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Moves and Halts in South Asia: 2014-2020

It is always a welcome Ignatian Exercise to review our life-mission as it unfolds before us. How did the last six years unfold before the Conference of South Asia? What are the ‘moves and halts’…

Of a different Kind-ness

Do you want to know what it means to be kind to others? You should talk to Manisha (22), a lecturer at the Nandha College of Nursing in Erode District, Tamil Nadu. She has made…

Unique Bamboo Houses Survive 7 Assam Floods in…

Almost every Monsoon, the Brahmaputra floods Assam, sweeping away everything they encounter — human settlements and paddy fields. In 2016, the soil erosion due to floods in Golaghat district wrecked more than 40 residential shelters and schools.…

Gandhian and Christian Martyrs

In the year 1965, war was going on between India and Pakistan. India was dropping bombs on various targets. We were about sixty five seminarians doing theology in Kurseong on the Himalayan hills. With the…

The NEP 2020: Reforms tilted towards the Rich…

“Education is a dynamic reality; it is a movement that brings people to light.” - Pope Francis  [auth] The vision of the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 envisions “creating the education system holistic, flexible,…

Facing Corona with Meditation

It is already eight months! Corona is still ruling the nations! So much suffering, death, and uncertainty. Many scientists, doctors, social workers, government and private agencies and individuals are trying their best to cope up…

Rohingya: fast becoming a lost tribe?

Unlike the 2019 peace rally at Kutupalong Mega camp, when over 200,000 Rohingya refugees converged together to mark the second anniversary of their exodus from Rakhine state, the third anniversary on 25th August 2020 was…

Can our forerunners inspire us?

Education has been an important tool in the hands of Jesuits almost from its very inception in 1542.  Within a few years of the founding of the Society of Jesus, it became clear that one…

Humour as a Way to Face the Vicissitudes…

Three aspects of humour are highlighted here: 1. Humour softens the existential suffering and also acts as protest against injustice and discrimination; 2. It’s an antidote to what cannot be changed in life; 3. Humour…

Moves and Halts in South Asia: 2014-2020

It is always a welcome Ignatian Exercise to review our life-mission as it unfolds before us. How did the last six years unfold before the Conference of South Asia? What are the ‘moves and halts’…

‘Lockdown’ student cultivation

Teacher Saritha Vijaykumar found Covid-19 lockdown a perfect opportunity to explore ways to engage children in more creative and healthy pursuits than just sitting at home and getting bored! “When the lockdown was implemented, children…

Thinking Out of the Gender Box: Challenges to…

Moving into the 21st century, gender is a familiar expression in ordinary parlance besides becoming a tool of critical inquiry in key analytical questions. Though gender concerns are generally seen as synonym for women’s concerns,…

Jesuits and Gender Equality

For thousands of years patriarchal attitudes persisted in human society wherein the male was considered the norm and the female as created to be at his service. Women were accorded an inferior position and were…

Women Religious and Ignatian Spirituality

Ignatian spirituality is a significant source and motivation for many women religious Congregations as well as lay associations. Many Congregations include the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola with their particular practice of spirituality.…

Showing the Way to God : Spiritual accompaniment…

In her book, Women at the Well: Feminist Perspectives in Spiritual Direction, Kathleen Fisher writes, “It is often said of women’s spirituality that ‘we do not yet know what it looks like’.” The same could…

Rewriting the Jesuit Narrative on Women

This year marks a quarter of a century since the Society of Jesus issued the ground-breaking official document titled ‘Jesuits and the Situation of Women in Church and Civil Society’. The Jesuits committed themselves to…

Go to the Frontier Mission

It was in April 2017 my Provincial Fr. Sebastian Jeerakassery showed me a letter from Fr. George Pattery that Port Blair Diocese needs a Spiritual Director. He asked me whether I was ready to go…

Jesuit Community among the Planets

Pope Benedict XVI, addressing the 35th General Congregation in 2008, praised Jesuits as those who reach “those physical and spiritual places which others do not reach or have difficulty in reaching.” This is best illustrated by…

Loretos turn green

The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM), known as Loreto Sisters, was founded by Mary Ward in 1609. She was a resilient person of great faith and strength of character.  She was labelled a heretic in her…

Baptism by Covid-19 Has it changed the Church?

