Provincial’s Message

“SYNOD” has become a buzzword, probably this is the first time in the history of the Church the word finds a mention. Globally, nationally and locally, the faithful often utter this word and try to live out its meaning. As we go through the years of synod, our dear brother Pope Francis has declared yet another celebration for 2025. It has been announced as the Jubilee Year of Consecrated Life of the Church with the theme of Pilgrims of Hope. As part of the preparation towards the Jubilee, we are invited to spend the current year in individual and communal prayer. The catchphrase that will elevate our minds and hearts with reflection in the forthcoming years will be Pilgrims of Hope.

The celebration of the Jubilee year entails the release of slaves, forgiveness of debts and repatriation of property (Lev 25:8-13). Jubilee celebration always reminds us of God’s providence and mercy and offers us the opportunity to set right the relationship with one another, with creation and with God. Jubilee Year will lead us into the roots of reconciliation. In this way, the Jubilee Year calls us to go deeper into our life and check the patterns and rhythms, and analyse them in God’s presence.

As a part of this Jubilee celebration, the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (DICLSAL) invites the consecrated women and men to celebrate this Jubilee on 8-9 Oct 2025 in Rome and in each country to celebrate it on 2 Feb 2025. DICLSAL has further sharpened the theme with a specific focus on religious conferences: “Pilgrims of Hope: On the path of peace”. This call promotes a triple-angle formula for our religious life without which the crux will be lost. The three angles are:
1. Listening to the cry of the poor,
2. Care of creation and
3. Solidarity with all our sisters and brothers.

The deep recesses of each angle are entwined by the love of God. The dialectical relationship among these angles and the depth propels us to act in focus. Such acts are impelled by the flames of the love of God. That is the way, we, Jesuits, stand firm on the faith-justice-peace axis.

Jubilee 2025 also invites all faithful, religious and priests as pilgrims to spend time together on reflecting, renewing and rekindling hope in the life and mission of individuals and communities. We shall individually and collectively plan to celebrate the Jubilee Year in a very meaningful way. Let our celebration become a solid application of our Ignatian Charism.

During the past two years (2022 & 2023), we have been reflecting on the formation of youth as agents of social transformation and their response to socio-political issues based on Constitutional Values. I believe each reflection was transformed into some kind of activity in and around our communities. When we work with the youth, we always remember to take them to the depths of our lives. Therefore, we need to have a deeper reflection on the consecrated life in today’s context to uphold the human values of the Indian Constitution. The Psalmist’s poetic phrase lingers as ‘deep calls to deep’ (Ps 42:7).

As we begin this year’s Lenten season on the 14th of Feb 2024, let us imbibe the values of Jesus Christ as St. Paul who endures agonizing pain and suffering (2Cor 4:8-10), and the spirit of Risen Lord facing all difficulties (Lk 24:26) all for the redemption of all!

Jebamalai Irudayaraj

Provincial – Chennai Jesuits