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A three-day National Seminar on “Women in Household Economy: Issues and Challenges towards Gender Equality” was organized by Department of Women’s Studies, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi on 11th – 13th October, 2018 within its premises.  This Seminar was inaugurated by Dr. Joye James SJ, Secretary of Jesuits in Higher Education Association of South Asia (JHEASA). Dr Denzil Fernandes SJ, the Executive Director of ISI, Delhi, extended a warm welcome to all delegates and Dr. Archana Sinha, the Convener of the Seminar and HoD, Department of Women's Studies, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi, introduced the Seminar and presented the dynamics of the Seminar. Ms. Aya Matsura, Gender Specialist, International Labour Office (ILO), New Delhi delivered the special lecture on “Care Work and Care Jobs for the Future of Decent Work”. Dr. Aasha Kapur Mehta, former Prof of Economics,  Indian Institute of Public Adminsitration (IIPA), New Delhi, delivered Key Note Address on "Rectifying the Invisibility of Women's Work: Evidence from a few villages and slums".  Twenty Five papers were presented by academicians, professors and research scholars from different parts of India during technical sessions which were chaired by eminent personalities such as Dr. Ritu Dewan, Director and Professor, Department of Economics, University of Mumbai; Dr Sabiha Hussain, Director, Sarojini Naidu Centre for Women's Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi;  Dr. Vincent Ekka, HoD, Department of Tribal Studies, ISI, Delhi, and Sr. (Adv) Tresa Paul,; Dr. Sanghmitra Acharya, Centre for Social medicine and Community Health (CSMCH), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi;  Ms. Jessy Augustine, Advisor on Gender and Development, World Vision India, New Delhi; Dr. Shanta Kerketta, Professor, Lady Irwin College, New Delhi; Dr. Shashi Bala, Fellow, V.V.Giri National Labour Institute, Noida; Dr. Shipra Maitra, Professor, Institute of Human Development, New Delhi. Ms. Subhalakshmi Nandi, International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW), New Delhi and Ms. Shalini Sinha, Women in Informal Employment Globalising and Organising (WEIGO), New Delhi were the panelists for the discussion "Women in Informal World of Work". Dr. Anushree Sinha, National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi, delivered Valedictory Address on "Work, Activity and Equality: Women in the Indian Household Economy". This National Seminar analyzed the conceptual issues in gender-based inequality within the domain of women in household economy; and reflected upon the loss in achievement due to inequality between men and women in terms of labour force participation and various dimensions of gender inequality. It also argued that the assumptions to capture women's work remain inadequate and misleading, resulting in only a partial recognition of gender inequalities in accounting for women's labour. The Seminar concluded with a formal Vote of Thanks by Dr. Archana Sinha.

Archana Sinha

Department of Women's Studies (Indian Social Institute)

15 Oct 2018 - 18:28

 

By Junno Arocho Esteves • Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Catholic Church must find a way to look at secularization as an opportunity to find new ways to proclaim the Gospel, the Jesuit superior general told the Synod of Bishops.
While the working document of the Synod dedicated to young people views secularization as “a dark phase that is in the process of being overcome,” the document offers no approach to “looking to interpret reality and discern God’s action in history,” said Jesuit Father Arturo Sosa Abascal.

“What if we try, instead, to look at secularization as a sign of the times, in the theological sense that the Second Vatican Council gave to this expression? It means looking at secularization, and the secular world that arises from it, as one of the ways the Spirit is speaking to us and guiding us in this time,” he told the synod Oct. 11.

Father Sosa began his brief talk by looking at the working document’s interpretation of secularization, which he said was viewed in a “simplified and negative” light.
Secularization, he affirmed, can range from a combative attitude, “a militant atheism,” that “wages war against any form of religious faith” to a more common form that interrupts “the social transmission of religion leading to ignorance regarding faith, religious experience and religion itself.”

However, if the church views secularization as a “sign of the times,” it can lead to a more authentic faith that challenges people to make a conscious choice to become Christian rather being “automatic Christians” who only practice their faith because of the society in which they live or their family traditions.

“Secular society also frees us from establishing in religion a tribal identity, a national identity or any other identity foreign to the spiritual experience that invites us to recognize each other as humans, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of the same Father,” Father Sosa said.

A secularized culture, he added, also can help the church recover the importance of proclaiming the Gospel, which is “a key dimension of the work of the church in these types of societies” and is a fundamental experience of those who give witness to “a personal encounter with Christ.”

The experience of faith, Father Sosa said, “does not produce subjects of an earthly estate but rather voluntary followers of the universal estate of the Crucified-Risen One from who they have freely chosen to make themselves disciples.”

