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‘Karwan-e-mohabbat’ was an unusual journey of love, atonement and solidarity led by Harsh Mander - a committed, genuine voice of protest. It was a different type of journey: to atone for the mob lynching violence infl icted upon innocent people. Starting from Assam, winding through West Bengal, Jharkhand, Delhi, UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and ndhra Pradesh, the journey ended in Delhi. It was very courageous and magnanimous on the part of Vidyajyoti College of Theology (Delhi) to participate in this journey; seven of their students joined this ‘karwan’ as a sign of solidarity with the victims of mob violence. They were with the people in their protest voice; they were with them to atone for the violence; they were with them in solidarity! Thank you friends for this witness of Jesuit collaboration! Inviting the majority community to atone for the atrocities infl icted upon the minorities in the name of ‘manufactured religious nationalism’,
the journey revived memories of non-violent, selfsuffering pedagogy of Gandhiji. Contesting the ideology of colonialism Gandhi pursued satyagrahaholding onto truth to the point of death; today we
take forward the unfi nished agenda of our freedom struggle, namely to contest ‘fundamentalism’. GC 36 speaks of collaboration and networking. Supporting ‘Karwan-e-mohabbat’ meant a unique
kind of collaboration and a new type of networking with people by visiting the homes of victims, a new path for reconciliation. The voice of Harsh Mander is fi rm and clear. “As lynching threatens to
grow into a national epidemic, Indian Muslims are learning to endure an intense sense of foreboding – a lurking, unnamed, unspoken fear. In tribal regions, Christian people feel a mounting dread.
Dalits, who have so long lived with everyday violence and humiliation, are fearful of attacks for pursuing their caste vocation of skinning cows. How culpable are we when our brothers and sisters
are burned and lynched and we stand by? We need to interrogate the reasons for our silences, for our failures to speak out, and to intervene, when murderous hate is unleashed on innocent lives.
We need our conscience to ache. We need it to be burdened intolerably.” Thank you Harsh Mander for this prophetic stance. 

 

Curtesy: JIVAN

 

23 Nov 2017 - 03:03
St. Lawrence High School, Kolkata and St. Lawrence Old Boys Association (SLOBA) together are nominated for the prestigious Peace and Sport Award under “April6 Initiative of the Year” category. [International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) is celebrated on April 6th ]  

This happens to be the only Indian nomination and the only school in among all nomination categories.

The top three April 6th celebrations  in the world are nominated for the award out of 680 initiatives in 80 different countries in 5 continents.  The winner will be selected by a Jury Committee and announced during the Peace and Sport Awards Ceremony that will take place on Thursday, 7 of December 2017in the presence of H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco during 10th edition of the Peace and Sport International Forum in Monaco.

The event will gather more than 600 participants from 110 different countries and is the only Forum in the world bringing together all the actors involved in the peace through sport movement. Among the several high-levels speakers that will be present are 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Mr. Muhammad YunusUEFA Champions League winner, four-time Premier League Champion Mr. Didier Drogba and other Champions for Peace from international sport arena.
 

Nomination in the other categories includes International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), Badminton World Federation (BWF), Björn Borg Brand, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, FC Barcelona FoundationLa Fondation Paris Saint Germain, The PyeongChang Organizing Committee of the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Juan Mata (famous Man U footballer) and other international organizations.
 

http://www.peace-sport.org/news/peace-and-sport-awards-nominees-anticipate-a-difficult-choice-for-jury/

   
 

St. Lawrence’s initiative was a symbolic gesture by bringing together more than 2,000 students, teachers, staff and alumni to hold white cards, the Peace through Sport symbol. The purpose of the initiative was to help the children learn the essence of maintaining a perfect balance of studies and sports but also help them learn the important traits of sportsmanship, tolerance and mostly peaceful coexistence. 

We also educated our students on the history behind celebration of IDSDP on April 6th and Olympic Day on June 23. Olympic values and its importance was also promoted during the event. 
 

On that day, the logo of ‘Expression 2017’ was released. ‘Expression 2017’ was an international painting competition organized by St. Lawrence High School, in association with their alumni St. Lawrence Old Boys’ Association (SLOBA) and it took place on Olympic Day, Friday, 23 June 2017. 'Expression 2017' was supported by International Olympic Committee (IOC) and various other national and international organisation. It was covered in Olympic Channel.   

 

Video clippings  of our April 6th initiative: 
http://tinyurl.com/y7jcx8z7  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=Dc6lgAW6rBo 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1KsZVqr92k 

Also attached are some media clippings from the initiative.

