South Asia Mag+s at Ranchi: 18 – 22 October 2023
With the arrival of 695 youth, including 23 Jesuits, 2 scholastics and 4 religious’ sisters, representing 14 Jesuit provinces, 2 regions, 12 states across India and Nepal began South Asia Conference Level Magis-23 from 18th to 22nd October 2023. Over all theme for the Magis-23 was “Creating a Hope-Filled Future
The opening ceremony on October 18th was graced by Fr. POSA, Fr. Jerome Stanislaus D’Souza, Fr. Ajit Kumar Xess, the provincial of Ranchi, Fr. K.C. Stephen, the provincial of Dumka, Fr. Jerome Cutinha, the provincial of Jamshedpur and Fr. Arbind Beck, JYMSA Coordinator (Jesuit Youth Ministry of South Asia).
Ranchi Archbishop Felix Toppo, SJ presided over the inaugural Mass on 19th October. In his sermon he emphasized the love of God to each one of us and the gift of freewill to decide and decern. Fr. Jerome Stanislaus D’Souza delivered a keynote address, urging the youth to embody spiritual, intellectual and civic virtues. Fr. Jerry Rosario addressed the theme of “Creating a Hope-Filled Future” encouraging the youth to dream big, do big.
October 20th was dedicated to reach out people. The youth were divided into 16 groups for outreach programme called Ignatian immersion. This Ignatian immersion was based on 8 categories namely- Parish (culture and tradition of Jharkhand), Pilgrimage, Service and Solidarity, Faith and Spirituality, Press and Publication, Social and Justice, Ecology and Education. The purpose of it was to give them an opportunity to be in touch with the reality of the world by interacting with local people, knowing the culture and tradition of Jharkhand, to familiarize the work of Jesuits and being with neglected ones.
The gathering concluded with a solemn procession, guided by Fr. Bipin Tirkey, the youth coordinator of Ranchi, youth holding candles in their hands, walked in a prayerful mood, singing Mother Mary Song, formed the letter Mag+s. Fr. James Balmuchu led a prayer and Fr. Arbind Beck declared South Asia Conference Level Magis-2023 Ranchi, Jharkhand closed. The event culminated with the release of six Chinese lamps into the night sky.
MAG+S offered a unique opportunity to embrace Ignatian spirituality in a transformative way. It empowered participants to make better choices, walk with marginalized and contribute to a Hope-Filled Future with ecological mindfulness.
By Fr. Arbind Beck, SJ