Greetings of peace and love! Today we have begun our Lenten season. As we are aware, it is a unique time for deep prayer, reflection, examination, re-evaluation and assessment of our life and ministry. It is a process of renewal. This process of renewal must take place at two levels – personal and collective, as Pope Francis states in his Lenten message of 2022. He states “Lent is a favourable time for personal and community renewal, as it leads us to the paschal mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ”. Pope Francis also places on us three important demands during this Lent – “Let us not grow tired of praying”, … “Let us not grow tired of uprooting evil from our lives” … and “Let us not grow tired of doing good in active charity towards our neighbours”.
1. “Let us not grow tired of praying”
God is our root, basis and foundation of our life. We are nothing without God. As religious, we are supposed to come more and closer to God by our deep prayer life. However, as human, it is possible that we fail. Due to various factors, our prayer life both at the personal and community level is marked by laziness, tiredness, sluggishness, weariness, fatigue, and lethargy. This should not happen. It is prayer that brings us closer to God. It is prayer that brings different individuals together. It is through prayer that we experience God. Intense prayer can achieve impossible things. Without regular prayer, our life will become empty and shallow. As such, prayer is fundamental to Christian life and let us not grow tired of praying.
2. “Let us not grow tired of uprooting evil from our lives”
Every human person is called upon to live a life of holiness. Our patron St.Francis De Sales in his “Introduction to the Devout Life” extensively speaks about holiness for all human persons. We are called to live a praiseworthy life. We are called upon to remove all the bad things, all our bad characters, wrong and sinful actions etc. This is not a one time act. Removing our sins and evils cannot be achieved once for all. It is a lifelong process. Human as we are, we tend to fail repeatedly. But we must keep on getting rid of our sins,
vices and evils tirelessly and constantly. Lenten season is an apt occasion for us to do it.
3. “Let us not grow tired of doing good in active charity towards our neighbours”.
Doing good to others is fundamental to Christianity. God gave his only son to be our redeemer and savior. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave his own life for our sake. So giving and doing good to others is very essential to our Christian life. As such, we are called upon to do good to others. Not just once or few times. We should keep on doing good and charitable works to those who are in need. As religious, apart from our spiritual animation of our faithful, we must both collectively and individually, dedicate ourselves wholly to do charitable works for the poor and the needy and involve in the service for the downtrodden and the marginalized. We should never grow tired of doing this.
Dear confreres, during this Lent, let us reflect and interiorize the message of our Holy Father Pope Francis for this year’s Lent. Let us heed to his call. Let us not be tired of praying. Let us not be tired of getting rid of our sins, vices and evil. Let us not be tired of doing good to others and dedicating our whole lives for the downtrodden and the marginalized.
Wishing a fruitful Lenten season!
1. Intention of the Superior General for March, 2022
That we may revive our foundational apostolate of parish mission preaching and reach out to our brothers and sisters with compassion in the spirit of St. Francis de Sales and missionary fervor of Father Mermier,
2. Year of St. Francis de Sales
This year the congregation of the Missionaries of St. Francis De Sales is celebrating 400th death anniversary of heavenly Patron St. Francis de Sales. Therefore, our Superior General has invited us to celebrate this year as ‘Year of St. Francis De Sales’ from April 24th (Divine Mercy Sunday 2022) to the Divine Mercy Sunday 2023. To celebrate the year of SFS, very meaningfully both at the Province level and local community level different programs will be organized.
Fr. Emile Mayoraz, a legend and great visionary, passed away on 30th January 2022. No amount of words would suffice to pay our homage, appreciation and gratitude to Fr. Emile Mayoraz. He became 12th Superior General of our Congregation in the year 1977 and as superior General, he led the congregation for 24 years uninterruptedly from 1977 to 2001. He gave a new face to the Congregation, with great energy and thrust. He worked assiduously to spread out the Congregation to different continents. During his term as Superior General, our Congregation grew from 450 to 950 members. He animated the Congregation and its members into taking up new and challenging missionary endeavours. It was during his time, our Congregation started missionary works in Africa and now we have mission centres in 11 countries and also have several administrative units.
South East India Province greatly acknowledges the support received from Fr. Emile Mayoraz. He had come to our Province on different occasions to visit our Mission centres. Indeed, we are proud to state that this legend has blessed our SFS Seminary at Pudukkottai, Christ the King Farm Vayalogam, and MSFS House Ammapatty. Our province has a Children Home named after him “Mayoraz’s Children
Home”. It was due to his contribution that the province was able to put up a beautiful house for the Orphan children. Fr. Emile Mayoraz was a legend, a genius, a history maker, a bridge between Europe and the rest of the world. He was a man of God, true follower of St. Francis De Sales. His contribution for the growth and development of our Congregation is enormous and unparalleled. South East India is ever grateful to Fr. Emile Mayoraz.
