//Roots & Wings 2023

Roots & Wings 2023

Roots and Wings – 2023 was held at Sacred Heart College (SHC), Shembaganur, Tamil Nadu from 12 April to 12 May 2023. We were 27 participants, including two Ursuline Sisters.

On 12 morning Fr. Devadhas Muthaiah formally welcomed us all and introduced us to Fr William Sequeira (KAR). After a brief introduction to the Roots and Wings – 2023, the participants were asked to introduce themselves. Then we had the sessions on the first module,’Autobiography of St. Ignatius’. Fr. Sequeira did a commendable job of presenting the Autobiography of St. Ignatius. The evening sessions were devoted to sharing in smaller groups.

The second module was presented in a masterly manner by Fr. R.C. Chacko (HAZ), who delved deep into the various dimensions and dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises (SE) and linking it with the Autobiography (AB). It was an exercise of relishing the richness of our heritage, the SE and the AB.

When we visited the Archives at SHC, Fr Anto led us through the floors of the Archives, rich in archaeological materials – a goldmine that prserves historical materials of over 128 years – various details of Jesuits, places, activities and of people.

On the second day of Integration, we visited St. Joseph’s Farm and Bodhi Zendo at Perumal Malai. At the farm, Fr. Amal, Manager of the farm, explained to us the history and the functioning of the farm. We visited the Bodhi-Zendo, the Zen Centre, where we were greeted by Fr. Cyril, Director, and Fr. Stephen. After tea, Fr Cyril briefly narrated to us how the Institute began and grew to its present stature and all its activities. Then we were guided to the Meditation Hall and Fr Cyril led us through a short Zen meditation followed by a meditative walk. Fr. Cyril’s personal vocation to Zen way of life and how he combines Ignatian spirituality and Zen spirituality was very inspiring.

The third module, The Spiritual Diary and the Letters of St. Ignatius, was presented by Fr. Inigo (MDU). These two Ignatian sources, though not as familiar as the Spiritual Exercises and the Constitutions to many, had their own unique insights and inspirations.

Third Integration Day was a unique one. For it was the birthday of Fr. Devadhas, the Coordinator of Roots and Wings. He was the main celebrant at the Eucharist. From the start till the end of this programme we experienced his sensitive, gentle, loving, and affectionate ways.

The fourth module was the Constitutions and the General Congregation documents. Fr. M.I. Raj (GUJ) with his scholarly approach dealt with these documents by bringing in the scriptural and psychological aspects. His approach brought in some new perspectives to understand both the Ignatian sources and the Bible.

Fr. Paul Michael, Director of People’s Education and Action in Kodaikanal (PEAK) shared with us prophetic initiatives undertaken by them, especially for the widows of the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu. Fr. Stanislaus Rathinam, the Curator of the Museum, showed us the various collections in the museum.

The Retreat, guided by Fr. M.I. Raj, made our spiritual journey richer. The retreat brought a renewed understanding and insights into our life and mission.

Roots and Wings-2023 offered us a deep sense of fulfilment and renewal. Being enthused and energized, we could see the change in our perceptions and attitudes that has made possible yet another new beginning for the Greater Glory of God in and through our life and mission.

The participants expressed their gratitude to the JCSA Secretariate for Faith, Fr. Devadhas M., Fr Patrick Ravi, Superior, and all the Jesuits and the co-workers at SHC, Shembaganur.

– Daniel Arokiadass (GUJ) and K. L. George (DAR)