By Dattaprassanna Singbal
Aug 11th, 2022

Loyola High School at Pashan in Pune, organized a meeting on July 29th, in order to commemorate the concluding part of the 500th  anniversary of the beginning of St. Ignatius’ enormous change of life, their Patron saint, Saint Ignatius of Loyola. It was held on a Friday, instead of Sunday, July 31st, for convenience. The invitees were ex-teachers, present faculty, including non-teaching staff, and ELAN Committee members, who represent the Alumni body of the institution. Those present among Committee members were:

  • Mr.Manoj Walvekar  –  President
  • Mr.Dattaprassanna Singbal – Gen Secretary
  • Mr.Jehan Kothary  – Treasurer
  • Mr.Harjeet Matharu  – Vice President
  • Mr.Rohit Naik – Jnt. Secretary

The guest of honor was His Grace, Fr. Agnelo Mascarenhas SJ, the Provincial of Pune, who specially came to conduct this meeting. Also, among those present were Fr. Anish SJ, the Principal of Loyola High School, and Fr. Francis D’souza SJ, the manager, to name a few.  The ceremony began with a small parade by the priests and the recital of a hymn. The Provincial, then explained to all those present, what the ceremony meant and its importance as well. He let them all know the story of Saint Ignatius, who turned from a soldier to a saint and an academician,  who founded an entire society, which was accepted by the then Pontiff, Paul III,  as an Order in the Religious Catholic priests. The long and short of the story was that, it was a cannon ball, which struck Commander Ignatius, when he was defending citadel of Pamplona, against the invaders of France that changed his life fully. Thus, he let everyone present know, that sometimes it takes such an incident in one’s life to bring about a total transformation and set the individual on the right path. He also let them know that by principle, it was expected then, that the disciples of Lord Jesus had to give up their wealth and in order to follow His path and serve humanity. However, St. Ignatius chose to do something different. Instead of just serving the Lord, he decided, to become an educationist and spread education to those impoverished and deserving. For that, he himself went to Paris to become a learned person. However, while still in his training, he got so engrossed, that he paid little attention to his own appearance and found people keeping away from him. He then, realized that in order to reach out to people he had to change himself to be acceptable in the society he lived. He did so, and today we see the success of a foundation that he laid, 500 years ago.

Following this speech, was a small event, held for the teachers and the ex-teachers where they were asked to tell, which new persons they came across, during this meeting, which was followed by guessing a song, from music played and the those giving the answers, were required to sing a stanza of the song, they had guessed.

Lastly, there was a cake cutting, conducted by 4 priests, Fr. Mascarenhas, Fr. Francis, Fr. Anish and a senior German priest.

The meeting then concluded, where all those present, joined in for a very good lunch. It was indeed a reunion to remember, similar to the annual dinner, held by the Alumni, every year, where all the ex-students of various batches meet for dinner along with present teachers and the ex-teachers, whom they fondly still remember. Men for others is the motto that we all carry in our heads, after having passed out from such an institution and that was very much seen here as well.