Friday, October 08, 2004

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.

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