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“WHAT IS IT TO BE A JESUIT TODAY…? ” :  This can be an eternal question. The 32nd General Congregation (1974-75) did a soul-searchingly  and  came up with an enduring definition, to what it is to be a Jesuit. They said, “ A Jesuit is a SINNER and yet, called to be the COMPANION of JESUS, to labour under the CROSS for the service of FAITH and for the promotion of JUSTICE.”

The definition of a Jesuit, got further amplified through successive General Congregations 33rd - 35th (2008). Accordingly, we the Jesuits are called to commit ourselves to working towards, A MORE JUST COSMOS, in synergy with women and men of other Religious and Humanistic convictions, from all Nations and Cultures (GC 35. D.5: 3). A tall - call indeed! It calls for sustained, progressive & prophetic actualization of this mandate.

Let me attempt to imagine, “WHAT WOULD IGNATIUS WISH TO TELL US, THE JESUITS AND OUR COLLABORATORS ON THIS 31ST JULY OF 2016… ? ”

 

IGNATIUS SPEAKS TO THE JESUITS OF TODAY :

My friends in the Lord, I’m indeed delighted to have this opportunity to connect to all of you. I love each and every one of you and love our Society of Jesus as it is. In my paternal love for the Society and every Jesuit, let me to place before you three challenges.

 

 

01. CREDIBILITY:

Your globalized world more complicated than mine ever was, is substantially developed,  in many spheres: Science and Space; Commerce and Cosmology; Communications and Transportations and, many more. The net result is, all sorts of comforts and compromises are now easily available, for the asking. Understandable, you are also being driven by that classistic and consumeristic current. Still, I must tell you, it is not at all justifiable..! Remember my words? (Sp. Ex.23) : Use the created gifts of God in so far as they help you come up as a loving and loveable person, and also help you reach the your ultimate goal ..!

There is NO CHOICE here, if you have to be credible witnesses of mine, in line with the AMDG - charism of our least Society. Credibility, is the primary response. You have to walk the talk. I would even say: Walk and then, talk. I’m not here recommending, “asceticism”. Rather, “mysticism”. That means, “profound  thinking but plain living”. All,  imbued with a certain depth of the Divine.  I expect each of you to be a crucial and credible challenge to your contemporary context. What do you say?

 

02. CORDIALITY:    

If credibility has to characterize the personal life of every Jesuit,  “cordiality” with God, with your communities,  with your collaborators, is a must.  Much more, with the poorest and the powerless! Do young people see us working together, sometimes struggling but still supporting one another, praying together..? Does our apostolic zeal communicate itself to others, so that they too, want to commit themselves to God’s service…?” 

Again, the GC 35 (D. 6:14) has insisted on this, asking each and every  Jesuit community to explore ways and means of offering hospitality! In all this, where are our communities and movements now…? Make a quick check, please!

This takes us to what our very own Francis is highlighting as Bishop of Rome: “Go to the existential peripheries! Reach out to the neediest! You’ll find life by giving life, hope by giving hope, and love by giving love” (Witnesses of Joy, 2014). He knows what he is saying. And, you know what you should be doing!

 

03. CREATIVITY:

Credibility in one’s personal life, Cordiality in one’s collective life are not and should not be for their own sake. Rather, for the sake of our ministerial participation in and a greater, contribution to “ God’s Covenant with Creation” (GC 35. D. 3:36).

In that context, I cannot but refer to my favourite term, MAGIS (Const.588)..! Pedro Arrupe - who is here in heaven with me - had put it quite strongly: “Our least Society is never content with the tried and the tested. New challenges have to be faced. New opportunities have to be welcomed. Ours is a holy boldness, a certain apostolic aggressivity, typical of our way of proceeding”.

Here I have to make a provocative observation : Of late, mediocrity and complacency are creeping into our ministries. Dynamism is diminishing..! Enthusiasm is evaporating..! Am I correct..?

