Monday, June 30, 2014



My dear friends in the Lord,
July is a very special month for us, when we celebrate the Feast of our Founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola. Happy feast to one and all. One of the ways to celebrate this feast of our founder is to reflect on our charism. One of the hallmarks of our way of proceeding is Discernment of God's will. St. Ignatius used this tool to find God's will before making any important decision. He left this legacy for us in the Spiritual Exercises. He proposes two methods of discernment of God's will. The Affective Method of consolations and desolations and the Rational Method of reasons for and against. Both have to be practiced in the context of prayer. In the Spiritual Exercises, he gives us Rules for the Discernment of spirits, one set suitable for the 1st week (numbers 313-327) and another set suitable for the 2nd week (numbers 328-336).
We are all aware of all this, have used it during our Long Retreats, both in the Novitiate and in Tertianship, we appreciate it and use the term quite freely. However, I've noticed that in a number of cases, there is some discussion, some airing of views, but not discernment as Ignatius envisioned it, to  find what the Lord wants us to do in this particular instance. We like the idea of greater participation, wider discussions on various issues, but at the end, some of us, on some occasions, fall short of this ideal. We tend to give our opinion, based on our previous experience or impression, often based on hearsay. We do not ask detailed questions to know all the aspects about a situation, for us to make a proper discernment. At times, when we pick up the feeling that this or that individual wants badly what he is asking for, we tend to give in to the desire of the person, without much thought. The affective method does not seem to be practiced.
Discernment is a great instrument. But it requires openness to listen to others and to the promptings of God's spirit. I strongly urge everyone to make concerted efforts to inculcate the spirit of discernment to find what God wants us to do. I expect that all of us, especially those who lead discussions, to make sure that background studies are done and the topic is presented in depth. I expect all to ask questions to know the situation as best as can be. I expect everyone to reflect and express both positive and negative aspects of the issue. I expect all to listen with an open mind to all the opinions that are expressed without trying to shut up those who express opinions contrary to one's way of thinking. Having done this, I expect all to spend some time in prayer to find out what the Lord wants us to do and only then express one's opinion. Remember, the affective method is as valid as the rational one.
I am aware that if there is no culture of discernment, this is bound to appear to be tedious, long process. In some minor cases that do not have a lasting impact, you may not want to go into discernment but only get the opinion of the persons concerned. Keeping that in mind, I suggest that those who organize meetings and set the agenda, clearly make this distinction: topics for discussion and topics for discernment. When a topic is placed on the agenda for discussion, all may zero in to give their opinion, based on their experience and knowledge. when a topic is for discernment, I expect all to follow the process of discernment proper, either affective or rational.
In the recent past, I've noticed that people have given opinion based on mere request to give opinion, without asking for proper information from knowledgeable persons. Keeping this in mind, I ask everyone to consider this vital and help create an atmosphere of discernment so that all of us may look for and find God's will and become effective instruments in His hands.
May the Lord help us to achieve this goal for the greater glory of God and salvation of all.

A. M. D. G.

Scholastics’ Summer Gathering 2014 - Sch Sudhakar

Scholastics’ Summer Gathering 2014

The scholastic meet 2014 began on 23th May evening and ended on 27th May afternoon. Thirty scholastics participated in the meet. It was something special and different to all of us for we were privileged to have the accompaniment of our former PCF Fr. Richard and the new PCF Fr Alpesh Macwan from the beginning of the meet. We were glad to have our Provincial Fr Francis Parmar with us on the last day. Fr Raj gave us a lecture on ‘the Ignatian Mysticism’ on 24th May. The same day we had PPT presentation on ‘The Suppression and the Restoration of the Society’ prepared by Schs Sandesh and Jobin. This theme continued till the evening recreation with the quiz competition on the society and Gujarat province. It was an innovative and enriching programme. We enjoyed the companionship during our personal sharing. We had a day of outing on 26th  May. We visited Khatamba, Fr Jolly’s place and learnt about the new initiative into ‘the Migrant workers’ Children’s welfare’ and ‘eco-awareness’. We spend the day at the Water Park. Fr. Provincial addressed the scholastics expressing his vision for our province on the last day. We are inspired by his aim and idea of re-establishing the past glory of our Gujarat Province.