I don’t know whether Covid-19 will change our theology or our churches, but it has certainly changed our homes. Today we are thinking of God and the Church differently, and expressing our thoughts differently.  [auth]…

A Psychological perspective on the Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic may be best described as a disaster which began in Wuhan China and has now spread to many countries in the world. A disaster is a sudden, calamitous event that seriously disrupts…

The Virus of Hate

In his recent message calling for “responsibility and solidarity”, Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, said that we all face one common threat – the Corona virus. However, he said that together we can change the…

Violence against the Dalits in Nepal

On 23rd May in Nepal, reports broke out about the lynching of Navaraj BK and five of his friends. According to journalistic accounts, Navaraj, a 21-year-old Dalit man, along with his companions had gone to…

‘Thatha Sami’ Fr. Louis Lèveil

Born on 6th April 1884 at Laille, France, Louis Marie Lèveil was the youngest of ten children. Next to his mother, Julianee Lebine, Lèveil was very close to his sister Victoire, who sowed the seed…

Marching with the Migrants

Best for the Least The Bible, as the history of liberation from repression, crystallizes that the rights of the poor  are the rights of God. It has now dawned on the Jesuits the realization that…

Transforming Education after Covid-19

Defining moments strike us when we least expect them, especially during times of uncertainties and crises. They trigger our imagination and propel us into action. [auth] On a casual evening walk a few days back,…

Love Bomb

Albert Einstein, who we all know as a great genius, wrote some letters to his daughter Lieserl back in 1938. He said, “Please hold on to these letters because I’m not sure that humanity is…

Jesuit Resource and Response Hub (JRH)

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented waves of devastation across the globe. Apart from being a threat to lives, the lockdown that followed brought misery and despair to millions of people, especially the poor. Migrant…

The SWAN Girls: Prophetic Witness of the Youth

Then the LORD said, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people...I have heard their cries of distress... Yes, I am aware of their suffering.” (Ex. 3:7) [auth] These words that set Moses on…

The Rights of Stateless Citizens

The plight of migrant workers walking thousands of kilometres to their homes carrying their children on the shoulders and their meagre possession on their back, braving heat and hunger will haunt us for many years.…

Pandemic: A call to Indigenous way of life

“We don’t want sympathy, we want dignity; we work hard to earn our living, and we don’t beg, borrow or steal. We may be poor but we are also citizens of this country with equal…

Migrant Solidarity Centre, Bagaicha

Soon after the sudden and shocking announcement of the lockdown, and in the absence of Government help, worried and frustrated migrants began to leave for their distant homes. Images of thousands of men, women and…

“I can’t breathe” in India too

Breathing is such a natural activity that we do not even pay attention to it most of the time, unless of course, we are practising pranayama or yoga. What is more, breath is free! For…

The Person of Ignatius

There are many ways to approach the life of St. Ignatius. [auth] One could focus on his writings, his vision, or his leadership qualities. One could trace the path of his life in chronological order,…

A Prelate not too late

On April 24, the call centre of the Municipal Corporation of Kannur in Kerala had a Catholic Bishop attend the calls. Bishop Alex Vadakkumthala of Kannur was seen noting down a list of essentials requested by…

Beyond the peripheries – among the Transgenders

Corona virus has destabilized millions of people in our country. The most affected are the daily wage earners and the migrants. Of these, the ‘blacklisted’ and the ostracized from society are the ‘secluded minority’ -…

Reaching out to distressed migrants

India’s nationwide lockdown exposed the vulnerabilities of over 4 crore distressed internal migrants. The lockdown left hundreds of thousands of migrant workers stranded far from home without employment, shelter, food and social security. The disturbing…

First Jesuit Brothers

May 1—The Memorial of Saint Joseph ‘the Worker’ has been observed as ‘Religious Brothers’ Day annually in the U.S. since its inauguration in 2017 in recognition of the life and ministry of brothers. [auth] A…

Living in solidarity with the environment

When the Government asked all educational institutions and other establishments to close down, one of our KG girls went back home happily. Her mother asked her why she was so delighted to come home before…

Online Retreat: A Lifeline experience

We consider the present COVID-19 pandemic as the ‘Cross of Christ’, which to humankind is folly but to God is wisdom. Amidst such an unprecedented crisis when the entire world is reeling under the spell…

Coping Apostolically with COVID-19

Pondering over the uncertain interval between two regimes of ancient Rome, Antonio Gramsci wrote from a Fascist prison in 1929, “The old world is dying and the new world struggles are yet to be born.…

Slumdog hero of slab school

Parents in Delhi slums work in the fields and their children remain uneducated since they have no time to drop and pick up the children from school. But an informal school started by Satyendra Pal responded…

Toilets with plastic bottles

Inspired by the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Rashmii Tiwarii, an architect from Hyderabad, reuses PET bottles to construct public restrooms. [auth] Did you know the Indian cricket team’s jerseys are made from recycled PET bottles? To…

Easter in the time of COVID-19

Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Jesus was willing to go to his passion and death despite being afraid, only because he believed it was the will of his Father. [auth] The…

A story of Hope: Educating the rural poor…

Looking back now, the story of the Jesuit schools in Northeast India has been one of unsolicited hope. Things happened unexpectedly; certainly not as the village folks had anticipated or, for that matter, even the…

