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GC 36, D1 “Companions in a Mission of Reconciliation and Justice,” is the latest in a series of appeals made to all Jesuits to become ministers of reconciliation – in their life and mission, involving justice and resulting in its much needed corollary, peace. GC 36 cannot be read in isolation, GC 32, D4; 35,d 3, n 12and Pope Francis’ Encyclical, “Laudato Si”, all lead up to the same appeal for reconciliation.
Responding to this call, amidst the prevailing seemingly intractable conflict ridden situations in the countries of South Asia, Fr George Pattery, SJ (POSA) called for a meeting of all existing Peace Initiatives in South Asia. The meeting took place on 19-20 Aug, 2017 at ISI-Delhi. There were 18 participants; representatives of peace centers and a few other invitees. The representatives were: Joe Kalathil (peace building between Indian & Pakistan along the western border with Pak.); Walter Fernandes(Kohima Region- tribal reconciliation; migration from Myanmar); Joy Karayampuram (Shanti SadbhavanaManch of ISI – Delhi); BinoyPichalakkatt (LIPI center (Cochin) - Kerala province); John Chathanatt’s(Delhi Prov.); Tony Dias (Mumbai Prov.); Rajeev Chakranarayan (Xavier’s Social Service Centre – A’bad)& Xavier Manjooran (RSSS in South Gujarat).
The meeting was effectively conducted through a process of ‘discernment in common’. It involved an in-depth listening to the Spirit in the movements of self, the other the group.
Existing initiatives when shared were eye openers, testimonies to thesilent, dogged efforts in remote areas to usher in peace. They spanned the spectrum from people to people contact, to academic research, publication and advocacy; from border engagements to empowering peace-makers in interior areas.
The proposal, being made to JCSA, setting up of an Assistancy Nodal Platform, to facilitate / provide: sharing between centers,support, provide visibility, training, research, advocacy, linkages with civil society groups: national and internationaland all Jesuit ministries so as to make reconciliation the overarching thrust of our mission toady.
The road before us is,to “seek to understand how God invites us – and so many people of good will – to share in that great work.” (GC 36, d 1, n. 3)
Keith Abranches, SJ