoring the closeness of “the God of Love who created the universe and generated a people, became flesh, died and rose for us” he said the Holy Spirit transforms all and leads to fullness.

The Pope reflected on the reading of St. Paul whom, he said, “personally experienced this transformation brought about by the God of Love.” He said Paul tells us of God’s wish to be called Father - "Daddy" - with the absolute trust of a child who abandons himself into the arms of He who gave him life.

The Pope said the Apostle also says that the Holy Spirit, acting in us, ensures that Jesus Christ is not reduced to a mere character of the past, but that we feel close to Him: “He is our contemporary and we experience the joy of being children who are loved by God”.

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Pope's Angelus of 27 May 2018

27/05/2018

 

Pope's Angelus of 27 May 2018

Finally, he said, in the Gospel, the Risen Lord promises to remain with us forever and it is precisely through his presence and the strength of his Spirit that we can carry out with serenity the mission that he entrusts to us: to proclaim and witness his Gospel to all, to spread our communion with Him and the joy that derives from it.

Pope Francis concluded his catechesis urging the faithful to celebrate the Feast of Most Holy Trinity which invites leads us to contemplate the mystery of a God who ceaselessly creates, redeems and sanctifies, always with love and out of love.

“From the beginning He has chosen to walk together with humanity and form a people that are a blessing for all nations and for all people, no one excluded” he said, urging all believers to go forth with the saving message of God’s love that relieves sins, heals the wounds of the soul and gives salvation.

29 May 2018 - 10:26

 

New Delhi: Christians in Nepal are alarmed after this month’s sudden series of arson and bomb attacks on four church buildings, and church leaders suspect authorities are lax in investigating.

At the same time, six Christians were arrested for evangelizing while suspected Hindu extremists launched attacks on three church buildings and bombed another. The attacks caused extensive property damage but no casualties.

The Hebron Church building in the eastern hilly region was set on fire on May 9, Emmanuel Church’s building in western Nepal’s Doti District was burned on May 10, and the Kanchanpur Emmanuel Church building in the midwest hilly region was set ablaze on May 11. Before midnight on May 12, the Mahima Church building in Dhangadhi, in western Nepal, was bombed.

Neither government officials nor police have issued a formal statement on suspects, though police have attributed the attacks to the Nepal Communist Party, known as the Biplab Group. But Christian leaders in Nepal suspect a coordinated campaign by Hindu extremists.

Police are cooperating with church leaders and taking their complaints, but officers have not made any arrests, Tanka Subedi, chair of the Religious Liberty Forum Nepal (RLFN), told Morning Star News. He suspects officials have told police to proceed slowly.

“They have not made any arrests yet, as it seems that they have been clearly notified to not carry out arrests in these cases,” Subedi said.

The Mahima Church building in Dhangadhi was partially damaged around 11 p.m. on May 12 after an unknown assailant hurled a bomb into it after others broke a window. Doors, furniture, carpeting, electric appliances, the roof and windows were reported damaged.

Mahima Church pastor Birendra Kariya told Morning Star News he has faced no threats since he began leading the church in 1999. Police promised that they will investigate, but church leaders have received no response from officers about the cases, Pastor Kariya said.

Pastor B.P. Khanal of The Lord’s Assembly told Morning Star News the similarity of the attacks indicated they were coordinated by a single entity.

“Though it might appear that these attacks have been carried out by the same person, geographically this is not possible,” he said. “Which means that these are performed by people who are in a network and are well connected to each other.”

Online Anti-Christian Movement

Recently a social media movement has arisen against Christians on Facebook and Twitter with such hashtags as “Hindu Awakening against Conversion (Esai Karan ke Virudh Hindu Jagaran Abhiyaan),” openly threatening killing and attacks, Pastor Khanal said.

“They have gathered a lot of support and fan-following from the Nepali masses,” he said. “These attacks have not come upon the Nepali churches as a surprise, but these are well-planned and coordinated attacks against the Christian community, and the government is doing nothing about this.”

