I was neither part of the first colloquium which was held in Boston College, USA nor was I in the list of members to go to the planned on-site colloquium in Jogjakarta last year which was cancelled due to the pandemic. However, when II Colloquium JESEDU-Global 2021 planned in online mode, surprisingly I was in the list of members to attend the colloquium. I was not greatly excited as it was on digital platform, yet I did not want to miss a chance of attending it as it would be a new experience as well as greater learning. Having gone through the colloquium, I have no regret for participating in it whole-heartedly. It was truly a joyful experience and feeling of belonging to Universal Society.
I was already a registered member in Educate Magis and it was not difficult for me to join the colloquium right from the start. I truly appreciate the Asia Pacific Conference who visualized the colloquium on online platform in a right perspective taking into consideration various aspects. The entire colloquium was well planned giving scope for every aspect like key note addresses, inauguration, closing ceremony, discernment circles etc., It was difficult to miss any aspect of the colloquium as it was organized in such a way that there was scope for self-pacing and at the same time principle of adaptability to online mode was well taken care.
The colloquium theme “Discerning for a Hope-filled Future” was captivating as it attracted the delegates to the colloquium. The four strands such as Educating for Faith, Educating for Depth, Educating for Reconciliation and Educating for Global Citizenship were very relevant themes and apt to the present context. Attending to all the key note addresses and deriving insights from each one of them has been an exciting experience. Some of the insights from these key note addresses can never be forgotten. For example: Educating for Faith through ecological faith by Fr. Orobator, Educating for Depth not only mean cognitive development but also emotional and moral development by Fr Joe Arun, trusting and nourishing the new life that is latent in chaotic breakdowns by Ms. Margaret Silf, transforming our classrooms into sanctuaries of reconciliation in terms of Educating for Reconciliation by Fr Elias Lopes and connecting the global issues with local issues through Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations under Global Citizenship are all significant learnings from the key note addresses.
I also had a rare opportunity of being the facilitator for one the discernment circles. The discernment circle was named after St. Peter Faber. It was a beautiful concept adopted in this colloquium where we had an opportunity to meet the delegates of the colloquium from world-wide in smaller groups. Though it was on online mode, yet I found Gods Spirit being present as people shared their experiences quite openly. Facilitating St. Peter Faber’s discernment circle was a joyful experience. The group came to an unanimity in terms of global strand for global network of Jesuit schools very easily at the first round itself and it was confirmed in the second round of sharing. On the whole, the experience of discernment circle was one of coming together as one body, a sense of belonging to the Universal Society and a feeling that our lay collaborators are our true partners in mission.
The opening ceremony as well as closing ceremony of the colloquium were points of culmination of this colloquium. Both the ceremonies were quite moving and inspiring. The address by Fr. General and inputs by other important persons set the tone for these ceremonies. The performance and participation by students captured our hearts and minds and gave us an experience of the wider network and our influence on student body. The three hosts Fr. Manuel Uy SJ, Mr. Felipe Carrillo and Ms. Ciara Beuster were awesome as they glued us to the ceremonies throughout.
On the whole, the II Colloquium JESEDU Global 2021 was a unique event as it took place on online mode. The colloquium cannot be forgotten as it was able to give us an experience of the network of Jesuit schools across the world. Kudos to Asia Pacific Conference for such a meticulous planning and execution.