In the midst of Jesuit tradition and history

Under the banner of SAPI (South Asian People?s Initiative), the Jesuit-sponsored delegation of about 1500 people gathered on the grounds of a Jesuit school located close to the old Jesuit house of Vinayalaya for the group?s opening session, which preceded, and was a preparation for, the inaugural session of the WSF. The venerable walls and the long dark corridors of this old novitiate were hosts today to quite a different, energetic and boisterous crowd of people gathered here to participate in the WSF. The generosity of the Bombay Jesuits have made it possible for many to live out the challenges of this Forum in a place steeped in Jesuit tradition and history. For many Jesuits it was a home-coming with a difference! Sharing his experiences Jean-Marc Biron (Montreal) noted: ?As a Jesuit, I am proud of the Indian Jesuits and the leadership they have shown in collecting here people from all corners of India?. Others were impressed by the kindness, and gentleness of the people. As the beat of drums played by Dalits and Adivasis resounded, the gathering committed itself to fight for the unity of the oppressed. Fr. Francis de Melo, Provincial of Bombay, expressed, in a few spirited words, the joy of receiving Jesuits and collaborators from all over India. A man and a woman from India, and Fr. Bernard Lestienne, representing the foreign delegates, declared the SAPI gathering open. [HL40107]