In Panchthar in the eastern hilly region, Pastor Hasta Lova Limbu of the Hebron church said there was no one in the building when it was set on fire at night. Furniture, the pulpit and the carpet were charred. A youth conference concluded a day before the May 9 attack, said Subedi of the RLFN.

Pastor Shyam Thapa of Emmanuel Church said he was in his house, constructed at the back of the church building, when it was set ablaze at 10 p.m. When he detected it, he and area police doused it after flames damaged furniture and electrical circuits.

Pastor Dhirendra Rana, 34, who has been leading Kanchanpur Emmanuel Church for 10 years, said the building suffered huge property losses.

“The miscreants broke the lock of the church and formed a heap of all the stuff present in the building, including the records of the church, 300 kilograms of grain and electric appliances, and they set everything ablaze,” Pastor Rana said.

He lives less than a mile from the church building, and on the morning of May 12 he found it completely burned. A church member normally sleeps at the church building to guard it, but on that night he was away at a wedding, the pastor said.

The church has not been able to meet for worship, he added.

“I reported the matter to the local police, but I have not heard anything back from them since then,” Pastor Rana said.

Pastor Rana and Pastor Kariya said they suspect the attacks were carried out by “religiously intolerant Hindus” in order to form a “Hindu Nation.”

The pastors shared this view even though they had not spoken to one another. Christian leaders also shared the view that the sudden rise in attacks against Christians is in one way or another influenced by the recent rise of anti-Christian policies and hostilities in India.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Nepal on May 11 and 12.

Subedi of the RLFN said Christian leaders have appealed for help from the government.

“We have written to the Nepalese government to help us rebuild our churches and asked them to not discriminate us on the basis of religion,” he told Morning Star News. “We look towards them as our guardians and not as our enemy.”

Christians Arrested

At the same time, six Christians are under police custody in Tehrathum District, eastern Nepal, under allegations of evangelizing.

On May 9 two of them were arrested while singing worship songs on the street and allegedly proclaiming Christ, while four were arrested at their homes, Subedi said. They appeared in court on Thursday (May 17), when their remand to jail was extended for seven more days.

Arrested were Dinesh Subba, 28, Ashish Subba, 22, Dipak Subba, 28, Manatula Dhital, 44, all from Jhapa. Also arrested were two visiting from India – 40-year-old Barshiya Dhital of Sikkim, and Pawan Rai, 33, from Paschim Bangal.

Evangelizing is prohibited under Nepal’s new constitution, passed in September 2015, as it was under the previous constitution. While the new constitution establishes Nepal as a secular and democratic republic, its definition of “secular” appears to protect Hinduism and allows others only to worship in their own faiths. Article 26 forbids anyone to “convert a person of one religion to another religion, or disturb the religion of other people.”

While evangelizing has long been illegal in Nepal, advocacy groups have recently detected increased enforcement and other anti-Christian efforts as officials seek to placate Hindus incensed that the new constitution did not re-establish a more prominent place for Hinduism.

A landlocked country between the giants of India and China, Nepal is said to be more than 75 percent Hindu and 16 percent Buddhist. Christians are estimated to make up nearly 3 percent of Nepal’s population, and Muslims 4.4 percent.

(Christiannews)

24 May 2018 - 09:24

(14-May-2018)

Father General's visit to the PAL of Valladolid, Villagarcía y León began in the infirmary of Villagarcía de Campos on Ascension Sunday. Accompanied by the Provincial of Spain, Antonio España, the Regional Assistant of Southern Europe, Joaquín Barrero, the Delegate for the Elderly, Cipriano Díaz, and the Delegate of the PAL, Gerardo Villar, he toured the house, greeting the residents and the staff who take care of the elderly. A meeting of friendship, between colleagues, that at 12h. was extended to more Jesuits, more than a hundred, already in the recently restored Capilla del Cristo (Chapel of Christ). He presented himself as the Jesuit admired and grateful to know Villagarcía. "A complete myth", he said, because of all the news of the novitiate and of his practices known through the Spanish Jesuits who arrived in Venezuela, his native country. He commented that when he joined the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits had only been in Venezuela for 50 years and 40 percent of his companions were Spanish. However, they achieved a good transition thanks to their inculturation from which they transmitted their passion for Jesus.

