Report on the Webinar "Relevance of Ignatian Insight to our Context"

On the occasion of the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola a webinar titled, "Relevance of Ignatian Insight to our Context" was conducted by Fr. Charles Rodrigues sj via Zoom meeting on 30th July 2020 at 3:30 pm. The webinar was attended by the teachers and staff of St. Xavier's Boys Academy and teachers from various Jesuit Institutions. There were 300 participants in all who managed to enter this meeting whilst a number of them could not gain entry.

The relevance of St. Ignatius' teachings and doctrines in today's teaching scenario was highlighted with a number of examples. Fr. Charles put forward the issue of how people in today's fast-paced world are more interested in 'infotainment' i.e. combination of information and entertainment. Anything plain and ordinary is considered as boring and irrelevant by students and teachers today. However this growing undue inclination towards infotainment has diminished critical thinking ability among the masses, especially students. As teachers of Jesuit Institutions it is therefore binding on us to encourage critical thinking among students.

A summary of the life of St. Ignatius was provided and linked to our current lifestyle. Fr. Charles traced the journey of St. Ignatius right from his state of distraction in his youth to his stage of discovering a simplistic way of living and working for others caused due to a stage of 'lockdown' in his life owing to a leg injury. We too just like St. Ignatius are faced with numerous distractions both internal as well as external. However with prayer and following in the footsteps of St. Ignatius we can keep these distraction away even in these trying situations of Covid-19.

Fr. Charles beautifully brought out the true meaning of devotion which is not just reciting a number of prayers, performing pujas or rituals but devotion is best expressed through our actions. Just like St. Ignatius in his life expressed devotion by training teachers and students, we too are called to express our devotion through our good actions.

A video was presented which showcased the Jesuit missionary works in reaching out to the poor, migrants, homeless, sick and the needy. The video showed us how the Jesuits were breaking the bread both at the altar as well as in the lives of numerous people in desperate situations brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The webinar concluded with the students of St. Mary's ICSE and SSC school singing “Noble Knight” - the Ignatian March.

Ms. Valentina Saldanha

Class Teacher – Std.7