Monday, May 31, 2010

Scholastics Sammelan -Simon, Jonh Paul, and Anoob

John Paul
Picnic To Mandali

Like every year the Scholastics of our Province were involved with various tasks at different places in the Province, during the months of April and May. On 19 May they gathered at Loyola Hall, Ahmedabad, for the Sammelan. The programmes were very well organized by the SPOC and the PCF, Fr Lawrence Dharmaraj. This year’s theme was on the ministry of Education, and the scholastics were privileged to listen to eminent persons in education. Fr Vincent Braganza shared his vision on ‘Higher Education’ and said that ‘to be an intellectual is to reflect’. He also insisted that we all are called not only to go and grow but to glow and be a light to others. Fr Durai Fernand and Mrs Ingrid de Rozario addressed the vibrant and young group of 32 scholastics on the importance of primary and secondary education, stressing the involvement of lay persons. Fr Amalraj Jeganathan gave first-hand information on RTE (Right to Education). Fr K P Vincent spoke on the usefulness of technical education especially in technically and industrially advanced states like Gujarat.
Fr Keith Abranches’ topic was ‘Towards a new frontier together’. He dealt mainly on the five
topics which were discussed at the West Zone followup meeting held at Vinayalaya, Mumbai. Lawrence Dharmaraj and Deacon Sunil Macwan, who also participated in the latter meeting spoke with conviction and the need to venture out of our 4-walled security
and get involved in the world around. We had the privilege of meeting our POSA, Fr Edward Mudavassery. It was his first visit to the province. In his talk he insisted on the fact that we
need to prepare men for universal mission. Later, he was reminded us that we as one province are not only hidden from South Asian Assistancy but we are a ‘hidden treasure’ which cannot be lost but be rediscovered and reshaped for the universal mission.
We had a day in a Water Park at Mehsana, to escape from the scorching 46 degree summer heat. The picnic was sponsored by the Mandali mission. Thanks to Fr Rajendran Vedamuthu Fr Durai and the Loyola Hall Community were very generous by allowing us the use of the grounds for
fun and relaxation and the swimming pool to cool ourselves. Sumptuous meals were served on all days.
Thanks a million to them .The men who brought success to the programme were the SPOC; Simon, Harry and Sanjay Parmar. The scholastics bade farewell to the Deacons Sunil Macwan and Cyprian Monis. After the final evaluation we proceeded to Jeevan Darshan for the annual retreat directed by Fr James B. Dabhi. (Simon Thomas, John Paul Lobo and Anoob)

