“India is trying to be the first country to become an industrial giant with an illiterate and unhealthy labour force. I don’t think it can be done. To me, it’s one of the biggest problems.”

That is the opinion of one of the world’s greatest economists—Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen.

The Day of the Poor launched by Pope Francis is more relevant here than in many other parts of the world. How should we observe it? This issue has several inputs on it—a cover story by an Indian who is an international expert, interview with a woman religious who chose to move to the poorest, a gist of the Pope’s words on this theme, a committed layman who always finds time for service, a British missionary Brother who made his home among the poorest of India’s villages, a finance article on how to place the poor at the centre of our economic activities, a spirituality article on economic justice, an American couple’s self-examination on sharing.

MAGNET is just one activity of National CRI. Side by side with that, other concerns keep us busy.  One is to offer relevant seminars for various groups, with sessions by experienced experts. We had two such programmes last month in Hyderabad—one for 63 Local Superiors, the other for 45 Formators. Every seminar is not only meticulously planned and carefully executed; each is also evaluated anonymously, in writing, letting us really know how the participants found the experience. Both programmes received warm and touching appreciation. Let me attach the photo of the Local Superiors’ Group.

As I write these lines, we are into two other seminars on the same themes: a one-week seminar for formators (October 20-26) and another one-week programme for local superiors (November 1-7), both to be hosted at CRI House, New Delhi. Apart from making sure the contents are relevant, we are also keen that CRI House should really be a warm and welcoming home, especially for religious. This is our common home. Every member of every religious order is welcome here. Tomorrow, some of you will take the place of the three of us who are in charge here now. May it always be a loving home, a dynamic powerhouse of initiative, a vibrant centre listening to the peripheries, encouraging initiative, supporting the week, and  providing creative leadership.

Your ideas and participation are more than welcome.

Fr Joe Mannath SDB


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