We also like to let you know that a class 4 student Trishan Das of St. Lawrence High School will be speaking in the Peace and Sport forum on how children can contribute to peace and sport movement in front of Nobel laureate, members of IOC, United Nations, Heads of States and leaders of international sports federations. St. Lawrence management and alumni will also be represented in the forum. 

Please feel free to contact us for any information.

Looking forward to your support as always.

Sincerely yours, 

Rahul Mukherji
Governing Body Member - SLOBA
27 Ballygunge Circlular Road
Kolkata 700019
Cell : +91 9874477200
Email: expression@stlawrencehighschool.edu.in 

 
23 Nov 2017 - 02:43

 

It was a celebration with a difference on Saturday when hundreds of students and teachers from 22 schools began harvesting of organic rice at Tarumitra (friends of trees) farm in the capital of Bihar.

With traditional sickles in their hands, students assisted by their teachers spent hours at the organic farm and harvested organic rice like millions of farmers across the state.

"It was a rare experience for us as students, thanks to the initiative by Tarumitra," Nandini, one of the students who joined others to harvest organic rice, said.

Another student said it was his first experience of harvesting in a farm. "Really, it was something different. I will not forget it and will spread the message of organic farming."

Most of the students in their respective colourful school uniforms gathered at Tarumitra, a student movement to protect and promote a healthy environment on earth, and joined harvesting of organic rice in the adjacent field.

Father Robert Athickal, the man behind Tarumitra, said students were involved and motivated to join us in harvesting of organic rice to make them understand agriculture, environment and impact of climate change.

"These students are future of the country. If they develop interest in organic farming, it will pave the way for a sustainable agriculture growth.

"Tarumitra has been promoting organic rice by cultivating in its organic farm and creating awareness for organic rice by engaging students, teachers and farmers in rural areas," he said.

Tarumitra got into organic farming seven years back to bring health back to the dining table, he added.

Athickal told IANS that Tarumitra had been cultivating organic rice varieties of Mirchaiya, Manipuri and Jhilli, and also near-extinct varieties of paddy were being cultivated through organic methods.

"We are not using any type of chemical fertilisers at all. Our cultivation of organic rice is real. It is fully based on organic substances prepared by the members of Tarumitra."

He said in a bid to avoid any use of pesticides, the Tarumitra members got dry branches of trees planted all over the field to attract Drongo birds which ate up many of the insects and thus controlled the pests.

"It is an old practice that we have been reviving for cultivation without pesticides."

Devopriya, one of the officials of Tarumitra, said students gathered for harvesting organic rice were upbeat and expressed happiness over learning many things related to agriculture and organic farming for the first time.

She said: "Excited to get an opportunity, nearly 250 students, including locals and from Delhi and abroad, participated in the Organic Rice Plantation Festival last July. They got into wet, slushy and muddy field and actually planted rice seedlings."

Three rare varieties of paddy were sown this year, namely BaunaMansuri, Kunjunju and Kakshan.

Veteran organic farmer trained in Japan, Margaret Molomoo, who supervises the entire organic farming, said it was time to take a break from the pesticide-laden rice cultivation which was further enervated by the heavily expensive chemical fertilisers.

"Poison is flowing out of our farms. It is high time we shifted our focus to organic farming -- the only available option," she said.

 (Courtesy:  Business Standard. First Published: Sat, November 18 2017. 21:02 ISThttp://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/hundreds-of-students-...)

 

19 Nov 2017 - 15:05

Some of the past awardees include The Dalai Lama, Malala Yousefzai, Medicine Sans Frontiers, Anna Hazare, and Colin Gonsalves.

 
 
 

 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been named as the recipient of the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice, 2017 as an acknowledgement of its exceptional work worldwide, it was announced here on Thursday.

The UNHCR provides humanitarian aid to innumerable people internally displaced by conflicts and helping stateless people all over the world, said Harmony Foundation Chairman Abraham Mathai, which has instituted the only official award in memory of Mother Teresa, who attained sainthood in September 2016.

"The UNHCR has and continues to showcase to the world the true essence of humanitarianism through the life-changing works it does globally. We salute its committed, compassionate and courageous humanitarian work in dangerous and challenging regions of the world," Mathai told IANS.

Referring to Harmony Foundation's theme for 2017 - Compassion Beyond Borders, he said UNHCR epitomizes the theme so beautifully with the sheer bravery of its workers and volunteers who tirelessly work in crisis areas globally.

