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.

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