Our Growing Numbers

In Kohima Region, the growing number of local vocations must surely be reckoned as a sign of God’s singular favour. God confirms our mission in Northeast India by calling young men, and he invests in…

Whither the next fifty years of the Kohima…

Fifty years are gone and the next fifty are beckoning the Kohima Jesuits. Where do they stand today as they ‘Read the Past to Write the Future’? They have ventured confidently into multiple areas of…

The vision of Kohima scholastics

When I asked the Kohima Region scholastics about their vision for our future, their responses endorsed my sense that the UAPs are constitutive of the next ten years. As described in the UAPs, our Region…

Post-Jubilee Musings

Celebrations are like binding knots of a community that is alive and animated, sensitive and thriving. It builds strength, invigorates a process, and enriches its potential. The Golden Jubilee celebration of Kohima Jesuit Region was…

The Easter Egg

Many symbols are part of our traditional ways of celebrating feasts. Thus we have the Christmas tree and the Easter egg. Many of our modern Easter eggs have become as barren as the unfertilized eggs…

Missionary in our streets

Murukan was once an orphan left in the streets. But now he runs Theruvora Pravarthaka Association. He has rescued thousands of homeless children, elderly, and ailing people from various cities in Kerala and has given them…

The Core of Christianity

We have received in our Christian Spirituality that the foundation of our relationship with God is based on, ‘Love God with your whole being and love your neighbour as yourself.’ Pope Francis through his Encyclical…

9th National Congress of JAAI- Trichy

The 9th National Congress of the Federation of Jesuit Alumni/ae Associations of India (JAAI) was held from January 17-19, 2020, at St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchirapalli and was jointly hosted by St. Joseph’s College and St.…

Are women not givers and mediators of life?

Every step forward for women is a step forward for humanity as a whole - Pope Francis. [auth] On a sunny summer’s day in 2014 I boarded the Duranto Express at the Howrah railway station…

A Lenten Roadmap

Somehow, the Lenten season always makes a big appeal, even though it is an annual and familiar feature. People get into its spirit and sense rather effortlessly. So much so, practically every parish community anywhere…

The First Woman: Cursed forever

Isn’t it paradoxical that the joys of parenthood, the blessing of motherhood, cherished by most societies and psyches, are in orthodox biblical perspective, curse and punishment? What kind of neurosis could have stigmatized the most…

Integral Proclamation of the Word of God

The ‘Word of God’ Sunday on January 26, 2020, coincided with our Republic Day, the day on which our Indian Constitution was promulgated in 1950. Given the present scenario of the promotion of Hindutva in…

A balance of Ecology and Ecosophy

The question that I keep asking myself is ‘how can we do justice to our ecology and make our world fit for others to live in?’ We all live in one world and in one…

Will Women’s Struggle for Dignity Ever End?

A few years ago five of my Jesuit students prepared and presented an assignment during the course on Feminist Theology. They began their power point presentation with the following words:  Woman cries and says,“Why did you…

Jyoti breaks through

The First Prize Winning Story of JIVAN creative writing contest-2019 [auth] Jyoti walked down the road in a pair of heeled slippers modern in design and matching a chic, ethnic salwar kameez set. She looked…

Ekta Chappal Ghar

You definitely remember the above two images from the 2002 Gujarat riots; one of Qutubuddin Ansari with a sobbing face and folded hands begging for mercy from an attacking mob, and the other of Ashok…

International Year of Plant Health, 2020

On December 20, 2018, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a Resolution to declare 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health. One may ask, “Are plants so unwell that they need global concern…

Should we not ‘Walk the Talk’?

India is in a mess; the economy is in shambles! On January 20, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered the growth estimate for India to 4.8 per cent for 2019, citing stress in the non-bank…

The Citizenship Bill and the Northeast

The anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) fire lit in Assam spread to the rest of the Northeast and to Peninsular India but with different priorities. Its focus for the protesters in Peninsular India is discrimination based…

CAA and its implication on refugee communities

The passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in 2019, have stoked the embers of the identity of people and their future existence. The scale and intensity of…

Protest and Resistance

Youth are challenging the iniquitous Citizenship Amendment Act. What about us, Jesuits? [auth] As persons committed to journeying with the youth, we should take part in this ongoing debate on inclusion and exclusion. As Jesuits…

Christian love is neither deaf nor blind

Imagine a plot written by George Orwell, the India-born author of the novel 1984. This time it is 2025. It has no meaning other than two minor ones. The simpler one is that it marks…

Are we short of “vocations”?

