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Goethals News Bulletin
Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, Kolkata
Vol. IX No. 3 Bulletin July - September 2006

News Update | Articles | Researchers | New Arrivals | Mails & Emails

New GB Member: Fr. Provincial who is the ex-officio president has appointed Frs. Peter Arulraj, Mathieu Schillings and Jerome Francis as new GB members of the GILRS in the places of Frs. Ruy Cordeiro, Beckers and M. Fohshow. The GILRS extends a warm welcome to the three new members. The GB thanks Frs. Ruy, Beckers and Fohshow and places on record their contribution to the Society.

Book Donations: We are grateful to Fr. Joseph de Souza, SJ, Prabhu Jisur Girja, Kolkata for donating the full series of the Light of the East and The The New Review.

Final Profession of Fr. Dominic: Our prayerful wishes to Fr. Dominic Savio, one of GILRS’s GB members who took his final vows in the Society of Jesus on September 8. May his commitment enable him to reach out to people in the Ignatian spirit of magis.

The Dance of The Divine
Do you see the dance of the divine in the smiles of these little ones?

Children are innocent, sweet, graceful, gentle, simple, beautiful, pure, peaceful, powerful and divine. They evoke love and admiration. They become center of attraction and observation. We like to lift them, pinch them, hold them and kiss them. In their smiles, we see the dance of the Divine. “Let the children come to me, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these”. (Lk. 18:16).

Chesterton was not as great a poet as Wordsworth but he was certainly as great a child. Chesterton became Christ-like by remaining child-like. In ‘A Second Childhood’ he shows us the wisdom of wonderland.

When all my days are ending

And I have no song to sing,

I think I shall not be too old

To stare at everything;

As I stared once at a nursery door

Or a tall tree and a swing.


Essay Competition

“Jesuit Education: A Means for Social Transformation”

1st Prize – Rs. 1,000/-

2nd Prize – Rs. 600/-

3rd Prize – Rs. 400/-

Last date: 30th September, 2006.

Essays can be sent via email or hard copy to Director, Goethals Library

Lectures by Fr. Felix Raj:

  • Viswabharati University, Santiniketan - on "Gobalization and Developing Countries" on July 16. 2006.

  • St. Xavier's College, Kolkata - "Gobalization and Development" on July 22, 2006.

  • XLRI, Jamshedpur - "Ignatian Charism" on July 30th , 2006.


Researchers at the Goethals

Br. P. Arockia Samy, Kolkata, on Santal.

Dr. Patrick Loo Heng Chuen, Kolkata, on Philosophy & Theology.

Dr. Rila Mukherjee, Kolkata, on History.

Fr. Cyril Raphael Veliath, Japan, on Raja Rammohan Roy, Fr. Antoine and Fr. Fallon.

Fr. J. Santham, Kolkata, on Brahmabandhab Upadhyay.

Fr. Paul Jackson SJ, Patna, on Fr. Victor Courtois.

Mr. Angelo Pugliese, Kolkata, on Indology.

Mr. Anil Elias Pereira, New Delhi, on Theology.

Mr. Jeevan Mendonsa, Delhi, St. Xavier’s College Mumbai.

Mr. S. Maskarnas Sagayaraj, Kolkata, on Santal Culture.

Mr. Somy Mathew, Jamshedpur.

Mr. Soumen Dutta, Kolkata, on Sir Daniel Hamilton’s life and work.

Mr. Yohan F. Alphanso, West Bengal, on Theology.

Ms. Maitreyee Choudhury, Kolkata, on Himalayan Studies.

Ms. Priyanka Dhanani, Kolkata, on Economics.

Ms. Samudrika Tankha, Kolkata, on History of St Xavier’s College.

Ms. Saloni Jalan, Ms Saloni Jalan, Ms. Disha Dugar, Ms. T. Sonia, Ms. Neha Daga and Ms. Nisha Garodia, Kolkata, St. Xavier’s College.


New Arrivals

  1. Contemporary Art in India by Pran Nath Mago, National Book Trust of India, 2001.

  2. The Jesus Dynasty by James D. Tabor, Harper Collins Ltd., 2006.

  3. INDICA by Heras Institute of Indian History and Culture, Mumbai, March, 2006.

  4. Santiniketan and Sriniketan: A History Introduction by Uma Das Gupta, The Visvabharati Quarterly, May1975 - April 1976.

