‘Aggiornamento’ (A bringing up-to-date), ‘Throw open the windows of the Church and let the fresh air of the Spirit blow through’, declared the former Pope St. John XXIII before the great Second Vatican Council. ‘In today’s world open a similar door of mercy’, proclaimed the present Pope Francis as the hallmark of the Year of Mercy and Compassion. The Year of Mercy and Compassion is enriched with a special focus on formation by our Superior General. And therefore, the inauguration of this special Year of MSFS Formation for the Mission of Mercy and Compassion took place in SFS Minor Seminary, Pudukkottai at 6.30 p.m., on 24th January, on the Feast of our Patron, St. Francis De Sales.
Rev. Fr. Noel Rebello, the General Secretary for Formation, Rev. Fr. Anthony Dharmaraj, our Provincial and nearly thirty priests belonging to our province and other provinces were present at the Holy Eucharistic celebration, presided over by Rev. Fr. Provincial. Fr. George Kootinal, the Rector of SFS Minor Seminary, Pudukkottai, during introduction, welcomed all the fathers and guests, and highlighted Jesus as the perfect epitome of mercy and compassion in His words and deeds, and also exhorted the participants to imbibe the same tender mercy and compassion of Jesus to manifest themselves as the true disciples of Jesus. Fr. Noel, in his homily, presented two realities: one is our pride as a province and congregation in achieving greater realities and the second the challenges awaiting the future young missionaries especially in terms of forming oneself against all odds distorting the society and Kingdom of God. Rev. Fr. Provincial, on behalf of the Province, thanked Rev. Fr. Noel for his readiness to be part of our growth and celebration. He also stated that it was in his presence that our province inaugurated the Year of Mission last year.
After the Holy Eucharist, the website of our Province was officially launched in the presence of all our confreres and guests in the seminary auditorium. Rev. Fr. Provincial thanked Fr. G. David, the Web-manager of our province and all who helped him to make it a reality. The function came to an end with dinner.
Fr. S. Prem Kumar