Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jesuit Alumni: Common Minimum Programme (CMP)

During the Open Forum Session of the West Zone Congress, 14-15 October 2006 at St. Vincent's High School, Pune, where apprehensions about the implementation of plans were strongly articulated, Fr. Norbert Menezes, S.J., National Advisor, enunciated a Common Minimum Programme for all the Jesuit Alumni Associations as an antidote for these apprehensions. They were simple, down to earth, ensuring vibrancy in the alumni associations. The five points were:

  1. We strive to organize three batch-wise get-togethers (5-10-15 years of leaving school) to promote healthy active involvement of members in the association and build synergy through the giftedness of the members for the enhancement of their professional and personal lives.

  2. We plan to conduct one/ two school activities especially for the outgoing batch, so that a relationship is established between the alumni members and the school students and Staff.

  3. We chalk a need- based concrete project on 'Water' so that the Jesuit Alumni makes a positive contribution for the society's better tomorrow in terms of alleviating the sufferings of the poor and ensuring human survival for the next generations by water harvesting and preservation, reuse and recycle of water, and other means for enhancement of ground level water.

  4. We strategize enrolment of new members in the association so that there is a greater impact of all the endeavours of the association.

Fr. Norbert also exhorted the members to consider the following suggestions:

  1. Every Jesuit Alumni Association has its own Constitution so that it works as a responsible, independent, registered body with Jesuit Fathers as Ex-Officio members. The Association is accountable to the Alma Mater and the general public.

  2. Our Alumni Associations seek ways and means to generate funds to support its projects and activities. Explore possibilities of some joint activities with the Alma Mater.

  3. Encourage Chapters of the association in towns where there are sizeable number of members and furnish the list of members of these Chapters to the National Council for better coordination of Metros' Activities.

  4. We make use of modern technology for better communication through dynamic website, group email Ids, etc.

  5. For better implementation of plans, we network and evolve platforms for public advocacy on important human issues.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam's address during the presentation of National Teachers Awards to meritorious teachers

Elevating the Young Minds

"I am indeed delighted to participate in the Teachers Day award function. On this day, we gratefully remember the great educationist Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, whose dream was that "Teachers should be the best minds in the country". I extend my greetings to all the awardees, who have worked consistently for many years, to achieve this recognition. Teachers have to realize that they are the builders of the society. The society can be built only when the students are made proficient in their subjects. In addition they have to provide a vision for life to the students and also inculcate the fundamentals of values which he should practice in the years to come.

I would like to discuss three of my teachers who gave me a vision, created an interest in mathematics and sowed the seeds of moral education in my student period.

My teacher - Iyadurai Solomon

My teacher, Iyadurai Solomon, was an ideal teacher for an eager young mind who was uncertain of the possibilities and alternatives that lay before him or her. He made his students feel very comfortable in class with his warm and open minded attitude. He used to say that a good student could learn more from a teacher than a poor student from even a skilled teacher. I have seen him giving lessons free to many students who were not doing well in the class. They used to make up and subsequently perform better. During my stay at Ramanathapuram, my relationship with him grew beyond that of teacher and pupil. In his company, I learnt that one could exercise enormous influence over the events of one's own life. Iyadurai Solomon used to say, "To succeed in life and achieve results, you must understand and master three mighty forces-desire, belief and expectation." Iyadurai Solomon, who later became a Reverend, taught me that before anything I wanted to happen I had to desire it intensely and work for it. This is a very important message for all teachers.

My Mathematics Teacher

As a young science student, I had an opportunity at St. Joseph's College to witness a unique scene of divine looking personality walking through the college campus every morning, and teaching Mathematics to various degree courses. Students looked at the personality who was a symbol of our own culture, with awe and respect. When he walked, knowledge radiated all around. The great personality was, Prof Thothatri Iyengar, our teacher. At that time, 'Calculus Srinivasan who was my mathematics teacher, used to talk about Prof Thothatri Iyengar with deep respect. They had an understanding to have an integrated class by Thothatri Iyengar for first year B.Sc. (Hons) and first year B.Sc. (Physics). Thus, I also had the opportunity to attend his classes, particularly on modern algebra, statistics and complex variables. When we were in the B.Sc first year, Calculus Srinivasan used to select top ten students to the Mathematics Club of St. Joseph's, which was addressed by Prof Thothatri Iyengar. I still remember, in 1952, he gave a lecture on great mathematicians and astronomers of India. In that lecture he introduced four great mathematicians and astronomers, which is still ringing in my ears.

He explained, based on his analysis, that Aryabhata was both an astronomer and mathematician, born in 476 AD in Kusuma-pura (now called Patna). He was known to represent a summary of all Maths at that point of time. Just when he was only 23 years old, he wrote his book ARYABHATIYAM in two parts. He covered important areas like arithmetic, algebra (first ever contributor), trigonometry and of course, astronomy. He gave formulae for the areas of a triangle and a circle and attempted to give the volumes of a sphere and a pyramid. He was the first to give value of 22/7.

My teacher added: Next comes to our mind the greatest of all geniuses ever known and acknowledged, and who lived within our present memory, Srinivasa Ramanujan. He lived just for about 33 years (1887-1920), had no practical formal education or means of living. Yet, his inexhaustible spirit and love for his subject made him contribute to treasure house of mathematical research – some of which are still under serious study and engaging all-available world mathematicians' efforts to establish formal proofs. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that it was Hardy who discovered Ramanujan for the world. One of the tributes to Ramanujan says that, 'every Integer is a personal friend of Ramanujan. His works cover vast areas including Prime Numbers, Hyper-geometric Series, Modular Functions, Elliptic Functions, Mock Theta Functions, even magic squares, apart from serious side works on geometry of ellipses, squaring the circle etc. During the lecture he also talked about other two great Indian mathematicians Brahmagupta who wrote BRAHMA SPHU-TA SIDDHANTA and Bhaskaracharya and his SIDDHANTHA- SIROMANI.

Now, I would like to discuss about my third teacher who laid the foundation of moral science.

