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Notes - Quotes - Anecdotes






"Fr Arrupe brought with him extraordinary gifts of the Spirit: the gift of being deeply rooted in the founding inspiration of Ignatius, the gift to be imbued with the prayerful spirit of discernment taught by the Spiritual Exercises, the gift of trusting always and everywhere his fellow Jesuits to be real contemplatives in apostolic action, and the gift of an incredible optimism to inaugurate a new style of religious life, rooted in Christ’s love, in order to save a world of unbelief and injustice."
Peter-Hans Kolvenbach SJ





For information regarding this book CLICK HERE



Fr Arrupe has been for me an exemplar and an inspiration since my early days in the Society. My first contact with him was in January 1967, as a Junior at Vinayalaya in Mumbai. I had only nodded my head in deep respect as he passed by the line-up of Jesuits who welcomed him at the airport on his first visit to India as General. We had provided a short entertainment programme to welcome Fr General, at which I joined the choir in singing Agur Jaunak, to give the evening a Basque flavour. We learned to our chagrin, later, that though agur is a universal Basque salutation; in the French Basque Country, it is used for both `hello' and `good-bye'; in the south, it is confined to `good-bye'. However, Agur Jaunak, which meant `Farewell, gentlemen', was an old Basque song, traditionally sung at the close of a special gathering. Fr Arrupe took it sportingly with his ever-charming smile.


My closer contact with Father Arrupe was during his visit to Delhi in 1975. As Beadle of the theologians, I had to chaperone him around the campus and introduce him before his talks. He greeted everyone with a winning smile. He was always ready for another photograph. His attitude showed he understood and wanted to share in the concerns, hopes, fears of those he met individually or in groups. By the end of his visit I realised that his charismatic presence and his searing speech were ‘electric’: I felt charged and challenged. Since then I have not ceased to ‘treasure’ his writings follow his ‘zigzagged’ journey through life, as he put it. I made one last bid to meet him while I was in Rome in 1987, but he was too ill for visitors.

In January 2007, the Provincial of South Asia, Fr Hector D'Souza SJ, wrote to me saying: “Your [most recent] book, "ALL FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD" is here in my hand. Thank you for focusing on Ignatian-AMDG.”  He then suggested that this being the ‘Arrupe Centenary Year’, could I think of a book on the “one person who made a big difference in the lives of each one of us and the life of the Society: Fr Pedro Arrupe, SJ.”

I told him that I had already begun collecting material for potential articles in various publications, but with no plans for a book as such. Then providentially on 5 February, the death anniversary of Fr Arrupe,  while examining the resources I had at hand, I felt inspired to do what best suited my health condition at the time: a book of collected anecdotes on Fr Arrupe. And in a flash I ‘received’ a title from the heavens: PEDRO ARRUPE TREASURY. Besides anecdotes, I began accumulating Arrupean sayings and personality traits…. which would eventually do justice to the sub-title: “Notes, Quotes, Anecdotes”.

As with all my books, this one too is geared toward “creative action”. I visualize its being put to use in various ways: for personal reflection, for spicing talks, homilies, prayer-services, articles; for challenging and provoking further initiatives. The title, I hope, will not mislead anyone, for the work is not in the least intended to be a hidden “treasure” in a library safe, or to adorn a community bookshelf. I want its pages to fan the flames of unconditional love, universal acceptance, equality of races and resources, unflinching courage, sensitive service, and constant compassion... to everyone, everywhere.

May the saintly Fr Arrupe inspire those of you who use this Treasury, to enrich your life and become worthy enough “men/women for [and with] others” in every sense of the phrase that he himself coined, after his own example.





