Ignatian Spirituality Workshop Held at Navjyoti Niketan

The Ignatian Spirituality Commission organized a three day Ignatian Spirituality Workshop for the 30 Catholic Lay Teachers from the Jesuits Schools of our Province. The participants included: Ara Catholic School (9). St. Ignatius, Aurangabad (8), KR, Bettiah (7), St. Xavier's, Bettiah (3), St. Anne's, Sasaram (2), Raj Rajeshwar, Bar Bigha (1). The program was residential and began on June 18th at 6 pm with registration and a brief introduction by Fr. Donald Miranda, SJ and Sr. Suja (Administrator, NJN).

The inaugural mass was celebrated by Fr. Susai Raj, SJ (Socius) on 19th morning at 6 am. Fr. Jose Kalapura, SJ conducted the first module on Jesuit History and the Life of St. Ignatius. The second module on the Principle and Foundation of the Spiritual Exercises, was given by Fr. Johnson Kelekath, SJ and Sch. Devashish, SJ (Theology). The day ended (post-supper) with an integration of the two modules in the light of a video film on the Life of St. Ignatius conducted by Fr. Donald Miranda. He also introduced them to the Examination of Conscience (Ignatian Examen) as a way to healthy integration of Mind, Body and Spirit.

The Second Day, June 20th began with a guided meditation on the Three Methods of Prayer of St. Ignatius conducted by Fr. Donald Miranda, SJ. The participants were taught to concentrate the mind and still the body through object and word meditation. Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. Josey Mathias, SJ who also conducted the third module on Discernment. The fourth module on the Spirituality of Education and IPP was conducted by Fr. George Nedumattam, SJ. The post-supper integration conducted by Fr. Donald Miranda, SJ focused on Ignatius: Lover of Nature and Life (Mysticism) and preparation for the next morning’s meditation through Lectio Divina. Once again, the group was guided through the Examen.

The final day, June 21st began with a guided meditation on the Sunday Gospel through Lectio Divina conducted by Fr. Donald Miranda, SJ. The Sunday Liturgy was celebrated with much enthusiasm and devotion by the group with Fr. Joseph Vellaringatt, SJ as the main celebrant. He also conducted the fifth module on Finding God in All Things. The sixth and final module was conducted by Fr. Edward Mendonca, SJ on MAGIS.

The hot and humid weather minus the rains did not dampen the enthusiasm of the participants, who were eager with questions in response to the creative and varied presentations of the resource persons. They were also happy to get the opportunity to interact with teachers of other Jesuit schools during group and common sessions. The residential nature of the program also encouraged common prayer and Eucharist.

The Ignatian Spirituality Commission is grateful to the NJN staff and community for their generous hospitality; and to the Principals/Headmasters/Resource Persons for their commitment, help and support. The commission hopes to have MORE of this interaction as we move ahead with the First Group of 30 and the other teachers of our schools.

Fr. Donald Miranda, SJ