JESUIT CHENNAI MISSION: GOD’S ENTERPRISE HAS A NEW LEADER
The Jesuit Chennai Mission a sprawling enterprise of God through the instrumentality of Madurai Jesuits holds the promise of ‘growing by leaps and bounds’ with the appointment of its second Mission Superior in the history. The solemn installation of Fr.L.Jebamalai Irudayaraj as the new Mission Superior, was officiated during a Thanksgiving Eucharist by Fr.Sebasti L.Raj, our Provincial on the 30th June filling everyone with joy and hope. The function organized by the Jesuits at Loyola Rural College in Vettavalam was well attended by more than 150 Jesuits from all parts of Tamilnadu.
Fr.Jebamalairaja, in his inaugural homily termed the new responsibility as one loaded with both opportunities to serve and challenges to face. Anchoring his faith in the igniting embrace of the Trinitarian God, he invited all of us to see the world as Jesus did and imitate Him in reaching out to the marginalized masses, by having them as the ‘centre of our life and mission.’
He was felicitated by Fr.Victor Arulappan, the out-going Mission Superior, besides the two local superiors in the mission, namely Frs. Joemike, and Francis Jayapathy on behalf of the universal society. Notably, all the speakers, acknowledged the power of God leading the Mission for over twenty five years. They emphatically affirmed the truth that the Chennai Mission is a ‘God’s enterprise’ and our response must be to join hands in fulfilling the same. Further, they made a fresh appeal to wipe-out self-centered attitudes and to re-commit oneself to the service of God’s People. They also insisted that the ministries animated by the Mission under the aegis of Fr.Jebamalairaja must enhance the process of social change by forming men and women for others.
Fr.Provincial in his concluding remarks thanked Fr.A.Victor for his humane leadership with which he steered the Mission for the past six years. He emphasized the need to be Spiritual Leaders by treasuring the ‘Jesuit identity’ as the only true identity and also to adopt a totally ‘People centered’ approach in our Ministries. Heaping up his appreciations for and confidence in Fr.Jebamalairaja, a capable Leader, he assured him and the Mission of his full support both in consolidating the growth of the various institutions that are in the offing and also in spearheading the expansion of the Mission to other Ecclesiastical Dioceses.
The Mission Team hastens to thank Vettavalam Jesuits and the college staff for being the most gracious hosts and splendid organizers of the magnificent historic event in the Chennai Mission. We also salute Fr.Maria Joe for all the laborious work done all these years and also for all the miracles he will continue to perform. The Mission also welcomes Fr.A.Leolin, who will serve as the new Director of the Mission Office.
To conclude, we may not need precious gold to inscribe the landmark event in golden letters, but we need priceless hearts with large place carved-out for the people of this mission. The march continues, and Fr.Jebamalairaja, our new LEADER! lead us on gallantly! -A. LEOLIN