Our Provinces work earnestly at the task of getting ‘vocations’. Among routine activities vocation promoters travel far and near to meet possible candidates, subsidise exposures to varied apostolic works, foster prayer and spirituality, try to…

Begged Life

In 1992, he had just failed his class 10 examinations, and had decided to take his life. Twenty-seven years later, Murugan runs an organisation that takes care of the homeless and provides them with meals…

Expanding Eco Education Network

God’s Creation is a web: everything in Creation is linked. It is this Creation Web that sustains the Universe. [auth] Last month, GJEM (Gujarat Jesuit Ecology Mission) began creating a web of Eco Education across…

JCSA STATEMENT ON THE EMERGING SITUATION IN JHARKHAND

The recent developments in the state of Jharkhand are a cause of concern for every citizen of India. The democratic institutions and rule of law have collapsed in Jharkhand, resulting in efforts to amend Chotanagpur/Santal…

Expressive Club: Philosophical Implication of Language

“With globalization, the so called less important traditions, cultures, languages, and even species,” said Mrs. Sofie as introduction to the gathering of the Expressive Club in a building she owned. [auth] Her husband, a social…

A Language that could not be Written |…

A Foundational Grace The desire to learn, promote and empower languages is a foundational grace that the Society of Jesus has enjoyed from its very inception. Throughout the history of the Society of Jesus, Jesuits…

A ‘Labour of Love’ in Indigenous Languages

The UN General Assembly’s declaration of 2019 as the ‘International Year of Indigenous Languages’ echoed joyfully in the tribal heartland of Gujarat on 21 February 2019, when the Hon. Governor of Gujarat, Shri O. P.…

God’s Presence, God’s Present

For some years now I have received Christmas cards from some friends that have no reference to Jesus. On the outer page you see a bouquet of flowers, or a tree covered with buntings; on…

The Dawn of a New Life

A spiritual journey is a unique experience. Christmas inherently promotes spiritual growth and development, and is a time for spiritual rebirth and the dawn of a new Life. [auth] Jesus was born, and His birth…

Jesus: A name St. Ignatius Carried in His…

The titular feast of the Society of Jesus, celebrated on 3rd January, is one of three solemnities in the Society; the other two are the feasts of St Ignatius and St Joseph. The importance the…

Responding to REGAE II and Looking at the…

To, All Jesuits of the Conference of South Asia    15 Nov, 2019                                                                   POSA Circular 2019/06                                                                                                                                   Dear Friends in the Lord, Greetings of Peace! This circular brings you the responses of JCSA to the long process of…

The Synod of the Amazon

Personally, I believe that for those who are born or live in the Amazon, the Pan-Amazon Synod was a time of kairos, for all our communities to see how much the Church, led by Pope…

Delivering goodness

Twenty one children who once begged for food and money on Kolkata’s roads now study in government schools. This is not the work of an NGO or a Government scheme. It is the initiative of…

Jesuit contribution towards Tribal Identity and Culture

Fr. John Baptist Hoffmann started the Chotanagpur Catholic Mission Co-operative Society which helped the Adivasis stand on their feet economically. They were saved from the clutches of money lenders and profiteers through this well managed…

Caring for our common home

Jesuit ministry for environment protection [auth] Across countries we see humankind (young and old) entering into a paradigm of promoting and embracing an environmentally friendly lifestyle and spirituality. Green activism, research on climate issues, eco-friendly…

Inter-State Migrants (ISMs) in Kerala

Social integration has been recognized the world over as the key issue affecting the life of migrants. Social protection measures of both central and state governments and social support from host communities could become more…

Society of Jesus on its global mission

Two interventions of 2019 invite the Church and the Jesuits to serious personal and collective deliberation, action and assessment. The first is Pope Francis’ declaration of October 2019 as an Extraordinary Missionary Month. The second…

Arrupe helps us ride the waves

To mark the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus in 1814, Pope Francis presided over Vespers on 27th Sept., 2014, in the Church of the Gesù in Rome. “The ship of…

Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat

A Journey of Justice and Reconciliation: 50 Years and Beyond… [auth] In 1968 Fr. Pedro Arrupe on an official visit to Chotanagpur, India, entered an office in Ranchi and met Fr. Francisco Ivern, SJ, from…

Ecumenism and the Society of Jesus today

Every two years since 1969, the International Congresses of Jesuit Ecumenists have provided a forum for encouraging exchange among Jesuits drawn to the ecumenical dimension of the Ignatian charism. The ecumenical dimension was evident in…

Receptive Ecumenism

The communiqué from ARCIC III’s (the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, Phase 3) first plenary meeting in 2011 declared the Commission’s intent to use the method of receptive ecumenism which it described as seeking “to make…

Promoting Christian Unity in the Divided World

The World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly to be held in Jakarta in November 2019 has the theme “Your Kingdom Come! Our heart’s Cry - Advancing God’s Kingdom Together.” For the eleventh Assembly of World Council…