Elevating the young minds

While I was in college, I remember the lectures given by highest authority of the Jesuit institution Rev Father Rector Kalathil of St. Joseph's college, Trichirappalli, Tamilnadu. Every week on Monday, he used to take class for an hour talking about good human beings, present and past, and what makes a good human being. In this class, he used to give lectures on personalities such as Buddha, Confucius, St. Augustine, Califa Omar, Mahatma Gandhi, Einstein, Abraham Lincoln including some scientific personalities and moral stories linked to our civilizational heritage. It is essential in the secondary schools and colleges to arrange a lecture by a great teacher of the institution once in a week for one hour on India's civilizational heritage and value systems derived from it. This class can be called as a Moral Science Class. That will elevate the young minds to love the country, to love the other human beings and elevate the young to higher planes.

Now, I would like to administer a ten point oath to all the teachers assembled here.

Ten Point Oath for Teachers on
  1. First and foremost, I will love teaching. Teaching will be my soul. Teaching will be my life's mission.
  2. I realize by being a teacher, I am making an important contribution to the efforts of national development.
  3. I realize that I am responsible for shaping not just students but ignited youth who are the most powerful resource under the earth, on the earth and above the earth.
  4. I will consider myself to be a great teacher only when I am capable of elevating the average student to the high performance and when no student is left out as a non-performer.
  5. I will organize and conduct my life, in such a way that my life itself is a message for my students.
  6. I will encourage my students to ask questions and to seek answers in order to develop the spirit of enquiry, and they blossom into creative enlightened citizens.
  7. I will treat all the students equally and will not support any differentiation on account of religion, community or language.
  8. I will continuously build my own capacities in teaching so that I can impart quality education to my students.
  9. I will constantly endeavour to fill my mind, with great thoughts and spread the nobility in thinking and action among my students.
  10. I will always celebrate the success of my students.
Once again, let me congratulate all the award winners and my best wishes to all the teachers for success in their mission of elevating the young minds.

May God bless you.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

DOXA Reunion Dinner - Nov 5th 2005

Dear Friends,

The countdown has begun !

It’s time again to get ready for the DOXA Annual Dinner 2005. The Dinner is scheduled for the 5th of November 2005 at the school lawns 7:30pm onwards.

The DOXA team has been striving to improve upon the quality of this event year after year and we can assure you that the 2005 dinner would be a definite improvement over the past years.

So go ahead, block this date in your diary and spread the word around to all the school-mates who you are in touch with. Let us all get together once again and relive the school days. And don’t forget to get your spouse and children along; the more the merrier !!

We will be writing to you again closer to the dinner date to remind you again and hope to see you all in large numbers.

Ravi Mathur


  • A new web page has been launched. You can access it at www.doxaonline.org. Please register yourself and inform other Xaverians you are in contact with, to register on the website, as we will be compiling a new DOXA directory. To register on the site click on http://www.doxaonline.org/alumni_registration.htm -Register Now or open Alumni - Alumni Registration and follow the menu.
  • You are requested to confirm your attendance at info [at] doxaonline.org to enable us to make the necessary arrangements.
  • Sponsorship is requested for the dinner. Please contact Mohit Jain at 93112-30099.

For Information on DOXA contact the Moderator, Fr Glenn Menezes at St. Xavier's School, 4, Raj Niwas Marg, Delhi, 110 054 or call at 23984153 or send an EMAIL to glennmenezes [at] hotmail.com

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Bill Gates on Health and Education

Bill Gates of Microsoft is not only the world's richest man but also runs one the largest philanthropic organisations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Here is the transcript of the speech that he gave at the National Education Summit on High Schools in the US in February, 2005. In it he outlines why and where he gives his money. His thoughts are very interesting and throw light on areas that also concern us - JAAI members and alumni associations.

(Click on the title to read the transcript.)

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Social Capitalists

The top 20 groups that are changing the world.

You are about to meet 20 organizations that are in the business of changing expectations. They reshape reality - so that poor kids can attend college, so that people in the destitute corners of the world can get better health care, so that victims of human-rights abuses can be heard. Most of us see the world's most daunting problems as impossible challenges. But these groups see the world's problems as just . . . problems, ones that can be fixed with the right ideas and enough passion. And they see how the systems that produced those problems can be reinvented. So they get to work.

(Click on the title to read the full story.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Minutes of the Meeting of the Accredited Delegates

Minutes of the Meeting of the Accredited Delegates, held on Friday, October 29, 2004, at Loyola school, Jamshedpur at 2:30 pm.

Present were Fr Herman Castelino, Jesuit Advisor, Members of the outgoing Governing Council, Jesuit Alumni Co-ordinators for Alumni, Accredited Delegates of Provinces. Mr Conrad Gonsalves, the outgoing President, chaired the meeting.
  1. The minutes of the meeting of accredited delegates held at the beginning of the third National Congress at Mumbai were confirmed. The minutes of the special National Congress held during the World Congress at Kolkata were confirmed.
  2. The President explained the structure of JAAI indicating the role of the Accredited Delegates.
  3. No new bye-laws were framed during the last term.
  4. The venue for the next Congress was confirmed as Trivandrum, Kerala. As per the system of rotation being followed, the South Zone would be holding the next Congress. The South Zone confirmed this venue. The Congress would be held in the year 2008. The exact dates would be determined subsequently.
  5. The statement of accounts for the last term were approved. The auditors Ms Ajay Toshniwal and Co. were working on the final accounts for submission to the authorities.
  6. The report on the working of the Governing Council was presented. It was noted that it was becoming increasing difficult and expensive to hold meetings of the Governing Council very frequently. The constitution required one meeting at least per year. Since provision was made for making decision by correspondence, this would need to be encouraged. It was advised that at least two meetings per year would be desirable. The Newsletter was not brought during the term. The GC accepted responsibiliy for this. The new GC would need to work out methods of regular sharing of information and publication of the newsletter.
  7. It was strongly felt that all schools should form association of their alumni. Schools who were no longer part of the Jesuit management would not be eligible to be members of JAAI.
  8. All zones were advised to hold their Zonals Congresses regularly. They were also advised not to open any account in the name of Jesuit Alumni Associations of India. It was felt that collection of additional fees at the Zonal level was not advisable.
  9. The names of the new representatives appointed by the four zones to the Governing Council were unanimously accepted. They were North – Mr Siddarth Dudhoria, Mr Naresh Gupta, Dr Sandeep Sen, South - Dr Santhosh Rollands, Mr Thomas Fernando, Mr Surya Prakash Rao, Central - Mr Ronnie. D’Costa, Mr Anil Dubey, Dr Shivram Krishnan, West – Mr Adil Irani, Ms Devyani Nawab and Mr Colin Coelho
  10. The delegates appreciated the efforts of the Central Zone in organising the National Congress. The meeting ended with thanks to the chair and all the delegates.
March 26, 2005

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Dasghara School Building being inaugurated by Fr. P. C. Mathew Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Dasghara School Building Inaugurated

Dear friends,

I am pleased to report that the newly constructed four rooms of Bibekanand Memorial Primary School, West Bengal were inaugurated by Rev. Fr. P.C. Mathew, Principal, St. Xavier's College on Sunday, 20th March 2005.