Instituted in 2005, the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice will be presented to the UNHCR at a function here on December 10, celebrating the unique legacy and global imprint of the woman known as the Saint of The Gutters during her lifetime, said Mathai.

As part of the awards ceremony, a Harmony International Conference to create awareness and action in the international community will be organized that day, with the participation of leaders from different fields.

Some of the past awardees include The Dalai Lama, Malala Yousefzai, Medicine Sans Frontiers, Anna Hazare, Colin Gonsalves, among many other individuals and organisations working in different fields in India and globally, said Mathai.

10 Nov 2017 - 07:10

A Jesuit Among Sufis authored by Paul Jackson and published by Gujarat Sahitya Prakash was released in a public function organised by Interfaith Coalition for Peace in Delhi on 13 October 2017. Janab Zafar Mahmood, President, Zakat Foundation released the book and the first copy was received by Dr Packiam T. Samuel, the Director of Henry Martyn Institute, Hyderabad. Fr. Keith Abranches SJ and Associate Professor Ms Kurshid Khan both spoke on the occasion commending the commitment of Fr Paul Jackson to dialogue with Muslims and his contribution to the field of Asian Sufism. Janab Mahmood chaired the session and thanked Paul Jackson in his concluding remarks for making available in English the spiritual treasurers of Sufi Saint Sharfudin Maneri that remained locked in the difficult Persian Sufi texts to a wider audience. 

 

10 Nov 2017 - 07:04

October 2017

2017_10_15_Reflection_Photo1

The Jesuit Conference of Canada and the US developed a new ecological examen Reconciling God, Creation, and Humanity with the Ignatian Solidarity Network as a reflection tool to help individuals and institutions to engage more deeply in caring for creation and promoting ecological justice.

The examen heeds Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’ to care for creation and to reconcile our relationship with God, creation, and one another as expressed in the 36th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus.  It asks us to reflect on our personal relationship with creation, to acknowledge and amend our ways, and to promote ecological justice by standing in solidarity with those most affected by environmental harm.

The five sections of the examen – gratitude, awareness, understanding, conversion, and reconciliation – and the final prayer are briefly put together in a one-page summary:

  1. I give thanks to God for creation and for being wonderfully made. Where did I feel God’s presence in creation today?
  2. I ask for the grace to see creation as God does – in all its splendor and suffering.Do I see the beauty of creation and hear the cries of the earth and the poor?
  3. I ask for the grace to look closely to see how my life choices impact creation and the poor and vulnerable.What challenges or joys do I experience as I recall my care for creation?  How can I turn away from a throwaway culture and instead stand in solidarity with creation and the poor?
  4. I ask for the grace of conversion towards ecological justice and reconciliation.Where have I fallen short in caring for creation and my brothers and sisters?  How do I ask for a conversion of heart?
  5. I ask for the grace to reconcile my relationship with God, creation and humanity, and to stand in solidarity through my actions.How can I repair my relationship with creation and make choices consistent with my desire for reconciliation with creation?
  6. I offer a closing prayer for the earth and the vulnerable in our society.

Fr Timothy Kesicki, SJ, President of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the US, provides a video introduction  to the ecological examen and shares that “the beauty of the examen is that it takes repetition.  Our relationship with God takes time, and in that relationship, we’re called to conversion.”

This Ecological Examen is a tool for prayer, reflection and action as individuals in their home, parish, school, university or community deepen our call to care for creation and the most vulnerable.  Those interested are invited to join the Ignatian family in seeking a conversion of heart to embrace ecological justice and Pope Francis’ call to care for our common home.

26 Oct 2017 - 09:31

Father General Arturo Sosa says Jesuit schools are a magnificent platform for listening to and serving the youth. Father General said this on 20 October, 2017 in Rio di Janeiro where he addressed the International Congress for Jesuit Education (JESEDU-Rio2017). Addressing the more than 100 Jesuits and collaborators from around the world, Father General reminded them that "Education and schools in particular, are part of the Society's missionary tradition." 
JESEDU-Rio2017, Father General said, "is an expression of the thanks we give to God and our benefactors in this area, an affirmation of the importance of the educational apostolate and a push to seek the audacity of the impossible that can carry us even further."
Fr Sosa recalled that his predecessors, Frs. Pedro Arrupe and Peter-Hans Kolvenbach had often stated that the purpose of Jesuit education was "to train men and women for others and with others." He noted JESEDU-Rio2017 was important as it brought together people serving in traditional education institutions and those serving in "new institutional models, born to offer quality education to the poor and excluded, such as Fe y Alegría, Cristo Rey, or Nativity Schools, in addition to the educational services offered by the JRS, enrich the Society of Jesus' educational apostolate in the world."
Father General reminded the participants that "Our mission comes from the Christian faith. It is a service of reconciliation and justice born of the life of Christ, and it must be completed in his way, according to the conditions of our world."  11 delegates from South Asia actively participated in this important meeting organised by ICAJE.