The world you live in favours the imaginative and the innovative, a world whose people grasp for what is creative and transformative. You live in a fabulous age of digitalized wonders and diversified works. Variety is the new beauty now. Correspondingly, you ought to be “men - ever - ready “ for pioneering programmes in productive praxis. They need not be, all the time, special and spectacular. Instead, certain definitive and progressive spontaneity in one’s own given ministries (Sp. Ex. 97). Sure, it has to be led by the following concerns, as you know well : What is the greater  good, more fruitful, more universal, and more glory to God..? 

Our Francis has dreams, in the same way, for the Church (Evangelii Gaudium, No. 27) and for the Creation (Laudato Si, No. 244). With this broadened horizon of God’s Mission, you are breathing in a privileged atmosphere of Grace. Live it out well, I strongly urge you : ALLOW YOUR JESUITNESS TO BE REVEALED IN ALL ITS BEAUTY POSSIBLE IN  “ CREDIBILITY, CORDIALITY AND CREATIVITY.” !

Before winding up, I assure you all of my special whispers to the Lord of History as you’re getting ready for GC 36. Let that event stir you all up with further prophetic radicalism and set you all further on “ Fire for Mission “ (Lk 12: 49).  All the very best!  Bye, for now..! 

-Fr Jerry Rosario, SJ  

 

26 Jul 2016 - 19:35

A Universal Body for a Universal Mission

Renewing Structures of Jesuit Governance and Formation in South Asia

for Greater Apostolic Effectiveness

 

Wake up the world!” said Pope Francis to religious women and men.

And to us Jesuits Pope Benedict XVI said, “… the Church needs you, counts on you, and continues to turn to you with confidence, particularly to reach the geographical and spiritual places where others do not reach or find it difficult to reach.” (address to GC-35 on 21 February 2008)

Both Popes situate this clarion call in the context of the urgent global challenges that humanity and the Church face today.  We need to wake ourselves up, before we can wake up the world.

Need more effective structures!

There is a growing realization that our present governance structures, evolved to meet the challenges of an earlier age, do not adequately respond to the exigencies of today’s increasingly globalized world.  Hence GC-35 called for a serious process of Ignatian discernment in all the Provinces and Regions of the Society, in view of recovering the essential Ignatian-Jesuit spirit of “UNIVERSALITY”.  A spirit that is closely linked to our other characteristics: availability to be sent anywhere on mission, pioneering spirit that beckons us to the frontiers, excellence and creativity.  The theme will once again figure prominently in GC-36 later this year.

So, under the guidance of the Spirit, we have started on a journey together, to recover this essential Ignatian-Jesuit characteristic.  The journey began with the Phesama Statement the Jesuit Conference of South Asia (JCSA) adopted in October 2014.  “We are impelled to let go of even successful models, structures and attachments (personal and institutional) which block us from searching for … more universal availability. As we strive for renewal of our structures at the service of our mission, we remind ourselves that we are invited to creative fidelity, leaving aside all traces of mediocrity.  We call upon every member of the South Asian Assistancy to enter upon a process of Ignatian discernment to take up frontier missions with ‘commitment, competency and collaboration’.  We want to launch structural planning, at the province and the conference levels, keeping in mind the need to optimize our human and material resources.”

JCSA launches a Project

The JCSA then set up three Commissions to work in tandem on this project.  A team to guide a Spiritual Animation Process (SAP).  A Commission to study and propose possible models of governance suited to our specific situation.  A Commission to work on restructuring Jesuit formation.  Prof. Bernard D’Samy of Loyola College, Chennai, was requested to conduct a survey by which we would ascertain the mind of Jesuits in the field, on Universality and Restructuring.  The scope of this four-pronged approach to ensure that the project leads to concrete decisions to be implemented in practice.

In the preparatory phase of the entire process, in view of preparing a “core team” of animators of the proposed Spiritual Animation Process, twelve Jesuits, some of them experts in Ignatian spirituality, met in Delhi in September 2015.  These had a two-day intense experience of the process of prayer and sharing, following the dynamics of the Deliberation of the First Fathers (1539).  The purpose was to experience themselves the model of the process to be followed in animating all Jesuits of South Asia, in inter-province groups.

