“Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will,. All I have and call my own. You have given all to me.. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will.. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me”- St IGNATIUS of LOYOLA
Mangaluru: “Whatever you are doing, that which makes you feel the most alive that is where God is,” said St Ignatius Loyola, the Feast of St Ignatius Loyola, the founder of Society of Jesus, (a Jesuit Congregation) was celebrated by the Institution Jesuits at Loyola Hall, St Aloysius PU College, Mangaluru on 31 July 2023 at 9 am, with the theme- “For The Greater Glory of God”.
St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), formed a religious order, called ‘The Society of Jesus’, on September 27, 1540. Today, nearly 20,000 Jesuits, the members of the Society of Jesus, are involved in education, social service, rural development, seminaries, parishes, multi-media communications and spirituality in all parts of the world. St Ignatius, as a Spanish courtier-soldier, while engaged in a battle with the French in 1521, had his leg shattered by a cannonball.
During his convalescence, his encounter with the books ‘Life of Christ’ and ‘The Lives of Saints’ turned his life around. Last year, the Jesuits all around the world celebrated the period from May 2021 –July 2022 as the Year of Ignatius. It commemorated the 500th anniversary of St Ignatius getting wounded at Pamplona, and the beginning of his interior journey to find God in all things. This conversion led him to discover his authentic calling and to establish the Society of Jesus. St Ignatius realized that systematic education had far-reaching influences in bringing about social changes at several levels and made it a bold Mission Statement.
The Festive mass on 31 July 2023 was concelebrated by Rev Dr Kiran Cotha SJ-the Finance Officer at St Aloysius AMIT, in Beeri, as the Main Celebrant joined by Rector of St Aloysius Institutions Fr Melwin Pinto SJ; and Rev Dr Praveen Martis SJ-Principal of St Aloysius College; along with a dozen of Jesuit priests from the St Aloysius Institutions, Mangaluru.
In his homily, Fr Vishwas Misquith SJ expressed Four points -Ignatius’s Life anchored in Christ; He being a man of MAGIS; Being a passionate human Being; and a Man for others. He described the cannonball experience of Ignatius of Loyola, which transformed his life and helped him to identify his moments of conversion and discover God’s call to work for the Greater Glory of God. He encouraged the congregation to prioritize their relationships with God, family and friends and lead a life that pleases God. Fr Vishwas, quoting St Ignatius of Loyola’s words “Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. All I have and call my own. You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me” expressed that like St Ignatius, the great dreamer and enthusiast who experienced desolation during his convalescence and then gained greater clarity about his life’s mission, we must also follow our mission of life.
On the occasion of the Feast of St Ignatius, Fr Melwin Pinto SJ, Rector, addressing the gathering said that we are called to work together and dedicate ourselves to doing something for others, like what St Ignatius did. “Mangalore Jesuit Educational Society (MJES) which runs St Aloysius Institutions aims at the integral formation of students and tries to mould them into “men and women for and with others” who in turn will be the agents of change in forging a more just, humane, eco-friendly and gender sensitive society. We need to be compassionate, show our love and serve others. We need to act and reach out and touch others’ hearts. Let’s learn from St Ignatius to be compassionate to others,” added Fr Rector.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean Fr Praveen Martis SJ said, “Ignatius was a different kind of saint. Ignatius redefined the traditional basis of saintliness,” which usually involved a degree of unworldliness. Ignatius is a “worldly saint.” Ignatius made sure that the early Jesuits were spending most of their time in relatively secular spaces such as classrooms — teaching less directly about the Bible and Church doctrine than about literature and the ancient classics. He sent letters to his missionaries asking that they write back not just about their ministries, but also about the local customs, the plants and wildlife — “anything that seems extraordinary.” Most of all, Ignatius wanted Jesuits to go out and “find God in all things.”
St Aloysius College Choir under the leadership of Suprith Steevan rendered some melodious hymns, which were enjoyed by everyone gathered at the hall. The readings during the mass were done by Ms Samskrithi Pai of II BA (D), and Ms Anjali Joan D’Silva III BCom (B), and the psalm was done by Sr Lynda II BA, belonging to the Daughters of St Paul Congregation. The compere for the mass proceedings was Rohan Danny Machado II BA and the vote of thanks was rendered by Dr Anup Veigas- Director of St Aloysius College Students’ Council. Following the mass, a Coffee Table Book comprising 240 pages named ” ECHOES OF THE CORRIDORS” was released by Fr Melwin Pinto SJ-Rector and Rev Dr Praveen Martis SJ-the Principal of St Aloysius College. (More on this Book Release will be featured in a separate article later)
Let me end this report with a beautiful hymn: NOBLE KNIGHT” sung by the College Choir:
“Noble knight, leader of the brave array, Lead us on, O lead us on; We will fight ’Neath thy sway, ‘neath thy sway; What the foes gather near, we don’t fear, we don’t fear! We’ll not shun, we’ll not quit this our noble career; We will fight ever true till death to thee; True to God, to faith and thee, True to thee., Lead us on gallantly, ever more valiantly, Neath thy banner to fight, for the Church and its rights
“All for God’s own greater glory” is our cry, our battle cry. Not for gain, nor in vain is our strife in this life, But for God, who is our king, all our hearts to him we bring Growing… Stronger and stronger as fighting lasts longer And purer and purer to make heaven surer, with crosses and Trials and many denials will stop…but to die: Loyal to our king who reigns on high Ignatius lead us on, till we die!”