Article/Image Source: CatholicPhilly.com

14 Oct 2018 - 07:38

TOGETHER WE CAN BE MORE AND BETTER:-

Young Jesuits Educators meet at Godavari Ashram, Katmandu on 6-12th of October- 2018 was organized by JEASA and ICAJE in a way to encourage spirited collaboration and networking among the young Jesuits who are pursuing Education in South Asia. There were about 21 delegates from South Asian Assistancy participated in the conference. The resourcepersons were Fr. José Mesa SJ Secretary for Education, Roman Curia, Fr. Sunny Jacob SJ, JEA South Asian Secretary of Jesuit Education, Fr. Keith Abranches  SJ (Socius to POSA) and Fr. John Ravi SJ, PCE (Delhi). 

It was an unpretentious effort to elucidate the prominence of ‘Being Global and Having a Global citizenship mind set to answer all the global concerns in an Ignatianway. Welcome address by Fr. AmritRai SJ, Regional Superior, Nepal, he clearly stated that “we are for others and only because of others we Jesuits carry out our given mission”, which set the conference  to move ahead with clear precision, and as the conference got outspreaded it had some 5-crowning moments for the participants.

1. Enriching Moment: - “Who you learn from is as important as what you learn” 

The Enriching learning came from Fr. Jose Mesa SJ, who animated the seminar constantly emphasized the prerequisite to be ‘An Global Jesuit ’ to do that he asked us to be more networking, collaborating, connecting and communicating our Ignatain way with all. He went on to elucidate during the seminar is that we are all invited to have a transformed experience, by knowing the contemporary path to Jesuit education and constantly renewing it as a living tradition of the Society of Jesus.

In a way to do that Fr. Mesa quantifiedand enumerated the phase and sequence of educational colloquium starting from the time Our Founder Father Ignatius with First companions to till the contemporary education symposiums , He indicated that the first Phase from the ‘The Ratio Studiorum’ (The Plan, System and method of studies) 1599, the First  document on education which focused on the ‘Student Oriented Approach’, and then as a Second phase the Secretariat for education (1967) called for a ‘Renewal of Education’, As a Third Phase Fr. Arrupe(1973),  interposition on education ‘for men and women for the others’, and as the fourth phase ICAJE (1980)which called for ‘a precision and excellence in our approach to Jesuit Education’ ,the Fifth phase emphasized ‘the Characteristics of Jesuit education’ (1986), which always blend with the true Ignatian Charisma and the Seventh Phase was the ‘Ignatian Pedagogical paradigm’IPP(1993) wherein Fr. Kolvenbach detailed the importance of being ‘the men and women for and with others’ by consolidating the inkling of Fr. Arrupe’s and added the 4Cs, to build a Humane Society  of  Men and Women of ‘ Conscience, Competence, Compassion and Commitment’.The Eighth Phase has got a 3-Cycle Programme which was born in a way to discover our ‘Apostolic legacy Apostolic Potential and Apostolic Aggressiveness’, in that as first Cycle was the International Colloquium for Jesuit Secondary Education (ICJSE) in Boston, Massachusetts - USA (2012), where they confessed ‘ the requisite and desire to build a global network among Jesuit schools’. The Second Cycle is SIPEI (2014) Manresa, Spain where they‘deliberated on the renewal of the pedagogy’, and Educate Magis (2015) was a result of it, it was a great venture to communicate and connect everyone by technology, The Third Cycle is JESEDU -Rio2017, the colloquium decide ‘to work together to endorse constant renewal and innovation in our educational projects’. And the as the Fourth Cycle II- JESEDU (2020) at Indonesia which is envisioned to consolidate all the above three cycles.

Fr. Jose Mesa SJ after presenting the historicand heroic preview on Jesuit Education and Global context he went on to urge us to create a new- pioneering approach in our education methods, he went on to say that “our institutionsshould not be a museum or a heritage buildings, and it is not a Poor School for Poor People or An Old School in New Buildings, but he invited us to repetitively renew – recreate –reshape with Ignatian Values and Characters. And unassumingly suggested us to face the contextual challenges with HOLY BOLDNESS by connecting oneself as a Global citizen.

2. Enabling Moment: - “Problem can come from anywhere but we bring the solution”

Frs. Keith Abranches SJ, who presented the South Asian perspective by posing the Context and challenges and also lead us with a recollection. He principally stressed to say that the Context where we live is mostly lop-sided with unpredictable events.The challenges and concern of today iscoming from both within the system and the context out, he asked us to go to the roots, to answer the challenges by saying that ‘If You have a Why, You will find a how ’.

