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Gujarat Jesuits’ Meet Underlines Need To Be Spiritual



AHMEDABAD, Gujarat (SAR NEWS) – “It has been a heart-felt, mystical and spiritual experience for us during the last three days of our meeting,” said Father Jose Changanacherry, the Provincial of the Society of Jesus in Gujarat.

In the concluding Eucharistic celebration led by him and the two newly ordained Jesuit priests — Father Sunil Macwan and Father Cyprian Monis — Father Changanacherry recalled the experiences of Apostles Peter, James and John at the Transfiguration of Jesus on a high mountain and their lives after the transforming event.

Though the apostles wanted to remain there, they did not do so but went down the mountain with Jesus on their mission.

“Like the apostles, we felt the guiding of the Holy Spirit and the presence of Jesus in our meeting,” the Provincial said.

The Gujarat Jesuits held the three-day Province Samelan (meeting) at St. Xavier’s Loyola Jubilee Auditorium at Ahmedabad from April 28 to 30. The theme of the Samelan was “Rooted in our Past, United in our Present, Marching towards New Frontiers”.

Out of 285 Jesuits in the Province, the vast majority of them attended the Province meeting coming from Vijaynagar in the North Gujarat bordering Rajasthan and Subir in the South Gujarat bordering Maharashtra. Practically everyone appreciated the Samelan as a transforming and energizing event for all.

As many participants remarked, unlike the past Province meetings, this Province Samelan was neither triumphalist nor intellectually heavy. It was a celebration of life, of being together as companions of Jesus in His Society with some spiritual input and much prayer and fellowship.

Summarising the three-day meetingm Fathers Jose Heredero and Francis Parmar highlighted a few points which emerged from the meeting. The Province needs long-term planning, going back to the roots of the Society and being spiritual and mystical.

Two concrete felt needs were on-going formation for Jesuits and the training of lay people to take leadership and initiatives as Jesuit collaborators and co-workers.

In his remarks as the Coordinator of the Province Committee of the Samelan  2011, Father Iruday Raj said the emphasis was being together, sharing and bonding of the members of the whole Province. A senior Jesuit priest, Father Larumbe Domingo,  like many others, said he was very happy with the meeting. “In the Province Samelan, there was much happiness in being together, being the companions of Jesus with the senior as well as junior Jesuits with the feeling of oneness and fellowship,” he said.

Father Changanacherry said that he too was happy and at peace now, as the meeting had gone well even though he had misgivings about how it would turn out.

It was a resounding “Yes” from the audience when he asked if the Province Samelan has achieved what it set out to do according to the theme of the meeting.

Looking to the future, Father Changanacherry said he would focus on strategic, apostolic planning and taking issue of good governance in the Province. He stressed according to General Congregation of the Society the role of the local superiors in good governance.

A highlight of the meeting was the Jubilee Mass on the second day in St. Ignatius Loyola Church in St. Xavier’s Loyola School Campus. The whole Gujarat Province felicitated 6 Jesuits for their Golden Jubilee in the Society of Jesus and another 4 Jesuits for the Golden Jubilee of their Priesthood. All Jubilarians shared briefly their personal experiences as a Jesuit and/or a priest in the Society of Jesus.

Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes, SJ, of Gandhinagar and Bishop Thomas Macwan of Ahmedabad participated in the Jubilee Mass and felicitated the jubilerians.

The participants of the meeting thanked Father Ashok Vaghela and Father Jyoti Xavier as well as their respective teams of Gurjarvani and of Waves volunteers for making the Samelan a high-tech experience for all from the beginning of registration to the concluding Eucharistic celebration.

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May 2nd, 2011




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