We are on the eve of Christmas. We will be also celebrating the New Year, 2021 in another week’s time. This year this twin celebration of Christmas and New Year, 2021is taking place amidst devastating circumstances in the world, due to pandemic as a result of Covid-19.
An unseen tiniest virus called Covid-19 has taken over the entire world and is ruling from the later part of 2019 onwards. It has penetrated and wrecked every country, language, culture, religion, environment, political systems, social norms, family values, personal freedom etc without any discrimination, resulting in collapse of economy, loss of jobs, and loss of livelihood and other sociological and psychological effects. As per the latest tally, 75.5 million people have been affected and 1.6 million have died and the count continues. Many of the countries are in the grip of the second wave. The hitherto ordinary words like lock down, restrictions, sanitizers, masks and social distancing seem to be top most used terms in everyday life.
Some countries are under second locked down. Some countries opened up with lots of restrictions. The promised vaccinations are said to be ready and still not yet. In some countries like ours, the people seem to get used to it and go about as usual. However covid-19 had reshaped the world and the humanity. It has restructured the way we think, dress, eat, move, socialize, and meet etc. It has altered the working culture. To state briefly, due to Covid-19, the world has a new normal, new pattern of life, new values and new systems. Who is responsible for this pandemic and its consequences? Pope Francis seems to suggest that it is in some way related to the way we deal with the reality and the nature. In his Encyclical letter ‘Fratelli Tutti’, he writes “If everything is connected, it is hard to imagine that this global disaster is unrelated to our way of approaching reality, our claim to be absolute masters of our own lives and of all that exists…” (FT.34). May be we both as individuals and collectively as organization, society and the human race as a whole need introspection of our way of life and the way we deal with the nature.
Regarding solemnity of Christmas this year, going through this agonizing period and the religious activities and worship being affected due to lock down, restrictions, social distancing and lack of financial resources etc, the celebration seems to be very sober and subdued. What message does it convey to this year? Certainly it has a very powerful message this year during this pandemic. The purpose of incarnation of Jesus Christ was the liberation of Jewish society and the world from various types of bondages, including sin. As we are in the grip of pandemic, we are in need of liberation, healing and protection. Our Lord Jesus Christ alone can liberate, heal and protect the world and the humanity from this pandemic situation. Celebration of birth of Jesus Christ gives us this hope. Pope Francis also says that Christmas season gives us hope. In his Sunday Blessing on 6th of December, 2020 in St. Peter’s square, he has stated that the Christmas season provides hope amidst the pandemic period due to Corona virus. He is exhorting the faithful to understand the true meaning of Christmas. Emphasizing that Jesus is the light, he states “There’s no pandemic, there’s no crisis that can extinguish this light.” As such, no pandemic including Covid-19 can extinguish the light that is Jesus Christ and celebration of his birth is a hope that this difficult situations will pass away and good times are ahead. The New Year of 2021 also provides this hope, expectation and optimism that things are going to be better.
Dear Confreres, as religious, we need to interiorize the significance of this year’s Christmas in the light of the pandemic situations and animate the people and the faithful of our hope that Christmas and New Year 2021 will give liberation, healing and protection to the world and the humanity from the present difficult times. In this process, we must make ourselves worthy instruments of God and work for liberation, healing and protection of the world and the humanity, especially those who are most affected like the marginalized and the downtrodden in the society.
1. Implementation of General Chapter, 2019
The Article 3 under Mission of the Call of the General Chapter, 2019 states as follows:
“All newly ordained priests will serve in our missions as part of their pastoral formation for a minimum of 2 years, and they will be placed under the guidance of a senior confrere. The mission units to which they are assigned could be across Provinces”
As per the Article 3 under Mission of the Call of the General Chapter, 2019, all the new priests must have sufficient pastoral experience at least for a period of two years. This directive of the General Chapter, 2019 has to be followed without fail. As per the Call of the General Chapter, the implementation of this directive has to be ensured by the Provincial and the PCIC. This directive has been implemented in our province and the new priests are not appointed in institutions. It is made sure that the new priests get sufficient pastoral exposure and experience.
2. New Provincial Curia
The following confreres are elected to the Provincial curia of Guwahati Province
|1) Fr. Saji George Puthiyakulangara||Provincial Councillor & Admonitor|
|2) Fr. George Poovathunkal||Provincial Councillor|
|3) Fr. Athnas Kerketta||Provincial Councillor|
|4) Fr. Roy Parayaniyil||Provincial Councillor|
|5) Fr. Santhosh Chavaranal||Provincial Bursar|
The following confreres are elected to the Provincial curia of Dibrugarh Province
|1) Fr Tomson Aerathedathu||Provincial Councillor & Admonitor|
|2) Fr George Vadakkepericherimannil||Provincial Councillor|
|3) Fr Milkius Tirkey||Provincial Councillor|
|4) Fr Joseph Bamhingbe||Provincial Councillor|
|5) Fr Peter Parankimalil||Provincial Bursar|
Hearty congratulations to the new teams. We wish them all the best.