It was a joyous day for the Fransalian family in Malawi, as we gathered together to celebrate the feast of St. Francis de Sales at Livingstonia, our first Mission in Malawi. The day started with celebration of cooking Pongal (Fransalian Pongal). Fr. Sebastian Robert exhorted us in his sharing to have filial adherence to the ‘Fransalian Zeal’, taking inspiration from St. Francis De Sales to bear witness to the Mission of Jesus.
We gathered in the evening to celebrate the festive Mass along with good number of Parishioners. Fr. S. Susairaj was the main celebrant and Fr. Charles Berin preached the homily highlighting the spirituality of our Heavenly patron. The faithful acknowledged and appreciated the MSFS fathers. It was a happy day, as we all have participated in the celebrations “FRANSALIAN FAMILY”. Fr. Anantha Raj along with the parish council organized the whole celebration very well.
Fr. Anantha Raj, MSFS.
5. Feast of St. Francis De Sales and Calendar release
“We have to do everything for love, not out of force”. SFS
During this year of mission, the feast of our patron St.Francis De Sales was celebrated with special focus on 24th of January, 2022 by the Rector, Staff and Students of SFS Minor Seminary, Pudukkottai. The parish priests were invited to celebrate holy mass and share their mission experience with the seminarians. The parish priests were all honoured and given a simple gift as token of appreciation and gratefulness. The sponsors of the programme were from the province and the confreres working in USA Vice Province. Both the missions in India and overseas’ centres were specially remembered and prayed.
As part of celebration of ‘Mission Year’, on feast day of our patron, specially prepared Calendars were released, comprising of pictures of mission stations and centres of the South East India Province, in SFS parish church at Thirugokarnam, in the presence of the apostolic community. It was released by. Rev. Fr. Benjamin Sundar, the Superior and Manager of SFS Printing Press, who did the designing work and was received by Fr. A. Lawrence, the former provincial and now the principal of SFS School, Pudukkottai.
A sincere thanks to our Staff of SFS Seminary, who initiated, planned and executed so well with the collaboration of our confreres. We express our deepest gratitude to the Provincial Administration for their encouragement and support in all these ventures.
“The beginning of good things is good, the progress is better, the end is the best”. SFS
Fr. Antony Christopher MSFS
Thirty years ago, Saint John Paul II instituted the World Day of the Sick on every 11th of February, to encourage the people of God, Catholic health institutions and civil society to be increasingly attentive to the sick and to those, who care for them. So, on the 11th of February 2022, to mark this day, we the SFS Seminary visited and spent some quality time with the inmates of Shanthi Villa old age Home in Trichy. The brothers entertained the people with songs and dances. The brothers also spent some time interacting with them. This visit added up to the seminarian’s formative value education.
Fr. C. John Britto MSFS
7. Deacons’ Meet
It was a great initiative from Fr. P. S Joseph, the counsellor in charge of formation, who had arranged a meeting for all our seven Deacons at our S.F.S minor seminary, Pudukkottai. The meeting was meant to animate the Deacons in practical aspects, liturgical instructions and rubrics of celebration of Sacraments. Fr. P. S. Joseph was present throughout the program, which started on 17th January 2022 and concluded on 21st January 2022. In those days, fathers from the minor seminary (Fr. C. Britto, the rector, Fr. Jerry, Fr. Selvamani, Fr. Christopher and Fr. Jayakumar) also assisted in animating the Deacons in practical details of celebration of Sacraments. We are grateful to all our fathers, who were part of this program. We are grateful to the Provincial and his team for helping us to have such an opportunity. Our special thanks to the fathers of SFS Minor seminary community for the hospitality shown and for the accommodation.
The Regents’ meeting for the year 2021 -2022 was held at Nalam De addiction centre in Dharmapuri on 5th January 2022. The Resource persons were Fr. C. Sebastian Raj, the admonitor and Rev. Dr. Christu Raj. The meeting began with the prayer invoked by Rev. Dr. Christu Raj, who in the first session was dealing with the topic “the usage of Media in today’s world” and he shared with the regents about the youth ministry and his personal experiences. The Second session was led by Fr. C. Sebastian Raj, who spoke about commitment and dedication in Religious life. During the mass at 11:30 am, Fr.P.S.Joseph, the Councilor in charge. of formation in his homily shared about the challenges in Religious life. The last session was led by Fr. P.S. Joseph during which, the regents shared their regency experiences. It was conclude with an outing to Hogenakkal Waterfalls.
