“See, I can simply say Jesuits inspire me. But I don’t feel comfortable with it because what I am in love with is your ‘mission – the service of faith and promotion of justice.’ I grew up in a devout Catholic family with a strong inclination towards social concern. My time at St Xavier’s, Mumbai, shaped my choices in academics and life.
If I am pursuing my Ph D in Social Entrepreneurship, I owe it to my Catholic upbringing and the emphasis your spirituality laid on faith, justice and equity. Moreover, sharing my PhD journey with Jesuits here at XIM University is a joy. They say the best way to understand a community or organisation is to live with its members. I have lived with Jesuits. The Jesuit friends at Mumbai and Bhubaneswar ‘believed in me and my strengths.’
I felt I belonged to a community of friends. Never did I feel that there was a distance between us. I have many friends, but none like this bunch of Jesuits. We discuss, play, sing, dance, share food, laugh, argue, and disagree on many issues, but in the end, we agree that we need to build a better world.
I sometimes feel that Jesus and his disciples must have lived a life similar to this: ‘believing in each other and belonging to each other.’ I shall cherish these moments in my life. I admire how your spirituality allows you to celebrate life, while resisting the temptation to reduce such celebrations to cheap pleasure.
In fact, I wish I could become a contemplative in action, aiming for Magis in my life and work. I would want you to be another Christ in this world that is embracing a culture of aggression and violence.
You Jesuits must believe in us and allow us to collaborate with you in your mission. People like me need to meet a bunch of passionate Jesuits who are convinced of their mission and can communicate it to others through words and lived examples.”
Shaun Joseph challenges us to ‘believe’ both in our mission and in the youth who can collaborate with us in our mission. The question is, do we believe in our mission? Are we passionate about our mission? We cannot communicate it effectively to the young in our ministries unless we are convinced of our life-mission to serve faith and promote justice. We shall hope that the God who has called us gives us the strength to reflect, evaluate, and, if need be, change our lifestyles.
Shaun Joseph is a doctoral scholar at XIM University. His area of specialization isSocial Entrepreneurship.
Nithin Monteiro, SJ, (KAR) is currently pursuing his Ph.D Studies in Ethics & Artificial Intelligence at XIM University, Odisha. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.