The core of Arturo Sosa's talk came from the 36th General Congregation, where he was elected to succeed Fr Adolfo Nicolás in 2016 and whose decrees mark the future of the Jesuit vocation towards "reconciliation". With all that complexity of a wounded, moving and unequal world, healing only exists if there is justice, mercy and forgiveness. For Sosa, the sense of reconciliation has been present in the core of the Society since previous congregations, although it has been expressed from other dimensions such as faith and justice, dialogue between cultures and religions. The challenge now is that this future is built in partnership with others. "GC36 paid more attention to the way we do things than to what we do," he explained, and among the ways we do things, he pointed out the first: discernment, a first way that goes hand in hand with apostolic planning "to make things better, more and better" and work with others. "The mission of the Society of Jesus is not of the Society, it is of the Church, because since we were born, we were born to serve the Church. He invited the Jesuits to change "the mentality" and think more of "we collaborate" than "they collaborate". And he added: "to share mission even with those of us who do not share the faith but share the mission".

Arturo Sosa also reviewed the three mandates of GC36 to the Jesuits: the in-depth review of apostolic preferences with the greater participation of the Jesuits. The work will last 10 years, and the time will be devoted to planning how they will be carried out. The second mandate is to review the poverty statute and the rules for the administration of temporary goods. "It puts us in an important spiritual situation because it puts us in front of one of the thorniest issues like poverty." He recalled how the first Jesuits lived the poverty from which the Society of Jesus was born and the vow of the Jesuits. "The image we give is not that we live poorly. Objectively, in most cases, as a body, our image is too far from living in poverty," he acknowledged. For Fr Sosa, the important thing in the future is to recognize the way to be closer to Jesus who became incarnate in humanity "poor among the poor". Finally, the third mandate is the promotion of a culture of safeguarding children and vulnerable persons. An ambitious mandate because the contribution would be that of social transformation through justice and reconciliation. "A complex job that won't last 10 years but generations."

Curia web

20 May 2018 - 18:01

Oh God of freedom and love, let your light of truth shine on our Nation, dispelling all darkness and untruth. 
Let the dreams of our founding fathers and the values of our Constitution – Equality, Liberty and Fraternity – be always held in highest esteem.
Let the people of all castes and creeds, all denominations and persuasions live in harmony and peace steering far away from hatred and violence.
Protect our legislatures as a place of discerning minds. 
Raise our judiciary as the hallmark of integrity, prudence and justice. 
Keep our print, visual and social media as the channels of truth for edifying discourses. 
Protect our institutions from the infiltration of the evil forces.
Let the poor of our country be provided with the means of livelihood. 
Let the Dalits, Tribals and the Marginalised be brought into the mainstream of nation building. 
Let justice and integrity prevail in every sphere of our life.
May the ethos of true democracy envelop our elections with dignity and the flames of honest patriotism en-kindle our political leaders.
This is our cry, Heavenly Father, in these troubled times as we see the clouds eclipsing the light of truth, justice and freedom.
Almighty Father, bless our nation with the revival of the Gospel values in the name of your Beloved Son Jesus Christ by sending forth your Holy Spirit.
Oh, Mary our Blessed Mother, who appeared at Fatima, give hope to the struggling nations and intercede for our beloved country. Amen. 
 
+ Anil Joseph Thomas Couto, Archbishop of Delhi
> > >  http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Archbishop-of-Delhi-calls-for-prayer-campaign-ahead-of-the-2019-elections-43897.html

 

19 May 2018 - 05:55

Jesuits and Community Life!