Bro. Justin Richard
9. Lenten Meditation
The congregation marks this year as the “Year of missions”. There were different activities taken up in our province. As such, a new initiative is taken from the Thedal Spirituality center to organize our fathers and brothers to walk the Lenten journey together by praying, reflecting and sharing our spiritual experiences. The reflections are based on the readings of the day incorporating the spirituality of St. Francis De Sales and Fr. Mermier. I wholeheartedly invite you dear confreres to cooperate and participate in the Lenten journey programme.
10. Official Notification
In the year 2017, Fr. A. Arul Sunadaram and Fr. L. Sahaya Basker were sent to USA Vice Province to be incorporated into USA Vice Province. The Vice Provincial of USA Vice Province by his letter dated 2nd of February 2022, officially informed the Provincial of South – East India Province that Fr. A. Arul Sundaram and Fr. L. Sahaya Basker are relived from the USA Vice Province with effect from 1st of July 2021. The provincial council of South – East India Province has accepted the same. As such, they belong to South – East India Province as its members with effect from 1st of July 2021. Their rights of active and passive voice in South – East India Province is restored with retrospective effect from 1st of July 2021.
We welcome them to our province.
11. Month of March
1. Birthday of Our Confreres
|03||Fr. M. Maria Francis Britto|
|06||Fr. F. Emmanuel|
|06||Fr. I. S. Jesuraj|
|11||Fr. A. Doss|
|14||Fr. S. Edward Xavier|
|16||Fr. B. Philomin Raj|
|17||Fr. C. Sebastin Raj|
|17||Fr. A. Innaci Muthu|
|21||Fr. S. Prem Kumar|
|21||Fr. K. Nirmal Kumar|
|24||Fr. A. Charles Michael Raj|
|29||Fr. A. Edward|
|31||Fr. M. Benjamin|
We wish them Happy Birthday and God’s Abundant Blessings upon them
2. Remember and Pray for the Dead
|02||Bro. Louis Levet|
|Fr. Camille Curzillat|
|03||Fr. John Cowman|
|04||Fr. Ronald Besant|
|05||Bro. Claude Cusin|
|Fr. Ernest Vidonne|
|06||Bro. Michael Allard|
|07||Fr. Arthur Williams|
|Fr. Chacko Mulanjananiyil|
|09||Bro. Joseph Schumacher|
|10||Fr. Peter Chakkulickal|
|11||Bro. Nicholas page|
|Bro. Fortune Corboud|
|12||Mgr. Etienne Bonaventure|
|13||Mgr. Joseph Baud|
|Fr. Sean Mason|
|14||Bro. Alexis Voisin|
|Fr. Louis Dayer|
|15||Bro. James Gatti|
|Fr. Marius Perret|
|16||Bro. Andre Echernier|
|Mgr. Francois Coppel|
|Fr. Francois Pallud|
|Fr. Joseph Monnard|
|Fr. Albino Fernandes|
|18||Fr. Jean Prunier|
|Fr. Paul Rime|
|Archbishop Eugene D’Souza|
|19||Fr. Joseph Bouchet|
|20||Bro. Antoine Pernoud|
|21||Bro. Ernest Paccard|
|Bro. Mathew Kuzhupillil|
|22||Bro. Clement Cottet|
|Fr. Joseph Dunoyer|
|Mgr. Pierre Rossillon|
|Fr. S. Pilavendren|
|24||Fr. Maurice Chamonin|
|Fr. Mathew Pazhedam|
|25||Bro. John Mary Panisset|
|26||Fr. Thomas Morrin|
|Fr. Camille Savoy|
|28||Fr. Jean Marie Debornes|
|Fr. Mathew Kudakacherry|
|29||Fr. Jacques Vuichard|
|Fr. Basil Luyet|
|30||Fr. Felix Sallansonet|
|Fr. Anil Francis Topno|
|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
3. Let Us Pray for the Departed
- Mr.Lawrence, the elder brother of Fr. S. Vanathayan & nephew of Fr. D. Robert, aged 54, expired on 13th January, 2022.
- Mr.Amuthapandian, the brother in law of Fr. D. Robert, aged 37, expired on 15th of January, 2022.
- Fr. Claude Morel, belonging to Franco-Swiss Province, expired on 15th of January, 2022.
- Fr. Sushant Mantri, belonging to Pune Province, expired on 16th of January, 2022.
- Fr. Emile Mayoraz, former Superior General, expired on 30th of January, 2022.
- Mr. C. Anthony Rasu, aged 91, the grandfather of Frs. S. Anthony Raj (Jr) and J. Michael Raja, expired on 8th February, 2022.
- Mrs.Theresiamma John, aged 93, the mother of Fr. Abraham Vettuvelil, our Superior General, expired on 21st of February, 2022.
May their souls rest in peace!
Yours Fraternally in Christ,
South-East India Province
Missionaries of Saint Francis De Sales (MSFS)