3. Empowering Moment: -‘The Questions can deepen us but the answers can expand us”

Fr. John Ravi SJ, presentations were very intensifying and disquieting. He gave us a glimpse on Jesuit education and its characters, by presenting the (PEACE) Political- Ethical And cultural- Economical Socio –context in the avaricious world. He gave us the questions of today’s world in the field of education to deepen ourselves and the answers to expand our wisdom. He made us to feel precisely we are all inadequate, underperformers and the insufficient in our Jesuit educational institutions, in a way to strengthen ourselves and the institutions he proposed a paradigm shift for the Jesuit educators to be animators, seekers and efficacious.  He also asked to propose ways and means to inculcate the Jesuit values and principles among the staff and students, and also asked to become an inspiration to achieve the goals and objectives of Jesuit education.

Fr. Vernon D’cuna SJ, General Assistant to Rome Curia for SA, also fired his seven ammos to challenge us so that we could embrace the true Ignatian spirit, he invited us to be contributors, transformers, inspirers, collaborators, networkers, co-travelers and spiritual in the field of educations.

4. Encouraging Moment: -“Impossible can become possible and the Improbable can become probable if it is the will of the Lord”

Fr. Sunny Jacob SJ, JEA secretary of South Asia made us to profoundly reflect and balance oneself to connect, network and communicate with the people of good will, asking us to find the sole purpose of educational institutions. He also presented the great work which has been done in the south Asian context, he was very satisfied to know the mandatory given by the society is being carried out in some Provinces namely, The imparting of the Ignatain Legacy on ‘THE EXAMEN’, in our schools and the urgency to have the cosmic reconciliations to heal the broken world, and the need to be always working as a TEAM (Together Everyone can Achieve More). He was always encouraging us to march forward with hope and gratitude trusting in the Lord.

5. Enacting Moment: -“The Problem with Jesuits is not what they don’t know, it is all about what they don’t do”.

The Action Plan was made to continue the legacy of this experience.  There were 4-Action pans were made with its when and How? The first one was to start or strengthen “THE EXAMEN” in our schools, The Second one was to from and consolidate the “THE ALUMNI” in our educational zones, the third was to impart the “THE IGNATIAN LEGACY’ to all our collaborators by sharing the spirituality that underpins our Schools. Fourthly to build a global perspective by “NETWORKING” by registering in to the Jesuit website, that is educate Magis. All these are planned and will be executed on a time bound manner.

As a Group of Young Jesuits Educators we vouch to carry a deep felt gratitude to Almighty Father and to the Society of Jesus in the form of ICAJE AND JEASA for giving us this opportunity, and very special thanks to our Provinces who trusted in their men. And we will surely continue to carry forward this transforming experience by becoming the witness of excellence, by imbibing and imparting  the Ignatian legacy and by reading the contextual need to renew-reinvent- renovate- reimagineand reshape of educational system by keeping all the nuances of Igantain legacy.

6. Educate Magis; a platform for us to be truely global

  We had a very fruitful and enriching interaction with Educate Magis, Ciara was online with us explaining us all the recent initiatives by the Global network and the possibilities for us to be part of the global network. She explained us all the features of the network and clarified the questions raised by the participants. We decided to be part of it by contributing the web site and also connecting our class rooms globally. Thank you Ciara for the wonderful online session with us. 

For JEASA

Fr. Ananad SJ (GUJ)

12 October 2018

Go to Gallery for more photos of the Training programme.

12 Oct 2018 - 05:56

 Monday 01 October 2018

This month would mark the beginning of the year-long celebrations for the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It’s a time for reflection and I would like to take you through a Gandhi Test.

The world has surely gone downhill in terms of his most cherished ideal: non-violence. Today, we see aggression in everything; from our words to our social behaviour and our relationship with nature. Our intolerance has hit rock bottom. We score a zero-minus on this.

Then comes the issue of development. Gandhi was not just about throwing out the British. He was about what would come next. He thought about it; wrote about it; built a distinctly different opinion about what needs to be done. His was (is) the alternative ideology to Karl Marx and Adam Smith. Here again, we are at zero, or perhaps a little above.

Gandhi lives on primarily because of the sheer force of his ideas; not because we have put them into practice. It is a fact that Gandhi died because his followers chose to kill him by their deeds. They took to living in ashrams, taking his ideas to closed spaces. They retired from the world and made Gandhism retro. Whereas Gandhi—despite living in an ashram and liking the symbolism of it—engaged with the world. It is we who have made him a narrow metaphysical icon. He lived for the politics of his times. He moved millions without moving himself.

Today, the best we know of Gandhi’s ideas is khadi (handspun cloth)—it’s back in fashion. But what we don’t know, and are not told about, is why Gandhi pushed for khadi. He used it as his instrument of independence; not only from the British but also from industrialisation—which was the order of the day, then and now. For him khadi was about employment, not for the masses, but by the masses. For him, khadi was about a particular seed of the cotton plant, which could be spun by a large number of people. The cotton variety that the British brought to Indian farms would only be spun in the machines of Lancashire. So, it was also about employment generation not by machines but by the masses. It was about localisation and not globalisation.