The Encyclical ‘Amoris Laetitia’ is a game changer in its approach to moral issues. Rather than starting from principals to application, it begins with the reality of family builds up moral perspectives. This is based on a sound theology of family. “The Bible is full of families, births, love stories and family crisis....The couple that loves and begets life is a true, living icon.” ‘Family’ is a privileged place, chosen by God, to reveal how he relates to humanity. Hence the church looks at the realities of family life with enthusiasm. Conjugal life and love, or their absence, are part of the reality of family life – matter of the Church to ponder. Hence accompaniment of the family becomes a significant part of the mission of the Church.

One could apply, mutatis mutandis, a similar role for Jesuit Community: it is a privileged place for Jesuits to discover God’s way with us. If the Society is ‘our path way to God’ (Nadal), our companionship in the given community becomes significant. It is through our companionship that we discern and discover God’s way with us.

GC 35 &36 reiterates Community as Mission. Some of us were taken aback with this new found zeal for community life. A few felt we were becoming coenobite monks, others felt mission was getting diluted. Community ad dispersionem was the catchword. Jesuits are called to be on the move, not settled in community. These are genuine concerns.

The new found emphasis on community could be viewed differently in the light of the emerging thinking on discernment in common and the role of spiritual conversation. ‘Active listening and Intentional speaking’ are significant tools for discernment in common. ‘Active Listening’ is an art that we need to cultivate. Non-judgmental, respectful, and reverential listening affirms one another; it makes room for the Spirit to be present. Ordinarily our minds are wired to judge and categorise. Perhaps we need to silence the ‘monkey mind’ and be present to one another in active listening. Intentional speaking refers to our way of communicating from the depth of our interior movements and experiences. Such conversation builds up community.

Community becomes the ‘locale’ where we listen to the Spirit through one another. As Khalil Gibran says, ‘Let there be space between our togetherness’. This is not make community a pious association. It is rather to make it a dynamic space where we celebrate companionship in order to grow in the Spirit; an exciting way of being together in our differences and richness; a space that is open –inviting and enthusing us – Community is Mission.

George Pattery SJ  

16 May 2018 - 17:06

 

The formation program of the Province/Region should promote the training of scholastics and junior priests for development of benefactor relations and the administration of projects NC 391 §1; IAG [302,303]. Training should include: a) Spirituality of fundraising b) Relationship with benefactors c) Management of resources d) Skills in managing projects and reporting/accountability.

Quoted from a letter written by the former Superior General Fr. Adolfo Nicolas

Development work in the Society of Jesus is a service to the poor for their empowerment and freedom.Its missions accord high priority to the liberation and upliftment of the poor and marginalized sections of society through various of its Strategic Interventions which calls for greater management and resource mobilisation skills tobe much more effective. One of the initiatives is to equip the Jesuits at the formation stage itself, exposing them to the changing context, orienting them on new development paradigms and facilitating them to acquire the required knowledge and skills for their future work.

In this context, a nine-day intensive summer course on 'Management of Development Programmes' was jointly organized by the Assistancy Development Office (ADO) and Secretariate for Jesuits in Social (JESA) and Patna Jesuits Society (PJS) from 22nd April to 30thApril, 2018 at Atmadarshan in Patna. Eighteen participants hailing from seven different provinces took active part in the learning process. Two Scholastics from Kenya and East Timor along with four core staff from a few social action centres of Patna Province added to the flavor of the programme. The participants benefitted immensely from the programme.

The design and planning of the programme was made in such way that the trainees are imparted both theoretical and practical knowledge. Lok Manch Project implemented by JESA on right’s-based issues across 14-provinces was chosen for field exposure and practical training. Lok Manch project is a unique experiment with 100 CSOs from Jesuit Institutions, Church Organizations and Lay Collaborators having great expertise on collaboration and networking on a larger platform.