3. Blessing of the new Sub-churches at St. Augustine of Hippo Parish, Kameme, Malawi.
The 11th of November, 2020, was a memorable day for the MSFS Mission in Malawi in Africa and the faithful of St. Augustine of Hippo Parish, Kameme, because two new churches were blessed by Bishop Martin Tumubuka, the bishop of Karonga Diocese, namely St. John Paul II (Substation) and St. Mary’s Church (Substation). When these two churches were unfinished, we the MSFS fathers took up and have finished with the help of Mr. Hans Fomin from Germany. We are indebted to Fr. Kanikkai for his timely help in arranging benefactor from Germany to finish the completion of the Churches. The Bishop was very happy to entrust this parish to our Congregation as an act of recognition of the spirit and willingness of our confreres working in the diocese. We also thank all the confreres in Malawi for supporting the parish in all the way possible. We also thank all the Parishners, who contributed from their littleness to fulfill the needs of the local faithful.
Hearty congratulations to Fr. C. Berin and Fr. Nelson Arockaisamy and all the fathers working in Malawi for your hard work and support.
4. Perpetual Profession at Fransalian Seminary, Pune
Our South- East Province family sings and rejoices joyously as our Bro.D. Emmanuvel Sathish, made his Perpetual Profession on 6th December, 2020, at Fransalian Seminary, Pune along with other brothers, who belong to other provinces. The entire celebration was animated around the theme “Missionaries forever with a Vision.” The main celebrant for Holy Mass was Rev.Fr.John Britto Muthusamy, the Provincial of Nagpur Province and the main concelebrants are Rev.Fr. Jayaseelan Selvaraj, the Provincial of Pune Province, who was South-East Provincial’s Delegate for the event, Fr. Vincent Lourdusamy, the Rector of Fransalian Seminary and Fr. C. John Britto (SE Province). The entire celebration was live streamed due to the absence of invitees, caused by the pandemic situation of Covid 19. After the Eucharistic celebration, the newly perpetually professed members were felicitated.
5. Presbytery Inauguration and Grotto Blessing – Thirukogarnam
The 28th of November, 2020 was a great day for the SFS parish, Thirugokarnam. It was on this day that the new presbytery and grotto of Mother of Sorrows were blessed and opened. It is a long awaited time for the people of SFS Parish, Thirukogarnam to have a separate home and office for the parish priest. With the grace of God and the support of the local parishners and the donors from abroad, the dreams of many came true. Now our parish campus is filled with msfsness with St. Francis De Salas church, Mother of Sorrows grotto and Peter Mary Mermier house for Priest. It is a very happy occasion. We thank Most Rev.Dr.M. Devadoss Ambrose, the Bishop of Thanjavur, who blessed the new presbytery and Mother of Sorrows grotto. Rev.Fr.K.Ignacimuthu Msfs, our provincial superior opened the presbytery and then the grotto was opened by Rev.Fr.J.Stephan. After the blessing and opening, provincial presided over the Eucharistic celebration, concelebrated by many of our MSFS fathers and diocesan priests. We wholeheartedly thank all the donors for their contributions, MSFS Congregation for their support and prayers, the parishners for their involvement and prayers and workers for their sincerity in finishing the work on time.
Fr. S. Desas
6. A Day to Remember our Deceased Confreres
“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.”
Responding positively to the call of Rev. Fr. Abraham Vettuvelil, Our Superior General, we the Fransalians of South-East India Province remembered and honoured our departed confreres and all the family members with our prayers and spiritual activities in communion with the entire Congregation. In remembrance of our deceased confreres and all the family members a special requiem was organized on 19th November, 2020 at 11.00 am in our MSFS Minor Seminary, Pudukkottai. About 27 priests participated in the Holy Eucharist, presided over by Rev. Fr.K. Ignacimuthu, the Provincial Superior and prayed for our departed confreres and the deceased members of our families. After the Mass Rev. Fr.K.Ignacimuthu, our Provincial blessed the tombs of our deceased confreres.
Fr. D. Sheen Prisal Singh
7. Social Welfare Program
It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving – St. Mother Teresa.
Cloth is one of the three basic needs of human beings. But there are people in this world who don’t have this essential need of existence. To give an underprivileged person a pair of clothes is as good as dressing him with self-respect. With this objective, we have distributed garments to the poorest of the poor women and men in our parishes. ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (Mt: 25:40). This noble thought inspires everybody to contribute towards the wellbeing of the humanity. Apparently in our journey of helping the poor, South-East India Province meticulously planned along with MDO to carry out its social welfare programs. The MDO at Rome made this valuable contribution for this noble cause.
