As I’ve mentioned in my previous post that the Andhra Loyola College (ALC) is maintained and administered by the Jesuit community; I further felt, it would be appropriate to recollect some of my observations from various dimensions about this community. All those who have no exposure towards the Catholic way of life, worship, services offered by them, etc sees a unique position on entering ALC and it takes some time to adopt and adjust to the situation and surroundings.
Catholic sect is one of the most predominant sects within Christianity, the other being Protestant. There is a kind of arch-rivalry between these two sects historically due to various factors. Catholic priests remains and adopts monastery way of life, by renouncing regular way of life, without marriage, giving-up material wealth and pleasures of the world, etc. There are different congregations associated or/and recognized by the Catholic Church at the Vatican level. Society of Jesus (SJ) is one among them.
SJ is a male priest congregation serving the humanity in the higher educational sector across the globe. In other words, those who wish to become a Jesuit (a member of a SJ is popularly recognized and called as Jesuit) should associate with it at an appropriate age and grew-up in the ladder by completing various stages. Two such prominent stages are: first to get eligibility for Catholic priest-hood after years of dedicated training in various modes and the second to prove caliber in any of the prominent academic faculty disciplines. Thus, the SJ community is a well trained and composed section in these two dimensions.
Apart from SJ community, there exists other regular faculty in large number to impart education to the students and administer the ALC. In other-words SJ community is limited only to certain extent; like, it acts as the prime administering agency, etc. SJ community’s presence can be felt at ALC in various forms, like a few SJ priests are declared to be faculty of various disciplines along with regular faculty, some other SJ persons also attend regular classes as students along with other regular students, etc. Thus, the ALC administration and activities goes-on amidst of the various SJ persons!!
As the SJ community leads the college in various forms, one can observe them in various dimensions. The prime focus of the observers would be to judge about their monastic way of life!! Every-person has certain pre-conception of monastic life, based on such perceptions the silent judgment of the SJ community goes-on. But, the long associating persons with the ALC, like teaching or non-teaching staff would be able to know much about them. Thus, they would be the better judges of them, when compared to the others like the students’. But, students’ too have their own way of understanding, observation and judgment towards SJ community!!
Primarily, monastic life is a well conditioned life, like in this instance attempting to ‘imitate the Jesus Christ’, which is a hard task even to the well trained priests, like the Catholics!!
Invariable certain way of comparison between and among various SJ persons comes into picture, as one can find more than one SJ in various forms in the day to day activities of ALC. Some SJ persons becomes every close, acts honestly, moves friendly, acts professionally, behave as per their acquired training modes, etc. All these are positive dimensions. The negative dimension of SJ community too existed and sounds horrible to some.
Some of the most recognized negative shades of the SJ community persons, which are perceived to be not in tune with their monastic way of life are as follows: going after materialistic things in various forms, getting addicted to various unexpected things, behaving in a rude manner with both the students and faculty, behaving with others depending upon the stature of the person, behaving in a inhumane way (by assuming themselves as equal to middle ages European Catholic autocrats), possessing unnecessary and irrelevant self-esteem, elitist feeling (as a result looking down others as ‘lay persons’), possessing varying degrees of both superiority and inferiority complexes, taking advantage of the system for un-due favors (in guise), etc.
It was well pointed out, informally (in a gossip manner) that the SJ community persons can be ‘well maintained’ by ‘acting well with them’. In other words, most of the persons at ALC attempts to pose utmost reverence towards the SJ community, in order to have a good sail for one’s day to day activities and to get one’s required things done by them. Thus, the non-SJ community attempts to ‘condition their behavior and actions’ in order to suit the SJ community persons. This type of predominant ‘conditioned dealing’ of non-SJ section with the SJ section is also a unique one, as one may not usually behave and deal with others in the wider society!!