26 Oct 2017 - 09:12

“To love God in all things and all things in Him”

After a little rest, the participants returned to the normal schedule for the fourth workday where they engaged in a deep reflection on the formation in social justice and integral ecology in the framework of Jesuit Education. Fr. Benny Juliawan, SJ, Secretary of the Social Apostolate and Coordinator for the Migrants Network in the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific, gave the Congress’ third keynote presentation, in which he emphasized the importance of forming students to promote social justice and integral ecology.

His keynote also allowed the participants to discuss the dominating global trends that represent greater challenges facing Jesuit Education. This is the case of the growing socio-environmental crisis that affects everyone and against which Fr. Benny proposed a plan for ecological conversion. This plan is a process that starts from gaining consciousness of the current crises and of the need to transform reality: a consciousness that generates new individual and groups behaviors that facilitate social change. Addressing social justice and ecology within the context of our educational centers is of utmost importance to achieve the transformation the we so desire and need. What can we concretely do from our Jesuit schools to respond to these crises?Ecology JESEDU

The discussion that followed elicited several themes. The first point centered on a wide way of looking at education, in which students are conceived as co-educators that form part of this educational project. The students are integrated within this project serving as educators, along with their parents and teachers. As a second point, there was a consensus expressed among the group that we desire that our students be intellectually, ethically and spiritually mature, just as they should ask questions, question their culture and the reality around them. That they be hope-filled students committed to transforming the world.

The conversation uncovered a felt sense among the participants that ecological education and global citizenship should be pillars in the curriculum in order to contribute to the formation of conscious individuals. Along the same lines, participants highlighted the importance of incorporating ecology and caring for our common home in the curriculum, starting from daily practices in the schools. In regards to this, a few people referred to materials produced by different entities within the Society that promote ecological strategies that we should take advantage of.Ecology JESEDU

Throughout the conversation a specific reference was made to the challenge we have to go beyond the notion of education as a business, which is an approach used by many educational networks. Jesuit Education represents a viable alternative to this conception, offering an integral proposal that privileges the formation in counter-cultural values, emphasizing social justice and integral ecology. How can we be innovators in education and formation?

During the course of today’s work, two presentations of experiences were noteworthy. The first experience was a virtual presentation by Fr. Michael Garanzini, SJ, Secretary of Higher Education for the Society of Jesus, who shared with us the vision and plan of the higher education centers, encouraging a greater collaboration with the secondary education centers to be able to better serve together. The second presentation was offered by Dr. Michael Schuck, theology professor at Loyola University Chicago (USA), in which he shared with us the Healing Earth project. It is an online book of environmental sciences based in the tradition of Jesuit education that is being used by various school and universities around the world.

Part of the morning session was joined by Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, and his assistant for Latin America South, Fr. Claudio Paul, SJ. Tomorrow Fr. General will celebrate Mass with us and will deliver a speech to the Provincial Assistants for Education and the representatives of the Jesuit educational networks.ecology day JESEDU Rio

 

20 Oct 2017 - 12:00

“What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What must I do for Christ?” Spiritual Exercises #53, Ignatius of Loyola

Our decision to come to Rio de Janeiro was a result of discernment, because Rio is a city that reflects the complexity of the regions and the world in which we live and work. On Wednesday, there was a change to the general structure of the Congress. At the end of the sending Mass, presided by Fr. Hugo Alexis Moreno, SJ, president of FLACSI, the participants left the Congress location to partake in a day of spiritual experience and pilgrimage, with the invitation to contemplate our world with the eyes of God.pilgrimage JESEDU

While our participants traversed Rio they were animated to reflect on our whole world in its complexity and diversity. The Jesuit education delegates divided into five groups, accompanied by Jesuit scholastics and lay collaborators who helped to facilitate the pilgrimage experience. They visited three places in the southern part of Rio de Janeiro, a city of 6.3 million people.