This cotton variety of Gandhi’s choice was also an indigenous seed. It used less water and had more pest resistance. It would have been appropriate to the environment of the country. Farmers would not have had to commit suicide due to high input costs and high risks of crop failure. But this was possible if we had worked according to this model. 

This is why Gandhi is still relevant. Both capitalism and communism have failed us in terms of finding an answer to unemployment and environmental threats. The world of Smith is pushing towards more automation—believing that increased productivity will increase opportunity and skills. The world of Marx is finding it difficult to move beyond the formalised industry and trade unions. They can’t handle the fact that the world of employment is in the hands of individual entrepreneurs of all hues. Their development model is not much different from their hated ideological rivals.

I can say this with absolute certainty when it comes to environment. Both models are and will push the world to a catastrophic disaster of climate change because of their form of development. Gandhi is not outdated it’s we who don’t know how to practice him. We don’t have leaders who can take his ideas and adapt and rework them for today’s world. The most important “thing” about Gandhi, in my view, was his ability to work with his ideas to meet objectives—but with his absolute and non-negotiable principles of non-violence, justice and equality.

Finally on the Gandhi Test, the only aspect where we can boast of a little higher than a zero mark is democracy. This is not to say that we have taken his idea of the village republic—the deepening of democracy so as to practice it at a doable scale—where it needs to go. We have failed on that. We have instead decided to strengthen representative democracy as against his vision of participatory democracy. But in spite of all threats from old-fashioned but still in vogue dictators to new-fashioned takeover of our privacy; democracy lives, just about.

But it is not enough. With the 150th birth anniversary just a year away, let’s take a moment to think of Gandhi. Of him and like him.

Dr. Sunita Narain

1 Oct 2018 - 18:32

Bhopal: 

Women of different faiths are traveling across parts of India to foster peace and goodwill in their country, which they say is beset by sectarian intolerance and violence.

Some 100 women began their journey — named Batein Aman Ki or Talks of Peace — on Sept. 20. Five caravan groups began from different parts of the country and are scheduled to converge on New Delhi on Oct. 13.

The five caravans, each comprising some 20-25 women, will pass through hundreds of towns, cities and villages with message of peace and unity. Each group aims to address public meetings to stress this ideal, organizers said.

"We are getting very good response from people of all walks of lives," said Joycia Thorat, a Christian social worker and part of the organizing team.

Several rights groups and faith-based women groups — with Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Sikh backgrounds — have joined the program, Thorat said.

"The purpose is to stress the need to uphold the constitutional values of secularism and religious freedom to help harmonious existence of people of different religions in the country," she said.

Rajkumari Durga, a Hindu social worker from western Rajasthan state and campaign participant, told ucanews.com that India's social situation has worsened after hard-line Hindu groups began attempting to make India a nation of Hindu hegemony.

Last year, 111 people were killed and at least 2,384 injured in 822 cases of sectarian violence, the highest figure in the past three years. In 2016, some 86 were killed and 2,321 injured in 703 incidents of religion-based violence, said an official report released earlier this year.

Opposition parties say the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) encourages a "divisive" policy that supports violence against religious minorities in an attempt to consolidate Hindu majority votes ahead of next year's general elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP controls governments in 19 of India's 29 states but Christian and Muslim leaders say their people face violence and intimidation at the hands of BJP-supporting Hindu groups, who work to make India a Hindu-only nation.

"We are living in a period akin to colonial rule as personal rights and freedom of expression has been under great threat during the past four years," Durga said referring to violence and intimidation meted out to those who criticize the ideology of Hindu-nationhood.

"We are facing a serious threat to our constitutional rights of freedom of expression and religion … from right-wing Hindu groups," said Durga.

She said hard-line Hindu groups are projecting themselves as champions of Hindu interests. "As a Hindu I do not find any threat to the Hindu religion," she said. "I do not think any conversions of Hindus occurs through force or allurement as is alleged."

Such hard-line Hindu allegations that provoke attacks on Christians will be discussed in their numerous public engagements, Durga said.

The events will stress such lies are being used for political purposes, spreading hatred against other religions, she said.

"They spread hatred, and we reply with love," she said.

Shabnam Hashmi, a social activist and Muslim, told ucanews.com the initiative aims to embolden people "to speak their minds on the forces that are out there to destroy us."

"Unless we ourselves are ready to come out for our protection, no one is going to do it for us. It is our humble effort to wake up those in slumber to protect ourselves and generations to come," she said.

Brinelle D'Souza, a professor at Tata Institute of Social Science in Mumbai, told ucanews.com that their mission is "to preserve the secular fabric" of the country and strengthen its "democratic values as enshrined in the constitution."