Life without computers? - Justin john

The proliferation of computers over the last few years has also introduced other types of subtle changes. For most of us, it is hard to imagine life without cars, airplanes, telephones, radios, televisions, and, now, computers. Each of these technological breakthroughs shifted our vision of ourselves (or, perhaps more precisely, our view of our interrelationship with our world), some more than others. As a background example, let us consider the telephone.
Today, unlike a century ago, communication, oral as well as visual, can be instantaneous from one part of the world to another. One can reach for a telephone and dial directly to the other side of the earth in a matter of seconds. It is hard to conceive what life would be like without the ever-present telephone (even without call-forwarding and call-waiting features). Yet, in many ways, our spirituality has only begun to admit that questions involving modern technology need to be addressed, and that traditional religious ways of proceeding may now need to be modified to keep up with the latest inventions (e.g., television evangelists have done a better job in staying abreast of technological advances than have Vatican cardinals).
Over 400 years ago, in the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius of Loyola listed rules for Jesuits to follow in choosing apostolic works, when no easy recourse was had to a superior. Centuries ago, long distance communication (if one were lucky) required letters and couriers, and was far from instantaneous. How Ignatius would have written those rules today, with someone having virtually immediate access to any level of superior from practically any part of the world via telephones, is anyone's guess! Immediate replies are certainly in line with our contemporary culture, but they may not always be (spiritually) preferable compared to those replies which are the fruit of time and prayer. Although in many situations, "speed is of the essence" may be the motto, time also is a value, particularly in situations where emotions play a role and where insight is needed. Unfortunately, insight, like God himself and things like relaxation, cannot be rushed!
The use of computers raises similar questions. Besides being used for information (data) processing (such as data base storage and searches, word processing, etc.), the other major contemporary use of computers is for "number crunching" -- performing classical mathematical operations. In fact, for many years, computers were used only as giant adding machines. Up to a few years ago, mathematicians had given up on certain problems, because verification was impossible for human beings, even working in teams for a life-time. Such rote work can now be performed by a machine in a matter of days or even hours. The domain of interest for some mathematicians is now shifting from that of being able personally to produce ultimate results, to being able to produce the computational rules (i.e., "algorithms") which would enable a machine to produce the ultimate results. How significant is this shift? For some people, it is minor. For others, it is a major de-humanization of the discipline, and turns a discipline which took time and had prided itself with "elegance" and "beauty" in proofs into a discipline whose products are fed to machines which themselves grind out answers instant- aneously. Is the same shift happening with our spiritual lives spiritually, as well? Is a sense of wonder and inquisitiveness being lost because we can so easily turn to a computer for help?
Similar shifts have occurred before in history, some with serious theological implications. Thomas S. Kuhn, author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, uses the title "paradigm" to describe scientific systems purported to explain some aspect of our world. Thus, two well-known paradigms describing our solar system were expounded by Ptolomy and Copernicus. For Ptolomy (and the book of Genesis), the earth was the center of the universe. For Galileo and Copernicus, this was not so. In both paradigms, scientists could predict natural phenomena with the same exactness. Even today, we still say that the sun "rises" and "sets" even though we know the sun is not moving at all. But what does it mean for a believer to shift paradigms? What does it mean for a believer to realize that his belief system (e.g., the Genesis account) is not literally true? What does it mean for a believer to come to grips with the scientific truth that the pinnacle of God's creation (the human person) is not the center of the universe, as was once believed?
Belief in Biblical literalism is not easy to relinquish for some individuals, and there are numerous non-religious implications of some of these beliefs. The United States Supreme Court in June 19, 1987, ruled on a case involving a Louisiana Law demanding that "Creation Science" be taught whenever evolution was taught in schools. Human beings are less eager to change their minds and try new things when they are faced with bidding farewell to tenets of faith which they thought were rocks of stability in an ever-changing world. Galileo, as one famous example, suffered the consequences of the tenacity of other believers. But conflicts over paradigm shifts are not limited to bygone centuries. Many of us experienced the spiritual turmoil of the mid-1960's which resulted from the Church's shift in paradigms from a Latin mass to one in the vernacular. A significant number of people, after over twenty years, have still not adjusted to that particular shift of paradigms.
In the Copernican scientific revolution, there was a definite change in paradigms, and in that case, for some people, the change was traumatic, since the two paradigms are fundamentally incompatible -- one cannot hold that both the sun and the earth are centers of the universe at the same time. However, sometimes the shift is less dramatic, as far as the believer is concerned. Newtonian mechanics works quite well in the world as we perceive it (as does Euclidean geometry). However, it takes Einstein's Relativity (along with non-euclidean geometry) to make sense of the world of inter-stellar space. One might say that Newton's theory is a special case of Einstein's even though the underlying language and concepts differ, and that the theory might still need to be expanded even beyond Einstein. However, for most people, this shift in paradigms does not drastically affect their self-image.
I am not suggesting that we are on the verge of a shift in paradigms as drastic as that which occurred shifting from Ptolomy to Copernicus. However, subtle shifts are no less important, and the presence of computers is producing many such subtle shifts. In the face of these technological wonders that the modern human mind has created, I, for one, feel less in control of my world than I once did. I feel more in awe of the "work of human hands" especially since that "work" controls more and more of my life.
I also wonder how many more computers I will see in the future -- whether ten years from now, there were be any human bank tellers or any human grocery check-out clerks. Our society is de-humanized enough without people experiencing less and less human contact. Automation and mechanization can also lead to a certain amount of minimalism, as history has shown, and minimalism has had unhealthy consequences for our faithlife. The American Bishops in their 1978 document, Environment and Art in Catholic Worship, suggested that many of the problems we experienced in liturgy in the past were due to a minimalistic and mechanistic approach to sacraments and symbols, which among other problems seemed to hold efficiency as a high religious value. We assume that certain decisions are made by humans now -- will that assumption be true twenty years from now? Will any changes be for the better?
