Tuesday, August 5, 2014


-Fr. Cedric Prakash sj*

On the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, it is important for all of us to reflect on some qualities of this great man who has left such a profound impact on the world he lived in; today, hundreds of years after his death, his legacy continues in many different ways.  The qualities of Ignatius include: 

·         Contemplation
Ignatius was a contemplative - but not in the ordinary and traditional sense of the word. His contemplation was a deep communion with his Lord and Master: Christ Jesus; but it did not confine him to the four walls of the chapel. His Spiritual Exercises steered one beyond the mere gaze of Christ on the cross: it necessitated that one had to move towards the “more” and ask oneself “what I ought to do for Christ?”  For him, it was always “contemplation in action”.

·         Compassion
This movement towards concrete action had much to do with the tremendous compassion Ignatius had for others in his life.  He was compassionate in all that he did: be it in his heroics for the earthly Queen for whom he was ready to die or later on, for those suffering from the plague in Rome. This compassion also becomes the running streak in the Spiritual Exercises which culminates in the contemplation to obtain the gift of love….and the readiness to give of “one’s all!”

·         Courage
Ignatius was a soldier and on the earthly battle field, he showed exemplary courage despite all odds till a cannon ball maimed him for life.  This is when he showed even greater courage to seek God’s will in his life. It was not easy for a man to give up the comforts of this world and to follow Jesus carrying his cross.  All through his life, he faced plenty of hostility but he did so with great determination. He always took an unflinching and courageous stand for what was right and just.

·         Creative
Ignatius was a creative genius. He did things differently. He thought out-of-the-box and did not conform to the mould of tradition.  The Society he wanted to form had to be based on “availability” rather than to subscribe to the rigidity and rituals of the monastic traditions of his day.  This creativity enabled him and his companions to win the hearts of the men and women of his times across the board - the poorest and the most powerful.

·         Companionship
For Ignatius, his Society had to be named ‘Companions of Jesus’: the ability to accompany one another and others on their pilgrimage, on earth.  Very significantly, he called himself ‘the pilgrim’ – a person always on the move. ‘Companionship’ for Ignatius epitomized what Vatican II would speak about centuries later, “the joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the men (and women) of our times, especially of those who are poor or afflicted in any way, are the joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as will.

So, as we celebrate the memory of this great visionary, let us all humbly ask ourselves whether we are able to give ourselves the possibility of imbibing an iota of his sterling qualities – Contemplation, Compassion, Courage, Creativity and Companionship.  Our world will indeed be a happier place if each one of us tries to do so!
31st July, 2014

(* Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ is the Director of PRASHANT, the Ahmedabad-based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace)

Address: PRASHANT, Hill Nagar, Near Kamdhenu Hall, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad – 380052                               Phone: (079) 27455913, 66522333 Fax: (079) 27489018 Email: sjprashant@gmail.com   www.humanrightsindia.in

Sunday, August 3, 2014

50 years of the arrival of Fr Diaz Garriz

50 years of the arrival of Fr Diaz Garriz

On 19 June Kalol mission led the celebration of the fifty years of the arrival of Fr. M. Diaz Garriz in the region. The Church has grown with 11 centers in Gandhinagar Archdiocese and 2 in Ahmedabad. A proper celebration of the new Church community is planned for the annual Unteshwari melo which this year 2014 coincides with the celebration of Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti on 2nd October. A meeting of the Sisters and Fathers of the region was held in Kalol on 12 July and the report is herewith attached. Kindly keep 2nd Oct marked in your diaries to participate in the jubilee.

Friday, August 1, 2014



My dear friends in the Lord,
On 7 August as our Parsi sisters and brothers celebrate their new year, we celebrate bi-centenary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus. In our Province we will celebrate this occasion with a seminar on Restoration on Monday, 18th August. On this day, we will also felicitate the Jubilarians of the Province. The Church has once more trusted us and restored our Society. Now it is up to us to keep living up to that trust. We need to reflect on the circumstances and reasons for suppression in order to learn lessons from that and make sure that history does not repeat itself. We also need to reflect on the circumstances and reasons for restoration and learn lessons for future.
We have been entrusted with a legacy. We are called to be stewards of God's Kingdom. Unfortunately, some times, some of us, seem to forget this basic truth and behave as if we are the owners, or sons of the owner, rather than stewards. This 'son of the owner syndrome' at times leads to unnecessary tensions. We need to reflect on our attitudes to ensure that we are not caught off guard behaving in a manner unsuitable to a steward. Gandhiji understood this Gospel ideal well and used the term 'trusteeship' to express it. Attitude of ownership is likely to lead to arrogance whereas attitude of trusteeship or stewardship is likely to lead to an attitude of service. Such an attitude will engender respect for all our co-workers and that is bound to lead to greater collaboration. One cannot collaborate with the other whom one does not respect.
To realise our vision and mission through concrete action plan as envisaged in the SAP process, we need many and good vocations. Four of our novices, Bhadagi Jayanti, Murmu Christopher, Parmar Hitesh and Pereira Jipson will pronounce their first vows in Belgaum on 31st July. One more novice, Fernandes Patrick will pronounce his vows on Sat 30th August in Sneh Jyoti, Sevasi. He has opted to be a temporal coadjutor. Since there is only one, Alwyn Macwan who has joined the novitiate this year, we have sent him to Belgaum to the common novitiate of the western region. We pray for many and good vocations, especially as temporal coadjutors. 'Each one bring one' would be an appropriate motto to put into practice.
On 6th August, the feast of Transfiguration, we remember bombing of Hiroshima and on 9th that of Nagasaki and pray that we never ever go down that path of mass destruction. On 9th we also celebrate Quit India Day as well as International Day for Indigenous people. Jay Adivasi!
As we celebrate Rakshabandhan on 10th, we pray in a very special way for gender justice.
As we celebrate the Assumption of Our Lady, we pray through her intercession for true in-dependence for our country.
On 17th we rejoice with our Hindu sisters and brothers as they celebrate Janmashtmi. On this day we celebrate Justice Sunday and pray that we participate actively to establish God's Kingdom, based on justice.
On 29th we remember Jains who celebrate Samvatsari and Hindus as they celebrate Ganesh festival.
May this month of festivals lead us to rejoice with all wo/men of good will and actively participate in building God's Kingdom of love, peace and joy, based on justice for all.

A. M. D. G.