Both these feasts seem quite significant for us after the dramatic election results
and the new style of governance that we are witnessing these days. We may need to
reflect not only on the need for greater clarity on “what” our mission today is
but also on “how” we do it. During the JCSA in September 2013, we had a preliminary
discussion on this topic following the input by Fr. T.K. John on “New Evangelization
and Hindutva”. It may be worth reading the summary in the JCSA-Delhi report to refresh
your memories. In the recently concluded JCSA we took another step by discussing
the reports of the four Zones in response to the letter of Fr. General on the “Renewal
of Province Structures in the Service of Universal Mission”. In the course of the
discussions it was evident that we needed to promote synergy and collaboration among
the provinces and shoulder our share of responsibilities for Universal Mission of
the Society. There is a lot more work that needs to be done on this front by the
provinces and Zones.
Another important task of the JCSA Bhubaneswar was to discuss the needs and challenges
facing the Conference today. This was done in view of proposing a “terna” for a
new POSA. It was felt that the new leader should be able to grasp and engage the
rapidly changing scenarios in South Asia, in the Church and the Society of Jesus.
This task was successfully completed and now we wait expectantly for the name to
be announced by Fr. General.
We had also a brief discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of having a 2nd
Regional Assistant in Rome. It was felt that we have a large number of provinces
and regions with a wide variety of ministries. Sticking to the traditional mode
of communicating through letters and occasional visits by the assistant was felt
to be insufficient for our times. There is always an advantage in the visits of
a person from outside rather than from within like the person of POSA. A better
knowledge of the ground realities and resources of the provinces might be helpful
for the assistants when issues like personnel and plans for expansion are discussed
in the council. This matter will be further discussed in appropriate fora in the
provinces and the conclusions will be brought to the October 2014 JCSA at Phesama.
On 24 May 2014, Fr. Adolfo has written to the whole Society about his intention
to convoke GC 36 in 2016 to tender his resignation. This event can be an occasion
for us to complete the tasks we have on hand, namely, complete the renewal and restructuring
of our provinces, plan strategically to train our men for different local and universal
missions, trim our ministries so that we can free some of them to go to new frontiers
and get familiar with the documents of the Society so that we can make well informed
contribution to GC 36.
5 June 2014
United in our mission,
Provincial of South Asia
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