I vividly remember the day I walked into Navasadhana for the first time in my life. I came from Harobale (a remote village Parish) along with my mother seeking admission into the Pre-novitiate. Fr.Jossy Rodrigues was the Director. He was very cordial and hospitable. He made us feel at home by personally attending to us, serving lunch and enquiring about our journey. It left a very deep impression on me about the Jesuits, for he was the first Jesuit I met in my life. That day I decided to stay with the Jesuits.
My two years’ stay at Navasadhana has played a very significant role in shaping me as a Jesuit. It has laid a solid foundation for my formative journey in the Society. Navasadhana was not a formation house. It was not a seminary. Rather it was a home- home away from home. Of course there was a time table. There was discipline. There were rules and regulations, restrictions, corrections and punishment, and manual works. But more than all these, there was love. I felt loved and cared for in Navasadhana. That is what I cherish most.
I have had the joy of seeing myself being transformed from a rugged village boy into a fine, well-motivated pre-novice, ready to join the Society of Jesus. It was a joy to see my companions and me blooming as young men. Everything that was said and done in Navasadhana was geared towards the integral and holistic formation of the candidates.
Manual Works, Prayers, Eucharist, study, classes, coaching, camps, recreations, Sunday classes, picnics, community meetings, Navasadhana day celebrations were all opportunities for me to blossom into a fine gentleman. They provided me a platform to gain confidence, and my human qualities to flower forth.
I gratefully remember my beloved director Fr. Jossy and the Assistant directors Frs Sunil Fernandes and Arun Kumar. We are fruits of their commitment and dedication. They have facilitated our growth with the utmost patience and love.
Formation is a very delicate and challenging mission both for the formees and the Formators. I realized it when I came back to Navasadhana as a Regent. It was a time for me to learn and unlearn many things. I loved to be with the young budding candidates, full of joy and fun. At the same time it was challenging for me to tend them. They did challenge me in many ways.
Collaborating with Fr. Arun Kumar was another learning experience. The trust he placed in me and the freedom he gave me made me appreciate the Society of Jesus. It was a joy to see our cooks do their humdrum work with dedication and love.
I gratefully remember all our neighbours who were really helpful to us at any time of the day. Their presence and co-operation adds so much to formative value for our Candidates.
When I think of Navasadhana I become nostalgic. The house and the people have made me feel loved and cared for. The strong foundation laid there has helped me to row through rough waters of life with dedication and determination.
Fr Balkiran SJ