Pope holds “virtual audience” ahead of US trip
Pope Francis told the people of the United States he wanted to "draw close to their path and history" during his upcoming visit to the United States.
Speaking from the Vatican, via satellite during a “virtual audience” and alternating between English and Spanish, Pope Francis addressed those taking part at various locations across the US. These included students at the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago’s inner city, congregants from Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas, located near the U.S.-Mexico border, and homeless men and women and those working with the homeless in Los Angeles.
The encounter was filmed and moderated by ABC News on August 31 and aired on Sept. 4 evening on the television programme 20/20.
During the interactive event, those taking part were able to share their stories and ask the Holy Father questions. In one instance, the Pope asked a teenage girl, who had been a victim of bullying, to sing for him.
Pope Francis congratulated a single mother on her decision to give birth to two daughters, telling her “Don’t be ashamed.”
A clip of Pope Francis’ conversation with single-mother Rosemary Farfan was released on Sept 1.
Pope holds “virtual audience” ahead of US trip
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Saturday, May 2, 2015
Fr. Dastis expired at 4.30 on 02 May 2015 (Spain Time) in Zaragoza, Spain.
May the departed soul rest in peace.
Entrance into the Society; 26-09-1947 in Veruela (Zaragoza).
Final Vows: 02-02-1965 in Anand.
Priesthood: 30-07-1961 in Loyola, Spain.
Responsibilities held in the Society:
Treasurer: St.Xavier's Anand - 1964-1966
Asst PP: Jeevan Darshan baroda - 1966-1967
Treasurer teacher: St.Xavier's Anand - 1967-1971
Parish Priest Gothada-Savli -1971-1983
Asst PP Jhagadia - 1983-1984
Asst PP Balasinor-Kheda -1985-1994
Asst pp Kalol -1994-2007
Asst PP St.Joseph, Baroda -2007-2009
Praying for the
Church & SJ Spain -2009-2015 .
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Indian aid worker abducted in Afghanistan returns home, PM Modi 'delighted'
· Updated: Feb 22, 2015 05:17 IST
A photo of Indian aid worker Father Alexis Prem Kumar, who was abducted by Taliban militants in Zenda Jan district in Herat province of Afghanistan. (PTI photo)
Indian aid worker Father Alexis Prem Kumar, who was abducted by the Taliban from Afghanistan's Herat province, returned home on Sunday, ending a year-long wait and marking another chapter of diplomatic victory for the central government.
The Jesuit priest's release - which came seven months after the government freed Indian nurses trapped in Iraq - is believed to be the outcome of national security advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval's long negotiations in Afghanistan.
"Delighted at securing the release of Indian Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar from captivity in Afghanistan," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
Prem Kumar, a native of Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu, was abducted from a school for refugees in Afghanistan's Sohadat, about 25km from Herat. He was working with Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), an educational charity, as its Afghanistan director and had been in the war-torn country for over three years when he was kidnapped.
Before moving to Afghanistan, Prem Kumar had served Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu on a JRS assignment.
His abduction had drawn widespread attention and even the Vatican had expressed concern.
Prem Kumar's relatives had met external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and NSA Doval, requesting the government to secure his release. His family members had also petitioned the Sivaganga district collector.
Father Prem Kumar was in constant touch with his family in India from Afghanistan through Skype network.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Thursday, February 12, 2015
My dear friends in the Lord,
The Holy Father has declared this year as the Year of Consecrated Life. We praise and thank God in a very special way during this year of consecrated life for our vocation to be religious in the Society of Jesus. We pray and make every effort possible to ensure that the Lord calls others to our way of life looking at the witness of our own personal and communitarian life.
In this context, I'd like to reflect with you on the words of the Prayer taught by Our Lord, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us". We profess to be sinners, but called. Living together is bound to bring up frictions. Forgiving is important, no doubt, but forgetting is perhaps even more important. The grudge in our heart, festering for a long time, may erupt disproportionately, when the other falters in some way. Judging the other harshly, spreading negative news with embellishment - character assassination, is perhaps the result of inability not just to forgive, but also to forget. When something goes wrong, it is the bounded duty of each individual to inform the one who can do something to remedy the situation. By not doing so, we too become part of that evil. But talking about it to others who can do nothing about it is sinful. We are not called to judge and cast stones but to be messengers of divine love.
