My Dear Confreres,
Fraternal greetings to each one of you in the name of the Lord!
“Forget what lies behind… Look forward with hope to what lies ahead…” (Phil 03:13)
We are already in the New Year 2016. The New Year is a time to unfold our horizons and realize our dreams. It is a time to discover new strength and garner faith within us. It is a time to rejoice once again in the simple joy that life offers and to face with great fortitude all the challenges that may come on our way. Israelmore Ayivor says, “Until you get enough of enough, the “enough” that is never enough, you dare not quit! If your good is better, your better can be best; your best too can become excellent!”
In this New Year, our Holy Father Pope Francis invites us to sincerely commit ourselves to the Jubilee Year of Mercy, not only in mere words and celebrations but in concrete actions, revealing the mercy of God through us. He calls this year as the extraordinary Holy Year. This extraordinary Holy Year is itself a gift of Grace.
Pope Francis opened the Holy Door of Mercy on 08th December, 2015. Pope Francis announced this year as the Jubilee Year of Mercy because this year we celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Closing of the Second Vatican Council. To pass through the Holy Door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father who welcomes everyone and goes out personally to encounter each of them. This should be a year in which we grow ever more convinced of God’s mercy.
How much wrong we do to God and His grace, when we speak of sins being punished by His judgment before we speak of their being forgiven by His mercy! (cf. Saint Augustine, De Praedestinatione Sanctorum, 12, 24) But that is the truth. We have to put mercy before judgment, and in any event God’s judgment will always be in the light of His mercy. In passing through the Holy Door, then, may we feel that we ourselves are part of this mystery of love. Let us set aside all fear and dread, for these do not befit men and women who are loved. Instead, let us experience the joy of encountering that grace which transforms all things.
As we pass through the Holy Door, we should also remember another door, which fifty years ago the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council opened to the world. This anniversary cannot be remembered only for the legacy of the Council’s documents, which testify to a great advance in faith. Before all else, the Council was an encounter – a genuine encounter between the Church and the men and women of our time – an encounter marked by the power of the Spirit, who impelled the Church to emerge from the shoals which for years had kept her self-enclosed so as to set out once again, with enthusiasm, on her missionary journey.
It was the resumption of a journey of encountering people where they live: in their cities, homes and workplaces. Wherever there are people, the Church is called to reach out to them and to bring the joy of the Gospel. After these decades, we again take up this missionary drive with the same fervor and enthusiasm. The Jubilee challenges us to this openness, and demands that we do not neglect the spirit which emerged from Vatican II, the spirit of the Samaritan, as Blessed Pope Paul VI expressed it at the conclusion of the Council. May our passing through the Holy Door today commit us to making our own the mercy of the Good Samaritan.
Jesus is the “face” of the Father’s mercy. He reveals the mercy of God with His words, actions, and person. We follow Jesus’ example when we open ourselves to the Father’s mercy by looking “sincerely” into the eyes of our brothers and sisters, including those who are denied their dignity. It is absolutely essential for the Church and for the credibility of her message that she herself lives and testifies to mercy. Mercy is “the beating heart of the Gospel”. (Misericordiae Vultus)
To live mercy, we must rediscover both the spiritual works of mercy (counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead), and the corporal works of mercy (feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead).
God’s mercy can make even the driest land become a garden; can restore life to dry bones. (cf. Ez 37:1-14). Let us be renewed by God’s mercy; let us be loved by Jesus; let us enable the power of His love to transform our lives too; and let us become agents of God’s mercy, and channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.
I wish and pray that the New Year 2016 brings you SMILES when sadness intrudes, LAUGHTER to kiss your lips, BEAUTY for your eyes to see, FRIENDSHIP to brighten your being, PATIENCE to accept the truth, LOVE to complete your life and GOD’S BLESSINGS in abundance to accompany & strengthen you always.
WISH YOU ALL
GRACE-FILLED JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY!!!
POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER FOR THE JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY
Pope Francis has composed a special prayer for the Jubilee Year of Mercy which will run from 8th December, 2015 to 20th November, 2016. In the prayer, the Holy Father entreats the Lord to make the Jubilee Year of Mercy a year of grace so that the Church, “with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to the captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind”.
Below is the text of Pope Francis’ Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father, and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him. Show us your face and we will be saved. Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money; the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things; made Peter weep after his betrayal, and assured Paradise to the repentant thief. Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman: “If you knew the gift of God!”
You are the visible face of the invisible Father, of the God who manifests His power above all by forgiveness and mercy: let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified. You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error: let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.
Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing, so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord, and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind.
We ask this of you, Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy; you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.
