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.

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