Monday, January 21, 2013

3rd Sunday of the Ordinary time.- Fr.Vally D'Souza

(Sending this early as I am going to be hospitalized for an angiogram. Request your prayers. Fr.Vally)


Luke 1,1-4; 4,14-21

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled  among us,  just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first  were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.

Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent  Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.  
He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
He went to Nazareth,  where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.  
The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him,  and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”


José Antonio Pagola

In a remote village of Galilee called Nazareth, the locals gather in the synagogue one morning to listen to the Word of God. After a few years seeking God in the desert, Jesus returns to the place where he had grown up.

   The  scene is very important to come to know Jesus and understand well his mission. According to Luke’s account, in this village almost unknown to everyone, Jesus is going to present himself as a prophet of God and explain his plan of action by applying to himself a text of the prophet Isaiah.

   After reading the passage Jesus explains it with a single sentence:“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke notes: “The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.” The attention of everyone shifts from the words read  to the person of Jesus. What can we today discover if we fix our eyes on him?

   Moved by the Spirit of God. The entire life of Jesus is driven, led and directed  by the prompting and  guidance of the love of God. To believe Jesus is God,  is not to profess in theory a dogmatic formula  worked out by the Councils. It is to keep discovering in a concrete way, in his words and his actions, his tenderness and his fire, the ultimate Mystery of life we believers call “God”.

   The Prophet of God. Jesus was not anointed with olive oil as were kings, to confer on them the power to govern, or high priests to invest them with sacred power. He was “anointed” with the Holy Spirit of God. He does not come to govern or to rule. He is a prophet of God dedicated to freeing life. We will only be able to follow him if we learn to live with his prophetic spirit. 

   Good News for the poor. His work is Good News for the most marginalized and helpless social class: those who need to hear something good; those despised and forgotten by all. We begin to be like Jesus when our lives, our work, and our love leading to solidarity with the poor is perceived by them as something good.

   Dedicated to liberate. He spends his life liberating human beings from every kind of slavery. People see him as one who saves from suffering, oppression and exploitation; the blind experience him as light that frees from meaninglessness and despair; sinners receive him as grace and forgiveness. We follow Jesus when he delivers us from all that enslaves, belittles, or dehumanizes us. We then believe in him as the Savior who leads us to eternal life. 

Make the Prophet of God known


Jose Antonio Pagola, , San Sebastian, Guipuzcoa, Spain.
English Translation by  Valentine de Souza S.J.  Mandal, Gujarat , India.394650

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Late Rev.Fr.Ordonez

Late Rev.Fr.Ordonez S.J. spent most of his lifetime in Gujarat serving people who were in need of education, social development, health services, spiritual guidance... To view his interview, Kindly click the link above.

Saturday, January 12, 2013



On January 5th (2013), a book-reading-reviewing function was held in G. Vidyapith, Ahmedabad in the Ahimsa Shodh Bhavan. The function was organized by Prashant (Fr. Cedric Prakash) and Dalit Shakti Kendra (Mr. Martin Macwan). The book ‘Taking Sides’ was authored by Fr. Rudolf Heredia, SJ. The book is a scholarly expression of Jesuits’ ‘Option for the Poor’ apostolate. It deals with the question of reservation for the voiceless and vulnerable members of society – Dalits, tribals, women and religious minorities. Because of the absence of true statesmanship which is concerned about the good of the people and of the nation as a whole, vote-bank politics which is bothered about getting elected for the coming election, the target groups did not profit much from this policy. Many issues like this, connected with the reservation policy for the last 65 years in our country, were discussed in this meeting. After the lucid exposition of the contents of the book by the author himself and by the well-known academicians Prof. Ghanshyam Shah and Prof. Shalini Randeria, an exceptionally enlightening discussion was followed due to the active participation of a knowledgeable audience.

Bandhu Ishanand

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Golden Jubilee Celebrations - Fr.Anthony Pitchai

Golden Jubilee Celebrations

St Joseph’s School, Vadodara, completed 50 years on 22 December. The golden jubilee marked five decades of service, not that of just imparting knowledge but also  of instilling in the young minds creativity and seeds for personal and societal transformation through qualitative and wholistic education.

The chief guests at the function were Bp Godfrey de Rozario and Fr Lawrence Dharmaraj, the socius. Many people especially the parents, old students and well-wishers participated in the celebration. It began with a video presentation of the memories of the last 50 years of the existence of St Joseph’s. There was a series of dances and skits with a clear and articulated message of integral, qualitative and transformative education. The children’s performance was wonderful and masterfully presented. The entire program was really a feast for the eyes. In their addresses, the chief guests highlighted the efforts and achievements of St Joseph’s in its service to the children of the poor and low middle-class families in the city. The Principal, Fr Lucas, in his speech summed-up the efforts taken in providing quality education and forming men and women for others; who will live not just for themselves but commit themselves for others and for the transformation of the world. The principal, the staff and the students left no stone unturned to make this day a memorable one. (A.Pitchai)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Stage - Fr.Girish

New Stage

The 27th Annual Day celebration of St Xavier’s High School, Kalol was classic. It was held on 22 December evening on the newly built permanent open-air stage. The whole campus, especially the new building block, was lit with colourful lights. The event organizers, participants and the audience were enthusiastic enough to enjoy the cultural evening. The main theme of the event was: Towards Inclusive Development - sammilit vikasna panthe. All the staged items were well focussed and centred on the key theme. The various dances and drama were well planned, prepared and performed by the committed creative teachers and the students excelled in their hidden talents and danced according to the musical steps of their Masters.

The event President Fr Jose Changanacherry, the Provincial, was overwhelmed with joy and he congratulated all by saying “Jai Ho to the Management, Staff and Students of St Xavier’s. You all are privileged to serve and study in such BEST school of Kalol. Continue to join your hands together towards such inclusion and integration”.  The Chief guest Mr P. V. Anand, the Unit Manager of Sandvik company, besides appreciating the artists and administrators, assured to collaborate in the on-going implementation of their CSR activities in and through such an esteemed Xavier educational institute. As part of the event, the Management honoured six staff members for their 25 years of selfless Silver services and the topper students for their exemplary studies. Finally, the Principal Fr James Savarimuthu in his power-point presentation specially thanked Fr Provincial, Bro Paul, Fr Girish and the structural engineer Mr Lavingia for their generous support and professional accompaniment in and for ‘building’ God’s kingdom. The school’s present Manager Fr Velanganni, the Spiritual counsellor Fr Alex Thannipara and I were delighted to see our companion James once again firm and active on such a new stage with his fractured yet healed foot. Yes. Such was the open air confirmation of the ‘conversion’ experience of our Superior to lead the school and other activities of the mission from old to a NEW STAGE of inclusive development. Congrats dear Xavier Parivar! (Girish)  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ignatian Eco Retreat -Fr.Rappai

Ignatian Eco Retreat

The Ignatian Eco Retreat was held at Navsarni, Sawantwadi (a Sindurg Diocesan Pastoral Centre), in November. 24 Jesuits from 8 provinces, 13 of them from Gujarat, participated. Fr Robert Athicakal SJ, of Taru Mitra, Patna, the pioneer of Eco involvement in India, guided this first-ever Jesuit Eco Retreat in the Western Region. Sr Mudita and Dr Orla Hazra added deep feminine and cosmic dimension to the experience of God in His/Her Universe. The  ‘Principle and Foundation’ and the ‘Contemplation to attain love’ – the beginning and the culmination of the Spiritual Exercises – is an invitation to find the Lord of Creation all around us, and commune with him in the whole Universe.

The group spent quality time with the Earth, and the guiding team urged us to spend most of the days outdoors. The Eucharistic celebrations were organized in “God’s Cathedral” under the stars above, tall trees around and in candle/earthen lights.  A pilgrimage to the biodiversity-rich Narendrapur mountains close by was a memorable celebration of God’s creation.

Our history begins 13.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang when the universe exploded into existence. With this realization, it dawned on us that we are intimately related to all beings, animate and inanimate, in the Universe.  We felt the urgent need to live and act on this exhilarating realization. Only a deep, personal and spiritual experience of our existence in the Lord’s Universe could lead us to transformative action, within and without. All of us felt the need to relate to Nature differently, and act in favour of Ecological sanity. Gujarat Jesuits’ remarkable plunge into Eco Spirituality was very inspiring. I think more such retreats are called for. (Rappai)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

An Accomplished Bhakta - Fr.Ambrose

An Accomplished Bhakta

On the Feast of St Francis Xavier, Fr Rolphy Paul Pinto defended his doctoral thesis in a jam packed hall of the Pontifica Universitas Gregorian in Rome. His thesis was appropriately entitled: “Francis Xavier: A Bhakta? A Comparative Study Of Bhaktil in the Letters Of Francis Xavier and the Bhakti Padas of Narsinh Mehta.” He gave his introduction in English for the sake of the audience who may not follow much of Italian. But he defended his thesis and answered all the questions in eloquent Italian. It was a great delight listening to him. Spirituality goes beyond caste, creed, colour, customs, class and culture. In fact, it brings them together. It puts us in direct contact with God. Rolphy’s thesis is a unique contribution in the field of spirituality. St Francis Xavier could not have received better honour than this on his feast and Rolphy and we in Rome could not have celebrated the Feast of St Francis Xavier in better manner than this. His thesis is a gift not only to St Francis Xavier, but also to Gujarat! His thesis will be published both here and in Gujarat. Congrats to Rolphy! (Ambrose)