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

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