On a visit to India, US Jesuit Conference, Fr Thomas H. Smolich, SJ, has said his men and their counterparts in South Asia could widen their collaboration for the socio-educational development of millions.
Fr Smolich ended his 10-day visit to India on Oct. 27, UCA News reports.
He told UCA News he was "energized" to see the Indian Jesuits' works in the fields of education and social development. "Many of the educational institutions managed by the Jesuits in India are top-notch," he said after visiting Jesuit works in Delhi, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
The Jesuit institutions and the infrastructure facilities available in India are designed to change society, he said and added possibility of collaboration between Jesuit Conference of South Asia and its US counterpart.
Fr Smolich said given the dwindling number of Jesuits in the US, younger Jesuits from Indian may also be invited to extend cooperation to US Jesuits in the future. Two Jesuit provinces in India are already collaborating with two American provinces, and Fr Smolich said he wished to strengthen the collaboration further.
Earlier on Oct. 18, Fr Smolich interacted with the Jesuits of Indian Social Institute in New Delhi to learn how social research is undertaken in the institute.
During the India visit, the American Jesuit met several people involved with Jesuit formation, and found a lot of confidence in them. He said the future of the society in India "is bright."
Fr Smolich, 54, of California Jesuit province, has been the provincial superior of California 1999-2005, and became the president of US Jesuits in 2006.
As the visit of Fr Smolich to India coincided with the bi-annual meeting of the Jesuit Conference of South Asia (JCSA), its president Fr Edward Mudavassery invited him to share how the JCUS, comprising 10 Jesuit provinces, are coping with changing situations.
The meeting was at Dhyan Ashram in Konchowki, some 15 kilometers south of Kolkata. In an interactive session with the Jesuit provincials of South Asia, Father Smolich shared how the JCUS was preparing to face changing global and national scenario to make their ministry more relevant.