But interacting with computers has other dimensions as well. Every time one of my computer programs fails to run because of a simple (or not-so-simple) error, I once again realize my limitations and I feel more and more at home with St. Paul's quotation of Christ: "My grace is enough for you, for in weakness power reaches perfection" (2 Cor 12: 9). It takes humility and patience to be put into your place time and time again by a bunch of metal and wires which sits next to your desk.
My computer also challenges me, as an educated believer, in the same way those other modern inventions of communication challenge me -- radio and television. These inventions can reach so many so easily -- how can I influence what is being communicated? My talents in the field of radio and television are limited -- but what influence can I have at all in this new world of computers?
St. John's gospel and first letter use the image of "Word" to present the reality of Jesus. For John, the Greek word logos summarized God the Father's relationship to Jesus. That Word, we are told, became flesh and pitched his tent in our world (John 1:14). Logos, or its usual English translation, 'Word," is a word which at one time expanded its meaning with reflection. This was partially due to the way that "words" were used in culture -- they were oral tools to convey meaning, truth, and wit, among other things. They were finely crafted and well-spoken. And sacred scripture built on this human experience. The psalmist tells us that "by the word of the Lord the heavens were made . . . for he spoke, and it was made..." .
The advent of the printing press several centuries ago changed our perception of the word. In many parts of the world, a word is no longer something primarily spoken, but rather something primarily read -- no longer oral, but visual. Words are now meant to be examined, looked at, admired, but not necessarily heard. Until recently, the visual was merely meant as an aid to convey the more important oral meanings. But as more and more writers use computers for word processing, the visualization of words on a page (or computer monitor) rather than the original content may be the determining factor as to how something is written.
In addition to the way we utilize words, the metaphor "word" (i.e., the total set of meanings, nuances, and interconnections) has itself shifted. In a few years it may be impossible to recover its original meaning -- a meaning which biblical writers capitalized upon. Some have suggested this "metaphor-shifting" has already occurred with other biblical words, e.g., "sacrifice." We continue to use the word "sacrifice," but are totally out of touch with its original religious meaning, and, in fact, we may even have reached the point of non-recovery!
For many technicians, the word is now an electronic reality, used to convey a unit of information. It is best if it only has a univocal meaning -- ambiguity leads to problems in computers. Computer words do not last long -- they are here today and erased tomorrow. They are an easily dispensable commodity -- not at all enduring like the Word mentioned in Scripture.
The more our culture sees the computer word as the fundamental reality of "word," the harder and harder it will be to understand our relationship to Jesus as the Word of God. We are overwhelmed with computer words, and, to a great degree, with the visual printed words these computers generate. We now have so many words we have to build machines to shred them. How can we speak about being "starved for the Word," and also speak about and "shredding words," without some sort of schizophrenia? How can we reflect meaningfully on the reality that the "Word became flesh and pitched his tent among us;" when we most often think about the word becoming "processed" on the computer in the den or office?
John H. Wright, S.J., in his book, A Theology of Christian Prayer, bases some of his comments on prayer on a distinction made by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, in The Phenomenon of Man. Both speak about a "double aspect" to the structure of reality: all (created) things have a within and a without. As Teilhard says, "In the eyes of the physicist, nothing exists legitimately, at least up to now, except the without of things."
Problems which have occurred throughout religious history seem to be due in part to the tendency to give religious answers to non-religious questions, or, to use the terminology above, to give answers about the without of things, as if it was the within of things. Part of the reason for this tendency is due, perhaps, to the inability we have had to identify properly what pertains to the within and what pertains to the without. People in Galileo's day believed that the world as center of the universe was a within question. Now we realize that it is a without question. Thus, most of us have little problem realizing that we can still be the crown of creation, and thus the center of the universe in the realm of God's love, without being at the same time the mathematical/astronomical center of the universe. The within reality endures, while we have seen that the without statement is nonsensical.
The history of salvation has shown us that we must constantly re-think our image of ourselves, and at times, re-adjust that image based on present events which become part of that history. The people of Israel presents a vivid example of a nation which has had to re-understand itself over and over again. God's promises seemed to be dashed time and time again: slavery in Egypt, captivity in Babylon, subjugation by the Romans, the destruction of the Temple, the Holocaust. Yet the basic faith in a God who saves remains. Christians should have a simpler time adjusting to changes in our world because of the revelation of Jesus that what is ultimately important is the love of God and the God of love. Love is the ultimate within, and it is in that image that we are created.
The computer has been described as the first invention by the human race which tried to imitate and assist the human brain rather than human brawn. Yet, the way the computer aids the mind is still basically in the realm of the without, and even though computers may imitate the human mind to an amazing extent, the within of the mind is still something beyond the reach of metal and silicon. We still need to ask why rather than merely asking how.
If some of our contemporaries have re-defined themselves as biological computers, it seems to me that they are missing as much of the picture as those who define themselves as rational animals. Both metaphors tell only so much of the reality and are fundamentally on the level of the without. For Christians, the reality of 'who I am' is based in the God of love who sustains me in my within since God is the ultimate grounding of my existence, and who shares with me divine love so I can share it with others. That love has no limit, even though my poor body which experiences it and tries to share it has more limitations that I would like to admit. The God of all reality calls me continually to stand in awe and wonder, both of God and also of creation, whether that creation be part of nature, or produced through the agency of human hands and minds. We must continue to serve God through the latest technology, and not merely serve the technology itself. The ultimate question is not whether I view myself as a fleshy computer, but whether God views me as simply a biological word processor.
T. S. Eliot once wrote:
All our knowledge brings us nearer to ignorance