This school was being run by Dr. Aruna Basu in a temporary shed without much infrastructure.

These rooms were constructed with the financial assistance of St. Xavier's College (Cal) Alumni Association. The members of the association also presented pencil box, tiffin, books and food packets to all the students. Many senior members including Secretary and Treasurer were present on this auspicious occasion.

American Consulate General at Kolkata Mr. Sibley and his wife also attended the inauguration.

A photo is attached for your kind perusal.


Naresh Gupta
JAAI Vice-President

Friday, February 11, 2005

2500 kg of rice ready to be sent to Andamans by St. Xavier's College (Calcutta) Alumni Association. Posted by Hello

Usha Uthup, a renowned singer alongwith Shayne Hyrapiet, a Xaverian, sang songs for peace and solidarity Posted by Hello

The Tsunami Walk - Kolkata

The Tsunami Walk took place on Sunday the 6th February, 2005. The biggest contingent assembled at the St. Xavier’s College grounds. The walk started at 10 am and proceeded towards the Polo Grounds, walking through the main and important roads of the city. Eminent personalities from different walks of life had assembled to participate in the walk. Industrialists, businessmen, film artistes, personalities from the music world, students and their parents, teachers, alumni/ae with their family and friends came together as a show of solidarity for the cause.

The participants totaled to about 15,000 people altogether. About 55 educational institutions (along with their alumni/ae association) had participated in the walk. This project was organized under the banner of KUFTA (Kolkatans United For Tsunami Aid). The congregation was received at the convergence venue by the Chief Justice of Kolkata High Court, Hon’ble Justice Altamash Kabir and General Officer in Command of the Bengal Area (military head of this region) Lt. General Shah and Asst. GOC Major General Kajuria.

The students sang a song for peace and solace for the departed souls who have been victims of this catastrophe. Usha Uthup, a renowned singer alongwith Shayne Hyrapiet, a Xaverian, sang songs for peace and solidarity. Few organizations handed over sums of money that they had collected to Fr. P. C. Mathew, President of St. Xavier’s College (Calcutta) Alumni Association and a member of the organizing and co-ordinating committee of KUFTA.

The event has been well covered by the press both in the print and electronic media.

With best regards,

Sincerely yours,

Naresh Gupta
Vice-President, JAAI
E-mail: nkgupta2 [at] vsnl.net

Guests on the dias. Posted by Hello

Begining of the Walk from the St. Xavier's College Campus Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Walk for Tsunami Aid on Sunday, 6th Feb at 10 am


St. Xavier's College (Kolkata) Alumni Association along with other schools and colleges of Kolkata has decided to organise a walk to raise funds for Tsunami victims.

The walk is on Sunday, the 6th February 2005. It will start from College grounds 30, Mother Teresa Sarani, Kolkata - 700 016 at 10 am and will converge at Polo Ground (inside Race Course), entrance from Red Road / Khidderpore Road at 11 am.

Please come and join us for the walk. Bring your family and friends. Lend a hand to the victims of this overwhelming tragedy. The Fund Mobilisation Form is available from Room No-5, St. Xavier's College, Kolkata.

Looking forward to a great show of solidarity on Sunday, 6th February, 2005.

Xavieranly Yours,

Naresh Kr. Gupta
Mobile: 9830096061
E-mail: nkgupta2 [at] vsnl.net

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Vice Admiral John Colin De Silva, former Vice-Chief of Naval Staff, releasing the inaugural issue of Voice JAAI, the federation newsletter. Standing next to him is the newsletter editor, Colin Savio Coelho. Posted by Hello

Inaugural Issue of JAAI Newsletter Released

The much awaited JAAI Newsletter christened "Voice of JAAI", was released at a simple, yet special ceremony, hosted by the Loyola Ex-Students Association (LESA), Margao - Goa on 8th January, 2005. The inaugural issue was released by by Vice Admiral John Colin De Silva, former Vice Chief of Naval Staff and an alumnus of St. Paul's School, Belgaum. The distinguished gathering included the Goa Jesuit Provice Co-ordinator for Alumni, Fr. Hector Almeida, SJ, the Principal of Loyola High School, Fr. William Rodrigues, SJ, the President of LESA, Audhut Kare, the President of the Ex-Paulites Association (Goa Unit), Barnabas George, eminent plastic surgeon Dr. Yuri Dias Amborcar, famed cartoonist Alexyz, journalist and HRD consultant Clifford de Silva, journalist Miguel Braganza and a host of other prominent dignataries. The ocassion was graced by Dr. Santosh Rollands, Secretary of JAAI.

The newsletter has been compiled, edited and designed by Colin Savio Coelho, a member of the JAAI Governing Council.

The quarterly newsletter can be subscribed for at Rs. 100 per year.
Subscriptions can be sent to:

JAAI Newsletter Editorial Office
C/o Compucare Services, Above Speed Craft Agencies,
III Floor Isidoro Baptista Road,
Margao - Goa 403 601.

Pleas send cheques or DD in favour of "Voice of JAAI" drawn on any Margao - Goa bank. Add Rs. 30 for outstation cheques.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Sidharth and Sangeeta Dudhoria (closest to the camera) attending the Spanish Congress at Zaragoza. Posted by Hello

Spanish National Congress, Zaragoza, 19-21 Nov, 2004

January 2003, World Congress – Summit of Joy, Kolkata – Day 2 – Home Hospitality – the largest foreign delegation from Spain. For most members of the Organising Committee it was difficult to accommodate so many at home. With the approval of my better half, Sangeeta, I invited home the 25 member Spanish delegation as well as members of the Ahmedabad delegation.

After the gruelling and hassled travel due to flight disruptions, the Spanish delegation ascended to a welcoming home with traditional Indian hospitality. Most could speak only in Spanish. But the communication through gestures and emotional expressions transcended the language barriers. And after a while they were singing and dancing and having a jolly good time with the guitar. For many of them it was the first time they had partaken of such spicy vegetarian fare. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The following day, they were in an enchanted swoon, offering gifts and pamphlets of Spain to delegates from around the world. The closing night saw them joyously singing and dancing and swaying to the music.

