Fr Phil Crotty SJ reflects on 70 years of Jesuit Mission

Seventy years have passed since the Australian Jesuits set about creating a mission in the Indian region of Hazaribag, and yet Fr Phil Crotty SJ still remembers those earliest days as though they were just beginning to unfurl. At home in Sydney, where he is now retired, the memories return to him with all the clarity of reflections trapped inside a raindrop – the tribulations and sorrows, the successes and joys and lamentations, the reflections and stories generated over a lifetime spent working with some of India’s most vulnerable people. “We went to, I think it was Myer’s, on Bourke Street in Melbourne, and were given six khaki shirts and six khaki pairs of pants,” he recalls of the weeks leading up to his departure from his hometown, Melbourne.