The programme was inaugurated and inspired by Fr. Robert Athikal, Founder and Director, Tarumitra on 22nd April. The Trainees got an opportunity to make a short visit to witness the pioneering work of Tarumitra on 23rd morning.

The following main subjects relevant to the development work were covered during the training:

  • Concept and Approaches to Development, Right’s Based Approach, SDGs
  • Introduction and components of Project Management
  • Project Proposal Writing
  • Problem Analysis, Baseline Study
  • Planning Methodology, Formulation of Goal, Objectives,
  • LFA-Outcomes, Outputs, Activities,
  • Costing and Budgeting
  • Monitoring and Evaluation, Development of Indicators
  • Documentation and Report Writing

The team of resource persons consisted of Mr. Manoj Pradhan, Senior Programme Manager at ADO, Fr. Siji, Coordinator- PDOs and Mr. Vijay Parmar, Senior consultatnt of JESA. After being introduced to the  Lok Manch project, the trainees went for 3-days field visit in 5-teams to 5-partner organizations in Bihar which was very well coordinated by Fr. Anand, the Zonal Coordinator of Lok Manch for Northern Zone. Based on reporting guidelines, the trainees made excellent presentations on PPT of their experience and learning. In that session, Mr. Elmar, Representative, MISEREOR gave his feedback and shared his learning who was on a visit to Bihar Lok Manch Programme.

At the end, there was an evaluation of the programme and feedback session. The program was meticulously planned, organized and facilitated Fr. Siji and his team who worked tirelessly to make the programme a great success. The Amtadarshan team provided excellent hospitality and conference facilities. XTTI and St. Michael’s communities invited us for special tea.

Overall it was a good initiative by the ADF and PCFs to equip the scholastics with the tools and techniques of project management. It is indeed a good initiative by the Assistancy keeping in mind the development work as a service to the people. The programme was concluded with a short Patna Dharshan and a visit to the Development office, patna and an agape at St.Xavier’s Provincial House. Fr. Jose Vadassery, the Provincial of Patna gave away certificates of participation to all the participants.

 

Reported by SCH.A.MICHAEL RAJA

 

13 May 2018 - 10:17

Date: April 5, 2018 Venue: Vinayalaya, Mumbai

Vincent Sekhar SJ, Secretary of JCSA for Dialogue organized a meeting of the co-ordinators of the four Jesuit provinces of the Western region along with their lay collaborators on 5th of April, 2018 in Vinayalaya, Mumbai. The co-ordinators present in the meeting were the following: Prashant Olalekar SJ of Bombay Province, Prakash Bhalerao SJ of Pune Province, Jose Panadan SJ of Gujarat Province, and MeninoGonslaves SJ of Goa Province. Besides the four coordinators, there was one lay associate from Bombay province who is a social scientist and two lay associates from the Pune Province, who work in close touch with SnehaSadan, Pune.

The meeting began with a prayerful reflection led by Vincent Sekharwhich emphasized on the theme Diversity and Tolerance. This was followed by a summary presentation on the given articles by each of the co-ordinators. After each presentation there was a moment of silence followed by a response at the feeling and discursive level.

Prashant Olalekar presented the article titled Pope Francis and Dialoguewritten by Dr. Michael Amaladoss SJ, which focused on some of the approaches and initiatives taken by Pope Francis in certain contexts with a focus on dialogue and reconciliation both in words and deeds.MeninoGonsalves gave a summary of the document Dialogue in Truth and Charity: Pastoral Orientations for Interreligious Dialogue, which was published by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in 2014. The group resonated with the basic openness towards dialogue shown by the above-mentioneddocument but at the sametimestrongly felt that South Asia must play a much more effective role by providing greater doctrinal clarity and practical implications. The third paper was presented by Prakash Bhalerao under the title Managing Diversity: the Challenges for India, which was a unique paper in the sense that it offered certain perspectives on managing diversity from the point view of the corporate secular world. Just as the corporate companies use diversity to gain a competitive advantage in the market, the model invitedus to promote diversity and dialogue to build a better society. Jose Panadan gave a brief summary of Sunny Jacob’s article Peace Education: the Need of the Hour, which provided concrete proposals to make peace education more effective through educational apostolate.