They went back and sent photographs remembering the lovely times they had in Kolkata. In March this year, they sent an invitation to attend the 4th Spanish National Congress in Zaragoza. Their eagerness progressed in May, July & September. We were apprehensive what with language barriers, cultural differences and gastronomic distances. However, these were dispelled with the camaraderie and fellowship witnessed at the 4th Indian National Congress at Jamshedpur. The reminiscences of the emotional bonding between the people of the 2 countries came to the fore and the decision to attend the Spanish Congress was made.
The President of the Spanish Federation, Goncal Fabregas was so excited with the news that he took it upon himself to suggest various itineraries to visit all the regions of Spain, book the flights and arrange accommodations at the various places.

Accompanied by my wife, I arrived at Zaragoza to a lovely inauguration of the 4th Spanish Congress. The Spanish Federation warmly accepted the messages of goodwill from the President of the Indian Federation as well as the Indian members of the World Union. They were touched with the symbolic gift from the Indian Federation of an exquisitely carved Elephant with a Mahout and 2 riders sitting on the howdah - the elephant symbolising the Alumni movement, the Mahout symbolising the office-bearer giving directions and the 2 riders symbolising the members of the two Federations.

There were 115 delegates from 16 Associations including Rev. Fr. Salembier who is now Father Kolvenbach’s delegate to the W.U. The topic of discussion at the Congress was Rev. Fr. Aruppe’s 4 C’s – Alumni: Persons who are Conscientious, Committed, Compassionate and Competent. Good speakers deliberated on the topic and members tried to find ways to live the 4 Cs in their lives. They had deputed a member who speaks both Spanish & English to translate for us.

The fellowship and camaraderie was fantastic, the warmth overwhelming, the hospitality immense, the sightseeing superb, the meals impeccably stylish with different wines and different courses. They presented us with locally produced Rice, olive oil, food and wine, a beautifully printed memento and replica statuettes of the Mother of the Zaragoza Basilica.

The President of the Spanish Federation, Goncal Fabregas was most enthused with the Student Exchange Programme (SEP) and the Essential New Born Care (ENBC) projects that are being supported by Alsoc. He wanted to explore ways that the two Federations can join hands to share ideas, thoughts and experiences to make the Alumni movement more vibrant and meaningful.

The President of the Portuguese Federation, who also attended the Congress, is planning to come with a group next January / February to travel to all those places that St. John de Britto had visited in India. The President of the Lima Federation presented us with a Silver coin minted for their Association by the Central Bank of Lima and a Pennant of their Association. Copies of the brochure of the 4th Indian National Congress were presented to the Presidents of the Portuguese Federation and the Lima Federation. A copy was also presented to Rev. Fr. Salembier.

On behalf of the Indian Federation, an invitation to attend the 5th Indian National Congress in 2008 in Kerala has been extended to members of the Spanish Federation.

The Alumni Association of Seville extended a warm invitation to their Reunion the following weekend. Roberto, the ever-youthful President and Lola the Secretary insisted that they would make all arrangements. From specially cooked vegetarian fare to traditional Spanish songs and dances in honour of India to the coffee tete-a –tete to the sightseeing of Seville and its surrounding areas, the warmth and hospitality was over-flowing.

Sidharth Dudhoria
E-mail: dudhoria[at]vsnl.com

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Beyond Barriers - Chapter 6 Posted by Hello

Beyond Barriers - the 6th Chapter | St.Xavier's College (Calcutta) Alumni Association

St.Xavier's College (Calcutta) Alumni Association is organising a cultural programme as a grand concluding finale to the students Festival of Xavotsav - titled BEYOND BARRIERS - the 6th Chapter. The programme is a fundraiser with objective of generating resources for our Second Campus.

We are also dedicating this programme to our motherland by contributing our miniscule efforts towards furtherance of Indo Pak relations and hence have invited the popular Pakistani Musical Band "STRINGS" alongwith popular Indipop Artistes Sophiya and Shibani Kashyap. The show is scheduled for thursday the 23rd December, 2004.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling Alumni Newsletter

St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling 734104, West Bengal, India

Dear Alumni & Friends,

Some of you, I know, are interested in the World Social Forum. This is to let you know that the final preparations are going on for the 5th World Social Forum that will take place in Porto Alegre, Brazil, from 26 to 31 January, 2005. Those who attended the 4th in Mumbai last year will be aware that the theme of the Forum is “ A Better World Is Possible”. The three areas for discussion this time will be Peace and Reconciliation, Empowerment and the participation of the Poor, and Human trafficking.

What various movements towards this better world realize is the necessity for quality education for all. That is what we at St. Joseph’s School and College are aiming at through this North Point Vision 2000+, establishing the infra structure necessary to impart quality education to as many as possible. This is the purpose, too, for opening up our school with all its facilities during the winter for all the youth of our area to participate in what North Point has to offer, all of which will be freely given by a large number of Darjeeling teachers who want to be a part of the better world initiators. Last year’s winter school was such a great success and we feel sure it will be so again..

The ten day Darjeeling Carnival this year spread itself throughout the District towns. It now comes under the title of the Darjeeling Initiative. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to see our alumni and others trying to transform our district through relevant seminars and group discussions leading to significant decision making. In November, the retiring Governor of West Bengal, Viren Shah visited the school and spoke to our present students about his admiration for what our alumni have undertaken to do. He had come up to Darjeeling to give his personal support to what is going on.

The Jesuit aim in our educational endeavours is to create agents of social change, who can look beyond their own needs by becoming men and women for others and with others. Surely this is no small task but as I have become aware that our alumni in various parts of the world are deeply involved in their own communities, I can thank God that the process is well on the way to achieve the goal in a very mature fashion.

A request for prayers for Stan Blackford and his wife. Stan has just recovered from heart problems and spends much of his day visiting his wife in a hospice suffering from terminal cancer. They talk to one another about the wonderful life they have had, full of gratitude for the way God has blessed them in their pilgrimage together. Real heroism! His e-mail is tridon[at]chariot.net.au

The school and college year has ended successfully and planning for 2005 has already begun.