During the pilgrimage we visited the community of Santa Marta, former property of the Colegio Santo Inácio and located just behind it. At the beginning of the 20th century, its occupation began, first by the families of the workers who were building the church and later by families  from across the country. It eventually became one of the 730 so-called favelas in the city. It is a community dominated by high levels of social vulnerability and has a school at the foot of the hill which receives around 200 children up to the age of 6. The participants received a tour of the school and had a view of the Santa Marta community in its entirety. This was the first pilgrimage site.Pilgrimage JESEDU RioPilgrimage JESEDUpilgrimage JESEDU

The second pilgrimage site was the well-known Christ the Redeemer statue situated on the Corcovado hill. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro, from which you have a complete view of the city. On one side, you can observe the Bahia of Guanabara with its islands and surrounding area. On the other side, you can see the city between the mountains and the ocean: people, construction projects, streets, buses, the hectic life of a city that does not stop. Tourism plays an important role, as one of the largest sources of income for the city. Corcovado is an impressive place for visitors to have such a view. A place where one can contemplate the city of Rio in its contrasts, a place that manifests the city’s inequalities in which we live. God, what do you want us to do?JESEDU RIo

The pilgrimage concluded in the Botanical Garden where the five groups gathered together for the final moment of reflection in a vast green space, emphasizing the importance of ecological consciousness and caring for our common home.JESEDU

Today our participants left as pilgrims, not as tourists, to find themselves in the city and its voices. Each destination played an important role but the central focus was on the journey in the Ignatian style. Seeking, listening, observing, reflecting. While the tourist looks, the pilgrim engages. The participants contemplated the lights and shadows, the wealth and poverty, the heart-wrenching inequality. It was a profoundly spiritual experience. A morning of prayer and reflection, of journeying between suffering and hope, of looking at the world with the eyes of God, seeking for that which God asks of us as individuals, as schools, as a global educational network.

Participants came back a little tired due to walking around in the sun, but they returned inspired and challenged to collaborate in the construction of a more humane and just world, a world where peace and reconciliation become reality. And the question of Ignatius of Loyola resonates within us: What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What must I do for Christ?

 

www.educatemagis.org

19 Oct 2017 - 11:28

“Every good Christian ought to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a neighbor’s statement than to condemn it.” Spiritual Exercises #22, Ignatius of Loyola

JESEDU-Rio2017 is well underway! Beginning our second full-day with morning prayer, participants reflected on a passage from the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, in which Pope Francis emphasizes the role of interreligious dialogue in promoting peace in our world. It was a fitting way to move into today’s theme of interreligious dialogue in education.

The speaker today, Fr. Vincent Sekhar, SJ, member of the Institute of Dialogue with Cultures and Religions at Loyola College in Chennai, India, emphasized that interreligious dialogue should form an integral part of Jesuit Education in responding to a secular world and to growing fundamentalism: signs of the times that are increasingly shaping our current societies. With regards to this, he stressed that Ignatian spirituality facilitates the transformation of education in our schools and among all those who form part of our educational centers. Fr. Vincent also reminded us that interreligious dialogue and reconciliation run through the very veins of the Society of Jesus and its various ministries, and go beyond studying other religions. It involves being open to others and their experience of God and having a more inclusive attitude towards other religious experiences. It is a process of learning and of exchange, of tolerance and celebration that provides a peaceful and inclusive space in order to promote coexistence and mutual understanding.

Today’s discussion following Fr. Vincent’s presentation allowed us to see the wide variety of local contexts and realities where the participants have come from. Without a doubt, interreligious dialogue is a challenge. How to approach religion or how to address one’s experience of God depends significantly on one’s local context. Nevertheless, in a world increasingly characterized by globalization, how do we prepare our students to be a part of a global context? As a global network, it is an obligation and an undeniable reality that we need to always have present the global context.

Speaking from their particular experiences and contexts, participants discussed the importance of the language we use in regards to interreligious dialogue. The call to move forward in the direction of “interreligious action”, where the starting point is a common experience of working and acting together, had strong resonance. The notion that we can face the realities in our cities and countries as a global network represents a profound consolation.Interreligious Dialogue JESEDU

Continuing to strengthen our global network must focus on an education that promotes respect, tolerance, inclusion and dialogue among diverse cultures, religions and social realities. Our capacity to build bridges and dismantle barriers between faith traditions and between different realities constitutes a distinctive feature of Jesuit Education that our global network should continue to expand and deepen, so that our students can have a global and diverse outlook in their mission transform the world.

 

Educate Magis

 

18 Oct 2017 - 10:45

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