After the Eucharist presided over by Prakash Bhalerao, the group met again in the afternoon to listen to one another the initiatives taken by different provinces towards inter-religious dialogue. Of many positive efforts, the following are worthy to mention: the monthly magazine Niropyaedited and published by SnehaSadan; the Interreligious gatherings on Christmas and other occasions; the Interreligious Studies initiated in St. Xavier’s College; and the several activities planned and executed in an established institute like the IDCR, Chennai. Many initiatives are taken by several individuals, but sadly discontinued after the time of their departure from their places. And some centres with political overtones are at the verge of closing!

The meeting came to an end with a short presentation by Vincent Sekhar on the statement issued by the JCSA titled Contesting Hindu Rashtra: An Alternative Narrative and Strategies for Reconciliation in the New India. This document imposed a great challenge on the minorities and the well-intended citizens of India in preserving the twin-pillars of democracy and secularism, guaranteed by the Constitutions of India. The present religio-political scenario in the country called for the conviction in and promotion of the Constitutional values of liberty, equality, justice, and fellowship. But the participants generally felt that the discussed JCSA Statement on Hindu Nationalism has not really picked up in the provinces for various reasons. The West Zone meeting gave a new impetus to the participants to once again assure their individual and networked collaboration with their religious neighbours and institutions towards ensuring dialogue and harmony.

Jose Panadan, S.J.

Vincent Sekhar SJ

 

 

 

11 May 2018 - 16:39

3 May 2018, during the Summer Course on Interfaith Dialogue and Pilgrimage, at Henry Martyn Institute, Hyderabad, Dr. Geevarghese Yulios, the Metropolitan Bishop of the Ahmedabad Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, released the books I Am Indeed Their Brother: Loving and Serving Allah’s Poor by Bob McCahill of the Maryknoll Fathers and Lord The Air Smells Good, Felicitation volume in honour of Fr. Paul Jackson S.J. edited by Anand Amaladass and Victor Edwin.

The first book by Bob McCahill is a collection of forty-two short letters written during his missionary service among Muslims in Bangladesh from 1976 to 2017. They express his dedication, joy, vivacity and tender love for the people he lived with and worked for, while building compassionate links between Christians and Muslims. Hailing from Iowa, USA he learnt the language of the people with whom he incarnated himself wholeheartedly and in sincere simplicity. Bob’s stories give colourful dramatic pictures of his encounters, his staccato conversations, spiritual experiences, emotion-filled encounters, and unending helpfulfness. He describes how he is inspired by devout Muslims and learns patience, generosity and cheerfulness. All the letters are uplifting and cement relationships between people of different ages, professions, cultures and religions.

The Felicitation volume in honour of Fr. Paul Jackson SJ is a soulful tribute to the lifetime commitment of this creative Jesuit to the cause of Muslim-Christian relations. The engaging title is taken from a text by 13th century mystic Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi and expresses the aura of the 15 professional articles that the book contains. The introductory piece by Victor Edwin sets the tone for the reader, presenting the personal journey of Fr. Paul Jackson and his nuanced view of the range and depth of interfaith dialogue, especially dialogue between a Muslim and a Christian, as shown in this quote from Jackson: “It is abundantly clear that this whole process of dialogue requires deep Christian faith, for it is more directly focused on receiving than on giving.”  The articles are poignant and passionate, composed by professional Islamologists with academic expertise and spiritual wisdom. From Knowledge and Mercy in Mawdudi and Ibn ‘Arabi by David Immanuel Singh, and Nizamuddin to the Nations: Transnational Trajectories at the Origins of the Tablighi Jama’at by Mathew J. Kuiper, and Jesus and Mary in Tafsir Muqatil Ibn Sulayman by F. Zannini, to The Growth of Islamophobia (Fear of Islam) in contemporary German Society as a challenge to the Christians living there by Christian W. Troll, and A Christian-Islam Conversation on Climate Change by Francis Gonsalves we get a panoramic view of the theological, ideological, cultural, socio-political, psycho-philosophical and practical dimensions of Christian-Muslim relations. The book concludes with a list of Jackson’s 8 books and 90 articles.

