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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Irudya Jothi SJ

9 Apr 2018 - 06:44

Say no to divisive forces: Bishops 

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

By Matters India Reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9 Apr 2018 - 05:52



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



31 Mar 2018 - 15:46

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

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

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

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

29 Mar 2018 - 19:22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

28 Mar 2018 - 07:10

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

27 Mar 2018 - 14:11

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

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

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

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

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

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

George Pattery,sj


22 Mar 2018 - 17:30


In order to promote writing skills among the Juniors of our Assistancy, we conduct every year competitions in essay writing and short story. The topic of the essay competition this year is: “A Jesuit Response to the Prevailing Climate of Divisiveness, Hate and Intolerance”. Short story could be written on any theme. Each Juniorate conducts the competitions among its Juniors and the best two essays and two short stories are selected as entries to the final competition at the Assistancy level. I am happy to announce the results of the competitions held this academic year.

On behalf of the Assistancy I heartily congratulate the winners of the first, second and third places and equally do I appreciate all the Juniors who took part in these competitions. I am grateful to all the Deans of the Juniorate for having encouraged and conducted this to promote writing skills among our Juniors. May they continue to develop their writing skills to communicate the values of life.

  • Raj Irudaya, S.J.








Sch. Dominic Dukru, S.J. (KHM)



Sch. Abhay Kispotta, S.J. (MAP)



Sch. Aaron D’Lima, S.J.  (KAR)









Sch. Brennan Baptista, S.J.  (BOM)



Sch. Sushil Hansda, S.J. (DUM)



Sch. Dominic Sebastian, S.J.  (AND)



22 Mar 2018 - 08:42


Father General Arturo Sosa inaugurated the Jubilee Year of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga at the Church of Saint Ignatius in Rome, on 9 March. About 100 priests concelebrated with Father General, and a large congregation participated in the Mass. The Aloysian Jubilee Year will run from 9 March 2018 to 9 March 2019.

Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591) gave up a privileged life and a princely inheritance to live the vows of religious life even to the point of contracting the plague because of his selfless care for people already sick with it. He was the eldest son of the Marquis of Castiglione, and heir to the family title. The Gonzagas were known as patrons of Renaissance artists, and they ruled what amounted to a kingdom.

Below is Father General's homily at the inauguration of the Aloysian Jubilee Year.

Fr Arturo Sosa, S.I.
Inauguration of the Jubilee Year of Aloysius Gonzaga
Homily - 9 March 2018
Church of Saint Ignatius

The youthfulness of Saint Louis Gonzaga is not only a matter of age. It is youth that comes from freedom, the freedom to discern to make decisions in harmony with God's plan, and the willingness to lead a life consistent with the choice made. For this reason, we welcome the happy coincidence of the dates of the Aloysian Jubilee Year, the death of Stanislao Kostka, the Synod on youth, faith and vocational discernment, and the World Youth Day.

The freedom that makes us young people is the result of the liberation that humanity receives from the Incarnation and Resurrection of Jesus. Jesus, the Son, who became one of us, opens the way to liberation, the fruit of love that gives life, because we all have life in abundance. The encounter of every human being with Jesus frees him from everything that prevents him from following the path of the gift of love. The encounter with Jesus changes our way of seeing, what our narrow gaze has imposed upon us.

Liberation in Christ invites us to take the paths we have never imagined before. Roads that we do not know where they will lead us; but it is not necessary to know because this acquired freedom derives from faith, it derives from trust placed only in God, who will guide us with his Holy Spirit. Freedom consists in maintaining our entire trust in God alone, and in letting ourselves be guided towards Him along the paths that he wants to reveal to us at the time.

From the moment he was liberated in Christ, Saint Paul can affirm: I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. (Phil. 3:8-9)

To make oneself young, leaving infancy behind, means to go out of oneself, to accept that the centre of real life lies outside of us, in the love that we have received. The experience of being loved is the source of the liberation process, with which it is possible to make fundamental decisions. To make an election, in the language of Ignatian spirituality. Young people dream of a different life, better than the one they know around them. Inner freedom awakens the desire to contribute to making this better life real, and leads to the need to choose a way to do so.

