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.


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