All our ignorance brings us nearer to death

But nearness to death, no nearer to God.

Where is the life we have lost in living?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
Our computer culture is an "information science" culture, but of itself it has brought us no nearer to God or to Divine Wisdom. We need to do that on our own.
I have raised a number of questions and have only begun to give directions for some answers. A few answers should be obvious. For instance, it is not right to duplicate software or dial in to someone's computer without authorization. But other answers may be less obvious, and may require more reflections. For example, how we should view ourselves and our God in a computer age. Some questions may be only first steps toward formulating more significant questions. My hope is that the few thoughts I have shared may lead to more fruitful reflection for readers.
We are still in the infancy of wide-spread computer use. As with the infancy stage of any child, these times are formative and the "child" is very impressionable. Once in a while, both the child and the parent may be overcome by tantrums. But the child which has been born of human talent and effort is quite marvelous. Even more marvelous is the genius of the collective human minds which created it. Rather than reducing my view of God, for me, it increases my wonder of the Creator when I reflect on the marvel I work with many hours of every day. We Christians have a unique opportunity presented to us by the birth of this new brain-child. So many beneficial uses have already been seen in so short a time. With love and direction, we may be able to use the computer (and even newer technological advances to come in the years ahead) to spread the Kingdom of love, peace and joy initiated by Christ our Lord with even more vigour! Let us hope so!
Justin John, s.j.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Scholastic Sammelan -- Anoob Mattekadan


Scholastic Sammelan
Like every year the Scholastics of our Province were eagerly awaiting for their Summer Programmes. They were assigned with various tasks at various places in the Province. On 19th May the Sholastics gathered in Loyola and began their Scholastic Sammelan. The Programmes were very well organized by the SPOC and the PCF, Fr. Lawrence Dharmaraj. As this year was dedicated to the ministry of Education, the Scholastics were privileged to listen to some eminent persons in the ministry of education. We thank Frs. Vincent Braganza, Durai Fernand, Amalraj Jagannathan, K.P. Vincent and Mrs. Ingrid Rozario. The PCF, the Provincial and the POSA addressed us with their valuable inputs. We had a day to escape from the scorching sun in a water park at Mehsana. The picnic was sponsored by the Mandali mission. Fr. Raju was a great helping hand and the person behind the success of it. The food, accommodation and the facilities in Loyola were excellent. And generous hospitality of the community deserves a special mention. The men who brought the success of the programme were the SPOC; Simon, Harry and Sanjay Parmar. The Scolastics bade farewell to the Deacons Sunil Macwan and Cyprian Monis. After the lunch on 23rd May we said bye to each other and said that we would meet together next year.
Scho.Anoob Mattekadan.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Social Analysis Programme - Bangalore

Scho.John Paul, Scho.Jestin and Scho.Jayanti participated in the socio-cultural analysis programme.

Scholastics learn to analyze the Socio-Cultural Reality

Lighting a lampThe Socio-Cultural Analysis programme held at ISI, Bangalore from 21st April to 5th May was a memorable one for all 30 Jesuit Scholastics and 3 others who participated in it. Though the participants had different ideas about the various issues and problems of the present day society, this course gave a new orientation to look at the social issues from the eyes of the poor.
The whole programme was arranged in such a way that it gives a wide and broad idea of the functioning of various elements of the society. The programme covered almost all the fields, ranging from the socio-economic-political-cultural and religious system to communalism, Special Economic Zones and Media. It has given a deeper and detailed understanding of the major issued like the caste system, the economic deprivation due to globalization and privatization and the modus operandi of the Sangh Parivar and other fundamental organizations. The course also gave an opportunity to look the alternatives available and threw light on how to counteract the communal forces. This course gave the tool to analyze the various problems and situations in the society and not to refuse or reject any situation blindly or to simply believe in what the popular media presents. One of the participants said, “My view or attitude of looking at various aspects of the society is definitely different from the one I had before I started this course. Today, as I read the newspaper or watch news channel, I am able to get into the analysis part of it.”

