Many of the Jesuit educational institutions in South Asia have a large number of alumni who support their projects and programmes to ensure that the Society of Jesus radiates at the heart of civil society. This is the case of St. Xavier’s College in Jawalakhel (Kathmandu), Nepal. Here are excerpts from Father General’s message to the former students of St. Xavier’s.
The motto of St. Xavier’s is “Live for God, Lead for Nepal”. It has been brought to my knowledge that you alumni have been leaders in every field – in business, tourism, banking, civil services, army and entrepreneurship. I am happy to know that you are living out the motto of the school. However, I would like to offer you an invitation and a challenge. We witness today a crisis of leadership in the public sphere. Political leaders have filled us with empty promises and we are often left lamenting the lack of good governance. Perhaps, this is our fault as well and our lamentations from the sidelines will not improve the situation in any way. There is a crying need for men and women of integrity to set aside their personal careers and plunge into public service. Yes, I would dearly love to see many more of you taking up the challenge of providing administrative and political leadership in Nepal. I think, in this way, you will have an opportunity to make the motto of your school even more visible, credible and effective.
I am informed that Godavari Alumni Association (GAA) is one of the most dynamic and functional alumni associations in the country. GAA is engaged in social work and ecological ventures. These two are very important and urgent needs.
About Poverty and inequality: Technological advancements have resulted in an explosion of material goods and a wide variety of services. These however remain far beyond the reach of the poor, millions of whom wage a daily battle for survival. Due to various social, political, economic and religious reasons, millions are pushed to the margins of society.
About the Ecological Crisis: Our wasteful use of material resources has caused a rapid degradation of the natural environment. The poor and marginalized are the most affected by this crisis. We are called upon to heed the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, doing all we can to care for our common home.
The immense suffering and injustice in our world is a scandal that goes against the Divine plan and offends the very concept of human dignity. Our Jesuit institutions are committed to forming ‘men and women for and with others’ – a phrase so dear to the hearts of my predecessors, Fr. Pedro Arrupe and Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach. We endeavour to build up structures that will support the poor and help them rise to a reasonable standard of life. At the same time, we seek to form the conscience of individuals to promote a culture of fraternity and acceptance.
Reconciliation with creation has taken on a new urgency in recent times. This requires a multifaceted approach that challenges the dominant models of development and promotes a greater respect for God’s creation. At the macro level, we join hands with other experts to identify the roots and solutions to the ecological crisis. We also recognize the challenge to examine our own consumption patterns and adopt lifestyles that reflect our commitment.
We, Jesuits cannot do all this singlehandedly. We need your cooperation and collaboration. Together, much can be done and achieved. It gives me much consolation to know that you alumni are already in these two areas: social work and ecology. I encourage you in the spirit of the “magis” (which is a Latin word in Jesuit spirituality) to do more in these lines and to do it better.