  5. The Future of India by Bimal Jalan, Penguin Books, India, 2006.

  6. Religions in Christian Theology by K. P. Aleaz, Punthi Pustak, Kolkata, 2001.

  7. The History of Bengal - Volume II - Muslim Period 1200 AD–1757 AD by Sir Jadunath Sarkar, B. R. Publishing Corporation, Delhi, 2004.

  8. The History of Bengal - Volume I - Hindu Period (ed.) R. C. Majumdar, B. R. Publishing Corporation, Delhi, 2003.


A Cry for Peace

THE WORLD is crying for peace. The West is desiring the restoration of peace through a League of Powers. But can Powers find their equilibrium in themselves? Power cannot be made secure only against power, it must also be made secure against the weak; for there lies the peril of its losing balance. The weak are as great a danger for the strong, as quicksands for an elephant. They do not assist progress, because they do not resist, they only drag down. The people who grow accustomed to wield absolute power over others are apt to forget, that by doing it they generate an unseen disruptive force, which some day rends that power into pieces. The dumb fury of the down-trodden finds its awful support from the universal law of moral balance. The air which is thin and weak gives birth to storms that nothing can resist. This has been proved in history over and over again; and stormy forces arising from the heart of insulted humanity are openly gathering in the air even in the present day. Yet the psychology of athletic might stubbornly refuse its lessons and despise to take count of the terribleness of the weak. This is the gross stupidity, that, like an unsuspected worm, burrows at the bottom of the muscular bulk of the prosperous and the proud. Have we never read of the gorgeousness of a power, supinely secure in its arrogance, in a moment dissolving in the air at the explosion of the outraged weak? Politicians calculate upon the number of mailed hands that are on the sword-hilts; they do not possess the third eye to see the great invisible hand, that clasps in silence the hand of the helpless and waits its time. The strong form their League by combination of Powers, driving the weak to form their league alone with their God. I know I am crying in the wilderness, when I raise my voice of warning; and while the West is busy in its organization for building its machine-made peace, it will still continue to nourish, with its iniquities, underground forces of earthquake in the vast bosom of the Eastern Continent. The West seems unconscious that Science, by providing it with more and more power, is tempting it to suicide, encouraging it to accept the challenge of the disarmed, not knowing that this challenge comes from a higher source.

from The English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore edited by Sisir Kumar Das.


The Golden Temple

The most sacred temple of the Sikhs is the Golden Temple at Amritsar. The name of Guru Nanik, the founder of Sikhism, is revered and honured all over the Punjab and Sindh. He is the builder of the purest form of theism in India. The Giranth Sahib, the sacred book of the Sikhs, is rich with gems and devotional verse. In the golden temple, the bavas (Sikh priests) read the Giranth and distribute parsad with great religious awe and veneration. It was dewali night; the temple was crowed with visitors and Upadhyayji purchased a ticket for amritsar. He was not allowed, however, to travel by the mail train, as he was dressed as a poor bhikshu. The policeman actually whipped him on his attempting to get into the train, but he patiently bore it, saying it is not right to get a poor countryman into truble. An influencial Punjabee, however soon put him into the train, but great was this man's disappointment on learning that he had helped a Christian sannyasi! Ancient God of India, bless the land that was once so great and glorious, when brothers of different faiths lived in peace under the same parental roof!

The temple is a sea of moving figures. About a lac of persons are within its walls, moving in opposite directions round a pong in the centre. A poor old woman is being crushed to death by the pressure of the multitudes surrounding her. She groans with pain but her sobs are drowned, in the hubbub of the exited mob. The sympathetic heart of Upadhyayji went out to the old lady in distress and shouting at the top of his voice to the selfish, thoughtless crowd, he saved the helpless woman from being done to death.

- From 'Swami Upadhyay Brahmabandhav': A story of his life by B. Animananda.


