As part of his visitation of Darjeeling Province in North India, Fr. General stopped at the Hayden Hall Institute to celebrate its golden jubilee. Fr. Sosa was present at the closing ceremony of the event celebrating the Institutes fifty years of witness to God’s presence among people in need. Fifty years of a dream come true, rooted in trust in Divine Providence. In his speech, Father General urged his audience to look ahead, to always find new ways to foster “Human Development through Love and Service”, according to the motto of the Institute.

A Jubilee is a time of celebration and gratitude. It is a time to look back in gratitude and to look forward in hope. It is a time to recall the loving mercy and presence of God. (...)

Hayden Hall has been highly successful in maintaining a fine balance between charity and advocacy, empowerment and sustainable development. The focus always has been on Human Development. Through its various programs like Mother and Child Health Care, Food Programs, Housing the Homeless, Education and Adult Literacy, Skill Building, Income Generation and Entrepreneurship, Care of the Elderly, Community Health Care and Development and several others, Hayden Hall has been faithful to the Gospel demands of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving shelter to the homeless, welcoming the stranger, and standing up for the helpless (Mathew 25: 35 - 40). (...)

In the journey ahead, it is important to keep in mind the reminders of Pope Francis and the noble ideals of the United Nations enshrined in their 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking at a Conference on “Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals: Listening to the cry of the earth and of the poor” in 2019, Pope Francis reminded us that when we speak of sustainability, we cannot overlook how important it is to include and to listen to all voices, especially those usually excluded from this type of discussion, such as the voices of the poor, migrants, indigenous people and the young. For too long, the conventional idea of development has been almost entirely limited to economic growth.

This has led the modern economic system down a dangerous path where progress is assessed only in terms of material growth, because of which we are almost obliged to irrationally exploit the environment and our fellow human beings. Economic and political objectives, Pope Francis stressed, must be sustained by ethical objectives, which presuppose a change of attitude: what the Bible would call, metanoia, a change of heart. What is needed is a commitment to promoting and implementing development goals that are supported by the deepest religious and ethical values.