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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…

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. Amalan Thainase, SJ (GUJ) 1984–2019

It is unfortunate to write an obituary for my nephew, less than eighteen months after preaching at his first thanksgiving Eucharist on 17th December 2017. There have been times when his mother, who was with…

Fr. Dorairaj S. Joseph, SJ (MDU) 1937-2019

Fr. Dorairaj entered the Society in 1955. After his ordination in 1968 and tertianship in 1973 he was missioned to Mauritius. For the first six years he was in charge of the technical school at…