In all the meetings of this preparatory phase, there emerged a clear consensus among the participants as well as in the JCSA that the Spiritual Animation Process (SAP) is the principle and foundation of any restructuring at the practical level: to recover in practice the Ignatian/Jesuit characteristic of universality for greater apostolic effectiveness; the availability on the part of every Jesuit to be sent on mission to any place and any work, even to something for which one has not been trained, a characteristic intrinsic to our vocation, inseparably linked to the Fourth Vow, the Ignatian magis and excellence, pioneering spirit and creativity, characteristics that are deeply embedded in our history and tradition.  It was decided to start this process immediately, zone-wise in the whole assistancy, so that the proposals coming in due course from the other commissions would find a climate conducive to implementation.

Things begin to happen!

In the first major step in the SAP was the three-day colloquium in Kolkata, 3-6 December 2015.  43 Jesuits from all provinces of the Assistancy (except Kerala whose representatives could not reach Kolkata due to floods), experienced the bond of “Friends in the Lord” that the First Companions, coming from diverse national, cultural and personal backgrounds, had experienced in 1539.  It was not a seminar or discussion, but an Ignatian “spiritual conversation”, praying and sharing in small groups one’s interior movement of spirits.   Listening to the Spirit whispering in our hearts, listening to our companions, we re-discovered our shared heritage, our common identity. 

The participants, several of whom were confused and sceptical at first, were so deeply moved by the experience, that they themselves have become animators of a similar process in their respective provinces and zones.  In the last session devoted to planning for the future, each zone chose two zonal coordinators to organize several two-day cross-province SAP sessions and SAP retreats.

As intended by the JCSA, the SAP has indeed become a movement in the Assistancy, and not merely a set of isolated sessions here and there.  With gratitude we recognize the presence and action of the Holy Spirit as we look back and see that indeed much has happened since we started out nearly two years ago on this journey.  Until July, about 1200 Jesuits of South Asia have gone through this experience in 25 SAP sessions and 11 retreats, on the theme of universality and renewal of governance structures.  For the rest of this year, 21 SAPs and 10 retreats have been announced. The movement is indeed visible, a talking point among Jesuits. 

The other Commissions, too, have been working quietly yet systematically.  The Fernando Franco Commission (Models of Governance) and the Raj Irudaya Commission (Restructuring Formation), too, have prepared their draft reports to the JCSA.  Bernard D’Samy is collating and analysing the results of the survey.  On 25-29 August all the Commissions working on the different aspects of this project will meet to prayerfully review the progress made up to now, and to plan the next phase.

The grace we seek

The grace we seek through this Assistancy-wide search is personal and corporate conversion, a change of attitude from any narrow “provincial” vision that may block the needed change, to a vision of universality – always in view of greater apostolic effectiveness

Such a change of heart on the part of all Jesuits in the Assistancy is a necessary first step leading to a change in our governance structures that can effectively respond to the challenges to our mission today.  While a broad outline of possible models may gradually be emerging in our reflection, the final restructuring must take shape from this open-ended process, letting the Spirit guide us.

There can be no growth without the pain of letting go of what holds us frozen in past success-models that might have been necessary and useful once, but are no more relevant today.  Else we stagnate, refusing to move on, because we refuse the pain of giving up, of letting go, of changing and growing.

Every Jesuit has a stake in what will eventually be discerned as new models of governance in the Assistancy, including apostolic planning and allocation of resources on a more universal basis, even possible re-drawing of province boundaries.  The collective mind of the Jesuits at the grass-roots, emerging from this process of consultation and discernment, will guide the JCSA’s eventual decision on where the Spirit is leading us, – an important aspect of Ignatian decision-making in such important matters.  Ignatius believed that superiors do not have the monopoly of the Spirit, and that the promptings of the Spirit expressed through the voice of the companions is part of the process of discernment and decision-making.