Greetings from all of us here at the School on the Hill for the coming celebration of Christmas and the New Year,

Fr. Van
E-mail: gvanwall[at]yahoo.com

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Delhi Old Xaverian's Association's New Website

Dear DOXA Member,

We, at DOXA, are excited and pleased to inform you that we have recently launched our very own website at www.doxaonline.org . We intend to make this a platform for bringing together the 7000+ family of DOXA closer than ever and also provide information that would be of use to evryone.

We would request you to visit the website and register yourself. We are in the process of developing a whole new database and all this will be to your benefit. With your help and support, we would like to build up a database which would not only help you to get in touch with your batchmates but also your teachers and also access information about Ex-Xaverians which you always wanted but never had.

Registration at the website is absolutely FREE. Please also inform all your friends, classmates, batchmates, schoolmates to do the same.


Sanjeev Puri

P.S: Please ignore if already exist.

For any further information you can
email us at info@doxaonline.org or
contact Yogi Bajaj at 9810337037.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

St. Xavier's College, Kolkata | 2nd Campus

Dear Xaverians,

I am pleased to inform you that St. Xavier's College, Kolkata has been alloted six acres land by Govt. of West Bengal near Gariahat connector to build a new campus with ultra modern facilities. This is a very big and ambitious project involving huge investment running into Crores.

You are one of the Ex-student of College. And you might be knowing Xaverians in India and abroad, who might be willing to contiribute for this good cause. Hence, I suggest that you contact these Xaverians to assist financially. In case you can not contact directly then you just forward the emails/postal address of all such persons to me or to the Principal of College, Rev. Fr. P. C. Mathew, s.j., at his email id: principal[at]sxccal.edu.

I would be highly obliged if you kindly cooperate in this matter.

Thanking you,

Yours Xaverianly,

Naresh Kr. Gupta

St. Xavier's College Second Campus Fundraising Net-working committee

Phone: 033-22429721, 22429497, 22209506,
Fax: 22206274
E-mail: nkgupta2[at]vsnl.net

Monday, November 22, 2004

Loyola Alumni Association, Jamshedpur General Body Meeting

Dear Ex-Loyoleans and Jesuit Alumni/ae,

You are cordially invited to attend LAA’s General Body Meeting, and thereafter participate in a contributory dinner with your family.

Date: Friday, 17th December, 2004
Time: 7.30 P.M.
Venue: Fasy Auditorium, Loyola School Campus

All Ex-Loyoleans and Alumni/ae of any Jesuit institution, their spouses and children, are eligible for this dinner.

Charges for Dinner:
Rs.125/- for LAA Members, per head.
Rs.150/- for Ex-Loyolean Non-Members, per head.
Rs. 25- Extra per head for Spot Registration on December 17th, 2004. (Members and Non-members)
No Charges for children below 5 yrs.

Please register latest by Wednessday, December 15th, 2004, 12 Noon along with your payment, in cash, to:

Mr. G. Sabapathy
LAA Office, Inigo Block, Ground Floor,
Loyola School Campus, Jamshedpur - 831001

LAA Office timings:
Monday to Friday – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturday - 9 a.m. to 12 Noon

Looking forward to your presence on December 17th, 2004.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr. Surajit De
Secretary, LAA

Loyola Alumni Association
Inigo Block, Ground Floor
Loyola School Campus
Jamshedpur - 831001
Ph: +91-657-2231199
web: loyola.edu.in

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

DOXA (Delhi) Annual Dinner 2004

Dear DOXA friends,

It gives me great pleasure in informing you that with the support and help from friends and well-wishers like you and also with assistance from benevolent organisations, DOXA was able to successfully organise a drama show in association with ASTHA, on 16th October 2004 at Shriram Centre, New Delhi. The show was very well attended and the students of ASTHA put up a brilliant performance, keeping the audience delighted throughout. The entire show was marked with non-stop applause and appreciation for the children performing.

DOXA presented ASTHA with a cheque for Rupees Three Lacs on the occasion, which would go a long way in helping ASTHA build up their infrastructure. The show was well covered in the print media and a new item appearing in one of the newspapers is attached for your information.

At this juncture, I would also like to invite you to attend the ANNUAL DINNER 2004 which is scheduled for 18th December 2004. You are welcome to attend the dinner with your spouse and children and also pass on word to other friends who would be interested. We are sure that it would be as enjoyable as the last dinner and even more....

Arun Seth
Delhi Old Xaverian's Association
C/o St. Xavier's School, 4 Raj Niwas Marg,
Civil Lines, Delhi - 110054, (India)
Ph: 011 23970046 / 30981879
web: http://www.doxaonline.org/

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Workshop Recommendations on Healthcare

  1. Provide direct healthcare to schools.
  2. Create awareness on healthcare
  3. Adopt NGOs and support them in all ways.
  4. Be a pressure group to ensure government programmes are properly implemented.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Workshop Recommendations on Networking

  1. The purpose of networking is to share
    1. best practices and knowledge
    2. ideas
    3. info on members, history and activities
  2. Associations must share their social projects.
  3. Networking should begin with personal rapport and should promote individual interaction.
  4. In a networked world, we need to communicate through different media, be it telephone, print, or the internet.
  5. Many do not have access to computers and internet. JAAI must reach such members through a national newsletter and zonal councils should provide translated versions for vernacular audiences.
  6. The JAAI newsletter editor will need inputs from alumni associations every quarter. The newsletter editor’s contact details should be made available. JAAI must also clearly communicate what, how and when to communicate.
  7. Copies of alumni association newsletters should be mailed to other member associations of JAAI.
  8. It was felt that, like Rotary, outstation alumni should be able to attend local meetings. To achieve this, associations can adopt a uniform procedure and amend their constitution, if necessary.
  9. JAAI must publish a calendar of events of member associations.
  10. Have a JAAI lapel pin which Jesuit alumni can wear and announce their Jesuit background.
  11. Each association should have a website. The institute’s website must be linked to alumni website.
  12. Each batch of any institute has a certain bonding. They can be brought together again using e-groups. Associations can also use blogs (web logs) to act as online newsletters and to communicate their activities.

