Scholastics Summer Meet

THADAM – 2024

The theme of this year’s Scholastics Summer Meet was Thadam, focusing on the Roots and Wings of the Chennai Province. On 15 May, Scholastics reached Ooty after conducting 16 Summer Camps in our Social Centres and other institutions. Upon arrival, the Scholastics had a volleyball match and an outing in their novitiate batches. The day concluded with a campfire with camaraderie and enjoyment. 

On 17 May, the meet’s first day saw a creative welcome for twelve new juniors. Frs. Danis Ponniah (MDU), Eugine Sebastine Rosario A., and Maria Felix Kennedy shared the Province’s step-by-step evolution, emphasising its unique mission of serving Dalits, Tribals, and other marginalized groups. A subsequent panel discussion provided an eye opening understanding of our province’s vision and mission. In the afternoon, during the Summer Camp reporting session, Scholastics shared their meaningful and challenging experiences from the camps. There was a quiz competition on the history of the Chennai Province in which the Scholastics participated enthusiastically.

On 18 May, we paid homage to the Sri Lankan Tamils massacred at Mullivaaikaal during the civil war, in 2009. Fr. Kuzhanthai OFM delivered a thought provoking talk on movement-based missions in the Society of Jesus. Ms. Sneha, a law student, spoke on the power of the students movement in Indian history. A meaningful spiritual conversation in groups ensued, where the Scholastics shared their strengths and challenges in the mission. The reports demonstrated a unified commitment to the people of God.

On 19 May, Fr. Jebamalai Irudayaraj, Provincial, and Fr. Philip Kumar G., PCF, addressed and encouraged the Scholastics, celebrating their achievements across various fields. Fr. Joseph Ignaci, Treasurer, presented the formation budget and expenditures, providing guidelines for financial transparency. The presence of Fr. Ilanko Xavier M., Socius and Fr. Arul Henry William A., Director of Regents, were a source of encouragement for all. Fr. Velankanni Arockiasamy, Fr. Alexander Gnanapragasam and Fr. Manojkumar Tharmam, as observers, shared their views of Thadam and motivated the Scholastics to maintain the spirit gained during the meet. Sch. Arokia Sundar, the Coordinator, expressed gratitude to the gathering for the success of Thadam-’24.

From 20 to 28 May, we embarked on our annual retreat, guided by Fr. Yesumarian Lourdunathan, who imparted the spirit of DSS and helped us to delve into the missionary roots of Jesuits in Chennai Province area. He emphasized that the heart of the province lies with the people. The Scholastics were deeply inspired by the spirit of our forefathers. Fr. James Raja assisted Fr. Yesumarian L., in guiding the retreat. Post-retreat, the Scholastics enjoyed a day at Black Thunder (a Theme Park), sharing love and joy. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to St. Joseph’s Community, Ooty, for their tireless efforts in arranging food, accommodation and all the requirements. The Scholastic Summer Meet, was an enriching and unifying experience, strengthening our commitment to our mission and each other.

Zenith Lawrance M