Our rich legacy

On-going renewal of our structures of governance and formation for greater apostolic effectiveness is not something new in the Society of Jesus.  It is intrinsic to our very identity and our way of proceeding.  In the present context of the challenges to our mission that an increasingly globalised world throws up – a Kairos moment in the Church and in the Society of Jesus – this exercise assumes added significance and urgency.  Our governance and formation are at the service of mission; and mission is not something frozen and locked in the past.  In creative fidelity every General Congregation makes an Ignatian contemplation of the world and re-defines “Our Mission Today”.  Accordingly, the structures of our governance and formation, too, must be flexible, must change, lest they block rather than serve effective apostolic response.  New wine, new wineskins!

From its origin and through all its history, the Society is a universal apostolic body available for universal mission.  A Jesuit joins not a province, but the universal body of the Society. With this essential characteristic, the Society of Jesus has the built-in potential to dialogue with the globalised world of the 21st century.  Recalling our heritage and history in his address to the 32nd General Congregation on 3rd December 1974, Pope Paul VI challenged us with a definition of who we are: “Wherever in the Church, in the most difficult and extreme fields, in the cross-roads of ideologies, in the frontlines of social conflict, where there is a confrontation between the deepest aspirations of the human person and the perennial message of the Gospel, there have been and are Jesuits.” 

We keep our hearts and minds open to the Spirit, and not to allow ourselves to be “distracted” or influenced by any other consideration than to seek what the Spirit is asking of us.

 - Fr Julian Fernandes, SJ  

26 Jul 2016 - 16:48

An inspiring video from Educate Magis.    

https://youtu.be/cTNC4Pc1Xyg

Educate Magis is an Online community connecting Jesuit and Ignatian educators across the world.

It's motto is =

  • Collaborating
  • Empowering
  • Transforming

 

21 Jul 2016 - 09:20

George Pattery,sj (Provincial of South Asia)

 

Dear Friends in the Lord,

Pegged on the northern tip of Latin America and surrounded by Venezuela, Trinidad, and Barzil, Guyana is an amazing territory and a fascinating story! It celebrated its fiftieth anniversary of Independence on 26th May 2016. Geographically, a Latin American territory, sharing the Amazonian forest with Brazil, extending to the coastlands on the Atlantic and having large arid land in the interior, Guyana shares a history with India, Africa, Europe, China, Latin America and the Caribbean Islands and in a way lives them all in her peoples today. That makes it a fascinating and challenging place.

The ten days that I spent in Guyana was an apostolic adventure. Fr. Paul Martin (Regional Superior) had meticulously planned the tour to keep me on my feet for all the ten days and to help me taste the engagements of Jesuits in this region; I am immensely grateful to him and to all the Jesuits of Guyana region.

Having journeyed through Panama City and Port of Spain (Trinidad) I arrived in Georgetown (The Capital city of Guyana) from San Salvador, on 16th May and soon went with Paul Martin, sj (Regional Superior) for a courtesy call on Bishop Francis of Georgetown, visited the one time Jesuit school (St.Stanislaus), the Memorial site of Bernard Dark, sj who was murdered right in front of the school during the political upheaval in the seventies, and prayed at the Cathedral. At the social in the evening at Arrupe Hall - the residence of the Regional Superior, I had occasion to chat with Jesuits of Georgetown.

North West Mission.

Next day, with John Packiaraj (AND) I found myself traveling in a ten seater helicopter for an hour or so to Mabaruma in the North-West Amazonian region on Venezuelian border. At Hosororu, Amar Bage (RAN), Malcom Rodrigues and Innis Martin received us warmly at the all-wooden house made in Guyanian style. An hour long walk with seventy five year old Guyanese Jesuit Malcolm through the thick forest reached us to the boat bay and appetized us for lunch. Three hours’ boat ride in the after noon took us to the Venezuelian border;  all along river bank, there are mission stations where Amar goes for pastoral ministry to the Indigenous communities. It was both an exciting and daring trip, occasionally churning our stomachs up as the waves dangerously tilted our boat. Pastoral ministry in this region means long and daring travels by boat and ministering to the dispersed communities along the river banks. Large heart, good physical stamina and burning pastoral zeal marked Jesuit missionaries in this region.

