Across the globe, over 20,000 Jesuits are engaged in a diverse variety of ministries. While known for their work in education, Jesuits not only work in classrooms – many are doctors, engineers, economists as well as theologians, spiritual directors and parish priests. Sometimes it seems that there are as many Jesuit-run apostolates as there are Jesuits themselves. As the men of Society of Jesus strive to be on the frontiers, Jesuit Father Prashant Olalekar encapsulates that missionary spirit through his work with Interplay in Mumbai, India.
Fr. Olalekar oversee the Banda Retreat House in Mumbai where he helps conduct retreats and programs for those seeking spiritual solitude and a deeper connection with God through the practice of Ignatian Spirituality. And, recently, during a visit to the United States, Olalekar discovered an Eastern-based practice during his time in the West – a “movement meditation” called Interplay. Today, he conducts class with Interplay India and brings movement and dance to those seeking spiritual guidance and connections.
Olalekar takes his Interplay technique across Mumbai to those living in the poorest of conditions, in the slums and in the streets. Through his teachings, he strives to show a mind/body connection and has even taken his practice to those who have been cut off from any sort of movement whatsoever – paraplegics and people bedridden from the effects of paralysis. Olalekar hopes to show that everyone can be blessed with movement and filled with dance.
Below, he discusses his practice and what Interplay India brings to the people of Mumbai: