Monday, February 10, 2014

Fr.John Khanna Passed away - Fr.Lawrence Dharmaraj

Fr . John Khanna (GUJ) 74/54 expired on 09 Feb 2014 at 10.30 p.m in Pilar Hospital,Baroda. The funeral will be held at  4.00 p.m  in  St.Joseph's Baroda on 10 
( Monday)Feb 2014.
Please remember him in your prayers.
Fr.Lawrence Dharmaraj SJ

Fr John Khanna 

Birth: 22-06-1940Entrance to SJ: 20-06-1960Priesthood:24-03-1971Last Vows: 14-11-1976Death: 09 Feb 2014

Fr Khanna John did wonderfully well in handling variety of ministries ranging from being an Assistant Parish Priest to Province Consultor. He had held very many responsible posts such as Superior, Minister, School Manager, Province consultor and  Coordinator for Youth Ministry.  

John started his priestly life as an assistant parish priest in Khambhat. There he teamed up with the Behavioural Science Centre in conscientising the Dalit Christians against the exploitation and oppression by Darbars. It was a painful but at the same time, consoling and an eye opening experience for John. From Khambhat, John moved to Vadodara St Joseph’s as a Parish Priest. The years at Vadodara were perhaps the most fulfilling years in John’s life as priest. He had clear pastoral vision. He wanted to make St Joseph’s a vibrant Christian community. Through patient and painstaking efforts, John succeeded in building the parish community, in getting the parishioners involved and committed to the parish and in forming perhaps the first parish pastoral council of the diocese in Gujarat.

John was gifted with a charming personality,  very human, open, friendly, people oriented, caring, sincere and authentic. John was also witty and had many jokes to entertain his companions and friends. He was a transparent person and spoke out truth boldly. He was very creative and innovative in his ministry.  

John was an authentic and loyal Jesuit; he cherished his Jesuit vocation and enjoyed the companionship of other Jesuits in the Province. He had been a good community man, helped to bring people together and fostered community spirit.

John suffered from many serious health problems – high BP, weakened heart, kidney failure etc.  One young man asked him: “Father, how is that you got so many health complications?” John answered: ‘All do not get these blessings; only some chosen ones. I am the chosen one; Jesus and Mother Mary do take care of me through so many of my friends.’ John was a man of deep faith. He had accepted his many health problems in a very edifying way. He had learnt to gracefully hand over himself to the providence of God.

Ignatian ideals “Magis, Purity of  Intention and Union of hearts and mind” were very dear to him. He said often ‘these ideals make even greater sense today in his sickness and in his retirement. The sickness was a mysterious gift of God which he realized and often publicly acknowledged. He used to pray for the province during the time of dialysis twice a week for the last several years. He was never crippled down by his sickness. However the cross that he was carrying for the last four years became heavier day by day. Nevertheless, he took up his cross and followed Jesus patiently. Finally, he heard the call of his Creator; "Well done, you good and faithful servant!.. Come on in and share my happiness!"

By: Fr.lawrence Dharmaraj

Monday, February 3, 2014

FROM THE PROVINCIAL'S DESK - Provincial fr.Francis Parmar


My dear friends in the Lord,
It's a month since I took charge as Provincial Superior of the Gujarat Jesuit Province. Fr. Jose Changanacherry went out of his way to make the transition as smooth as possible. He stayed on till 15th to tie up loose ends. I express my gratitude to him for his willingness to continue helping and inspiring. At present he is assigned to Loyola Hall Community.
As I said in the last communication, we want to carry forward the SAP process initiated by Fr. Changanacherry. Fr. M. I. Raj has kindly consented to carry on animating this process. By now the Commission heads and Dt. Coordinators must have received a communication from him detailing the next step. I'm sure all of you will continue to collaborate in this process of discernment.
In this connection, I'd like to draw your attention to the Apostolic Exhortation of HH Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel. HH the Pope tells us that our mission of Evangelization in the modern world involves our duty to establish and maintain just economic, political and legal orders and warns us against excessive dependence on market forces. In order to attack the structural causes of inequality, we need to go 'beyond a simple welfare mentality'. I'm sure JEPASA National Convention will take up the issue of poor preaching and excessive emphasis on doctrine and concentrate on creativity and openness. I'm sure we will all follow the lead of Fr. General and his Curia that has taken up this Apostolic Exhortation for special study to discern what the Society of Jesus is called to do. I urge all the Commissions and Dt. Communities to take up this Exhortation for reflection in the light of SAP of the Commission, District and the Province at large.
I have started my initial visits before I start the official visitation. I've completed two districts and I'm filled with consolation experiencing the great work we all are doing in our respective apostolates. This does not mean there are no gray areas, no tensions no desolations. But the spirit of openness and willingness to do something together is what I cherish. Like any other human being, I too have my own prejudices. But experiencing the ground level reality and hearing the persons, fills me with tremendous consolation. I feel sorry for the prejudices and thank God for this opportunity that He has provided me to come to appreciate every member of our Province.
With this issue, we have posted the second article by Fr. Garriz about Restoration. I'm sure all of you have not only read the first one, but prayerfully reflected on it and will do the same with this one. I'm sure the District Coordinators will take up this theme for their communitarian discernment and come up with a plan of action and use this occasion of the bi-centenary of Restoration for personal and communitarian renewal. I've also formed a committee, under the leadership of Fr. Shekhar Manickam, the coordinator of the Commission for Ignatian Spirituality, to organize a day-long Seminar on Restoration, sometime between June & August. We shall felicitate our Jubilarians on that day.
As the general elections draw near, I urge each one to pray for the country and to conscientize the people to use the right of franchise responsibly and to ensure a government that caters to all the citizens, irrespective of their caste, class, gender, religion etc.
Coming to know the Province from the vantage point of the Provincial Superior is the grace that I cherish. I pray that we all keep up the spirit of the Society of Jesus and live lives worthy of our commitment in the present contexts.
A. M. D. G.