India. New Delhi: SAPI is born

In his final address to the Convention of SAPI (South People Asian Initiatives), Fr. Joe Xavier, Assistant Coordinator for the Social Apostolate in South Asia, proclaimed proudly and joyously ?I feel happy and grateful that SAPI has been born, the baby is doing fine, and I must add that the birth was normal?no caesarean was needed.? These words were applauded loud and long by the more than 100 delegates, including all the Provincial Coordinators of the Social Apostolate, gathered at the Indian Social Institute (New Delhi) from 1-4 April 2004. There was a large participation by lay men and women representing Jesuit and other social centres. Many of them had attended the World Social Forum in Mumbai (January 2004). Fr. Prakash Louis in his initial intervention stressed the fact that all present were interested, not in themselves, but in the oppressed communities they represented. On the last day, the Assembly unanimously approved the Tentative Note outlining the perspective, the minimum programme and the structure of SAPI for the following year. Thanking all the participants and summing up the proceedings, Fr. Joe Xavier wrote: ?What is predominant in my heart is that, as some of you told me, it was a very different type of meeting, a learning experience, a step forward in our mission, a meaningful move in empowering our collaborators, a creative strategic planning of our involvement, a real progress in networking and collaboration. It was also an occasion to realise the strengths of our collaborators. Some of them came out very powerfully, articulating ?the role? they want the Jesuits to play, namely facilitating, animating, enhancing, and not as persons providing top down leadership.? [HL40404]