2016-10-27 13:46:00

An Indian Jesuit in Egypt, part 2

With nearly 17.000 Jesuit priests and brothers working in some 112 nations across the globe, the Society of Jesus, founded in 1540 by Spaniard St. Ignatius of Loyola and his companions, is the largest men’s religious congregation in the Catholic Church. Jesuits have been engaged in ministries as diverse as spiritual direction, education, the care of refugees, outreach to the homeless and theological, philosophical and intellectual pursuits. With its worldwide headquarters here in Rome, Jesuit communities and apostolic works are organized into some 80 provinces which belong to one of ten 'assistancies' around the world.  And among them is the Near East Jesuit Province, based in Beirut, Lebanon, that comprises the Jesuit missions in Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco.  Indian Jesuit priest, Fr. Bimal Kerketta of Ranchi Province is one of the 35 Jesuits of various nationalities working in Egypt.  Last week, in the first of a 2-part interview,  Fr. Kerketta, who arrived in Egypt in 2002, narrated the hard way he learnt Arabic and spoke about the Jesuits’ educational and social development programmes such as women’s literacy, care of handicapped youth, agriculture, animal husbandry, the greening of desert land and students’ exchange programme with European universities.  Today, Fr. Kerketta begins the final part of this interview explaining that the government does support the Jesuits’ efforts, though not financially. 


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