At the river side on Venezuela border.

At the river side on Venezuela border On the following day, after another hour of Jet travel, we arrived back in Georgetown and a drive for two hours’ took us to Berbice, in the midland, to Britto Hall and parish where Jesuits run human development centre, reaching out to the poor and the unskilled of all religions. Berbice is a region predominantly of Indian origin people,  brought by the British as indentured laborers from U.P and Bihar, to work in the sugarcane farms. They are mostly Hindus and Muslims, with some new settlers from the Afro-origins. The Centre looks promising for a new paradigm of inter-religious dialogue for Guyana having a university centre close by. Guyana is religiously a very tolerant country. Ramesh Aravanan (KAR) Joachim D’Mello (GOA) and Mark Lakra (RAN) work in this Centre. Though Joachim (Superior) was away in Manresa attending the Ignatian Immersion Programme, I enjoyed the fruit of his labour of good papayas.

 

 

At Britto Hall Jesuit Community

I spent a pleasant evening over a Chinese meal with Edward (BRI) and Godfrey, a Guyanese Jesuit, engaged in pastoral ministry in the town.  Anil Tirkey (RAN), Tony D’Souza (now a Guyanese citizen, originally from Bombay province and the eldest of the Indians), Jerry Dias (KAR) and John Packiaraj (AND) are engaged in pastoral ministry in the city and suburban areas of Georgetown. Britto Arockiam (MDU) on the same team was away on home leave.

Lethem and Aishalton Missions.

Next day (20th May Friday) awaited a greater adventurous surprise – one and half Jet travel took us to Lethem on the border with Brazil and from there  four-hours’ drive through dusty and bumpy road on the trails led us to Aishalton – an interior mission with the Waphsiana Indigenous tribe. Varghese Puthussery (DUM) former provincial of Dumka and Edwin Anthony (KAR) are looking after this mission. Varghese has learned the Wapshiana language and has proposed an education model that seeks to include this tribal language in the curriculum. Guyana Govt is considering it seriously. On the Trinity Sunday we reflected on the imagery of Kanaku Mountains - as the abiding presence of the Father - Rupununi River - as the flowing power of the Spirit and the never-ending trails as Jesus the way. Resembling much the North Eastern tribal community, Waphsiana community is a joyful and promising group for the church in Guyana.

Another four hours drive took us back to Lethem, just before the rains that could have flooded the creeks on the road. At Lethem St.Ignatius mission is also the name of the village. Frs. Vellacada Poulose (KAR) and Fernandes Ronald (KAR) along with Abraham Andre (GUY) and Jim Conway (BRI) look after this mission. Next day morning along with Paul Martin, sj we drove to Karasabai into the interior village to meet with Jim Conway (BRI) the local superior and the Ranchi Ursuline sisters working in the mission. unfortunately, we could not travel to Kurukabaru, upon the interior mountains to meet Elias Surin (RAN). He is on his own in that mission; I would have been happy if I could have also met him, but for the time constraints.

 

With Ursuline srs at Karasabai (Guyana-Brazil border)

With Ursuline Sisters at Karasabai

Having completed the apostolic travels, we returned to Georgetwon after another Jet ride for one and half hours; at Arrupe community in Georgetown, we celebrated the concluding liturgy and dinner, just in time for me to pack and take a nap; Paul Martin drove me to the airport at 2 a.m. on 25th May for my flight to Barcelona/Manresa for my presentation at the Ignatian Immersion programme.

Untold story?