   1. Family

   2. University studies

   3. Providential interventions




    2. Juniorate

    3. Philosophy

    4. Theology

    5. Ordination

    6. Smooth sailing

    7. Roadblocks

    8.  Mexican beats

    9. Tertianship

  10. Great expectations



   1. The Hand of God

    2. Heart and mind on Japan

    3. Horror and compassion

     4. Training and administering Jesuits



    1. In the General’s chair

    2. Spiritual foundations

    3 Governance

    4. Globe trotter
    5. Apostolic priorities
    6 Significant thrusts

    7. Achievements

    8. Tensions

    9. Resignation as General

  10. Reactions and solidarity
11. Arrupe’s successor

  12. Finale



    1. Fr Arrupe and St Ignatius Loyola

    2. Fr Arrupe and St Francis Xavier

    3. Fr Arrupe and St Joseph Pignatelli



    1. Sanctity

     2. Integrated spirituality

     3. Service mysticism

     4. Uncompromising commitment

     5. Man of the Church

     6. Loyalty to the Papacy

     7. Prophet of the times

     8. Person oriented

     9. Captivating

    10. Cheerful


    12. Realistic

    13. Controversial

    14. Courageous

    15 Vulnerable

    16. Man of Suffering


    1. Biographies

     2. The Jesuit Vocation

     3. Religious life

     4. The Jesuit Brother

     5. Portrait of a young Jesuit

     6. The Society’s image

     7. Ignatius and Ignatian

     8. Magis

     9. Solidly built interior life

    10. God’s will

    11. Christ as our model

    12. Devotion to the Sacred Heart

    13. The Eucharist

    14. Encounters with Christ

    15. Meeting Christ in the World

    16. Christ-giving

    17. Marian devotion

    18. Progress in perspective

    19. Justice and faith

    20. Education

    21. Forming men and women for others

    22. Artistes

    23. Prophets

    24. Martyrs

    24. Death

         “An Incorrigible optimist”





Appendix: Fr Arrupe and India


Prayer of intercession



Congratulations. You have done a marvelous job. I wish this had come a little early yet what you have achieved in a short time is great. It is truly a "veritable treasure-chest of Arrupean memorabilia". I am sure these will "fan the flames of unconditional love, universal acceptance, sensitive service, and constant compassion." May this inspire all the people of good will to act on love and go ahead to become men and women for others.

Thank you for a job well done. … Thank you Hedwig for the "act of love"

Hector D' Souza SJ
Provincial of South Asia



I am just now holding the Pedro Arrupe Treasury and as I skim through it, I realize what an amazing contribution you have made to the world and to the Society of Jesus  !  Thanks so much Hedwig for this painstaking effort to put this treasury (a real treasure indeed !) into our hands.

It gives me a sense of pride  to have been born in the Society of Jesus during his tenure, to be able to feel right from my early days as  a Jesuit, the greatness of a great Saint.

I sincerely believe that your labour of love will go a long way  in enkindling that sense of pride and greatness all of us have for this great man.

Cedric Prakash, SJ
Director, PRASHANT  -  A Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace


I read ur recent book on Pedro Arrupe Treasury. it was very insightful and useful for many Young Jesuits. Keep enlightening youngsters through ur writings.  Antony Inigo SJ, 20-07-07

Your latest book on Arrupe is used for our table reading now. It is wonderful.
Manoj D'Souza SJ, (Socius to the Novice Master), Mount St. Joseph Novitiate, Bangalore
, 11 Aug 2007

Suggested by Hector D’Souza, SJ, the Provincial for South Asia, for the Arrupe Year, this timely book, compiled by the amazingly prolific writer, Hedwig Lewis, SJ, is truly a treasure for anyone who values the life and message of Pedro Arrupe. It contains notes, quotes and anecdotes which will be of use in several different occasions.  M.A.J.A. in JIVAN, September 2007.

“Pedro Arrupe Treasury” is a collector’s item indeed, containing notes, quotes and anecdotes of Fr. Pedro Arrupe in a painstaking labour of love by Fr. Hedwig Lewis sj, a former Principal of St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad.  The ‘Treasury’ is in fact, something which you can hardly put down once you begin reading. 

Fr. Lewis is able to make the reader enter into a spiritual and personal journey with Fr. Arrupe.  It provides deep insights into a great human being who has left a profound impact not only on the Society of Jesus but on the post-Vatican II era of the Church, and on the world at large.

