The death of 84-year-old renowned human rights activist Fr. Stan Swamy in judicial custody on July 5, 2021, is considered an institutional murder orchestrated by the State..
The Society of Jesus was founded by Saint Ignatius Loyola and his companions in 1540. With a global membership of more than 16,000 members, the Society operates through six Conferences spread across over 110 countries. Jesuits live and work in about 80 Provinces and Regions across the world. The Jesuit Conference of South Asia (JCSA), which has 22 Provinces, is one of the Conferences. It has its presence in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan.
The JCSA has over 400 schools (urban and rural), about 60 higher education institutions (including the prestigious XLRIs, Loyola College and St. Xavier’s College). It has a network of over 100 social work centres. It also has research centres (Indian Social Institute—Delhi and Bengaluru), initiatives such as the inter-religious dialogue, empowering the marginalised through livelihood promotion, skilling the youth, supporting refugees and the displaced, helpline for migrants, etc.
The Jesuits in South Asia are aligned with the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) of the Society of Jesus, and as a Conference it has the following preferences:
a) Ensuring Quality Education;b) Promoting Ecology and Justice; c) Accompanying Youth; d) Fostering Peace and Reconciliation; and e) Promoting Renewal and Spirituality of Seeing God in All Things.
Jesuits are motivated by a deep, personal love of Jesus Christ and a “desire to imitate in some manner our Creator and Lord Jesus Christ … since he is the way which leads to life” (St Ignatius of Loyola). We seek to be “contemplatives in action” combining the service of faith with the promotion of justice, following the example of our founder, St Ignatius, who strove to “find God in all things.” We consider ourselves to be sent on mission with Jesus as companions consecrated for service under the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Jesuits are best known in the fields of education (schools, colleges, universities, seminaries, theological faculties), intellectual research, and spiritual renewal. In South Asia ,Jesuits run schools, universities and parishes and engage in missionary work, social justice, inter-religious dialogue, and other ‘frontier’ ministries. Most importantly, we continue the tradition of providing retreats based on The Spiritual Exercises, the foundational work of St Ignatius.
The goal of the Jesuit mission is to be ever available for the greater universal good, desiring always the “magis”, that which is truly better “For the Greater Glory of God.” It is this availability for the Church’s universal mission that marks the Society of Jesus as an apostolic religious order.
There are four working fields to which the Society of Jesus will pay special attention and in which it will invest a significant portion of its various resources over the next few years.