Youthfulness is also the ability to discern in such a way as to find, in one's inner movements and in the experiences of one's own history, how the Lord continues to act in the world and confirms the call to follow him. The call to help reconcile human beings with one another, and to take care of our common home, this universe in which we live with such neglect, and also with Him, our creator.

Discernment demands that we live free from the rules that impose offerings and sacrifices on us in the name of God. That we follow love as the only way of true life and the only commandment, as the scribe who asks Jesus to understand well: "Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." (Mk 12:32-33). This is what Ignatius calls indifference to any social, family or other kind of pressure that limits the willingness to set out on the road, having as sole guide the Holy Spirit.

Freeing oneself is a process of conversion, through which the experience of the Father's merciful love allows the forgiven sinner to prepare oneself to love one's neighbour as oneself, to listen to the Son's call to offer oneself, to contribute to the proclamation of the Good News of the Gospel. Freedom, experienced as indifference, brings us closer to others, to those who are different, to those who are most in need... to all those who are discarded by a sin that has become a social structure of exclusion. By approaching them as fruit of having experienced the closeness of the Lord, we make ourselves close and ready to be sent, so that we may in all things love and serve.

Young people also have enthusiasm and a strong desire to dedicate themselves totally to accomplishing what has been chosen. For the young man, the liberating experience of mercy, which frees him, is not enough. The conversion that leads him to choose to follow Christ and be sent is not enough. The young man puts all his energy into making real what he has dreamed, desired and decided to do. The young man, as the verse of the Psalm says, which composes the antiphon of today's Eucharist, is the one who has innocent hands and pure heart: he will ascend to the mountain of the Lord, and will remain in his holy place. Innocent hands and pure hearts are the fruit of conversion, which leads to freedom and the desire to love and serve in everything. It is to set out on the road and climb to the mountain of the Lord, collaborating with his mission of reconciliation in this world.

The Eucharist that we celebrate to start this Jubilee Year of St. Aloysius Gonzaga is a good opportunity to ask the Lord for the grace of this youth, with which our heart remains in tune with His plan for the liberation of humanity, and we give ourselves totally to make it possible.

Translated from Italian


21 Mar 2018 - 17:19

Pope Francis surprised us in Dhaka: ‘God’s presence is Rohingyas,’ he said. This is a remarkable challenge for us in 2018. We, the Jesuits of South Asia, respond to this challenge by committing ourselves to the Rohingyas sheltered in Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh, through JRS. Frs. Jeyaraj Veluswamy and Francis Dores (Calcutta Jesuits, the latter from Bangladesh) are spearheading this mission with the active support from Joe Xavier (Deputy Director, JRS International) and Stan Fernandes (Regional Director, JRS South Asia). We undertake this mission in partnership with Caritas Bangladesh. We wish them well and promise our continued support. South Asian Assistancy is in the process of consolidating the three confluences that we have been witnessing in the last three years: 1) Re-orienting for Greater Apostolic Effectiveness (REGAE Phase I & II); 2) GC 36 Decree on ‘Reconciliation and Justice’, and 3) Apostolic priorities with strategic support from the Assistancy Development Office. These are mutually influencing each other and leading to a consolidation phase. It is happening in three distinct ways: 1) The Second Phase of REGAE is advancing with zonal level consultation animated by Franco Fernando; 2) GC 36 Decree on Reconciliation is being followed up with a Nodal Platform on Peace and Reconciliation based at the LIPI Centre (Kochi) with close collaboration from Indian Social Institute in Delhi; 3) Apostolic priorities are getting focused with emphasis on the three pillars of non-formal education, skills-building and ecology mission. The consolidation phase will get further strengthened with the on-going processes of discernment in all the Provinces and Regions on Universal Apostolic Priorities. We enter upon this consolidation process with discernment in common as our way that will take us to greater collaboration and net-working. Let us study and deepen ‘Discernment in Common’ in 2018. At GC 36 we were introduced to ‘spiritual conversation’ with active listening and intentional speaking as effective means of discernment in common. Let our meetings and deliberations be permeated by a discerning attitude so as to arrive at decisions that are owned up and carried forward by all. May the God of surprises visit us throughout this year with numerous unexpected graces in the process of consolidation.


19 Mar 2018 - 12:40