It is the story of a person who has witnessed first-hand, the horrors of the atomic bomb explosion in Hiroshima and ultimately led the Society of Jesus towards deeper faith and greater commitment in the promotion of Justice.

This ‘Treasury’ is a must for anyone who wants to embark  on the journey to renewal in today’s world.

 [jesuitscorrespondence] CELEBRATING THE CENTENARY YEAR OF FR. PEDRO ARRUPE sj.....(70) October 10, 2007


I must acknowledge, i have used your book on Arrupe the Treasury [ in the Power Point Presentation]...you must have seen it...congratulations. we use the book in the novitiate and juniorate for community prayer etc...it is a great collection...etc .thanks.
fr. jeyaraj veluswamy S.J., Dhyan Ashram, Kolkata,
November 13, 2007

Hedwig Lewis has done the Society of Jesus wonderful service collecting the memorabilia of such an unforgettable Jesuit [ Fr Pedro Arrupe] in a handy book. Indeed, besides Jesuits and the friends of Jesuits [perhaps foes, too]. All Christians will find in the life and ministry of Arrupe many treasures of priceless worth since he was, genuinely, a person for others, with others. It is to Lewis’s credit that he has unearthed these treasures at this appropriate kairos.
Francis Gonsalves, SJ, Arrupe Literature, in Vidyajyoti  Journal of Theological Rreflection, November 2007


"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love…”

This quote generally appears with the by-line “attributed to Fr Arrupe”.

Fr Lewis asked Fr Kevin Burke, SJ, author of Pedro Arrupe: Essential Writings, if he knew anything about the origin of the Arrupean quote. His response:

 …  Here is what I found out from Fr. Vincent O’Keefe. The saying was part of a spontaneous answer by Fr. Arrupe in answer to questions after he had given a presentation. Fr. O’Keefe thought the presentation was to a group of religious sisters, although on that point he is not clear. At any rate, the conference was taped on a small tape-recorder and the person who taped evidently typed up the comment and shared it with her friends. Eventually it found its way onto the internet and the rest is history. Several points: it is an authentic Arrupe quotation. It was not some he wrote down or thought about ahead of time… it was a spontaneous response in answer to a question (I wish we knew what the question was!!!) It’s like the sayings of Jesus: mysterious, brilliant, full of insight, and hard to track down.

Here is the formal note that I originally wrote for my book Pedro Arrupe: Essential Writings.

Attributed to Pedro Arrupe, source unknown.

[Several Jesuit scholars have attempted to locate the original source of this quotation, including John Padberg, S.J., the director of the Institute of Jesuit Sources and Vincent O’Keefe, S.J., former General Counselor under Pedro Arrupe. They have not been able to locate it, but have found is significant evidence to suggest that the quotation is authentically from Arrupe. In a phone interview Fr. O’Keefe stated that he believed that the quotation came in answer to a question at a workshop that Fr. Arrupe was giving to a congregation of religious women, probably in the late 1970s.  – ed.]

Kevin Burke, S.J

November 06, 2007




Fr Kolvenbach, Arrupe’s successor, sums up his contribution to the Society in these words:

Don Pedro was among those men who do not need words to communicate; his mere presence proclaimed a message of a man sent by the Lord to help the Society renew itself in the spirit of the Vatican Council. It is not enough to say that Fr Arrupe guided the Society through the turmoil following the Council. He did his utmost to throw the Jesuits into the midst of the whirlwind, fostering experimentation and insertion, exposure and change. He wanted the Society to be forged into an apostolic instrument by the all-renewing spirit—with all the trials and errors, criticisms and misunderstandings that this renewal implied.

Quoted in Hedwig Lewis, Pedro Arrupe Treasury

(Anand: Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 2007), 93.


Michael Campbell-Johnston, Pedro Arrupe Remembered, The Way, 51/4 (October 2012), 77–89


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