Women and Ecumenism in India

The ecumenical movement has its origin in Jesus’ poignant prayer on the eve of his death, his yearning for the unity of all - “that they may all be one as I am in you”…

REGAE II – a destination already and not…

In October-November 2014 the Major Superiors of the Jesuit Conference of South Asia (JCSA) met in Phesama, Nagaland, and moved by “a palpable experience of the Spirit at work among us”1 , responded boldly and…

Two years on: ‘No light at the end…

Second repatriation attempt failed As the second and latest repatriation attempt failed to take off on 22nd August, there is now cause for more gloom and despair among the 1.1 million Rohingyas currently sheltered in…

Mahatma and Saint

Come October 2019 and the world will be celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (2nd Oct.) and the canonization (13th Oct.) of Cardinal Newman. [auth] What is little known, however, is the connection…

Ageless value

A first-aid kit containing all the emergency requirements - bandages, antiseptic lotion, cream for burns and paracetamol; with basic knowledge of administering first aid having gone through formal training, this is no ambulance or an…

One man’s Eco dream – lived!

Purushothaman was a technician in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Bangalore. He saw the rapid growth of industry, population, and the consequent explosion of filth in the ‘garden’ city of India! He dreamt of living…

Spring Offensive

 Note: The term ‘Spring Offensive’ refers to the attacks by insurgents on the government in Afghanistan. The poem deals with the hope that the children of a conflict-ridden country place in education. More precisely, in a land where there is…

Interview with Fr. Markus Schmidt, SJ

President of the International Society of Jesuit Ecumenists (Fr Markus Schmidt, the President of the International Society of Jesuit Ecumenists was interviewed on behalf of JIVAN by Fr. Cedric Prakash. Fr. Schmidt is an Assistant…

Not All Crap! – Selling waste Online

Hyderabadis, listen! Want to earn from your household scrap while helping the environment? This start-up not only offers a free pick-up service, it also uses part of the profits to educate underprivileged children. [auth] Making…

Sacral Interculturality: a visit to a Sufi Dargah

Cultural diversity has emerged as a key concern in the pluralistic context of our county. Culture embraces the totality of people’s life - language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music, art, etc. Homogenization of cultures has…

The changing face of Inter-religious dialogue

I have been interested, if not actually engaged, in interreligious dialogue for the last 65 years. Looking back, I am amazed at the manner in which it has changed over the years. Sharing that story…

Promotion or Denial of Education? – a critical…

The Government of India released the Draft New Education Policy (DNEP) – 2019 on 31st May for public response. India has a population of 1.3 billion and the Constitution recognises 22 official languages. The DNEP…

A journey into the heart of the ‘religious…

My Superiors missioned me to ‘Apostolate among Muslims’. This mission placed on me a twofold responsibility: explore, find and establish contacts with Muslims in order to help them understand the Church and her love for…

Everyone is a victim – therein lies our…

Fundamentalism and Inter-faith dialogue in South Asia [auth] The persecution of the Christian community is the single most noxious common factor among the eight states of South Asia – in Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri…

Dialogue with Sikhs

Guru Nanak Dev, born in 1469, moved by compassion for his suffering people started Sikhism, to liberate his people from socio-religio-cultural oppressive systems and divisions based on caste, social hierarchy, and economic inequality in society.…

The Zen faith

Yamada KounRoshi, one of the renowned Japanese Zen masters of our times once said, if a Christian practices Zen, he/she will become a better Christian; deep in Christianity as well as in Zen. Zen is…

Christians and Yoga

This year International Yoga Day was celebrated on 21st June in many countries led by India. But there was a hiccup among Christians caused by a controversy with regard to the legitimacy of celebrating this…

Inter-religious couples: A new Inter-faith dialogue

This article is restricted to marriages between a Catholic person and a partner belonging to another faith. These are known as ‘Inter-religious’ or ‘Disparity of cult’ marriages. The focus of the article is on couples…

Fr. Angelo Benedetti, SJ Swami Shubhananda

Swami Shubhananda was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1928 and named after an Austrian Jesuit priest, Fr. Angelo Barbaria, who was his father’s spiritual guide. Angelo attended a flourishing Jesuit school in Barcelona in 1938.…

Ministry of fostering integrity and integration

Nowadays the ministry of inter-religious dialogue is referred to as the ministry of promoting inter-religious relations which enhance mutual understanding, co-operation, peaceful co-existence and communal harmony among people of different religions living side by side…

The Dragon King of Bhutan

My first encounter with my King who is admiringly called the Great Fourth was on the basketball court. He was an avid basketball player and we were privileged to play with him on a regular…

Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam an Eminent…

Popularly known as the “Missile Man of India”, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam is one of the most distinguished and rarest jewels among Jesuit Alumni in India, especially St. Joseph’s College, Trichy. He was born on…

Nothing beyond those years

Forty years on, the morning is as crisp as it was then: a 17 year old youngster, full of trepidation and nervousness, quietly slipped into the hallowed portals of St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta, as a…

The Xaverian ethos

My years at St Xavier’s (1969-71) were among the happiest in my life and helped shape me definitively for the challenges that followed in adulthood. On this auspicious occasion, I join my fellow Xaverians in…

Confession by Mr. Lakshmi Narayan Mittal

In 2013 I met Mr. Lakshmi Mittal, the Steel Baron, in London. We conferred the “Global Xaverian” award on him at a public function in the British Museum. Our interaction began with Mr. Mittal’s spontaneous,…

Where I fell in love with sport

Walking into St. Joseph’s Boys’ High School for the first time was a bit overwhelming. It was different from the small St. Antony’s where I studied till 4th standard. I was so excited to discover…

My golden decade

Childhood memories are the most precious possessions of a person. Recollection and retrospection fill one’s present with valuable lessons learnt, and with the joy of contentment. [auth] The years in school were crowded with relentless…

I look on all Jesuit priests with respect…

My children and my grand children studied in various schools, but I was a student of just one – St Xavier’s School, Fort, for decades the best known Jesuit school in South Mumbai. I am…

He believed I had the ability to do…

While I was at St. Xavier’s, Mumbai, I started Akanksha. One of our first centres was located at St. Xavier’s in the boys’ hostel. We had a tiny office right under the staircase there. [auth]…

My years at St. Xavier’s College

I would like to say a few words that I have long wanted to about my association with St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. I entered the College as a science student in 1950 at the young age…

From XLRI to Mozambique

‘ Mozambique’ may invoke in many minds the thought of some prehistoric monster! Far from it! It is a scenic African nation with a 2,400 kilometre stretch off the Indian Ocean on its eastern border.…

To be a Xavierite is to be a…

St Xavier’s High School changed me forever. From a shy, reticent, awkward young boy I metamorphosed into a bold, confident, vibrant young man. This transformation was, in large part, due to the ethos of the…

Loyola legend Vijay Amritraj

Vijay Amritraj, the tennis legend who played outstanding tennis at the international level during 1970s and 1980s is truly an epitome of the education, training and discipline imparted at Loyola College, Chennai. He attributes all…

Murali – the Missionary

He is not a missionary. But he has done more than any missionary could have done. In his two decade long journey of bringing education to one of the most remote tribal regions in Kerala,…

Shedding Light on Clerical Closets

Musings on Pope Francis’s Motu Proprio [auth] Need to relight our lives “In the Light of the Master” is the title of chapter three of Pope Francis’s March 2018 ‘Gaudete et Exsultate’– Rejoice and Be…

Innovative Interreligious Initiatives Fulfil UAPs

The Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) promulgated by Fr. Arturo Sosa, the Superior General of the Jesuits, on 19th February 2019 can be summarized as follows: [auth] 1. Spirituality 2. Walk with the Excluded 3. Accompany…

A Walk to Remember

“Are you blind? Do you need spectacles? The ball just went above your head!” I shouted at Vincent, the goalkeeper, who refused to admit that the penalty shot was a goal. The argument became more…

Towards becoming Transformative Leaders

The training programme for Vice Principals of Jesuit Colleges of South Asia was held from 4th to 6th May, 2019 at JMJ Residence, Sirumalai Hills, Dindigul. The programme aimed at empowering the participants holding important…

A Call to appreciate a Call

Fr. Pedro Arrupe in his letter ‘On the Preparation for Ordination’ initiating the Pre-Ordination Programme (POP) in the Society of Jesus, terms the entire month as a time of “an appropriate spiritual preparation before the…

Drawing from Nature – Art and Mother Earth

An Art Workshop was organized by CARP (Company of Artists for Radiance of Peace), LIPI (Loyola Institute of Peace and International relations, Kerala), and GJEM (Gujarat Jesuit Ecology Mission). Nineteen professional artists from India and…

Jesuit South Asian Assembly (JESAA), Pune

The Jesuits of South Asia, two hundred plus, gathered in Pune from 25th to 28th April for a South Asian Jesuit Assembly (JESAA 2019) to explore ways to make their life and mission intercultural, viewing…

Easter Sunday Horror

It is with sadness and helplessness caused by the tragedy on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, that brought mourning and pain to those who went to church for Easter services and to other places to…

Jesuits and Geographical Exploration

Geographical exploration is a process that investigates the physical, terrestrial properties of a region so that one gets correct and reliable knowledge of the area. Perhaps many may be surprised to know that the Jesuits…

