Manu Tomy, NSJ
If we look at the calendar we will find many feast days. But the Christians look at the Ordo to find the feast days of the saints. Each congregation has its special feast day. For us Jesuits, the feast of our founder St Ignatius Loyola is a very important day. This day is not just for us to celebrate and to enjoy among ourselves. But it is a day to thank God for the work he has done through St Ignatius for us and for the church.
As in every year, we celebrated the feast of St Ignatius this year on the 31st of July. A good preparation always makes the feast more elegant and enjoyable. Our celebration also was well prepared and planned for. We started our preparation early enough. One part of the preparation that touched me and many others was the nine days of Ignatian novena talks on the theme, “Ease in Finding God”. These talks were given by some prominent Jesuits of our province. I could attend only two talks but they gave me with lot of new information and helped me to understand some of the experiences of St Ignatius. I was also inspired by the eagerness of sisters of different congregations who came to listen to the God experience of St Ignatius.
The feast day Eucharist really put me into a good disposition. It was through the words of Fr Sajeev, the main celebrant, that I and many others came to know a new face of Ignatius who was joyful and jovial. All those who attended the Eucharist were invited to be joyful in the Lord and to find him in everything. I was really touched and moved when I was wished a happy feast day by fathers because I could see the joy as being Jesuits on their faces.
Whenever we have important feast days we will have special time for games. I was quite ecstatic about the games because that is an occasion when the novices and the juniors play together. On the feast of St Ignatius, we had a friendly match. That was a golden opportunity for us to enhance our companionship.
The cultural programme in the evening was a beautiful occasion for us to share our joy with others. We had prepared a pretty good programme and it was a the joyful faces of the audience and their animated support that made us more confident. We had over a hundred guests from our neighbourhood, especially from other formation houses. Well, the audience’s appreciation did not make us proud; but helped us to discover that God can do great things through us.I will always cherish this joyful day not only because of its external enjoyments but because it is a day to thank the Lord for calling me to be a companion of Jesus and a follower of St Ignatius.