Workshop Recommendations | Relationship between Alumni Associations and Jesuit Institutions

  1. The alumni associations to work with their parent institutions to increase membership.
  2. The alumni associations must regularly set up free health check-up clinics for the weaker sections of the society.
  3. The alumni associations, from time to time, must assist the school in career counseling of those students who are in their final year in helping them decide their future career paths.
  4. The alumni association must, from time to time meet with the school authorities and render any kind of assistance that they can possibly give to the school and students in any form or advice as desired.
  5. The alumni associations not to interfere in the affairs of the parent school/institute or in the admission process.
  6. The moderator of the association should be usually the head of the Institution. Other positions to be held by the alumni.
  7. Each alumni association should have a website, with details of all its office bearers, members and institution. The site should be kept current and up-to-date.
  8. Alumni associations, in their home cities, should invite Jesuit alumni of institutes based in other towns and cities, to participate in their activities and join as members. E.g. Loyola Alumni Association, Jamshedpur to invite alumni/ae from any Jesuit institution, located in any other town/city to join and participate in their activities.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Keynote Address | 4th National Congress

Delivered by Dr. Jitu Singh of XLRI, Jamshedpur.

Notwithstanding all that was said about me in the introduction, the real reason why I’m here is because the organizers of this meet had a ‘flat tire’. At the 59th minute and 50th second, they found that the celebrity who was scheduled to deliver this keynote address was no longer available. In their desperation, they grabbed me to serve as the ‘stepney’ for the evening. All of you are experienced enough to know that stepneys just about serve the purpose but they are seldom in good condition themselves.

However, on second thoughts, my qualification for stepping into this role is not all that bad. I have undergone 15 years of Jesuit education at the high school, college and postgraduate levels. As if that was not enough, I went on to accumulate 10 years of work experience as faculty at a Jesuit institution. Thus having spent 25 years in Jesuit institutions, I am entitled to be an honorary “Father”. One special reason why I would like this title is that it would entitle me to use the suffix “SJ” after my name. I don’t know what you understood it to mean; but in my school, it meant Sab Kuch Jaanta Hai !!

Anyway, I’d like to add my own welcome to all of you – especially those who have come from other parts of the country. I do hope you enjoy your stay in this town – and have a rollicking time at this Alumni Convention.

Any gathering of alumni from Jesuit institutions spread around the country is a very special occasion. Jesuit schools and colleges are among the best in the regions that they serve. Some even rank among the best in the country. They are known for quality education that is not only limited to the 3 Rs – but also value education and personality development. The alumni of these institutions have left their mark on society. Many of them are leaders in areas such as politics, civil services, defence forces, academia the corporate world, media, sports, art & culture and even the glitzy world of Bollywood.

However, there is one nagging question in my mind. Though each one is contributing to society in one’s own way, have the Jesuit alumni done enough to pool their energy and their capabilities to serve any common cause? What if this elite group of the best educated from the best institutions were to combine together? The resulting synergy, in my estimation, would be the equivalent of a thermonuclear reaction. Their combined explosive potential could take the country, and society anywhere imaginable.

All of us assembled here this evening come from schools or colleges to which we are deeply emotionally attached. I myself have the fondest memories of my student days in school and college – and the all-rounded education I received. An alumni convention like this is an occasion to refresh some of those memories – and catch up with teachers and friends we have not seen for a long time. But after the nostalgia, we must ponder over a question. Have our respective alma maters continued to reach for ever-higher standards of excellence in education? or have they settled confortably at a level they attained during our own student days – and have not gone much farther? Are they resting on their laurels? Do they retain their pioneering enthusiasm and their deep commitment to human development – or have they settled down to a comfortable routine of being mere teaching factories? I don’t intend to prejudge the issue; but I certainly think the question deserves serious introspection.

Finally, we must salute those who made all this possible. If we are here, it is because we share a common connection: our Jesuit education. It was made possible by the dedicated members of the Society of Jesus. Three cheers for them. They did so much for us, that we will forever remain indebted to them.

Thank you – and have a nice time.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Fr. Augustine Vattamattam, S.J.

Message from Fr. Augustine Vattamattam, S.J., President, Loyola Alumni Association, Jamshedpur, for the 4th National Congress held in Jamshedpur on October 29-31, 2004.

Dear Friends,

When you think of your alma mater, what comes most readily to your mind? For some it may be the classrooms, the library, the canteen, the games fields, etc. – memories associated with physical landmarks. I would guess what so many of you remember most from your time on campus are not the buildings or other facilities you used, but the personal relationships you formed. Maybe it is a classmate you met in school/college – or even a spouse – with whom you now share a lifelong bond. Or perhaps you are greatly indebted to a teacher/professor who challenged you as never before, to become not only better educated, but a better person imbibing deeply the values that Jesuit education always stood for – competence, conscience and compassionate commitment. These are the types of memories that are held nearest and dearest to the heart. And it is such bonds, memories and challenging values that we want to preserve and strengthen through the alumni unions and congresses, be it local, national or international.

The desire to look back, to remember shared experiences, is a very human trait, one that animates institutional as well as personal behaviour, in ways great and small. Shared memory is what has brought you to this 4th National Congress of the Jesuit Alumni Associations of India. As you meet and interact with persons from different parts of the country who have undergone similar experiences and consequently imbibed similar values through the Jesuit education they were privileged to receive, you will be furthering the process of “networking,” realizing that you are not just alumni of a particular school/college but members of a community that stretches around the world and across generations, a community from which you can draw strength and which you must feel obliged to strengthen in turn. And let us all hope it will “Make the difference”. Let it be an occasion for you to renew your commitment to the values you received as a student in a Jesuit Institution – values of excellence, leadership and service.

Loyola School Alumni of Jamshedpur have worked hard to make this Congress a grand success and my sincere thanks go to each one of them. But this Congress could not have been organized so well without the constant support and generous assistance of many other people. On behalf of the Loyola Alumni Association, Jamshedpur I would like to thank all of them – the corporate houses, individual sponsors, Loyola School Teachers and Students and others for the financial help and time we have received from them. Thanks are due also to the other member associations of the Central Zone who have extended financial assistance for this Congress. I thank the organizing committee chaired by Mr. Bushen Raina and guided by Mr. A. N. Singh, our Patron-in-Chief, for planning and executing the organizational aspects of this Congress so meticulously. Finally, we are grateful to each one of you who have come to attend this Congress, for the trouble you have taken to be here, for contributing to the cause of “Networking,” hopefully with the firm belief that it will definitely “Make a difference.”

May God bless you all and your families.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Fr. James J. Kalapura, S.J.

Message from Fr. James J. Kalapura, S.J., Provincial Jamshedpur Jesuit Province, for the 4th National Congress held in Jamshedpur on October 29-31, 2004.

