Father General addresses his companions and their partners
We previously announced that the Patna Province is currently in the midst of celebrating its 100th anniversary. Had it not been for the Covid-19 travel restrictions, Father General would have joined the Jesuits and lay colleagues of Patna to give thanks for their century of service. In lieu of a visit, he has recorded a video message to congratulate the servants of the mission in Patna and encourage them to continue their Province ministries. Here are some key ideas from his speech.
“One hundred years of Patna mission, a centenary of service in love, this is what you are celebrating today.”
“Today, we realize that we meet with our fellow people, people of other religious traditions and cultural heritage, not as superiors or inferiors, but as equals, as brothers and sisters and therefore we consider all of us collaborators in the same mission of reconciliation and justice.
This apostolic collaboration, already visible as mutual support among the clergy, religious and laity of the area, is indeed a sign of the presence of the Spirit and a witness to others of our unity as Christians. Surrounded as we are, with followers of many other religious and cultural traditions, the witness of our apostolic collaboration as a strategy is more eloquent than many a preaching.”
“The Patna Jesuits have been trendsetters in the South Asian Assistance, pioneering several initiatives of ‘apostolic audacity’. Starting with GC 32, there has been a consistent effort to make the promotion of justice an integral part of the service of faith. (...) During the present Covid-19 pandemic, and the resultant lockdown, which affected millions of people, you were in the forefront to help the impoverished migrant workers.”
“Now, to your glorious tradition new challenges arise: the Call of GC 36 to be ’companions in a Mission of Reconciliation and Justice’, the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs), the Ignatian year and the context of a post-pandemic world. (...) The UAPs seek to deepen our personal, communal and institutional conversion. They are a guide for improving both the apostolic work of the body of the Society as a whole and the many different ways in which we carry out our ministries, which are where the Preferences will take flesh. The UAPs will give you a fresh spirit and a new passion.”
As the celebration continues under less-than-ideal circumstances, we nonetheless share the joy of 100 years of distinguished service. Fr. General invites us, wherever we are, to join in the joy of the Province of Patna. In union with the Jesuits and their partners, we recite the conclusion of the prayer written for the centenary.
Lord God, we pray that our enthusiasm in your service may never wane, that we may not hesitate to take up the most difficult tasks for the sake of your kingdom. Bless us to be creative in your humble service so that more young men may be attracted to offer themselves to continue the mission our pioneers initiated a hundred years ago.We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.