Source: UCAN

1 Oct 2018 - 07:40

Papal Seminary stands tall at 125

 

 
 

Pune: 

Papal Seminary in Pune is observing 125th year of its service in moulding priests for the Universal Church.

All that Papal Seminary accomplished and contributed to the Church today is “surely by God's wondrous grace and accompaniment,” a statement issued by the seminary said.

On the occasion, Papal Seminary along with its sister concern--Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth -- is holding a seminar, “Ministering to Contemporary Indian Church: Challenges, Opportunities”.

The two-day event will start on Nov 7. Other programs include alumni get together, cultural programs and thanksgiving Mass.

Papal Seminary was conceived in 1878 when Leo XIII became the Pope, who wanted a national seminary for the whole India. 

In his Letter, Ad extremasorientisoras: de collegioclericarum (1893), the Pope announced his intention of founding a new seminary for India, and appealed to the generosity of Catholics. 

On the occasion of his sacerdotal jubilee in 1894, he had these words inscribed on the jubilee medal: "Filii tui India, administri tibi salutis," which means, Your own sons, O India, will be the heralds of your salvation!

It was Archbishop Ladislaus Miachael Zaleski, who executed the plan of the Pope. In 1893, he started Papal Seminary in Kandy in Sri Lanka. At that time India and Sri Lanka were part of the British India.

When India became independent in 1947, it was found strange to have its national seminary in another country. So, the authorities decided to shift the seminary to India and Pune was chosen to house it. 

In 1955, Papal Seminary was shifted to Pune. The Jesuit provincial of Pune, Father Pius Geisal, was entrusted with the task of buying the land and constructing the buildings for the seminary and the Pontifical Athenaeum was shifted to Pune along with the seminary.

A large number of outstanding churchmen received their priestly formation in the seminary. Four Cardinals and 75 Bishops and Archbishops trace their roots to this place.

The motto of the jubilee celebrations is: “Looking Back with Gratitude, Looking Forward with Trust.”

Currently, Papal Seminary consists of 193 seminarians and staff from 62 dioceses and four religious congregations.

Jesuit Father Babhusaheb Sansare, Papal Seminary rector, said that about 20 bishops, including the nuncio and 200 alumni, are expected to take part in the two-day gathering. 

27 Sep 2018 - 06:47

In a meeting for discernment and apostolic planning, Father General Arturo Sosa SJ reminded leaders of the Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks (GIAN) and Social Apostolate Coordinators of the need for “a renewed vision of the deep link between social justice, care for the environment, the struggle for peace and faith.  All this, together, moves people to work for reconciliation among themselves, with creation and God.”  And to bring about change, “we need a kind of passion, a ‘holy anger’… a passion that cries ‘enough.’”

“The GIAN groups are our effort to be a catalyst for this change. I ask you to find the passion and the mission that can re-energise these structures… I know that unless we are focused, specific and targeted, our advocacy will not work well.”

And with preparations underway for the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of the Pan-Amazon region that will take place in the Vatican in October 2019, Father General sees this effort by Pope Francis as “a concrete way to help move the Church to implement Laudato Si’” and “also a call to the Society of Jesus to focus on reconciliation with creation as a dimension of the mission we have received.”

The Society of Jesus is currently undertaking a discernment process of their Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAP) that involves a discernment in common, using the GC 36 decrees as a background, Father General’s letter that launched the discernment process, and the initial chapters of the book Shaping our Future.

Ecojesuit shares below a slightly revised version of Father General’s address during the meeting in Rome:

This is a meeting for discernment and apostolic planning and discernment in common means to hear together the Holy Spirit and to make decisions according to the inspiration we feel together.  It is possible only if we gain interior freedom as individuals, as a group, as an apostolic sector of the Society.  It is a conditio sine qua non for this or any group to liberate itself from a sectorial vision of the Society’s mission.  GC 36 is asking this group and the entire apostolic body of the Society to acquire the look of the Holy Trinity.  We are called to look at history with their eyes and find out how we, as a universal apostolic body, can do our best (magis) to make a contribution to the redemption of human beings.  It is also important to remember that discernment in common is a prior condition for apostolic planning.

The next challenging step is apostolic planning.  Both words are important.  The first one is apostolic that means that what we do is not a product of our minds, but a call we receive to be sent to collaborate in the missio Dei.  We are an apostolic body, i.e., a group of people “sent” to be part of a mission.  Therefore, we are not the owners of the mission.  We are followers – disciples of Jesus sent to be witnesses of His Good News.

Planning involves taking seriously this condition of apostolic body.  We are administrators of somebody else’s resources and we are committed to do that work in the best possible way.  We are a group responsible for the call to participate in the reconciliation of all things in Christ.  And so we try hard to do our best.  Following this mission has become, for each one of us and for this group, the deepest sense of why we do what we do.