My Dear Friends,

My warm and sincere welcome to all of you, the delegates of the Fourth National Congress of the Jesuit Alumni Associations of India to the city of Jamshedpur and the home of the Jamshedpur Jesuit Society! May your stay with us be truly pleasant and evoke fondest memories for many months to come!

The year 2004 has been a remarkable year. It saw the coming to power of a government that was fully committed to bringing in development with a human face. It saw a truly educated and remarkably cultured person at the helm of affairs. It augured well for ushering in changes in corporate governance that have been hanging fire for a long time.

The socio-economic conditions of our people are slowly but steadily improving. There is a new hope in the air and greater confidence that at long last we can overcome the age-old malaise of dehumanizing poverty, debilitating bonded labour, oppression of the voiceless, exploitation of women and children, and above all, stifling superstitions that make a mockery of a loving and forgiving God.

Against this backdrop, you are gathered here for the Jesuit Alumni Congress. Your identity as sharers of the rich and varied heritage of the Society of Jesus makes you unique persons. Your talents and skills, your erudition and scholarship, your achievement in every field of human endeavour - make you centers of power and influence in your families, in your work places and in all areas of enterprise.

In appealing to you, I make my own the saying of Mahatma Gandhi, “A small body of determined spirits, fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission, can alter the course of history”.

You are already altering the course of Indian History by your presence throughout this land and by your influence in all walks of life. I pray that you may bring about much greater changes and hasten to usher in the new era of peace and prosperity to all our people.

God bless you!

Monday, October 11, 2004

Fr. Pius Fernandes, S.J.

Message from Fr. Pius Fernandes, S.J., Jamshedpur Province Coordinator for Alumni, for the 4th National Congress held in Jamshedpur on October 29-31, 2004.

Dear Friends,

It truly doesn’t matter whether we are Loyoleans, Xavierians, Aloysians or Nobilians - but what matters MORE is that we ALL are Jesuit Products, who have been closely knit together through an emotional Umbilical Cord. We should be grateful to God as we had an opportunity to study in the best institutions of our country, which stress “Others before Me”.

It is truly a proud moment for the Central Zone and Loyola Alumni Association, Jamshedpur to host the 4th JAAI Congress. I feel fortunate to be in the Committees that experienced birth pangs in setting up Local, Zonal and National Jesuit Alumni Associations. A successful MANTRA for an Alumni Association is how much time TIME one gives to the Alma Mater. - I’m convinced that if we can spend just 30 minutes a week for Alumni Activities, MIRACLES will begin to happen. St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits said that our Love for others is shown in deeds and not in words. We show our gratitude for what we have received by sharing our blessings, especially with the poor. May God continue to work Miracles through you!

I wish the Congress a grand success.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Fr. Geoff Meagher, S.J.

Message from Fr. Geoff Meagher S.J., Hazaribagh Province Co-ordinator for Alumni, for the 4th National Congress held in Jamshedpur on October 29-31, 2004.

My dear fellow alumni/ae,

The Theme of our 4th JAAI National Congress - “Networking makes the Difference” says it all. We all want to make a difference in society today, transforming society and building a New India based on justice and prosperity for all. We all want to be men and women for and with others - men and wemen of competence, conscience and compassionate commitment. Our task and our resolve are clear. What we need is to work together, to pool our many resources, to accompany and support one another, to be connected, so that our combined effort will make a difference.

We strive together for a difference in our personal and professional lives and above all to make a difference in the lives of those who are marginalised, forgotten, left behind by the cruel onslaught of a heartless globalisation, exploited and sidelined, handicapped by disease and illiteracy. Our Congress then is an opportunity we must take very seriously and work together so that JAAI may grow and flourish as we all want it to. In my office, i have a simple poster which says : “People may doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do”. Let us make JAAI something to believe in and be proud of.

May God bless us all in our endeavour.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Fr. Bob Slattery, S.J.

Message from Fr. Bob Slattery, S.J., Patron Jesuit Alumni/ae Associations of India, for the 4th National Congress held in Jamshedpur on October 29-31, 2004.

Dear Jesuit Alumni/ae,

The fourth JAAI National Congress indicates that we have completed a circle of Congresses. The Southern Zone organized the first in Chennai in 1995, the Northern Zone the second in Kolkata in 1999, the Western Zone the third in Mumbai in 2001 and now the Central Zone the fourth in Jamshedpur in 2004 This completion of a circle should make us ask ourselves where we have come from, where we are and where we want to go. We have to look at our strengths and our weaknesses. The fact that the National Federation is still alive, that not only have National Congresses been organized according to schedule, but also a World Congress has been hosted successfully in Kolkata in 2003, and that new alumni/ae associations have been formed, should be a cause of satisfaction.

But we have to ask ourselves are we really satisfied? In the true Jesuit tradition, we must say that we can never be satisfied. The National Federation still has to show that it is a federation that is active on the national scene, and active in inspiring all the alumni associations of India. One of the themes of this Congress is networking. It is a vital theme for the National Federation and for all our associations. Without networking between the National Federation and all our associations, the National Federation will slowly die. I pray that the new members elected to the Governing Body will see that the Federation becomes a voice on the national scene and more active in inspiring all our associations.

I congratulate the Central Zone and in particular Loyola Jamshedpur Alumni Association for the inspiring way it has given its time and energy to organize this Congress and pray that God will inspire us all through the Congress to live up to our Jesuit ideal of being men and women for, and with, others.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Mr. Conrad Gonsalves

Message from Mr. Conrad Gonsalves, President, Jesuit Alumni/ae Associations of India, for the 4th National Congress held in Jamshedpur on October 29-31, 2004.
Dear Fellow Jesuit Alumni,

With this fourth National Congress organised by the Central Zone, we complete the first round of hosting these three yearly events by rotation.

Taking a moment to review the development of JAAI, we realize that Congresses emerge as strong focal points and milestones. The First Congress at Chennai confirmed the need for a formal structure, the Second at Kolkata formulated the constitution, the third at Mumbai sought to reflect on the essence of the objectives and chart a direction.

The present congress seeks to break away from this groove. Attempting to address “NETWORKING” it will highlight, what takes place between congresses, at the grassroots, which ultimately “WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE”.

We look forward to the brand “JAAIMILAN” expanding beyond a triennial “MILAN”. We look forward to be bonded by a common thrust that continuously sustains JAAI and where Congresses, rather than ends in themselves, become points in time where we are driven passionately to share experiences and measure our performance.

