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My journey with the Jesuits started in India with a dear family friend, Fr Frederick Sopena SJ, who showed me what it means to love the poor. It continued through my education at Jesuit universities in India and the US. I never imagined that I would be reunited with a Jesuit organization when our beloved son Julian passed away suddenly in 2017. My husband, Diego, and I wanted Julian’s legacy to live on through the education of others as he excelled in academics. The Holy Spirit put angels in my path to make this happen. My pastor introduced me to a parishioner who works at the Community Foundation of Mississauga; she helped us start the “Jesus Cares Memorial Fund” in honour of Julian. She later introduced me to Jenny Cafiso, Executive Director of CJI. That is what started us on this journey with CJI, supporting the Pan-Amazon Intercultural and Bilingual Education Program which supports education of children in the Amazon in their own language and with a focus on ecology and the care of “our common home.” I feel blessed that the Holy Spirit has kept me close to the Jesuits.
“Youth as hope for the future” is Pope Francis’s invitation to the youth to keep “running the race before them.” Youth can’t do it alone; they need us to run alongside them. We need them as much as they need us.