Remembering the ‘Moulvi Saheb’
Contributions of Victor Courtois to Islam-Christian Dialogue

By Fr. Julian S. Das, SJ

The second half of the twentieth century witnessed talented, daring Jesuits of Calcutta Province, who defied the prevalent trends in order to put into practice what the later Vatican Council II would recommend as a new approach. There were Jesuits therefore who felt the urgent need to reach out to the people of other faiths with an open and friendly approach. Many of their contributions opened up new avenues in looking at other faiths not with animosity, but with warm and cordial feelings. Thus today one still remembers the path-breaking contributions of Frs. Johannes, Antoine and Fallon, who made a serious attempt to understand the Hindu sentiments, and there was Fr Victor Courtois, who single-handedly reached out to the Muslim community in and around the City of Joy, and he still remains the person who could not be replaced even after about four decades.

Building cordial relationship between Muslims and Christians is a process that was initiated by the Vatican Council II, and several Christians had undertaken serious efforts to clarify misconceptions about Islam in order to foster friendly ties. In the later years following the Council, even several Muslim had come forward to reciprocate and initiate ‘meeting points’ in building a healthy lasting cordial relationship.

Christian Troll in one of his unpublished essay pays homage to the father of Muslim-Christian dialogue in the subcontinent in the following words: “In the Indian subcontinent, no doubt, Fr. Victor Courtois, S.J. has been the outstanding Catholic pioneer in fostering better Christian-Muslim relations. He has been the first to make the modern Catholic Church in India aware of the Muslim dimension of its apostolic task”. Troll adds that the work of Courtois was all the more challenging, because almost single-handedly he tried “in teaching and writing, to inform Christian leaders about Islam and to create in them an attitude of openness and empathy towards the Muslims”

Addressing the Agra Consultation on Dialogue with Muslims, about 20 years after the untimely death of Courtois, Troll invited the participants “to heed to Fr Victor Courtois’ voice and to resume the task where he left it to us. We have to respond to his message creatively, here and now”. That is perhaps the best of compliments showered upon a pioneer in Muslim-Christian dialogue, who is slowly sinking into oblivion. The present paper is an attempt to revive the memories of the great work that Courtois had initiated, and its relevance to Christian life in India today...(for the full paper please visit www.goethals.org)


Jesuit Hosten’s Contribution to Indian Christian History
Dr. Jose Kalapura, SJ, Director, Bihar Social Institute, Patna

I. Introduction

The world of history is agog with new histeriographical concepts. New tools are being invented to analyse and interpret complex configurations of individual and collective human behavior in the past. While these recent theories have added new dimensions to the study of history, no historical literature can be properly interpreted if the cultural and social milieu of the age in which it was produced is not taken into consideration. Further, no historical work can be properly understood if the psychology of the author is not carefully analyzed.

This historian’s goal is to bring the past to life so that we may enter into the experience of earlier generations and become the better for having done so. History as an academic discipline endeavors to show what actually took-place in the past or, the facts in reality. However, it is said that facts become history only when interpreted. This implies the subjectivity of the interpreter and the objectivity of facts. Objectivity, if carried to an extreme, results in dry and lifeless cataloguing of events; subjectivity, if carried to an extreme, results in a highly biased work often divorced from reality. What is needed is judicious combination of both elements, which will give real history based on foundation of historical facts carefully selected from the vast mass of sources having varying degrees of credibility. This can be achieved only if the historian follows certain proven methodologies and stands as a spectator rather than participant, in the events in history.

Within these parameters an attempt is being made in this paper to understand and evaluate the relatively large tracts of historical literature produced by the Jesuit historian Father Henry Hosten.

Widely acknowledged for his scholarship in history, Hosten seems to have spent a lifetime of historical research not only in Indian Jesuit history but also in general Church history of India and the Indies. His literary produce, scattered, and in series are, have been compiled into a monumental 43-volume work titled, The Collected Works of Rev. H. Hosten, SJ, which is preserved in the archives of Vidyajyoti College of Theology, a 115-year-old national Jesuit Theology College in Delhi. This study is based on the ‘Hosten Collection’ and his other published and unpublished materials.