Fr. Herman Castelino, S.J.

Message from Fr. Herman Castelino, S.J., National Co-ordinator - Jesuit Alumni/ae Associations of India, for the 4th National Congress held in Jamshedpur on October 29-31, 2004.

Dear Jesuit Alumni/ae,

I am very happy that the IV National Congress is being held in the Central Zone, and in Jamshedpur, the Steel City of India. The event is of significance for FOJAAI because it comes so closely after the World Alumni/ae Congress that our federation hosted at Kolkata. I am sure that large numbers will turn out for this national event.

This 4th National Congress will carry forward the theme of the previous one at Mumbai. On that occasion our theme was “Making A Difference”. During this event we want specifically to know how to make a difference. Very wisely, the organizers have thought of networking as the way to make a difference. I whole-heartedly agree with this. The national federation can become the4 voice of all our Jesuit institutions if we come together on a common platform to speak out on issues that matter to all of us. A national event is often the occasion for a lot of bonhomie and good cheer. At the end of the day we need to ask ourselves whether we can be a force to reckon with in our country. All of you hail from Jesuit institutions and it is this bond that has brought you to this Steel City. During your deliberations, I would urge all of you to think out ways and means whereby our federation can get involved in the life of the country. India is at a turning point in its history. We can be satisfied by rattling off the names of people from our schools and colleges who have made it big in Indian society. But the test will be whether their accomplishments reflect what we all our looking for…. A contribution to building a better India. Individual accomplishments are praiseworthy, but our sights must be set on the larger picture … an India of peace, justice and love. Your involvement in civic and national issues will contribute to making India a better place for all, especially the marginalized sections of our society.

I am happy not only to be present for the occasion but also to participate in the deliberations. I wish all of you who will come to Jamshedpur much success and an eventful meeting. I look forward to great things from all of you.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Fr. Pierre Salembier, S.J.

Message from Fr. Pierre Salembier, S.J., Fr. General’s Delegate for World Union for Jesuit Alumni/ae, for the 4th National Congress held in Jamshedpur on October 29-31, 2004.

Dear members of the Indian Federation of Jesuit Alumni,

The Jesuit institutions in India are not completely foreign to me. I have a very lively memory of the tertianship that I did in Hazaribagh in 1979-1980, and after this time of formation, I had the opportunity to visit many Jesuit schools and colleges in Calcutta, Bombay, Poona and especially in Madurai and Andhra, where I had the pleasant mission of visiting the last French Jesuits still living there.

In January 2003, when I was only the chaplain for the French federation of alumni, I enjoyed very much participating in the last world congress that you organised so well in Calcutta.

I hope that I shall be given other opportunities to be in contact with you, but until then, I send you all my best wishes and the assistance of my prayer for this congress.

Monday, October 04, 2004

XLRI Alumni Annual Meet

Dear Excellors,

In continuation to my communication in the month of March '04 to all the Excellors, the XLRI Alumni Association has been planning to hold a reunion of the alumni in Jamshedpur as an annual feature of the Excel Calendar.

Accordingly, In conjunction with the Jamshedpur chapter of the Association we have planned to have a panel discussion on the subject "Ethics in Business is an Oxymoron" on the 20th of November 2004. Mr. Azim Premji of Wipro and Mr. Suhel Seth of Equus Red Cell have agreed to be with us to share their thoughts on the subject.The day will also include discussions on the goals of the association, interaction with students and faculty besides the panel discussion as the core component of the re-union programme. For all to share some lighter moments together, we have also thought of a golfing session on the morning of 21st November 2004 followed by lunch and prize distribution.

Kidly block the above dates and let us know about your travel plans. Also communicate the plan of the programme to as many Excellors as you can.

In the meanwhile, Fr. Casimir Raj, Director XLRI, has agreed to visit the different Chapters, along with me for meeting the alumni, which will also provide an opportunity to know what possibly can be improved upon in the programme. It would help if you could indicate a date in this month itself which suits you for such a meeting.

Looking forward to an enjoyable meeting of all the Excellors, past and present.

Warm Regards,

Bushen Raina
National President
XLRI Alumni Association

Friday, October 01, 2004

Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J.

Message from Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus, for the 4th National Congress held in Jamshedpur on October 29-31, 2004.

Dear Jesuit alumni and alumnae gathered here in Jamshedpur from all over India to participate in the Fourth National Congress: I greet you and I offer my best wishes, support and prayers for a successful outcome of your meeting.

Since this National Congress comes so soon after the World Congress in Kolkata, my mind goes back quite naturally to that remarkable event. For four days Jesuit alumni and alumnae from 25 countries centered their thoughts and creative energies on the theme of human dignity. I am sure that many of you were there. I had the privilege of addressing the delegates, and I remember urging them to initiate practical projects which would bring about dialogue, tolerance, harmony and peace in a world where human dignity is frequently not respected. I recalled the challenge which Father Arrupe offered Jesuit alumni and alumnae in 1973, when he urged them to live more simply, to draw no profit from unjust sources and to stand in solidarity with the poor. I myself made a special plea to act on behalf of refugees, the marginated and the oppressed.

It seems to me that this Congress provides you with a graced moment to reflect on the progress that has been made since the Kolkata Congress in programs and activities that enhance human dignity. How have you moved forward as individuals, as local federations and as a national federation? What has been done, and what remains to be done?

When I saw the theme of this Congress, “Networking Makes the Difference,” I thought immediately of Saint Ignatius. Ignatius placed great emphasis on communication. He wanted his companions to “make a difference,” to help souls, to give God greater glory. He knew that communication was indispensable for the bond of unity that would keep his companions together and help them achieve their goals. He urged them to engage one another in substantive conversation. Since they were often separated by great distances, he insisted on frequent correspondence, and certainly he himself was an avid letter writer.

As Jesuit alumni and alumnae, you too desire to do great things for God. You know how important it is to stay in contact with men and women who share your values and ideals. You know the need for mutual inspiration and encouragement. You know the value of networking. Fortunately, you have at your disposal a rich variety of communications media. All of them can help you make a difference as you take up the challenge of working together for the dignity of all men, women and children on the face of the earth.

Please know that I am with you in prayer during these days. I wish you good companionship, lively conversations and a fruitful exchange of ideas. May God abundantly bless you and your families.