In the recently concluded Colloquium for new Provincials, Fr. General has urged all the Provincials to encourage the communities to use Sacraments for Community Building. In this year of consecrated life, I urge every community to make better use of the Sacraments, especially community Eucharist and periodic reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation for community building. If there are tensions, bring them up in the Eucharist, forgive the perceived offender, learn to forget, find excuses for the perceived offender, seek forgiveness and thus help in community building.
Fr. General also said that the ministry of Reconciliation is the need of the hour in the world. We need to become channels of peace through being bridge-builders between peoples of different religions, class, caste, gender, etc. May we begin this with our own Jesuit communities. May we all learn to mean what we say in our prayer, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us!
The JCSA will have its next meeting in Mumbai from February 22nd to 28th 2015. Do keep the conference in your prayers.
Our Province Congregation, in preparation for the General Congregation will be held from March 4th to 7th 2015. This is an occasion of grace for us and an chance to look at ourselves, at our consolations and desolations; to renew ourselves and to ensure that we live up to our call. Please pray for the PC as well as GC. As you reflect as individuals and communities, kindly send your reflections to the Provincial. You are also urged to send in Postulates.
In this year of consecrated life, let us all pray and make every effort possible to pave the way towards God's Kingdom for all, starting with ourselves.
A. M. D. G.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
We are sorry to inform you about the passing away of Fr. Chelston(Charlie Dias) (68/50) at 10.45p.m on 27 January 2015 at Gomtipur, Nursing Home in Ahmedabad. The funeral will be held on 29 January 2015 at 3.00p.m in Loyola Hall, Ahmedabad.
Fr.Charlie Dias was admitted in the Sterling Hospital in the second week of November 2014 for the treatment of cancer in his right arm. The doctors were trying their level best to save his right arm. After a prolonged treatment at Sterling, on 16 January 2015 the doctors then in consultation with the superiors concerned decided to go for the amputation of the arm in order to save his life.
Fr.Charlie Dias accepted the decision of the doctors and then he had sent his personal message to his near and dear ones:
“It is hard to believe i have finally after more than a month i have now been recommended to take the harsh step of consent of amputation of my Right hand, this is in consultation with the team of my Superiors, Socius and my family members having met with the Panel of doctors including Dr Somesh and Dr Mandeep to save my life. They did all the best to save my hand but at the end i lost the battle and had to surrender my right arm.”
The right arm was amputated on 16 January 2015. For a week he was in the ICU and then he was transferred to a private room. He showed a lot of improvement. With the support of Bro.Pravin Falcao, he even tired to walk in the room. Once again on 25 January, he had to be put in the ICU since his vital organs were not cooperating to the treatment that was given to him. Moreover he had to undergo dialysis. After the dialysis he had to be put in ventilators.
Finally his prolonged suffering came to an end on 27 January 2015 at 10.45 p.m and he departed for the eternal home. May his soul rest in peace!
Fr.Chelston was the ninth child in a family of twelve. He joined the Apostolic School at Loyola Hall and passed SSC from Loyola in 1964. Influenced by the Jesuit Community at Loyola, he joined the novitiate the same year and took his vows in 1966. As a student of St.Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad, he presented the college in football, hockey and athletics. Though chosen to represent the Gujarat University in these various disciplines, he had to step out ‘in virtue of holy obedience’. In 1968, Fr.Charlie Dias was the fastest runner in Gujarat University standing first in the 100 m. race.
After an illustrious college performance, both in and off the field, he proceeded for the novitiate at Mt Abu and then for philosophy to Pune. After completing his regency and theology, he was ordained a priest in Bandra in 1979. After his B.Ed. Charlie had four assignment at Rosary, Baroda in 1984, landed at Loyola hall as Vice Principal, with additional charge of sports and scouts.