The Scholastic body felicitated our new provincial Fr. Francis Parmar as this was his first address to the scholastic body where most of the scholastics were present. We gave farewell to Fr Richard Lopes the former PCF for his services as PCF. We all thank him and wish him all the best for his new ministry. We also gave farewell to Deacons Nilesh and Mahesh. We wish them for their future priestly ministry. We welcomed Fr Alpesh Macwan the new PCF and Schs Melwin D’sa, Victor George, Felix Raj, Ashish Pandor and Alam to the scholasticate body.  We elected the new team of SPOC 2015 – Schs. Arul Rayan, Sanjay Horo and Amalan.  We thank the SPOC 2014 team – Schs. Sandesh, John Paul, and Jobin for their efforts to conduct this meet. (Sch.  Sudhakar)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

From the Provincial's Desk - Fr.Francis Parmar s.j

My dear friends in the Lord,

Through his letter to the whole Society, Fr General has announced his intention to convoke 36th General Congregation towards the end of 2014. It will be held during the final months of 2016 where he proposes to submit his resignation from the post of the Superior General. Fr Adolfo Nicolas, following in the footsteps of Fr Kolvenbach is taking this courageous step. I call upon all the Jesuits, individually and as communities to spend quality time in prayer asking the Spirit of the Lord to descend on each one of us individually and as a Province so that we may not be deaf to His call. I also call upon everyone, individually and as communities to discern what the Lord is calling us to.

In the last PCM held in May we have already discerned regarding Viability and Vibrancy of the Province, taking into account all the deliberations at Commissions, Districts and PCM levels, I’ve prepared my response to Fr General and will send it this month. Now is the time for us to implement all those decisions to ensure not only the viability but also vibrancy of the Province.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the Lord for the vocations of Frs Cyprian, Varghese, Charlie, Mooken and Hedwig. The first four joined us on 08 June and Hedwig on 20 June 1964. In the name of the Province I wish them Happy Golden Jubilee as Jesuits. Fr Anthony Moonnu joined on 20 June 1954 and thus he celebrates his diamond jubilee. We wish him a happy diamond jubilee as a Jesuit. I pray that they keep answering God’s constant call to be fit instruments for the greater glory of God and for the salvation of His children.
 I also pray for the soul of former Jesuit Anthony Fernandes (Bulsari) who passed away on 11 May in
Varanasi. May he rest in peace.

I express our thanks to Frs Richard Lopes and Charles Aruldas for their dedicated leadership as PCF and PCE respectively. I welcome Frs Alpesh Macwan and Durai as new PCF and PCE respectively and pray that their ministry may be Spirit-led. In the name of the Province I express our sincere thanks and prayerful wishes to all those who will assume new responsibilities in June.

Vocation Promotion can take various shapes and one of them is to gather Jesuits and their relatives to create an atmosphere of larger Jesuit family. I had the opportunity to be present at the Vasai Jesuit Parivar Sneh Milan and at the Sneh Milan of all the vocations to religious life and/or priesthood from the original Anand Parish (now grown into three Parishes). In both the gatherings, there was a note of praying for many and good vocations. May we all keep on trying to get many and good vocations for the vineyard of the Lord.

The people have expressed their will and given a mandate to BJP-led NDA Government. The vote is for
development. Let us pray that the government lives up to its promises and that the fruits of development reach down ‘Unto This Last’.

I’m sure a number of you have enjoyed a peaceful vacation in Mt Abu in the company of fellow Jesuits.
I appreciate the gatherings of the 1966-67 Novice batches, Communities of Premal Jyoti staff, Anand,
Gurjarvani, College and others who made use of Glen View to come together as fellow Jesuits in holiday
settings. May we all learn to spend time with fellow Jesuits not only in work situation but also in holiday
and prayer situations.