ParticipantsIn all there were 16 resource persons from outside besides the ISI staff. We had some fiery speakers who made us aware of the ground realities and instilled a new zeal in all of us. The programme presented various facts and figures of our country which we were unaware of. We had only heard of the caste issue and the struggles of our tribal brothers, but this was truly an eye opener to almost all of us.
Personally I feel that it has made a difference in my own life. I have realized that sometimes I too play a role of an oppressor; sometimes I too deny my brethren their basic rights. Today I know that I cannot call a person dirty if the society in which we live has denied that person his right to minimum quantity of drinkable water. What right do I have to call somebody uncivilized if I as a member of the society have not given them enough opportunities to grow?
Most of all this programme has helped me to affirm my vocation to be human.
- Sch. Ambrose Machado (BOM)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ignatian Mysticism -- Harry Martis

Ignatian Mysticism
I acknowledge whatever is in this piece of writing is not something of my own. I have culled out, adopted and intergrated in order to revitalize myself a little more in Ignatian Spirituality. During the last academic year of theology, there was no space and scope for Ignatian spirituality, either in the form of recollection or in the form of discourse, now I take this assignment as an opportunity to come in touch with Ignatian spirituality which is the foundation of every Jesuit.
The autobiography of Ignatius is a personal account of his life. It covers only one period of his life, that is, the pilgrim years, as they have been called from the time of his conversation.
It is said that the autobiography is an untidy narrative, and seems to be just a patchwork of random memories ranging from the trivial to the profoundly significant incidents. In the autobiography, Ignatius speaks throughout in the third person about the pilgrim. That was his self-image- a man on a ceaseless quest, always forging ahead, and not at all inclined to look back, even as he neared journey’s end.
Jerome Nadal, his trusted companion was determined to obtain a testament- a piece of fatherly advice. There were other founders of the congregations or orders, for the sake of their followers, have left some message. Nadal too expected a message from Ignatius, which would be available to the Society of Jesus in all ages, an authentic statement of the intimate relationship between God and Ignatius. In other words, the text would be an authoritative exposition of Ignatian Charism as it must be realized in the Society of Jesus.
Ignatius did not write the autobiography. Due to his companion, Jerrome Nadal’s persistence, Ignatius finally yielded to tell about his story in bits and pieces to Luis Gonscalves da Camara, another loyal companion and a man blessed with a very retentive memory. He first listened to Fr. Ignatius with great attention and then ran off to his room to make brief notes.
It is said that the narrative style of autobiography is most unsatisfactory as a piece of literature. It was never published till recently in the present century. A free Latin version was produced very early and subsequently printed but never was really circulated.
These are a few facts about the autobiography of St. Ignatius.
The term "mysticism" comes from the classical Greco-Roman mystery cults. Perhaps it came from myein meaning "to close the lips and eyes, and refers to the sacred oath of the initiates, the mystes, to keep secret about the inner workings of the religion." In Neo-platonism "mysticism" came to be associated with secrecy of any kind. The term mystica appeared in the Christian treatise, Mystica Theologia, of an anonymous Syrian Neoplatonist monk of the late fifth or early sixth century, who was known pseudonymously as Dionysius the Areopagite. In this work mysticism was described as the secrecy of the mind. Despite the various approaches to mysticism it seems to possess some common characteristics. Such were the findings of the philosopher W. T. Stace, who discovered seven common themes of mysticism when studying Roman Catholic, Protestant, ancient classical, Hindu, and American agnostic mystical experiences. They were:
1. A unifying vision and perception of the One by the senses and through many objects.
2. The apprehension of the One as an inner life.
3. Objective and true sense of reality.
4. Feelings of satisfaction, joy, and bliss.
5. A religious element that is a feeling of the holy and sacred.
6. A paradoxical feeling.
7. Inexpressible feelings.
From the above elements one can easily pinpoint that mysticism is not the same to every person experiencing it. Therefore, there are various kinds or types. Various mystics subscribe to one of two theories of Divine Reality: emanation or immanence. In the emanation view, all things in the universe are overflowing from God. In the immanence view, the universe is not projected from God, but is immersed in God.
Coming to the autobiography of St. Ignatius, we see several aspects of mysticism throughout his interior journey. Here an attempt is made to highlight overall view of the autobiography which may fall into the category of mysticism.
When we talk of St. Ignatius as a pilgrim, what stands out in the whole story is his authentic loyalty. He felt a need to be loyal, to find a person or a cause that could claim his total devotion. As a young man, he was always caught up with unrealistic ambitions. During his convalescence he really comes in touch with his feelings and movement within. It is during this time Ignatius comes in touch with the object of his inner desire. It is Christ alone worthy of absolute loyalty and can satisfy the loftiest aspirations. In his encounter with Christ, Ignatius experiences loyalty as liberation. This paradox is the closest possible approach to the formulation of the Ignatian Charism.
In the sequence of eleven chapters of the autobiography, we see the conversion of Ignatius as a discovery of a deeper and hitherto unsuspected level of being, where his real self l meets the real God in the person of Christ. It is tremendously liberating experience for Ignatius. Ignatius feels an overwhelming desire to serve the Lord. But he is now firmly rooted in reality and cannot indulge in dreams. He must come to some concrete plan to serve his master.
In Quest of Christ
From chapters two to four we see several situations that brings to Ignatius clearer realization that commitment to Christ means loyalty to the church, loyalty to Pope. We find three different narratives gearing up to something new. From the castle of Loyola, Ignatius sets out on a spiritual adventure under the patronage of Virgin Mary. He becomes a true pilgrim. During his stay in Manresa the spirit leads him through many trials and lessons to a further profound experience of God, as the one reality embracing all realities. His journey to Jerusalem and the homeland of Christ is a practical application of his new insight through a complete abandonment to divine providence.
Chapters five to eight Ignatius’ realization reaches to a greater height. He is not allowed to stay back in Holy Land to serve the pilgrims. He makes a fresh start. He pursues study in order to equip himself for a more universal apostolate in the church. He moves through several great universities and at the same time helping many people to live a better committed life. In pursuing in goal he obeys all authorities.
In chapters nine and ten we see Ignatius walking towards a new beginning. At the University of Paris Ignatius had gathered a group of friends, who zealous and ardent in serving Christ. This is a new beginning for Ignatius. He is no more an individual pilgrim but a group of men who are destined to Rome to be at the disposal of Pope for any task he might entrust them. In this journey Ignatius had a deep experience of God in Christ. This is a special grace that Ignatius receives from God.
We could count all these aspects in Ignatius’s life as mysticism. Among them two events are core to Ignatian Mysticism.
1. The sublime enlightenment on the banks of Cardonare.
2. The experience of being placed with Christ at La Storta near Rome.
The experience of being placed with Christ was his earnest desire that fulfilled on his last journey. Gonsalves Da Camara accounts it from Diego Lainez, who was the companion and confidant of Ignatius on the journey to Rome. Diego Lainez later succeeded as the Superior General to Ignatius.
The experience of being placed with Christ had a deep impression in the mind and heart of Ignatius as it can be seen from the spiritual diary. Growing realization of it can be seen in Ignatius's total loyalty to Christ and later loyalty to the church and to its head, the Pope. This is a confirmation to Ignatius that is God is with him. This realization must become a confirmation to all the faithful people that God is with His people. In the Gospels we read, “God is Immanuel (with us), where two or three are gathered in my name there I am amidst them or I will be with you till the end of time.”