YEAR OF MSFS FORMATION FOR MISSION OF MERCY AND COMPASSION 2016
Our beloved Superior General, in his Circular SG-AB-10 dated 22nd December, 2015, has exhorted us to observe the Year of Mercy and Year of Formation together in our Fransalian way after the example of our patron, St. Francis de Sales.
Our Superior General writes: “In our Congregation, I am glad to announce with the consent of the General Council that we are celebrating Year 2016 as “MSFS Year of Formation for Mission of Mercy and Compassion” – combining the Year of Mercy and Year of Formation. I invite all of us to make thttps://msfssoutheast.org/wp-admin/edit.php?post_type=page&paged=3his Year 2016 as a year dedicated to intensify our efforts on renewing our FORMATION PROGRAMMES and ON-GOING FORMATION PROGRAMMES in tune with the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales and with the missionary charism of our Congregation.”
Hence, dear Confreres, along with the Year of Mercy, we are also observing the Year of Formation at our Congregational level. Formation is the Apostolate that takes our Fransalian family with all its heritage and riches to the generations to come. The Year of Formation is a reminder to us to be fully alive in the apostolate of formation. It is not an option given to us. No matter, whether one is appointed or not as a formator or vocation promoter, all of us are obliged to exercise the apostolate of formation. Today we enjoy being members of the Fransalian family. This means someone was our vocation promoter, someone was our formator. Today we are bound to be that ‘someone’ to somebody else.
NOTE: In our South-East India Province, we inaugurate the YEAR OF MSFS FORMATION FOR MISSION OF MERCY AND COMPASSION 2016 at the solemn Holy Eucharist, celebrated on the occasion of the Feast of our heavenly Patron, St. Francis de Sales, in S.F.S. Minor Seminary, Pudukkottai, at 6.00 p.m., on 24th January, 2016. All the confreres are requested to be part of the inauguration and celebration. Kindly confirm your presence to the Provincial Secretary via SMS by or before 20th January for better arrangements.
SPECIAL PRAYER FOR THE YEAR OF MSFS FORMATION FOR MISSION OF MERCY AND COMPASSION 2016
Our Superior General has given us a CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER for the YEAR OF MSFS FORMATION FOR MISSION OF MERCY AND COMPASSION 2016. The hard copy of it will be shortly sent to all the confreres in the Province. Let us pray this Congregational Prayer every day in our communities.
Below is the text of the Congregational Prayer:
YEAR OF MSFS FORMATION FOR MISSION OF MERCY AND COMPASSION 2016
Loving God, we thank you for your abounding mercy and compassion through which you constantly manifest your love. We acknowledge we are often tagged by our fragilities, sinfulness and unworthiness yet you never despise us nor abandon us.
In your mercy you forgive us, cleanse us and heal us of all our prodigal and wayward ways both personal and collective. Like the Eternal Good Shepherd and Good Samaritan, you always seek and find us stranded and wounded and you care for us to complete restoration.
We pray Lord to instil and deepen within us the spirit of formation geared to a mission of mercy and compassion. Bless all our young formees to be profoundly groomed in a formation set for a mission of mercy and compassion. Accompany us and sustain every step of ours on this sacred and committed journey.
In a world tormented by un-forgiveness, resentment, retaliation and violence, stir us with bonds of pardon, reconciliation and forbearance. Guard us against our inclination to slander and condemn. Help us transcend our barriers of division and discrimination and foster us as persons and communities that bear witness to unity and justice. Heal us from our infirmities of indifference and tepidity with the balm of sensitivity, concern and solidarity. Guide and train us to be more seekers and catalysts of such ministries that transmit mercy and compassion.
Renew us with that spirit of our Patron, St. Francis de Sales so gentle and merciful and that of our Patroness, Mother of Compassion so patient and full of compassion and of our Founder, Servant of God, Father Peter Mermier filled with zeal and dedication.
O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, mould us and transform us into Missionaries of mercy and compassion. Amen!
Mother of Compassion – Pray for us!
St. Francis de Sales – Pray for us!
Servant of God, Father Peter Mermier – Intercede for us your sons!
PIF-PEA MEETING WITH GENERAL CURIA HELD IN BELGAUM
The Provincials of India and Provincial of East-Africa Province had a meeting with General Curia in Belgaum, Karnataka from 20th to 22nd November, 2015. The meeting was held at Harmony, the On-going Formation and Training Centre of Pune Province. Many of the concerns of the Congregation were discussed and deliberated on at this three-day meeting.
