Rev. Fr. Dr. V. Henry Jerome, S.J.,
My dear Xaverians,
Greetings to all of you!
At the outset, let me congratulate you for having joined the family of Xaverians at Palayamkottai. I am sure, you are going to have amazing and awesome years during your stay here. As you join Xaverian family, you are also becoming part of a Jesuit legacy. Now onwards, if you are a student here, you are a Jesuit Student and if you are a staff here, you are a Jesuit Staff.
Being a Jesuit student or staff is multifaceted. On the one hand, you will be inwardly searching for truth and God and on the other, you will be engaged in bringing peace and harmony outside you. As you search for God within yourself, you will be finding a lot of hidden treasures there. The sum of all those treasures, you will realise later on, is what you are! So, the first characteristic of being a Xaverian is ‘not to stop searching within you’. Those who stop that search, stop living. Our whole life will be a search within. Xaverians will learn to sustain the search within, so that all that we do in our daily life comes out of our heart, the depth of our being. Our life would then become an expression and explanation of the search within. Be assured, dear friends, of learning lessons not just for exams but for whole life.
What you will become then, is not to be bookish but soaked in reality, you would dare to face what comes on your way. You receive your strength from your heart. You will find meaning for your life in the depth.
The reality outside will continue to disturb your search within. So, you will be given ample opportunities to learn, understand and analyse the reality outside. There will be occasions here for you to enter into serious discussions on the social, political, cultural and economic scenario of the existing society. You will be learning the concepts, you will be learning philosophies, you will be learning about the poor, and you will be learning your own subjects. We believe that only such an overall and holistic learning is a real learning. That is where you will be educated to offer the world a perspective of a person who has been educated, not just graduated. Jesuit education begins from experience and does not stop with it. It is an on-going and never ending one. We continue to learn lessons as long as we live.
The second characteristic of being a Xaverian is to be open for learning not just for the sake of learning but for the sake of transforming the society as place for all to happily live. Be open, dear friends. Closed persons restrain from learning because nothing can be instilled in such a person. At the end of your stay here, we want you to become men and women not just pushing life but men and women who would choose life and design its directions. On Jesuit par lance, you study in a Jesuit institution only to become ‘men and women for others’.
Let Xaverian magic happen to you as it happened to thousands and thousands of students before you. We have completed one hundred years in Palayamkottai. We are gifted to stay now at St. Xavier’s when we celebrate the centenary year of its existence. All these years have been filled with the powered blessings of the Lord. Let us thank Him for leading all of us all through the eventful past.
Once a Xaverian, always a Xaverian!