Dear Respected Alumni/ae,

Greetings. I am happy to meet you all through this message. I have been associated with Loyola for a long time: After my student days (1974-1977 BSc Physics), I have been teaching at Loyola 1981-1983, 1992-1998, and 2006-2009. My association continued as the Director of Loyola-ICAM College of Engineering and Technology (2010-2016). I am happy to meet Loyola alumni/ae very often. The roots (values) and wings (leadership) of Loyola have become global. I am proud of Loyola alumni/ae for their leadership and service in all walks of life. I wish you all the best. Wherever the Jesuit alumni/ae are there, they are the agents of change – change for the better through integration and harmony of cultures.

In 1219 St Francis of Assisi and Sultan al-Kamil met in Egypt during the Fifth Crusade. It was a peace mission with the hope of bringing in religious peace. After eight centuries, Pope Francis has made, in February 2019, the historical meeting with Shaikh Al Azhar in Abu Dhabi and UAE has declared 2019 the ‘Year of Tolerance’.

One needs to live in peace and harmony in a world of multi-religious and multi-cultural milieu. More than the religious harmony, Pope Francis, in his book (Encyclical) Laudato Si, emphasizes the need for preserving and building up our Common Home, namely our ecology and environment. The recent General Congregation 36 (2016) of the Jesuits, which is the highest decision making body of the Jesuit Order, has brought into focus our harmony with God, within humanity; and with creation (GC 36 D1/22-30). This brings in alliance with God; synchronization with our fellow humans; and resonance with enriched environment and ecology. The words of St Ignatius in his prayer for generosity, ‘to give without counting the cost…to labor without seeking rest…’, reflects the words of St Francis of Assisi in his prayer for  peace, ‘where there is hatred, let me bring love… where there is discord, let me bring union… where there is error, let me bring truth…’. In short, both the saints want us to be instruments of peace and harmony.

As members of Loyola family let us be agents of social transformation through our servant leadership. I wish you all the best in all your endeavors. Wherever you are ‘let your light shine’ and let the flame of your helping hand kindle other flames of services to the needy and the marginalized. Let us build one world of peace and harmony, where people live in joy and happiness.

Rev. Fr. Francis P Xavier SJ

Rector and Vice-Chairman

Loyola College Society

Chennai