After the UAP are formulated will come the process of planning how a complex apostolic body like the Society of Jesus can be oriented in the next 10 years.  Provinces, Conferences of Major Superiors, apostolic areas and apostolic works have their own plans.  How can the UAP help the Society in its apostolic planning at all levels to be more focused?  How can the UAP lead us to a better use of our limited resources?

GC 36 confirms and focuses the mission of faith and justice, dialogue and interculturality that inspired our commitment for more than 50 years, since the Second Vatican Council and from GC 32 up to GC 35.  This confirmation means a renewed vision of the deep link between social justice, care for the environment, the struggle for peace and faith.  All this, together, moves people to work for reconciliation among themselves, with creation, and with God.

It is a confirmation of a deep current, of a deep way forward for us, in a world that is at a new moment in history and has become quite different from the world during the post-Vatican II years.  Here is a very important challenge for the apostolic body of the Society of Jesus and for the social dimension of its apostolate: to come to know, understand and share with others what is happening in human history and to find effective ways to help to move it to the reconciliation and justice shown in the Gospel. 

“We come together to form a body of Jesuits and partners in mission organized in such a way that collaboration is a characteristic of the entire apostolic body. Our action is also in collaboration with others within the Church or with those persons and groups struggling for social justice, with peacemakers and with those working for the preservation of the environment.”

Getting out of poverty, the possibility to access quality education, participation in making political decisions democratically: these remain unrealised wishes for the great majority of human beings.  How can we, as a universal apostolic body, improve our commitment to help these desires to be accomplished?  How can we face the ambiguous process of human mobility in the actual world where there are new ways of interaction among individuals and peoples oriented to a more integrated humanity, side by side with people fleeing from war or poverty?  How we can combat the trafficking of human beings and new forms of slavery?

Many other questions about our mission of reconciliation and justice can come from what is going on in the world today.  The GC 36 puts before us a very special one:

GC36 asks Father General to continue to work with Major Superiors and Conferences to promote, within the communities and ministries of the Society, a consistent culture of protection and safety for minors, in keeping with the suggestions of the Congregation regarding formation, community life, ministries and governance.

The promotion of a consistent culture of safeguarding involves the transformation of unjust existing structures and a deep change in every culture.  It also a matter of promoting the human rights of vulnerable people.  And so, I have decided that the implementation of this project be entrusted to the Secretary for Social Justice and Ecology.

Pope Francis has convoked a special Synod in 2019 on Amazonia.  It is a concrete way to help move the Church to implement Laudato Si’.  Maybe is also a call to the Society of Jesus to focus on reconciliation with creation as a dimension of the mission we have received.  It is very clear that Pope Francis is thinking not only about a specific geographical area of the world, but that he also wants to move us to more concrete apostolic actions regarding the care of our common home.  How can we introduce this matter in our discernment in common and apostolic planning?

An important accent put by GC 36 is that we are collaborators with God’s action in history today and we are called to become companions in a mission of reconciliation and justice.  To become companions means that we see ourselves as collaborators.  We come together to form a body of Jesuits and partners in mission organized in such a way that collaboration is a characteristic of the entire apostolic body. Our action is also in collaboration with others within the Church or with those persons and groups struggling for social justice, with peacemakers and with those working for the preservation of the environment.

Globalisation today brings us together across the globe and makes networking easier.  Of course it has also widened the gap between rich and poor so it is not totally a blessing – in fact there are many problems.  But, without doubt, it gives us the ability to be a universal body for mission and our Jesuit networks have opportunities now that 10 years ago did not exist.

Since we are largely organized on province lines, the existence of interprovincial networks can be a challenge.  GIAN, as a relatively new project, is experiencing some of the pains of being an interprovincial network in a largely provincial Jesuit structure.  The issues that GIAN addresses are vital ones:

  • Migration
  • Ecology – care of our Common House
  • Governance of mineral and natural resources
  • The right to quality education
  • Peace and Human Rights

Through Laudato Si’, Pope Francis “also wants to move us to more concrete apostolic actions regarding the care of our common home. How can we introduce this matter in our discernment in common and apostolic planning?”

Through Laudato Si’, Pope Francis “also wants to move us to more concrete apostolic actions regarding the care of our common home. How can we introduce this matter in our discernment in common and apostolic planning?”

These are words on a page.  But they represent so much human suffering.  Think of the wars in Syria and in Kivu, in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Think of the millions on the move, searching for a better life because the world’s political and economic system has failed them totally.  Think of the children without education who have to work from a young age.  Think of people exploited in mines so that people in boardrooms and stock markets can make big profits.

To bring change, we need a kind of passion, a “holy anger” if I can put it that way.  We need a passion that cries “enough.”  We need a passion that mobilises people of faith and all people of goodwill to work together for change.  Because the Gospel is about change, about liberation.