In the Spirit, from the Heart, to Practice:…

More than capturing our imaginations and awakening our desires, the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs), in my view, redefine and reconstruct Jesuit identity - who we are, and what we do; our being and our doing.…

Ensuring ‘No One is Left Behind’: The Call…

On 25th September 2015, the United Nations (UN) declared the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the ‘global agenda’ to be achieved by 2030. On 19th February 2019, the Society of Jesus adopted the Universal Apostolic…

Religion: Peace, Fraternity, Dialogue

Pope Francis said, “Religions cannot renounce the urgent task of building bridges between peoples and cultures” (Speech in Abu Dhabi on 4th Feb). And this urgency was experienced as the Holy Father sent a video…

Two Thesauruses by a Jesuit ‘wordsmith’

The abundance of synonyms and near synonyms in a language offers wondrous possibilities for the precise expression of diverse shades of meaning. It also reveals and makes available to the user, the word-wealth of a…

Let him become what he desires to become

His flippant answers infuriated them. They smacked him, repeatedly punched him on the face causing him to lose consciousness, suffer a fractured cheek-bone, laceration on his cheek and bleed profusely. He ran for his life,…

No Odds Unbeatable

The perception persists that the scientific world is alien territory for religious leaders and scholars, particularly for women. But this is fast changing, especially in the Indian Catholic Church. In this “Road Not Taken” episode…

A ‘Green Parish’

In a city mainly known for noise and air pollution, the Parish Pastoral Council of Holy Family Church has taken a stand for ecological awareness. [auth] Fr. Vincent Vaz, the Parish Priest, has taken inspiration…

JCSA at Pedro Arrupe Institute, Raia, Goa

After three momentous events: the cause for the beatification and canonization of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, introduced in Rome on 5th Feb; the promulgation the UAPs to the whole Society on 19th Feb; and the meeting…

UAPs: Possibilities and Challenges to Formation

UAPs Echoing the Dynamism of the Society The Society of Jesus has been dynamic and has endeavoured to respond creatively to the signs of the times from the very beginning. The four Universal Apostolic Preferences…

India’s elections: Learning the hard way

Utopia? The 2019 massive exercise elections in India will peak in May with the casting and counting of votes, and the declaration of the results. This exercise flows from democracy which struggles to make sure…

An Indian Christian response to emerging India

Emerging India provides the Church an opportunity to understand the socio-economic, political, cultural, religious, etc. possibilities and challenges around. The Church in India can play a major role in upholding the constitutional and Gospel values…

The Resurrection: A message of Hope in a…

The Resurrection is a unique event. It is not the resuscitation of a dead body as in the case of Lazarus (Jn. 11.43) or the widow’s son (Lk. 7.11-14). It is a total transformation of…

A Vote for Good Governance

The Indian General Elections 2019 have been announced and on 23rd May the nation will know who will rule for the next five years! After more than seventy years of independence, the coming elections have…

Em-PAWAR-ed Village

It is Pawar that empowers a village. When Popatrao Pawar was elected the Sarpanch of the village in 1990,his family was upset as it wanted him to stay in the city. “But I felt that…

The Cause for Pedro Arrupe

The cause of Pedro Arrupe (1907-1991) to be canonised has been introduced recently in Rome. This is an occasion to recall his inspiring life and work. [auth] He has been credited with re-founding the Society…

Jyoti of the Musahar community

When her parents left her in a residential school for poor children, she was just five. [auth] But Jyoti, one of seven siblings, didn’t cry over being ‘abandoned’. Even when many other girls her age…

The non-Christian initiatives for inter-religious dialogue

Soon after the Second Vatican Council (Vat. II) inter-religious dialogue reached its peak. Church documents kept encouraging Christians to enter into religious dialogue with the non-Christians. Theological periodicals published numerous articles in praise of this…

The Lenten Triangle

The liturgy is not simply worship but also catechesis. It instructs us not only through words, but more specifically through symbols, symbolic space and time, symbolic actions and narratives. Hence, it is very important that…

Mary Magdalene: Re-reading a ‘sinful’ woman

Arguably, the one most misrepresented woman in the Bible is Mary Magdalene. Her characterisation in the Gospel narratives is fuzzy, and if one only went by her legendary confused, suppressed identity, she could well be…

Do Women Count? A Teilhardian Perspective

Teilhard de Chardin proposes a dynamic evolutionary theory in which the universe is evolving towards a final point – the Omega Point. He identifies Christ as the Omega Point in whom and towards whom the…

Counterculture Education

One could call the way of Jesus Christ, a counter-culture movement because in many ways it contrasts with what the world considers human advance or fulfilment. The opponents of Jesus who tried almost successfully to…