Our province is actively engaged in number of relief works at different phases. Most of our relief works are organized through province with the collaboration of confreres. Another new initiative is undertaken this year to reach out the poor and needy in our missions. Indeed we are grateful to MDO at Rome, the General Administration and Fr. Thomas Chozhithara for the timely financial assistance towards purchase of clothes. This is year, we have distributed 1250 Sarees & Dhotis for 1250 people. On behalf of Province Social Service wing, I express sincere thanks to all the confreres for your kind cooperation and moral support to execute this welfare program. The contentment attained by one through helping the less fortunate is the greatest achievement, we could ever have in our life.
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one- St. Mother Teresa.
8. Youth Ministry – You Tube Channel
Fransalian Youth Ministry of the South-East India province with the support of the community and prayers launched YouTube Channel on 14/11/2020 in the name SFS YOUTH 2020 NALAM, DHAMAPURI. The channel will provide motivational sessions for students, youth, parents and animators. The themes of the sessions will be focused on the well-being of the society.
Fr. A. Christu Raj msfs, Nalam
Fransalian Youth Ministry
We wholeheartedly thank our confreres namely Fr. A. Christuraj for motivating the youths through You-Tube channels both spiritually and psychologically. And at the same time, we thank Fr. S. Alexander, Fr. A. Jeya Kumar and Fr. K. Rajasekar for their reflections, songs etc through You Tube and for their efforts to animate the people regularly. Congratulations to all of them.
9. Month of January
i. Birthdays Of Our Confreres
|2||Fr. J. B. Thadews|
|3||Fr. M. Nicholas|
|Fr. S. AnanthaPrabu|
|6||Fr. G. Jegannathan|
|8||Fr. A. John Peter(Jr)|
|16||Fr. L. Arul Sundaram|
|17||Fr. P. Anantha Raj|
|18||Fr. D. Kanikai Nathan|
|25||Fr. M. Raj Kumar|
|26||Fr. S. John Wilson|
|Fr. C. Martin Kumar|
|27||Fr. P.S. Joseph|
|28||Fr. S. Simon Raja|
|29||Fr. D. Tharcius|
|30||Fr. S. Arockia Doss|
We wish them Happy Birthday and God’s Abundant Blessings upon them
ii. Ordination Anniversary of Our Confreres
|21||Merry Benzer. G|
|26||Darline Joseph M|
|28||PackiaSathish Kumar. J|
We congratulate and pray for them
10. Remember and Pray for the Dead
i. Msfs Obituary – January
|1||Fr. Antoine BESSON|
|Fr. Jean Marie BERGER|
|Bro. Jacob TRUNIGER|
|2||Fr. Joseph FAVRAT|
|3||Fr. Francois AVRILLON|
|Fr. Adolphe SOUCHON|
|Fr. Bernard RUFFIEUX|
|Bro. Isaac ENAMATTAM|
|4||Fr. Louis COLLOMB|
|Fr. Jules BRUGGER|
|6||Fr. John LAWRENCE|
|Fr. Elanjipuram VARGHESE|
|8||Fr. André KIEFFER|
|Fr. Joseph Kunnapilly|
|9||Fr. Kenneth FRANKS|
|10||Fr. Gabriel AMIRTHANAYAGAM|
|Bro. Antoine BELLEVILLE|
|Fr. Aloysius MORET|
|11||Fr. Constant BOUVARD|
|12||Fr. Devasia KUZHUPPIL|
|13||Bro. Antoine GAVET|
|Fr. Leon BOUVIER|
|Fr. Antony Mary NAZARETH|
|14||Fr. Bernard SCHNECK|
|Fr. Marcel BAECHLER|
|15||Fr. Camille DUBASSAT|
|Fr. Henri WIDER|
|16||Fr. Alphonse LARRIVAZ|
|17||Fr. Marius REY|
|Fr. Cherian KARUKAPARAMBIL|
|Fr. Simon Rodrigues|
|18||Fr. Joseph MABBOUX|
|19||Fr. Jean Marie CROCHET|
|20||Fr. Francois CONUS|
|23||Fr. Eugene GOUX|
|Fr. Camille MEYNET|
|25||Bro. Anthony NEDUNGATT|
|26||Fr. Hyppolite GAYDON|
|Fr. Alphonse FAVRAT|
|Bro. Francis THEKKAMILADIYIL|
|Fr. Nellikunnel GEORGE|
|Fr. Mannukuzumpil ZACHARIAS|
|27||Bro. Joseph PUTTUR|
|Bro. Madanu JOJI|
|Fr. François COFFY|
|28||Bro. Maurice COSTER|
|29||Bro. Philip MONZEL|
|30||Fr. Francois ROSNOBLET|
|31||Mgr. Peter Joseph REY|
May I request those who have not fulfilled the suffrages to do the same at the earliest. (Const. No.118; General Directory No.98)
May their souls rest in peace
II. Let Us Pray for the Departed
1. Mr. Amalraj, aged 45, the father of Bro. Henry (2nd year Minor Seminarian), expired on 3rd December, 2020
May this soul rest in peace