Initially, after a brief evaluation of the various programmes of the Year of Consecrated Life and Year of Mission at the congregational level, there was a sharing on the concerns and plans for the Year of Formation and the Jubilee Year of Mercy at the Province and Congregational levels. The Superior General exhorted all the Provincials to extend their collaboration with the mission in Africa and LCI in the light of the General Chapter 2013.
Other issues that were discussed and evaluated included the following: a) Role of Major Superior in Suvidya, b) Establishment of Local Communities in Switzerland and Australia, c) Functioning of Local Communities in England, d) Triennial Mandatory Meeting at Arusha in Africa in 2016, e) Implementation and Functioning of the new Moral Code of Ethics, f) Guidelines and follow-up with the Forum Meetings, g) Integration of new Members into Western Provinces, h) Finalizing of the Draft Document on Financial Accountability, i) Transparency in the Management of Temporal Goods, j) Follow-up of Vision-Mission, k) Taking up new Missions in Countries like Argentina, Cuba, Costa Rica, Gautemala, Bangladesh, Indonesia, etc., l) Social and Communication Media at National Level, m) Justice and Peace Commission, n) Spiritual Animation Centre and Team of Parish Mission Preachers in Provinces, o) De Sales and Mermier Resource and Research Centre at the General Secretariat, p) Guidelines of the General Chapter on the Division of the Provinces, q) Evaluation of GAH, r) Spirituality Centre at Annecy, s) Fr. Peter Mermier’s Cause, t) Taking up the Native Parish of Fr. Mermier, u) Common Mission Animation Center in India, v) Salesian Retreat for Perpetually Professed Members and Presence of Provincials during the Retreat for Accompaniment, and w) Guidelines for Non-Permanent Members in USA.
On the concluding day, His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Machado, the Bishop of Belgaum, presided over the Eucharist and appreciated the Congregation for the work done in Belgaum Diocese by South-West and Pune Provinces. On the whole, it was a very enlightening and enriching experience for all the participants.
PROVINCIALS OF INDIA FORUM (PIF) MEETING HELD IN BENGALURU
The Provincials of India Forum (PIF) held a meeting at Vinayalaya, Bengaluru on 24th November, 2015 and elected its Chairman and Vice Chairman. It had a meeting with Rev. Fr. Augustine Tharappel, the Vice Provincial of USA Vice Province, along with Rev. Fr. Johnson Kallidukil, the Provincial of East-Africa Province, to finalize certain guidelines for the non-permanent members attached to USA Vice Province. There were serious discussions and deliberations on placement of confreres for Ministry in USA, designation on specific number of years, taking up parishes for long-term pastoral ministry, purchase of vehicles, pocket money, vacation, retirement and social security of members, budget for new arrivals, mission appeal and personal plan.
Rev. Fr. George Panthanmackel, the Provincial of North-East India Province, and also the newly-elected PIF Chairman, was authorized to prepare the draft of the finalized norms and guidelines for the Non- permanent members attached to the Vice Province. Besides finalizing the guidelines, PIF also deliberated on the modalities to be followed for collaboration with needy provinces, evaluated Bible Diary publication and marketing, the need to develop a common code of ethics, and the need for common criteria and guidelines for charging for the expenses of students studying in formation houses from other provinces.
CONGRATULATIONS & BEST WISHES
Our Superior General, Very Rev. Fr. Abraham Vettuvelil, has declared the following appointments:
- Fr. Benny Koottanal is appointed the new Provincial Superior of South-West India Province for a term of three years with effect from 24th January, 2016.
- Fr. Emmanuel Mappilaparambil is appointed the Regional Superior of the new Region in Northeast India Province for a term of three years.
In the name of our South-East India Province, I extend our heartiest congratulations and best wishes to them. Our heartiest wishes and congratulations also go to Rev. Fr. Jose Kumblolickal, the out-going Provincial of South–West India Province for his one term of effective and successful ministry in leadership.
NEW REGION IN THE NORTH-EAST INDIA PROVINCE
A new Region comprising Upper Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland was established under the North-East India Province on 15th September, 2015. The new administrative unit is in view of animation of confreres and administration of the missions in the geographically vast North-East India Province. It really shows the dynamism and growth of the Province. The Region will come into existence on 20th January, 2016 as the Regional Superior takes charge of his office.
We, as Province, congratulate Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Mappilaparambil and wish him and the Region God’s manifold blessings. May God be with them and guide them in all their endeavours.
APPOINTMENT OF NEW PIF CHAIRMAN & VICE-CHAIRMAN
Rev. Fr. George Panthanmackel, the Provincial of North-East India Province is appointed the new Chairman of Provincials of India Forum (PIF) by Very Rev. Fr. Superior General for a term of three years with effect from 05th December, 2015. And Rev. Fr. Jacob Karamakuzhyil, the Provincial of Nagpur Province is appointed the Vice Chairman of PIF.