Udaybhai: an Auto-matically Great Man

Udaybhai, as everyone calls him, is a unique auto rickshaw driver in Ahmedabad. The auto has facilities that are not even found in cabs. You find newspapers, magazines and other literature to read, and two…

Plastic Man

Prof. R Vasudevan is a retired chemistry professor of a Madurai Engineering college. He has spent the last two decades researching and implementing the reuse of waste plastic. [auth] “Plastic is my resource,” he says. Eighteen years…

Fr. Benjamin Henry Miller, SJ (SRI) (1925-2019)

Rev. Fr. Benjamin Henry MILLER of the Society of Jesus arrived in Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, on 4th September, 1948 just eight months after Sri Lanka celebrated its independence fromcolonial rule. He is an American…

Nation at Peril

On 19th December 2018, over 80 ex-bureaucrats wrote an open letter to Adityanath Yogi asking him to resign as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh for the following reasons: the killing of a police officer by…

Displacement Studies and Social Research

It began one morning in May 1982 when we read in the newspapers that the Supreme Court (SC) had appointed three ombudsmen to study the working conditions of the 1982 Asian Games construction workers. [auth]…

Social Sciences in Bombay Province – A Brief…

Bombay Province has had Jesuit intellectuals who taught the social sciences, chiefly in St Xavier’s College, Mumbai. They encouraged their students to go beyond the classroom and do ‘action-research’ that familiarised them ‘social analysis’. This…

Reiterating our perspective on Adivasi studies

For several decades academic studies on Adivasis in India were clouded by a perspective promoted by a prominent right-wing nationalist and academician G.S. Ghurey who, motivated by his Hindu nationalist sentiments, had stated that the…

Papal Seminary: Home of Love

Last year Papal Seminary, Pune, India, entered the 125th year of its service in forming and moulding priests for the Universal Church, especially the Church in India. It is the formation house for about 190…

Stephen Hawking’s Missed Love-God Linkage

Stephen Hawking, the Wheelchair Scientific Genius, who is almost universally acclaimed as the Second Einstein of our times, is most noted for his brilliant intellectual rationality and incredible scientific acumen. [auth] Among other contributions to…

CHRISTMAS with a difference

It is indeed the ‘Christmas’ story of 2018. While India was celebrating Independence Day on 15th August, a new-born baby was found in a Chennai gutter, wailing loudly. The umbilical cord was around his tiny…

Dhartari, Kansari and the Warli Woman

“I am a firm believer that the way women of colour are treated within society is a reflection of the way we treat our precious home, the earth.”1 [auth] The Warli tribes of Palghar District…

Eco-Spirituality and Novitiate Formation

Till the age of twenty one I lived in a village and enjoyed everything rural life in Kerala could provide. Fresh water, clean air, vegetables, fruits, rice and other cereals, coconut oil, milk from cows/goats…

Gujarat Jesuit Ecology Mission (GJEM)

‘Concern for the Environment’ was one of the five themes identified by Gujarat Province as a result of the Strategic Apostolic Planning (SAP) process. The Province document, “Vision, Mission and the Action Plan” of May…

Drawing from Nature

Fr. Pedro Arrupe, in his inspiring talk on ‘Art and the spirit of the Society of Jesus’ (1972), succinctly articulates the role of artists and works of art: “What was the purpose of art in…

Green Ignatius of Loyola

Ignatius was born in the green, mountainous Basque country. He grew up next to the perennial stream Urola, in the shadow of the rocky mountains - El Izarraitz. The Basque shepherds spend much of the…

#WeToo: The Ecological abuse and Justice

I told the students in the class, “Your grandchildren will ask you ‘Grandpa/ma, what is this thing called rain?’ and you will attempt to explain, ‘Beta, rain is like the shower in our bath but…

A Christmas after Christmas

It was a week after Christmas; nothing more than an ordinary winter afternoon. The sky was ocean blue. I could feel a slight touch of the cool breeze on my cheeks. I felt lucky wearing…

Fr. George Gispert-Sauch, SJ (BOM) 1930-2020

Fr George Gispert-Sauch was a well acknowledged theologian, Sanskritist and Indologist, ever willing to mentor and to accompany young aspirants. He even stayed with a group of theologians living for a while in an Old…

Gaston Roberge: an appreciation

Fr Gaston Roberge SJ, founder of Chitrabani Institute, Kolkata, and film and media scholar par excellence, passed away at St Xavier’s College, Kolkata, on August 27, 2020. He was 85.  [auth] Both Chitrabani, started by…

Community Prayer book on Ecology

The Encyclical Laudato Si by Pope Francis has rejuvenated our love and care for environment and all of creation. Environment acts as a medium to elevate our spirits with ecstatic reverence and helps us raise…