 Few Jesuits in South Asia (let alone provincials) know that since 2000, starting with Stanislaus Arul (MDU), 37 Jesuits, from 13 provinces in South Asia had served Guyana Region. At present there are 14 South Asian (Indian) Jesuits from 14 provinces working in Guyana, Joseph Raj (CCU) being the latest and the first addition from CCU. They are working in Coastal belt and in the suburban are in pastoral ministry, in far away interior mission along Amazon River banks on Venezuela border and in the interiors on Brazil border.

They are serving the Afro-origin, Indian origin, Indigenous and Chinese descendent people, especially in pastoral care that is very challenging and promising. There are altogether only 26 Jesuits in the country of which 24 are priests, one scholastic and one brother. Besides the Jesuits, there are only ten more priests in the whole diocese/country.

 

Rock Carvings in Aishalton

Rock Carvings in AihaltonThis untold story of South Asia has potential both for South Asia and Guyana Region. South Asian Jesuits have already initiated a model of intervention with the Indigenous community in terms of augmenting their culture, language and community living (Varghese Puthussery took the lead). This could be further strengthened with enthusiastic young Jesuits from South Asia joining the Region. Guyana also offers a platform to experiment a new paradigm of dialogue in the multi-cultural and multi-religious situation; this is more significant especially because ‘religions’ manifest greater tolerance and  collaboration in Guyana; however it looks to me that Catholic pastoral approach remains in the traditional ground. A third significant potential for Jesuits from South Asia is to introduce and to learn from non-formal education pedagogy, interacting with Fe y Alegria model.

Guyana as a juridical entity in the Society is looking out to Latin American Conference for greater support; it is actively searching for collaboration with Antilles in the Caribbean belt; it is depending upon South Asia for Jesuit personnel resource; Britain continues its link and support for Guyana.   

 

 

I hope that active dialogue with and collaboration between Guyana and JCSA will continue and get strengthened in the days to come. This is an invitation to South Asian Jesuits to volunteer for Guyana Mission; we are a universal body for the same universal mission.

Thank you Guyana; thank you Jesuits of Guyana Region; thank you South Asian Jesuits for your missionary zeal.


 

14 Jun 2016 - 07:53

 

-Sch. Lloyd SJ

As companions of Jesus sent into today´s world, a world characterized by religious pluralism, we have a special responsibility to promote interreligious dialogue. Thus keeping in mind the richness of theother faith traditions and in order to make it more practical for the young scholastics in the formation, a four day interfaith seminar was organized by Islamic Studies Association. It was held at Hyderabad in coordination with the Henry Martin Institute, International Center for Research, interfaith Relations and Reconciliation. Beside our daily Eucharist, every day the program began with interfaith prayer service conducted by our brothers and sisters of other faith. It was indeed an enriching experience to come together and pray to one God in Vedic, Islamic and Sikh faith traditions. Our spirits elevated and hearts were raised to praise God as we sat together under one roof.

The workshop basically included a Spiritual animation process in dialogue through various inputs given by Tom SJ on GC decrees and Victor Edwin SJ on the church documents like Nostra AeatateRedemptoris Missio etc. We reflected on a number of key sentences from the aforementioned documents in order to realize and experience the ‘spirit’ of the documents. We recognized the challenge to mould our lives for mission in the milieu of diverse faiths.  Focused discussion and sharing helped us to appropriate the key learning from the process. The focus on the process helped us to personalize what we learnt during the workshop.  

Fr. Joe Kalathil talked to us about the ‘Children for Peace’ an initiative that he has taken for peace between Pakistan and India. Deep conviction that ‘peace is possible’ and an equally deep confidence that God will provide for sustains him in this ministry, he told us. We were deeply inspired and touched by his personal sharing and experiences. 

We went to participate in an evening ‘Qawwali’ in a sufi dargah. Qawwali is performed mainly at Sufi shrines throughout South Asia. We also participated in a sufi meditation called ‘dhikar’.  ‘Dhikar’ is one of the sufi practices of devotion where Muslims repeat short prayers in a rhythmically often aloud. For Sufis, it is a way to attain enlightenment and union with God.  A Sufi and his son came and conducted this meditation for us. It was a spiritual experience for us. 

