A group of nine Jesuit Volunteers (JVs) led by their spiritual animator Fr Prashanth D’Souza visited Mundgod Jesuit Mission from September 29 to October 01, 2023
Fr Anil D’Souza, the director of LVK, shared with the group his experience. Thereafter, the team visited St Rita’s parish and Fr Gilbert Saldanha welcomed them. Then they visited Loyola School, boys & girls’ hostels and Loyola Kendriya Vidyalaya. The visit to different institutions made a deep impression on the team. The team was able to perceive the impact of the work done by the Jesuits in education, social and economic fields has begun to yield results in the younger generation, especially the English language education.
In the evening after tea, the team visited the tailoring centre and saw the products. Some team members gave some feedback about the products and volunteered to help them to make it marketable.
Later in the day, the JVs had a spiritual sharing session led by Fr Prashanth. It was time of expressing deeper thoughts and feelings. There were emotions of joy, happiness and a sense of contentment and satisfaction, pain and sadness, anger and disappointment. Each one expressed his/her feelings with openness and freedom. Few members promised to help in the mission on a personal note. The JVs decided to go back and discuss how they as a group could respond to these challenges.
On October 01st, the team attended mass at the local parish in Ugginakeri where local culture was evident in the liturgical service. The people were very involved and their faith was noteworthy. After the mass, the team interacted with the parishioners and walked down to visit a Ugginakeri village hostel.
The team also had a brief visit to the local Tibetan settlement and explored the place.
The team expressed their satisfaction about the visit: “We are very grateful to Fr Melvin Lobo, the superior, who ensured our comfortable stay and welcomed us though he was physically not present and under his leadership the work done is really commendable. Fr Anil D’Souza’s hospitality was something we were very touched by. He made sure that we were comfortable and our requests were met. Br Noel worked hard to ensure that the menu on the table is creative and sumptuous. After lunch in LVK, we left for Bangalore at 2:10 p.m. We left the center with a heavy heart and sincere prayers for all those who work for the Mundgod mission. May the Lord grant them good health, strength and zeal to continue the work for the Greater Glory of God,” the team members said.
The team also gave the following observations:
The Mundgod mission poses significant challenges.
The Mundgod mission needs substantial support in terms of manpower and financial resources, as socio-economic needs are humongous.
JVs could contribute to entrepreneurial development and assist in the marketing of products made by self-employed women.
Initiatives like adopting children for their education and all-round development can be taken up as a project following the principle of ‘Each one enriches one.’
During holidays, some of the JV members can visit the mission station and teach various skills, including English and soft skills to the children and youth.
- Ms Roushnee Sur (Jesuit Volunteer)