Photo: The Panelists (from Left to Right) - Dr. (Fr,) Ashley Miranda SDB, Dr. (Fr,) Keith D'souza SJ, Dr. Prof. Kanchana Mahadevan and Dr. (Fr.) Victor Ferrao
Pope John Paul II, during
the Great Jubilee Year 2000, invited the nations of the world to forgive all
debts as was the Israelite custom. However, very few seemed to have heeded this
call to mercy. If one has to find a reason why nations did not share the late Pope’s
grand invitation to mercy, we must turn to philosophy,as much as theology, to find
answers. Pope Francis declared this year to be a Year of Mercy in order to
awaken in our leaders and the masses the dire need to embrace this disposition.
To this effect, the community at St. Pius X Seminary, organised a Seminar
titled “Mercy: Philosophical Perspectives” in order to explore contemporary
viewpoints to the traditionally ascribed disposition of mercy. In order to help
us view mercy through lenses different from our own Christian worldview, three prominent
philosophers were invited as panelists to use their philosophical expertise to
discuss mercy in a new light.
Dr. Prof. Kanchana
Mahadevan, the Head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Mumbai,
spoke from a feminist perspective. Her theme was “Sexual Violence, Law and
Love”. She began by saying that a legalistic, punitive and retributive response
to sexual crimes is failing us. Not only is it too rigid and reason-based but it
also gives in to the immediate reaction of punishing the wicked,thus satiating
our bloodthirst. Yet in doing this the problem remains. The woman, now reduced
to a thing, has to still face society and herself. The law does not aid in
this. Hence, Dr. Kanchana quoted the feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray and her
‘Ethics of the Passions’ to bring into a dominantly patriarchal philosophy the
lost dimension of emotion. She suggests that to overcome sexual crimes we must
bridge the stereotypes of men as rational and women as emotional. A man feels
he knows the woman and vice versa. But in this, the man/woman has lost the
sense of wonder in the relationship. We need to bridge the gap and this can be
done by preserving the sense of mystery between man and woman and between human
beings. What a woman wants is not the death of the perpetrator but his reformed
life, which can only be achieved through an ethics of care.
Dr. (Fr.) Victor Ferrao, Professor
of Philosophy at Rachol Seminary, Goa, presented mercy through a postmodern, psychoanalytical
standpoint. He spoke of a “Philosophical Quest for an Ethics of Mercy”. Mercy is
not in the purview of religion alone and one needs to turn to philosophy so
that society doesn’t (d)evolve to mere animals that use their opposable thumbs
for violence as an art form. Using
the ‘Masters of Suspicion’, i.e., Sigmund Freud's Oedipus complex, Karl
Marx's “Religion as the Opium of the masses” and Nietzsche's “The Death of God”
thesis, he explored the possible reasons for the heartlessness prevalent in
society today. He then outlined how we must instill an Ethics of Mercy using philosophical
examples of appreciation of the ‘Other’, such as Martin Buber’s ‘I-Thou’ and
Emmanuel Levinas’ ‘Phenomenology of the Face’,which reflects the divine. Finally
he pointed out that the problem of a heartless society cannot be solved through
reason alone and so psychoanalysis and the world of the unconscious must also
be explored. Quoting Bracha Ettinger, he said that we can reach an ethics of
mercy because we are co-present to each other, co-journeying together. Like a
mother carries a child, so also we must be carrying (caring) for the other.
The final speaker,Dr. (Fr.)
Ashley Miranda, ex-Rector and Principal of Divyadaan,
Salesian Institute of Philosophy, Nashik, spoke from an existential outlook on
mercy. He began with a most startling question: “Can man be good without God?”
This question already presupposes that people who believe in God are merciful.
While there are many saints and missionaries who do prove this to be true, there
are many who have perpetrated great evils in the name of God and religion. All
too often we find that as a person’s spirituality
increases, so does his/her ego meter. Fr. Ashley used existentialist and
nihilistic philosophers like Albert Camus, Jean Paul Sartre, Arthur
Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche to show that they too speak of compassion
and mercy. For Schopenhauer compassion is the basic rule of suffering humanity.
Sartre speaks of “Hell is my Neighbour,” which means that because we are fond
of judging and being individualistic, mercy disappears. Finally Nietzsche, who Fr.