Charlie has a motto that reads: A true Xavierite is a better person for others. His great hobby is arranging leadership camps and ‘future leaders’ vie with each other to find a place on these camps. The leadership camps surely went beyond the ordinary and the mundane routine of the textbook learning and spewing what was learnt in examinations. These camps have been, a unique contribution of fr.Charlie to engage young people in understanding themselves, discovering their inner potential, sensitizing them to society’s challenges and egging them on to leadership. His faith formation camps for Catholics students have him personally involved and devoted every bit of his time and energy. As a Vocation promoter, he organized many camps and through these camps many have joined for priesthood and for religious life.
All through the years at St.Xavier’s Loyola Hall, Fr.Charlie has held many offices and important ones such as Principal of St.Xavier’s Loyola Hall Primary Section, Director of Leadership Training programmes, Director of Sports and games, Director of alter servers, Chairman of Cubs and scouts, Director of the Social service league and Minister of the Jesuit residence. Holding all these portfolios, Fr.Charlie’s main focus has been the children. He instilled in his students the spirit of sportsmanship. ‘Play the game to enjoy it. Winning and losing don’t matter. Participation is the most important thing’.
Fr.Charlie’s generosity knows no bounds reaching out to the poor and the needy far and wide. He is very often addressed as Fr.Santaclaus.
Monday, January 5, 2015
FROM THE PROVINCIAL'S DESK
My dear friends in the Lord,
Merry Christmas to one and all! This Christmas, I'm drawn to Phil. 2:5-11 (Kirtansagar, 155): "He was in the form of God; yet He laid no claim to equality with God, but made Himself nothing, assuming the form of a slave ... " (vs. 6). Christmas is the time for each one of us individually, and all of us together as a Province, to reflect if we are imitators of Christ in this aspect of utter self-giving.
We need to reflect whether our social functions, no doubt a part of social living, are theologically sound or not. We need to reflect whether our social functions give the right message, message that we are celebrating sacraments where we encounter Jesus, where we give ourselves to Jesus, where we proclaim to know Him more clearly, love Him more dearly and follow Him more nearly.
Often our social functions, held on the occasions of various sacraments become more central than the religious ceremonies. The religious ceremony may proclaim service, like that of Jesus, but our social celebrations proclaim something else.
This does not mean there have to be no social functions. But it does mean that they should not give a counter-message, counter-testimony. I'm sure each one will want to reflect on our calling, from this perspective.
I've had a very fruitful visit of Spain. I've visited fellow Jesuits who worked in Gujarat and a few of our benefactors and Convents of Sisters who work in Gujarat. I'm impressed by the palpable love of Gujarat expressed by every one of them. I hope I have succeeded in expressing our gratitude to all of them for being part of our life and ministry in the vineyard of the Lord in Gujarat.
From 1 to 13 December, we had the Colloquium for the newly appointed Provincials. It's almost a year since I was appointed the Provincial Superior of Gujarat Jesuit Province. I have experienced both consolations and desolations in this first year. The experience of this colloquium with other English-speaking, newly appointed Provincial Superiors from across the globe has been extremely enriching. I've written extensively about my trip to Spain and Rome and so do not go into details here.
On 11th I thanked God in a very special way for the first Baptisms in Gujarat. On that day, in 1893, Eighteen neophytes were Baptised in Mogri.
On Sat 20th, St. Xavier's School, Vijaynagar celebrated its silver jubilee. May this ministry of education lead to wholesome progress of those who are left behind by the unfortunate social order.
On 27th, Deacon Mahesh Bagul, becomes the first Dangi to be called to Priestly service and Deacon Nilesh Macwan will be ordained on 17 Jan 2015 at Bharuch. May the Lord use this occasion to inspire many more youth to dedicate themselves to the service of the Lord.
Once again, I wish you all a deep, personal, real experience of Jesus who became one of us so that we may become one with Him. May we all learn from our lights and shadows of 2014 and have a better 2015. Happy New Year!
A. M. D. G.