We also had an opportunity to interact with the faculty of Islamic Studies at Maulana Azad National Urdu University and a visit to Buddha vihar. We had good conversation in both places. Though we were very few in numbers but we could enjoy the companionship of one another and also made some new friends belonging to other Churches and other faiths. 


 

11 Jun 2016 - 06:59

 

VIDYAJYOTI  INAUGURATES  ITS  REGIONAL CENTRE FOR DISTANCE

EDUCATION IN THEOLOGY IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

 

Yet another milestone in Vidyajyoti’s history of theological education and formation of laity, clergy and religious! The Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia had invited Vidyajyoti College of Theology, Delhi, to start an overseas regional centre for the Distance Education Programme in Theology (DEPTh), in order to cater to the increasing needs of the Church in Malaysia.  Responding to this invitation, Dr. Fr. P.T. Mathew, the then director of DEPTh, meticulously worked out the procedural details with Dr. Fr. Clarence Devadoss, Director of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Institute of Kuala Lumpur (KL).  The enthusiasm of the people of God in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur is contagious and encouraging, and the response has already been overwhelming and beyond everyone’s imagination and many more are in the waiting list.  Formal inauguration of the “Distance Education Programme in Theology” was held on 4th June 2016 in Loyola Hall in St. Francis Xavier Church, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

His Grace Julian Leow Beng Kim, Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, was the chief guest for the inaugural function. In his keynote address, he emphasized on the need to learn theology in order to deepen one’s faith and to take active part in building ecclesial communities.  Dr. Fr. Clarence, the director of the regional centre in KL, explained the dynamics of the entire programme and highlighted that the purpose of study of theology is not merely to expand one’s knowledge but to expand one’s love of God and neighbour.  He also invited the students to take seriously the ‘Dual Mode’ method of learning - contact classes and learning at home - and to work with self-discipline to reach the goal of obtaining a Diploma in Theology.  Dr. Fr. Rajakumar Joseph, the Director of the Distance Education Programme in Theology (DEPTh), spoke about the evolution of theology from the life context of early Christian Communities and stressed the importance to bring theology to public sphere by involving more and more laity in learning and integrating theology in day to day life situation. Hence the distance education programme in theology becomes vital and the need of the hour.

The main purpose of the Distance Education Programme of Theology (DEPTh) is to empower the laity in their theological journey and to deepen their faith and understanding of the Scripture and Tradition. Above all else, DEPTh is a ‘life-in-God’ enrichment programme, which aims at increasing the participation of the laity in forming and building ecclesial communities.

Now the distance education in theology is available online to students both in India and overseas.  It is time to expand theological education and engagement to the best extent possible and not to look back. May God bless this new venture so that many more particular Churches, in the days to come, benefit from it and thereby spread further and farther the Reign of God.

You can contact us: www.vjdepth.in

Rajakumar Joseph S.J,
Vidya Jyoti College of Theology.

 

10 Jun 2016 - 10:25

In US, Jesuit novitiates report doubling in number of young men applying to enter

June 6, 2016

More people, particularly the youth are discovering their growing attraction to St. Ignatius de Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, primarily because of the popularity of Pope Francis.

"There is real interest in St. Ignatius brought about by the wonderful work of Pope Francis," explained Jesuit Communications head Father Emmanuel Alfonso in a recent press conference about "Ignacio de Loyola," a biopic telling part of the Jesuit founder's life story.

"That comes from the power of the Gospel that is Pope Francis," said Father Alfonso, who was with JesCom creative director Pauline Mangilog-Saltarin, the film's director Paolo Dy, and lead actor Andreas Munoz during the press briefing.

According to Father Alfonso, the fact that in the U.S. alone Jesuit novitiates report a doubling in the number of young men applying to enter the congregation validates the so-called Pope Francis effect.

| Courtesy:UCANnews.com |


 

7 Jun 2016 - 09:51

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