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.