Unearthing a historian of the past and the sources he used which are still more remote from the present times, necessarily involves a bifocal movement in time: first, a movement toward the period of the sources he used, and second, toward the person of the historian himself. This also implies a two-way conversation: between the source materials and the present historian on the one hand, and between the past historian and the present historian, on the other. This paper being an explorative study does not claim to have any in-depth understanding of Hosten’s historical literature, nor of his person. At best it is intended that this study will provide a glimpses of the labyrinth of source materials which Hosten seems to have made available to scholars for the writing of an Indian history. This is also a modest attempt to situate Hosten in the realms of Asian Church history in general and Indian Jesuit history, in particular. …………. … (for the full paper please visit www.goethals.org)

Centenary Celebrations of Swami Brahmabandhab Upadhyay

The Goethals Indian Library & Research Society will be hosting a National Seminar in October 2007, on the life and work of Swami Brahmabandhab Upadhyay. A committee has been formed which is looking into a Drama on BU’s life and a short documentary film on him.

Oriental Scenery and Old Calcutta Views

We have in our library the complete set of all the plates of the Oriental Scenery by Thomas & William Daniell and Old Calcutta Views by James Fraser and William Wood. We also have them on CD.

To maintain the century old library and to support its projects, we plan to raise some funds by supplying digital prints of these plates. These prints, either laminated or framed, could decorate your homes, living rooms, offices, corridors etc.

The price chart is given below:

Size in inches Price (Rs.)
4 x 6 30/
8 x 12 300/-
10 x 15 500/-
10 x 15 1000/- (Laminated)
For copies of digital prints contact the Library Office. Tel: 2280 1919


The Warrior King

A mighty warrior king. He spent his time training his armies, perfecting his military strategies, and winning wars. One after another. He collected victories. Yet, despite the fact that he already had many, it was never enough. A new war and a new victory would leave the king satisfied only for a short time, and then the excitement would subside and fade away.

But, you see... deep down, he often felt alone, and even lonely, he really didn't have any friends. Not even one person to really talk to.

Then, one night he had a strange and vivid dream. In it, he saw a young boy. This boy didn't run away, as everybody else did when they saw the king coming close. Instead, the boy looked at the king, asked "Are you happy?" and smiled.

Even though the king knew it was only a dream, he could not get this simple question out of his mind. It stayed with him, and would jump into mind at various unpredictable moments.

At first, the king simply ignored the thought. Then, as the thought persisted, he got more and more frustrated, annoyed, and even angry. Eventually, he started thinking about the question, and once even asked himself out loud, "Am I happy?"

"This was a quick and easy battle, "thought the king to himself, as he was riding his horse back to the palace. It was indeed, for the enemy was not prepared for the swift attack by the king and his selected troops. The king felt tired, disillusioned, and irritated. "I need to find something else to do."

He noticed a little creek through the edge of the forest and turned towards it, thinking of the refreshing cold water on his face. He got off his horse, and as he was about to kneel down, he noticed a movement out of the corner of his eye. Right there, to his right, in between the trees...

Quietly, step by step, he sneaked in closer, while remaining hidden from view. As he carefully moved the bushes aside, he saw an opening between the trees. In the center of it, there was an old man. He was wearing strange robes, and certainly didn't look local. He was moving in circles, with his arms spread to the sides, occasionally touching a tree or bending to put a hand on the grass. It looked like an odd ritual, or perhaps a weird dance. The king could hear him chanting in a foreign language.

"What is it you are doing here?" asked the king, as he stepped into the center.

The old man finished the last circle and stood facing the king. "There is war on this land," said the old man, "and the land is suffering. Animals are being killed for food, trees are being cut for fires, and water is being polluted with blood of the innocent. I am performing an ancient ceremony which helps the land heal."

"Not much help you are, aren't you?!" smirked the king. "I am coming back from yet another war."

"Yes, I know, there is only me here. I could certainly be of some help. After all, what can one old man do?"

"Are you happy?" The thought popped up again into the king's mind. He looked at the old man, who - despite the enormous task he was faced with - looked peaceful, serene, almost smiling.

"Well, old man" said the king. I am a king, and I am going to help you with your task."

"Ohh... thank you for your offer," replied the old man. "It is most kind of you. But you see... you cannot. A warrior cannot be a peacemaker."