The GIAN networks are our effort to be a catalyst for this change.  I ask you to find the passion and the mission that can re-energise these structures.  I ask you to identify, very specifically, the changes you want in each of these areas and then to map out how to get there with an outline of resources needed and a time frame (which for sure will have to be flexible).  Advocacy is not an easy task and the Society needs to improve the ways we do it.

I know that unless we are focused, specific and targeted, our advocacy will not work well.  The Social Justice and Ecology office here exists precisely to help with such strategizing and help the GIAN groups to find that focus, that passion, that energy, that direction.

I see here people at this table who have great experience in all these areas.  Please use that expertise to bring people to freedom.  Use it to fight for justice.  Pope Paul VI said: ‘if you want peace work for justice’.  We do want peace.  Peace is a Gospel promise, a beatitude “Blessed are the peacemakers”, a fruit of the Resurrection.  And so, our mission for the service of faith and the promotion of Justice is foundational, moving us beyond any ideology to a service of Christ carrying His cross and laboring for the peace that the world cannot give.

Thank you again for your presence here. It inspires me in my work. It gives me the consolation and the energy to tackle the issues that face me here every day.

The Society has a great mission and you, both lay people and Jesuits, are part of trying to take it forward and renew it as you discern, pray and work together so that the frontiers of unbelief and of poverty, of discrimination and injustice can be pushed back and so that people can find true liberation and reconciliation based on the Gospel promise and on the person of the Risen Christ.

Thank you and I wish every blessing for your meeting here and an enjoyable and fruitful time in Rome.

Arturo Sosa SJ

25 Sep 2018 - 06:05
By Prof. Clement Dsouza

Records show that one of the first Jesuit missions started in India with the arrival of Francis Xavier in the 16th Century and their work in the country has continued to spread throughout the years. Altogether, there are currently 18 Jesuit Provinces in India alone comprising about 4000 Jesuits, including the Karnataka Jesuit Province where Jesuit presence is long-standing, with St. Francis Xavier himself and his contemporaries visiting the coast of the then politically unorganised state of Karnataka.

Karnataka Jesuit Province is one of the administrative units of the Society of Jesus, comprising the whole of Karnataka State, except Belgaum District, and having a membership of nearly 300 Jesuits works with a motto of serving the poorest of the poor in various parts of Karnataka where it has been able to light a candle in the dark existence of those who are victims of poverty, injustice, and oppression.

Karnataka Jesuit Missions are involved in educational, social, spiritual and pastoral ministries all over the State. Today they are running more than 60+ institutions like schools, colleges, technical institutions, outreach centres etc.

On the 1st of September, Jesuit alumni got together at St. Joseph’s College Bangalore to form a federation of Jesuit alumni in Karnataka, under the name JAAIKAR (Jesuit Alumni Association of India, Karnataka).

For more information about the work of the Jesuits in Karnataka, please visit http://www.karnatakajesuits.org/
21 Sep 2018 - 08:22

(18-Sep-2018)

At the end of the Consiglio allargato

Father General's Extended Council met in early September. The presidents of the Jesuit Conferences, which on a geographical basis bring together the Jesuit Provinces of the whole world, participate in this body. We asked three questions of each of the presidents; here are their testimonies.

 

In your service as JCSA President, what has been, up to now, your main source of “consolation” or of joy?

The wide spread acceptance and practice of spiritual conversation as a significant tool for discernment in common gives me immense joy. It is making a difference in our meetings of commissions and in community life. Everyone is heard and given significance. Everyone is speaking. In the process, community life gets a new meaning. We learn to discover the interior movements within each one and in the group as a whole. Besides, this tool can be easily adapted to our board meetings and discussions in the commissions. Spiritual conversation is giving us a sense of walking with the Spirit.

In the context of your Conference, what are the main challenges you will be facing during the coming months?

The main challenges can be divided into two parts: ad extra and ad intra.

Ad extra: the growing fundamentalism, narrow nationalism and hate campaign that is being promoted by the present regime in India, is a matter of great concern and challenge. The minorities, especially the Muslims, feel alienated. This is not good for the country. As a Conference, we circulated a statement interrogating the ideology of a Hindu nation and we are engaged in on-going study and reflection. This movement is potentially a divisive force that can rupture the social fabric.

Ad intra: As a Conference, we are still struggling to include all the countries of South Asia in our apostolic planning. Our concern is still predominantly centred on India. Secondly, as a Conference we are still expanding and building institutions without a definite apostolic plan. I do hope that once UAP (universal apostolic preferences) are finalized, we will be able to give better focus. Thirdly, again at the level of the Conference, we have to invest our energy in forming a team of lay collaborators.

What will you mainly remember from your participation to Father General’s Consiglio allargato, in relation to the process toward the definition of Universal Apostolic Preferences?