Ashley ironically exalted to the status of the Philosopher of Mercy, argues
that the Overman/Superman must create his own values and live for himself
without retreating from suffering which is part of life. A compassionate person
does not question this reality but takes the punches, gets up and fights
After brief student
responses, the speakers clarified questions put forth by the student panel.
This was followed by a brief Q&A session open for the audience. The
questions ranged from objectivity in justice and mercy, to the sense of lack which
we try to fill by oppressing the other. The recurring theme that emerged was
the need to do away with a rigid mind and to work to reach a logic of
superabundance that bestows mercy.
(Report by Bro. Cliffton Mendonca)
The entire seminary
community was elated on August 24, 2016 as we
celebrated the feast of our patron St. Pius X. It is a long standing tradition
that on the feast day of the seminary, the newly ordained priests are invited
to celebrate the Eucharist with the community. What a joy it was to see eight of
our own brothers, standing on the altar of God as priest and thanking him for
his faithfulness and for the seminary that shaped them to be ministers of
Christ. The day began with a solemn mass celebrated by Fr. Anthony
Alphonso along with the other newly ordained priest and seminary staff. It was
encouraging for us seminarians, to
see that some who had journeyed with us were
ordained priests. Fr. Clifford Dsouza in his homily shared about his experience
in the priesthood and how the seminary helps to grow in a relationship with Jesus.
After the meaningful and
enriching Eucharist, there was a felicitation program organized by the cultural
department. Bishop John Rodrigues, ex-rector of our seminary, who had
accompanied the ordinati during their formation years at the seminary was the
guest of honour. Fr. Elton Namory on behalf of the ordinati shared the
experience of the batch in the seminary and their journey from orientation to being
ordained as priest. He shared about how this institute of St. Pius X seminary has been instrumental in their
formation. The fourth year theologians as per the tradition of the house
humorously entertained everybody with the ordinati special performance. A power
point slide-show was presented to us to tell us a little more about the
The program ended with the rector, Fr. Aniceto Periera extending a warm invitation to the ordinati of always maintaining this relationship with their alma mater. Thus leading us to the final part of the celebration, the delicious and tasty lunch which was organized by the community in honour of our newly ordained priests. The entire day was exceptional and delightful and the atmosphere in the
house was of gratitude. We thank God for blessing us with young, enthusiastic
priests and we ask St. Pius X to pray for us.
(Report by Br. Kelvin Santis)
Top Row Left to Right: Dn. Xavier Patil OFM Cap, Fr. Jospeh D'souza OFM Cap (Provincial-Maharashtra Province), Bishop John Rodrigues (Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay), Fr. Aniceto Pereira (Rector), Dn. Sanjay Fereira (Vasai), Dn. Nobel Main (Vasai)Bottom Left to Right: Dn. Simon Rodrigues (Bombay), Dn. Oscar Gonsalves (Bombay), Dn. Robinson Varghese (Bombay), Dn. Savio D’souza (Bombay), Dn. John Pereira (Bombay).
men, Five from the Archdiocese of Bombay, two from the Diocese of Vasai and one
from the Congregation of the Capuchins, celebrated a great milestone in their
journey towards the priesthood that is the Order of Diaconate. It was conferred
upon them by his Lordship Bp. John Rodrigues, Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay today,
7th August 2016.
is like a dream being fulfilled” says newly ordained Deacon Simon Rodrigues,
from St. Gonzalo Garcia Parish in Vasai and will soon be ordained a priest for
the Archdiocese of Bombay, as he was surrounded by his family and well-wishers
who showered him with many blessings. “The only feeling right now is great
peace and joy!” exclaimed Deacon Nobel Main from Holy Family, Bhuigaon, Vasai. This
was very evident, the joy among all the eight deacons and their classmates
during the entire ceremony, which began at 10:45 a.m. with mass followed by a
small reception in the auditorium.
John Rodrigues in his homily highlighted the role of a deacon and most
importantly, the enthusiasm of being called, a heart focused on Christ who is
their greatest treasure and having an attitude of service and availability. As
the Rio Olympics 2016 has simultaneously began with the theme ‘Faster,
Stronger, Higher’, Bp. John too exhorted the deacons to be Faster – to say ‘yes’
to God’s will, Stronger – in their commitment and Higher – in their ideals.
wish all the newly ordained deacons, blessing and success as they continue in
(Report by Br.
The Rector hereby invites tenders to be submitted for a CCTV surveillance system to be installed on campus. For the details of the specifications of the system and architecture kindly refer to the files below.