Taking forward the discernment of Province Assembly
It was a great joy to be at the Province Assembly 2023 to reflect together on our life-mission. It was certainly a Kairos moment for us. We heard the echoes of our reading, reflection and prayer on De Statu Societatis. We had an introduction and fruitful spiritual conversations regarding reimagining and restructuring of the Society of Jesus in South Asia and our Province Apostolic Plan. We have a well-chalked out Province Apostolic Plan which is needed and helpful. While there is certainly an attempt to put these plans into practice, there can also be inertia both of personal and institution, together with that, an unwillingness and resistance to put these plans into practice. Therefore, there could be discrepancy between stated Apostolic Plan and that which is really realized. This latter is particularly true when these wonderful plans are buried in the files and archives. We need to take forward the process of reimagining and restructuring in our Province as well as the Apostolic Plan so that our service to our mission becomes more relevant and fruitful. To take the process forward, we have formed a task force in the Province. To address the Burning Issues of the country, we
have formed another task force. I got a WhatsApp message which reads: “Just desire nothing happens. Take decisions something happens. Show determination many things happen.” Let us show some determination to make a difference in the Society of Jesus in Calcutta Province and the Church in Bengal. Thank you.
James Arjen Tete, S.J.
We had our long-awaited Province Days in Dhyan Ashram on December 27 – 30, 2023. The Theme of the Province Days was “Challenged to Live our Legacy”. It was quite apt considering the current political situation in the country and the religious situation in our Society. The organizing committee, headed by Fr. Johnson Padiyara and his team members – Frs. Roshan Tirkey, Xavier Inigo, and J. David Paulraj set the ball rolling two months prior to the Province Days. Fr. Sunny Kunnel, Rector of Dhyan Ashram, in his welcome address called us to reflect deeply and share by having the predispositions of active participation, awareness, reverence and intimacy. Fr. Johnson, the Convener, gave the dynamics of the Province Days. The video message of Fr. Arturo Sosa, our Superior General, on DSS was played to put us in perspective. Fr. James Arjen Tete, our Provincial, gave a thought provoking and well directed inaugural address. He touched upon our Ignatian Year where we were challenged to live our life of poverty, DSS which will help us in our effective governance and apostolic fruitfulness. He encouraged us to follow Jesus’ Leadership Model,
asked us to reflect on our Jesuit Identity, and impelled us to give more importance to Vocation Promotion and seriously think and work on Lay Collaboration. Fr. Masilamani then presented a comprehensive summary of the DSS reports given by all our Jesuit Communities. The following day the Holy Eucharist was celebrated by the Jubilarians Frs. Etienne Degrez and Kurian Emprayil. The whole day’s sessions were on Restructuring and Re-Imagining (RRSJSA), conducted by Fr. Prakash Louis SJ (PAT), the resource person. The objective of RRSJSA is to review, renew, reimagine and reorient life, structures, governance and mission. The expected outcome is to become efficient, effective and efficacious missionaries. The Program of Action is to restructure ministries and units of apostolates at the province level; to work out viable and concrete programme of collaboration at the Inter-Provincial, Zonal and Conference levels, and thus maximize the use of our resources: human, infrastructural, financial and intellectual; to revisit our formation program, to instill in our men a greater passion for Christ and His Universal Mission, and to become learned, and skilled in ministries, imbued with the spirit of collaboration and dialogue; and to take forward the process of redrawing Province boundaries for greater apostolic availability, without being unduly conditioned by the exigencies of language, culture, civil borders and origin. The RR sessions also included group sharing among the members and the presentations of the sharing by group Secretaries. There was an evening prayer at the cemetery conducted by the Dhyan Ashram community.
The next day, the Holy Eucharist was celebrated by the newly ordained priests Frs. John Paul and Jobin George. The day’s sessions focused on Province Apostolic Plan
(PAP) and its implementation which was briefed by Fr. Maria Joseph S. He gave a few questions for reflection and sharing in groups. The Secretaries presented the summary of the group discussion. At the fellowship dinner, the Jubilarians and the newly ordained priests were felicitated. On the last day, the Holy Eucharist was
celebrated by Fr. Provincial. We continued with our presentations and sharing on our ministries, apostolates, commissions and an open house conversation. The Provincial gave us the concluding remarks highlighting the status of our Province, thanked us for our unity and urged us to take RRSJSA, Lay Collaboration and Vocation Promotion forward. He also enthused us to move ahead with our mission mandate. -Fr. Vivien Andrew