The process that we went through and are going through in arriving at UAP is very satisfying. It gives me immense sense of consolation; in these extended consultations, we have been refining our approach; it has been a learning process. Secondly, I admire the decision that Fr. General took to consult the entire Society on UAP. This gives every Jesuit a chance to be part of this process, with a greater sense of universal body for universal mission. There is a sense of moving together as a body with a definite plan.

21 Sep 2018 - 08:16

An Interview with Father Felix Raj, SJ, Vice-Chancellor, St. Xavier's University By Pawan Dalmia - Editor - We Xaverian 
 

1) What is your feeling after your dream of St. Xavier's Uniersity is realized?  Its not my dream alone, it is the dream of the whole Xaverian Family, it includes the Jesuits, alumni, alumnae, the people of Kolkata, the Government, including the Honorable Chief Minister and many more.  It is a collective dream, I was there to give a lead; yes the dream has been realized, it has become a reality but the vision 2020 must now take a different shape as vision 2025, because this vision must continue. We are still in the process. Our journey has been a successful one, there has been a lot of development in the university campus; students have been admitted, professors have been appointed, construction of buildings is going on, we are concentrating on offering to our students & faculty, as much facilities as possible for academic teaching, learning, research and consultancy.  I am sure with the support of many people, alumni association & the Xaverians, we will be able to successfully complete this vision and be at the service of thousands of students. I feel very happy that this collective journey has been very fruitful & I am grateful to all those involved & to God almighty for his blessings & guidance.

2) Kindly tell us the story of journey of how your dream of SXUK came into realty?  It is a journey; rather a long journey right from 2010 when we began to expand St. Xavier's College, establishing St. Xavier's University (SXUK) was a part of that expansion, we started working towards that and that's how the journey for the university began.

3) You always say - "if it is God's work, it will happen" ! Will you kindly share this conviction of yours? First & foremost, I am a Jesuit & my primary conviction is that everything I do is God's work, it is God who is working through me, I am only an instrument, this is what Saint Ignatius of Loyola and the Society of Jesus have taught me. If it is God's work, no one can stop it. Everything is possible for God. There are always people who differ from you or disagree with you. That doesn't mean you should stop the work. There will always be some Judases in our mission of announcing God's reign and denouncing evil in us. And around us. I don't think, I had the slightest idea of starting SXUK, it all happened spontaneously; that is why I believe that it is the work of God and so in the last six years we could successfully journey towards this goal of establishing the university. Nothing stopped us because God was there; God has been inspiring us to work for this goal, for this vision. Sometimes, our work may not be God's work, because it may be out of selfish motive or it may be out of self centeredness, egoism might come in, so it may be an individual's achievement, individual mission, but often, if it is an individual's mission, if it is not God's plan, it stops, but whatever is God's work continues. ThenHand of God guides you. God chooses us as his instruments & makes us work; it is He who inspires, so we need to put our total trust in Him and continue the work, He will take care of everything.

4) What are the factors on which you are going to give stress in the teaching, learning process in SXUK? Off course, we need to give focus on different methods of teaching and also more effective ways of learning and facilities are provided taking into account these requirements; classrooms, libraries, research centers, studios, hostels all these are facilities that we offer, for a good academic environment so that teachers can teach well and students can learn.  We have started a good process and I am sure this process will be strengthened as we go on. We started with six courses, now we will have ten courses, five P.G. Courses, five undergraduate courses and an MBA programme; we will have in July 2018 around eleven hundred students. We want to introduce, taking into account the future needs, more courses relevant to our students, so that these courses open up avenues for further studies, research or for proper placement. We are discussing amongst the faculty members, on how and what type of courses we must introduce. We are thinking of starting Ph.D programme from 2019 and a law college in the near future & a sports academy soon.

5) What are the expansion-plans of SXUK? In terms of expansion of the university, we are thinking of academic expansion; by 2025 we must have at least 8,000 students in the university, we must introduce more courses, with CBCS (choice based credit system) & a cafeteria system in which students can choose their courses. We will also emphasise on skill formation, we shall also use the facilities for neighborhood children who want to study; we want to build up a good rapport with the neighborhood, so that SXUK is a center of change and development in the neighborhood. We are also thinking in terms of physical expansion; improvement of facilities, sports facilities, games facilities, hostel facilities, library facilities, research facilities, recreational facilities, medical & health care facilities, placement, proper placement of our students, all these will be looked into as we grow. We are also thinking in terms of collaborating with other universities.

6) Do you have any plan to open a Law School in SXUK in future? Yes, we have a plan to open a law school at Saint Xavier's University & I will be soon appointing a committee to look into it and taking advice from our alumni who are experts in this field. Thank you Pawan. God bless you. By email : goethalsnews@gmail.com

19 Sep 2018 - 19:09

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