Jamshedpur “To set the World on Fire” – Challenges Ahead

By Somy M. Mannoor, SJ
Jamshedpur Province

Legend has it that St. Ignatius of Loyola sent St Francis Xavier off with the words “ite inflammate omnia.” I believe that he would share the same message with the members of Jamshedpur Province today when we are celebrating our Platinum Jubilee to set the world on fire that kindles others aflame with the love of God.

As we are marching onward with a renewed vision and vigour, there are five challenges ahead of us: (1) need for spiritual depth; (2) need for men with deep commitment; (3) greater collaboration and networking; (4) training of leaders in education with an audacity for the impossible; and (5) rooted in the local culture.


1. Need for spiritual depth: Jamshedpur Province stands out for its diverse ministries - technical and managerial education, primary and secondary education, pastoral work and deep involvement in the lives of the indigenous people - their language and culture. The credit goes to those who dreamt the improbable years ago, those who were able to visualise the first business school in India in the barren land of Jharkhand. We are grateful to those visionaries who guided the Province with enthusiasm and commitment.

Remembering the past with gratitude should lead us to spiritual renewal and recommitment to the mission.

Leaders give a vision and show the way to walk into such a vision as well as to mould leaders who can reimagine and execute those plans. I would say that the challenge before the Province is to engage the raw material that God places into our hands and nurture leaders who can build the future. The major challenge of Jamshedpur Province is to dig deep into the spiritual resources that mark the Society’s spiritual leadership. It is to row into the deep as GC 36 exhorted.

2. Need for men with deep commitment: The next challenge that we are to face is the consolidation of our own Principle and Foundation – moulding men who are ready to take on the challenges as they come up. The mission requires men who are not only imaginative but are also willing to enter into the battlefield. Promotion of vocation is a challenge that the Province faces, just as many others. Attracting men who can opt for a life commitment in order to engage in diverse areas of work and contribute to the betterment of humanity even without getting applause is a challenge. The focus on the Missio Dei will keep us grounded.


3. Greater collaboration and networking: The future is to face the future together! Yes, networking is the future; there is a need to hold hands with people around us. Engagement in social issues involves working with people of all walks of life. Collaboration will be the mantra of the future and this should be deliberately chosen as a mission strategy even in our stronghold and not just where we are weak! Collaboration is between equals and this sense of shared responsibility has to seep into the veins of Jamshedpur Province.

4. Training of leaders in education with an audacity for the impossible: The last 75 years have given us experience to plant the seed and now that the seed has grown, it is time to plant more. The scope of our Province is to be leaders in education and not merely being a service provider. It is to move beyond the ordinary, to set foot into new terrains of education in Jharkhand, to set new trends. The many firsts of the past should propel the Jesuits to have the audacity for the improbable – to be leaders in education.


5. Rooted in the local culture: A healthy plant has a good network of roots. Without being rooted, Jamshedpur has no scope to face the future. Looking back reveals the success stories of insertion into the culture and language, be it the Hos and other indigenous groups of Jharkhand or the people of Odisha. A similar incarnation into the cultural life of people is vital for the success of our ministry. The reality around us is multi-ethnic and multi-religious and the future will open new perspectives. Such new opportunities demand new ways of engagement. The wings need to spread towards the State of Odisha, a mission that Jamshedpur Jesuits embraced in the 1980s. The opportunity is immense in this region that hosts cultural, religious and ethnic plurality.

In conclusion

Looking back at the Province history reminds us of the Jesuit roots of the Gangpur mission: there is no greater challenge than to pull up our socks and get set to march to new terrain. Audacity, commitment, flexibility focused on mission and spiritual leadership: all this come into play here. The jubilee celebration will encourage us to harmonise the structures so that we can reimagine to set the new world aflame, all for God’s greater glory!

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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