Victor Edwin SJ

11 May 2018 - 16:16

In an air conditioned forty seater bus, with two security guards, two drivers and one manager, I was the only passenger to travel from Delhi to Lahore on 23rd April. That was not all. There was an escort vehicle with siren to clear the way for ‘DOSTI’ bus between the two neighbouring countries to reach its destination. It dawned on me then: we need to spend such a lot of resources to safeguard enmity! Thankfully the return journey in a Pakistani bus had around 25 passengers; but the rest of the arrangements remained the same. Indeed a journey down the memory lane of struggles together for independence and then, battle it out to live as ‘enemies’ ever after! At the designated bus ‘adda’ Renato and Mr. Nadeem, a lawyer friend of Pakistani Jesuit community, received me and drove me to Loyola Hall in Lahore. The Jesuit contingent, besides Renato, consisted of Frs. Maria Sebastian, Jeyaraj Rashiah, former provincial’s of Sri Lanka and Fr. Juan Carlos, (Islam specialist), Fr. John Imran – the only Pakistani Jesuit, three scholastics Chamika Nipun (whom we provincials met in Vavuniya in Sri Lanka) now a regent in Pakistan and Asim and Amir – two Pakistani scholastics – and six candidates. Renato (superior) had worked out a schedule that enabled me to meet all Jesuits individually and as a group, besides visits to our three schools. A well equipped Islam specialized library, the center for non-violent communication (NVC), multi-purpose hall and other facilities for conducting sessions – all located in the same campus – provided space for a rich combination of ministries, of this ‘tiny’ but dynamic group of Jesuits in Pakistan in the historic city of Lahore. The three schools, named St. Mary’s, cater to about 2000 children, boys and girls, hailing from lower middle class and in locations bustling with life and people. Imran and Renato look after these schools, as animators rather than administrators. Three lay people administer the schools as principals, while the Jesuits animate the schools with general guidelines based on Jesuit educational principals. The same is true with the research and NVC centers. Lahore model could challenge us! Fr. Kalathil had made in-roads into these and other schools, inviting children to cultivate friendship beyond borders. Are these children showing us a way forward? I had occasion to meet with Jesuit associates at a session organized by the Peace group led by advocate Anthony Nadeem on the theme of Eucharist and Peace building. The table-fellowship, of which Eucharist was a continuation, builds peace, while breaking down boundaries. While Jeyaraj continues his writing of Pakistan Jesuit History, he also caters to the spiritual animation of the clergy and the religious. Maria Sebastian guides the NVC initiative, and Sch. Chamika teaches Yoga in the schools besides his expert support through computer science.  In the common meeting with the Jesuits, we dwelt on promoting vocations and strengthening formation for which a formula of support to Sri Lanka from India and from the former to Pakistan was proposed. We also reflected on collaboration with Indonesia in Islam ministry and formation. JWL and JRS could be initiated in Pakistan if there are personnel. There are many possibilities and opportunities to support Pakistan mission if only we tickle our imagination and creativity! All the struggle and waiting for the journey to Lahore was worth it! For zealous Jesuits, borders are spaces to traverse to discover the emerging possibilities! The Lord of surprises is around the corner, we can be sure!

Fr. George Pattery SJ  

2 May 2018 - 06:13

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