Monday, September 8, 2014


Last month we reflected on our role as that of trustees, and not that of owners. Trustees must be accountable. The Society has structures of accountability. Each individual Jesuit is accountable to his community through the director of work in matters related to apostolic interventions and in other matters, directly to the local superior and ultimately, to God. The local superior is to discern God’s will for his
community through the community and in a very special way, through the house consult.
But our accountability is not limited to each one of us as an individual but also corporately. Besides the local
communities, various Commissions and District communities are also systems of planning, execution and accountability. In our Province, we have given ourselves a quasi governing body in the form of the PCM. This is another structure for accountability. We have adopted a Vision-Mission-Action Plan. It is up to each one of us as individuals and as communities to ensure we realize this Vision-Mission through an appropriate, context specific action plan and be accountable for the same. The Government rules demand Governing Bodies for all Trusts. These bodies are to meet at least twice a year and become another structure to help accountability. Visitation of the Provincial is another such occasion to look at ourselves as individuals and communities and be accountable.
I call upon each and every Jesuit of the Gujarat Province to make use of these structures of accountability
constructively, use them as means of discerning God’s will all the times and keep on becoming better instruments in the hand of God for His greater glory.As a follow up of the SAP process, we had a one day workshop for PCM and Superiors to reflect on the current contexts and to suggest ways and means to respond to the situation. The Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, “Joy of the Good News” was one of the sources for reflection. Almost every member turned up for the workshop and participated enthusiastically, openly expressing their views on either side. We thank God for this great spirit given to each one of us as individuals and as a Province to show our concern and care and think of ways and means of spreading the Good News in our particular context.
In the SAP process, the Province had raised concerns about our formation structures, especially those of the
Novitiate in Ahmedabad and Theologate in Sevasi. The Formation Commission, in its last meeting, went through the process of Ignatian discernment and has submitted its report. I call up on each member, district, commission of the Province who wish to make his/their personal discernment known, to do so and send a report to me before the next consult. The Consult will take into account all those reports for making the final decision.
I call upon all the Coordinators of Dts and of Commissions to take this process forward, conscientizing ourselves and finding ways and means to proclaim in our specific situation. On the birth anniversary of Dr S Radhakrishnan, we celebrate Teachers’ Day. May we honour our teachers by imitating their virtues, paying them just salaries and remain perennial students, always learning and longing to learn more. Teaching, a
noble profession, has become for some us, a mere job, preferably, a job in a grant-in-aid institution. We need to reflect seriously on how can we ensure that the apostolic aim remains at the centre of our ministry of teaching, irrespective of other considerations.
We also celebrate the Birthday of Our Blessed Mother. May she inspire us to put into practice, her fiat, meditating on her words, “behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me, according to your word.”

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