Harry Martis SJ
Sneh jyoti
Ø Making Ignatian Spirituality a Way of Life during the Years of Formation. Compiled by

Pierre Jacob S.J.
Ø Testament and Testimony, the Memories of Ignatius of Loyola.
Ø Ablaze with God. Parmananda Divarkar.
Ø Internet sources

Monday, May 10, 2010

West-Zone Sammelan 3 - 6th May -- Bombay

Dear Cedric and the Steering Committee members: Arun, Rosario, Joe, and Raj

Thanks to each one of you and your team work the Sammelan started off on the right note and ended on a high note! It was such a grace-filled gathering among companions and friends. There was room for differences of opinions and yet there was enough space for collaboration and dreaming future dreams for the Zone, the Assistancy (our country) and the Society of Jesus.

Thank you for the meticulous planning and the consequent smooth flow of events and people. I liked the interaction session with the non-Jesuits. It was hard to listen to some of the stuff but I felt it was honest and with a lot of good-will. A good listening exercise. The short presentations were pointed and insightful but the group discussions were the best part of the samellan.

I now hope the statement will act as a good guide for all of us in the follow-up months until October. Then we can look forward to the National Sammelan and more national action.

Thank you once again for giving of your time, energy and talent for the benefit of the entire Zone - 700 odd Jesuits! God bless each of you. Hope you now have time to rest and relish!
Tony da Silva SJ