The feast of St. Ignatius was celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm. As a preparation for the feast, we had the Novena spread over nine days and each day one theme was chosen for the Novena. The Rector, Fr. Edward Mudavassery, was the Main Celebrant for the Mass on the feast day and Fr. Jose Panadan SJ delivered an inspiring message on the joy of sharing the Good News as we prepare ourselves for any mission – even to the frontiers! All the invitees on the feast day appreciated the choir members who played a great role in creating the right spiritual ambiance. After the Eucharistic celebration, we had a basketball match between DNC and Bethany Ashram, in which DNC won by a close margin. This was followed by a High-Tea for all the students and staff of JDV. Students from all the near-by Houses joined in the celebration and shared in the festive joy of the day.

We also had a special prayer service for all the guests invited for the auspicious occasion in our calendar. This was followed by a sumptuous lunch with the guests that were invited along with our entire community. The entire day went off well with a mood of festivity and brotherhood. The creativity of the scholastics was showcased in the fruit art work. To top it off, in the evening, we had a football match between DNC and Papal Seminary in which DNC won. For the campus Jesuits, dinner was arranged at DNC and all joined with us to celebrate the feast of St. Ignatius. The event was truly a memorable one.

5 August 2017 was really an amazing day for all the scholastics in DNC. We had a rain picnic on that day to Lonavala and Malavli. All of us had a wonderful time there in our respective Living Groups. This picnic sure brought much joy and helped us to bond well with cords that could not be broken.  A rain picnic in the breath taking hills of Lonavala and Malavlli needed to live up to its name. We got a good shower of blessings in both the places. It was wonderful for us to feel we were companions in the Lord amidst His beautiful creation.

Independence Day is celebrated by one and all on 15 August 2017. In addition, we celebrated the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the same day. On that very day after celebrating the Holy Eucharist Fr. George Beck hoisted the Indian Tri-Colour, Sch. Johny Dungdung delivered a rousing, heart- warming Independence Day message that was greeted with thunderous applause.

On 21 August we had a talk by Fr. Jim Keenan. In the talk he shared about the importance of showing up, standing up, and to come forward bravely into this challenging world with courage and with a heart full of love – to be true leaders. It’s not our words; but our deeds that should speak!

On 28 August, Fr. Orville and Ms. Farzana shared their experiences of working for and with the Afghan refugees as the core work of the Jesuit Mission in Afganisthan. They explained the various activities initiated there as missionaries, the challenges and visions, the hopes and dreams. They also shared how they face these challenges and struggles in this dangerous frontier mission. This exposure challenged and helped the scholastics to have an aspiration to become good missionaries and read the signs of the times.

On 25 August, we celebrated Ganesh Chaturti, in fellowship with our Hindu brethren and also prayed for them. This is one of the most important Hindu festivals in Pune. On that day we had a volleyball match between the Philosophers and Theologians. The young and agile Philosophers won the match. On 2 September we had faith sharing in our Province Groups. Some groups went out of the campus for sharing while some groups had their sharing in the House itself. In the evening we had a well-prepared good dinner in Province Groups. On 20 and 23 September, we celebrated the birthday of Fr. Jacob and Fr. Paul Raj jointly. Now the Community is gearing up to celebrate Community Days. Groups have already been formed. There were a lot of animated discussions about competitions, games, entertainment that would show case the talents of one and all. The discussions were preceded by prayer that helped us to see the community days as bringing us together as one family.

Tom, CST