Congratulations and best wishes to them! Also many thanks to the out-going PIF Chairman, Rev. Fr. Simon Paicatt and Vice Chairman, Rev. Fr. A. Dharmaraj!
APPOINTMENT OF NEW RECTOR AT JANAMPET
Fr. Jolly Chakkalakkal is appointed the new Rector of MSFS Study House at Janampet, Eluru. Our best wishes to him! Also our gratitude to Fr. Mani Malana, the out-going Rector for his commitment and dedication as the Rector of MSFS Study House Janampet, Eluru!
SYMPOSIUM ON OUR BELOVED CONFRERE, LATE REV. FR. GABRIEL, MSFS
The faculty of Suvidya College organized a symposium in remembrance of and as a sign of gratitude to our dear Fr. Gabriel at Suvidya College on 08th December, 2015. The symposium began at 9.00 a.m. with an inaugural session.
Fr. Joy Mampally, the Rector & President, welcoming the gathering, said that the symposium which is the first of its kind, would take us back to the good moments lived with Fr. Gabriel. It is celebrating the very person and not just certain aspects of his life alone. Fr. Gabriel confronted uncertainties and dared to dream big with definite vision and had tremendous love for nature and walked the untrodden path and left a trail behind, which continues to inspire us.
Fr. R. Santhosh Kumar, introducing the Symposium, said Fr. Gabriel had spread words of cheer and encouragement. The legacy of his intellectual contribution is to be recalled, recounted and emulated. He was the epitome of knowledge and wisdom. Intellectual culture of Suvidya finds its roots in Fr. Gabriel.
In his musings on Fr. Gabriel, Very Rev. Fr. Superior General said that Suvidya’s history could be divided into two periods: Gabriel Era and Post Gabriel Era – the history of those who have experienced him and those who have heard about him. He never claimed to be perfect and respected everyone’s viewpoint. He had a contemplative mind and not a calculative mind.
Speaking on the occasion, Rev. Fr. A. Dharmaraj, our Provincial Superior said that Fr. Gabriel’s single-minded devotion to intellectual pursuits elevated him to a self-made theologian.
After the coffee break at 10.30 a.m., there were two sessions on the philosophical contributions of Fr. Gabriel from 11.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Fr. George Panthanmackel spoke on Fr. Gabriel’s notion of being and Fr. Thomas Kalariparambil spoke on Fr. Gabriel’s philosophical acumen.
After the lunch break at 12.30 p.m., there were two sessions on Fr. Gabriel’s theological contributions from 2.00 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. Rev. Fr. Jacob Parappally spoke on Fr. Gabriel’s insights on the New Testament and Fr. Stanislaus, professor at St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bengaluru, spoke on Fr. Gabriel’s insights on the Old Testament.
After the tea break at 3.30 p.m., there were last two sessions from 04.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. on Fr. Gabriel and his contribution to the MSFS. Fr. George Parampukattil spoke on Fr. Gabriel’s impact on the MSFS Congregation and Fr. Antony Mookenthottam spoke on Fr. Gabriel as an MSFS Religious Priest.
Fr. Jolly Chakkalakkal, as the M.C. for the whole programme, did a good job. The Symposium on Rev. Fr. Gabriel solemnly ended at 5.30 p.m.https://msfssoutheast.org/wp-admin/edit.php?post_type=page&paged=3
It was indeed a wonderful experience to have heard so many prominent people speaking on a person who made a great impact on the life of others with his simple lifestyle and intellectual contributions.
The faculty of Suvidya College deserves our praise and appreciation for the initiative, the good arrangement and the way the symposium was organized. The staff and students of Suvidya College, religious and priests nearby, staff and brothers from Tejas, superiors of the study houses, few priests from South-West India Province and a number of priests form our South-East India Province were present for the symposium.
In the opinion of all, the symposium was a big success in making Fr. Gabriel known to the gathering especially to those who had neither heard of him nor seen him. The orations on Fr. Gabriel were vastly enriching and all the speakers of the day did well and were successful in making Fr. Gabriel live amidst all of us.
Hats off to Suvidya College and the resource persons of the Symposium for their commendable job! Thanks to all!