Never in his life has the king felt rejected before. And by who? Some strange old man, who dared to say no to the greatest warrior of his time?! As his hand instinctively reached for the sword, the image of the smiling child crossed his eyes again. "Are you happy?" As the king stared into the old man's eyes, they suddenly looked like the eyes of the boy in his dream. Peaceful, gentle, yet radiating something extremely powerful in a way the king never felt or experienced before.

His hand froze on the tilt of the sword, and then gently moved away, as if guided by its own will. "Will you... will you teach me?" quietly asked the king. It was almost a whisper, yet the old man heard it and smiled again. "I will be happy to. This land needs all the help it can get, and the time is short."

With these words, the old man moved to face the king and stared deeply into his eyes.

He was holding three necklaces with colourful stones in them. "These are special stones that hold ancient powers," he said. "They were given to me by my teacher. Carry them with you and use them wisely."

He put the first necklace, with a red stone, around the king's neck, saying "With this stone, I release the pressure in your chest".

He took another necklace, this one with a blue stone, and gave to the king. "With this stone, I remove the tears from your eyes and heart that you have been crying because of all the people lost in the war."

Putting the third necklace around the king's neck, this one with a green stone, he said "With this one, I release your voice, so that you too can start speaking for peace."

He then said to the king, "Now, go and bury your sword, so that we can put our minds and hearts together to see what kind of a world we can leave for our children."

One night, the boy from his old dream appeared again. He just sat there, smiling yet saying nothing, looking at the king. And the king saw himself, in the dream, saying "I am now."


Birth Day Celebration

I had a simple and very meaningful celebration of my Birth Day at Loyola School, Kidderpore. Around fifty SNEGAM children of Kidderpore Centre along with their parents wished me long life in love and service. Most of them are drop-outs or left out from mainstream of education. We try to reach out to them so that they feel loved and cared for.


Mails & Emails

Goethals is a very nice and well-maintained library.
Ms. Neha Daga

It was a great joy to see the wonderful Collection of Books. Library is maintained well. Such a collection will help many to do research.
Mr. Yohan F. Alphanso

The library has a very impressive collection of materials.
Dr. Patrick Loo Heng Chuen, Kolkata

Good Collection of rare books, easy way of accession references.
Ms. Maitreyee Choudhury, Kolkata

I appreciate the collection you have preserved for years. It will be a great help to generations of research students. Mr. Anil Elias Pereira, New Delhi

Quiet and peaceful environment and absolutely conducive for the kind of research work it is meant for. Thank you for keeping it this way.
Ms. Vatsala Goel, Kolkata

The service at the library is excellent and efficient.
Fr. Cyril Raphael Veliath, SJ. Japan.

As a student of St. Xavier’s College, I visited The Goethals Library, I was overwhelmed by this peaceful treasure trove of information. I am privileged to use the materials available at the library. I thank Fr. Felix Raj for giving me permission to use the library. I spent many a delightful hour reading through old and dusty issues of The Xavierian and other material related to the history of the College, in the ample daylight that comes streaming in though the windows. I also thank the staff at the library for their mending enthusiasm and co-operation.
Samudrika Tankha, B.A (Eng), St. Xavier’s College.

It is very nice to see that the website has become more colorful. Hope you will publish the full papers in the form of a book.
Abanti, Kolkata

Thank you for sending me the Goethals News. It's very informative and I appreciate your good work. The research scholars working in various fields give a glimpse of what Goethals is doing. May your library be a spark and light to many and may it's findings reach out to millions to gain knowledge and wisdom. Thanks once again for giving a space in our joint effort to do something honourable for our great pioneer Brahmabandhav Upadhyay, in the field of inculturation.
Fr. Sunil Rosario, Kolkata

I am one of those who wrote and sent a brief write-up about Fr Beckers. Should the person who is putting together the volume wish to get a machine copy of what I sent, so that time may not be wasted re-keying it, I can send it. Joe Cleetus


Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, St. Xavier’s, 30 Mother Teresa Sarani, Kolkata-700 016, India.
Tel: 0091-33-2280 1919; email: goethals@vsnl.com  Web-site: www.goethals.in 
Director: Dr. Fr. Felix Raj, SJ; Staff: Mr. Sunil Mondol and Debu Mondal.



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