Bro. M. Joseph Anish Kumar
PROVINCIAL’S VISIT TO TEJAS
Rev. Fr. A. Dharmaraj, our Provincial Superior along with our Frs. George Kootinal and Maria Selvan visited Tejas Theologate and Community in Bengaluru on 9th December, 2015. Four of our Brothers pursue their theological studies here. Bros. S. Arockiam and M. Anish Kumar are doing their third year of theology and Bros. D. Britto and P. Sathish Kumar are doing their second year of theology. Our fathers received a warm and cordial welcome and had their lunch with us. After the lunch, Rev. Fr. Provincial met us, the scholastics as a group, shared a few insights and had a friendly chat with us acquainting himself with our studies and way of life. He had also a meeting with Fr. Mathew Kalathungal, the Rector and Fr. Sibichen Panthanmackel, the Dean. Later, he expressed his joy of receiving positive remarks about us and advised us to continue to do well in all the aspects of life. The community as well as we, the brothers of South-East Province, were happy about the visit of our Provincial and our fathers. Thanks to dear Fr. Provincial and Frs. George Kootinal and Maria Selvan for their expression of love through their visit.
Bro. M. Anish Kumar
- K. Joseph Xavier is appointed the Project Co-ordinator of the Province.
- K. Rajasekar is temporarily appointed the Parish Priest of Kodungal in place of Fr. A. Michael as he is on medical rest.
APPOINTMENT OF DEACONS – II
- C. Martin Kumar – Ammapatti
- K. Dominic Savio – Vaniyambadi
- L. Jaya Raj – Othaiyal
ON HOME HOLIDAYS FROM ABROAD
Fr. M. Rajakumar (Germany) – From 30th December 2015 to 28th January 2016
Fr. D. Kanikkai Nathan (Germany) – From 06th to 28th January 2016
Fr. A. Joseph Amalraj (Germany) – From 10th to 27th January 2016
https://msfssoutheast.org/wp-admin/edit.php?post_type=page&paged=3Fr. A. Jaya Raj (Italy) – From 02nd January to 17th February 2016
Fr. S. Alphonse (USA) – From 28th December 2015 to 05th February 2016
Fr. A. Luckas (USA) – From 30th December 2015 to 29th January 2016
Fr. Y. Arulanantham (USA) – From 06th January to 07th February 2016
Fr. A. John Peter (Sr) (USA) – From 12th January to 07th February, 2016
Fr. S. Joseph Xavier (USA) – From 12th January to 05th February 2016
Fr. A. John Peter (Jr) (USA) – From 12th January to 05th February 2016
Fr. S. Antony Rajesh (USA) – From 13th January to 18th February, 2016
Fr. C. John Britto (USA) – From 14th January to 10th February 2016
We wish them a good time with their dear and near ones.
During my Canonical Visitation to Germany, Italy and Holland from 27th January to 28th February, 2016, Rev. Fr. C. Sebastin Raj will be the Provincial Vicar to attend to the needs of the Province. I thank him for his acceptance to be at the service of the Province. For matters of serious concern, you may also contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com.
LET US PRAY FOR THE DEPARTED
- Fr. Verghese Elanjipuram of Visakhapatnam Province, aged 84, expired on 7th January, 2016.
May I request those who have not fulfilled the suffrages to do the same at the earliest. (Const. No.118; General Directory No.98)
- Maria Susai, aged 75, the Aunt of Fr. C. Sebastin Raj, expired on 10th December, 2015.
- Arockiyammal, aged 84, the Mother of Fr. Y. Arulanantham (USA), expired on 22nd December, 2015.
- Emmanuel Jagadeesh, aged 29, the Elder Brother of Bro. D. Emmanuvel Sathish, expired on 01st January, 2016.
May their souls rest in peace!
January & February
17th Jan : Visit to Konalai & Feast Mass
19th Jan : Mission Forum Meeting at Provincialate
21st Jan : TNPCRI Meet in Madurai
24th Jan : Feast of SFS & Inauguration of the Year of MSFS Formation
for Mission of Mercy & Compassion 2016 at S.F.S. Minor
25th Jan : Provincial Council Meeting at Provincialate
27th Jan – 28th Feb : Canonical Visitation to Germany, Italy & Holland
05th : Laying of Foundation-Stone for De-Addiction Centre in
06th : Canonical Visitation to Sendurai
07th : Canonical Visitation to Thavasimedai
09th : Canonical Visitation to Ravusapatty
11th – 12th : Provincial Council Meeting at Provincialate
14th : Canonical Visitation to Nalattinputhur
15th : Canonical Visitation to Kadayal
Yours Fraternally in Christ,
Rev. Fr. Anthony Dharmaraj, Msfs
The measure of the Angel is the same as that of the human. God has given and will give to everyone according to one’s work.(TLG, Book-XI, Ch.6)
WISH YOU ALL
HAPPY FEAST OF OUR HEAVENLY PATRON,FRANCIS DE SALES!!!