Message from the Provincial: My Dear Confreres
Greetings of Peace and Joy of Christ to you!Dear Confreres!If the Son makes you free, you will be really free
By the time this circular is received by you, either we are yet to celebrate our country’s Independence or it is over but we will be still in the spirit and mood of the celebration. For Catholics, it also coincides with the Feast of Our Lady of Assumption. The kind of freedom that we are reminded and celebrated on August 15th is political freedom whereby we are not subjected to any foreign power or we became free for home rule. The Feast of Assumption is an opportunity to strengthen our faith that the Immaculate Virgin Mary was free form the stain of original sin and was taken up with body and soul to heavenly glory.
During the life time of Jesus, the Jews claimed to have political freedom but they were subjected to Romans. They claimed to have religious freedom but their slavery to the letter of the law was obvious and pointed out by Jesus. Moral freedom was often faulty and exposed by instances of bondage to sin. The freedom that Jesus proclaimed was freedom of our true life with deliverance from sinfulness bringing forth union with God. (Jn 8: 36) The knowledge of the truth is revealed through him high-lights the Father who sent him and the eternal home. St Paul is known to be the apostle of freedom. More than words, it is illustrated by his life. He had regarded himself, the bond servant, until he found complete freedom in the service of Christ. We may think that he was not free and in bonds before Agrippa or while prisoner in Rome. In fact, from his writings, it is clear that he was freer than the governor or Caesar or officials who persecuted him. He was truly free than he himself was when he was armed with authority to bind men and women because they were Christians. The chain that bound his body could not bind his spirit in Christ Jesus. The son of God had made him free.
As we celebrate our country’s freedom, let us also remind ourselves, the freedom offered to us for life in Jesus. I wish everyone Happy Independence Day and Happy Feast of our Lady of Assumption.
The First Ongoing Formation Program
Our Constitutions underlines that individuals and communities should pursue life-long process of formation. It is to make us more relevant in our times, in our ministry by up-dating ourselves with the changes and developments that are taking place in the Church, in the world, in the field of secular and sacred sciences. It is in this spirit of the constitution that the Ongoing Formation Program was organized for the first batch of confreres from 4th August to 6th August 2016 in the MSFS Provincial House, Nagpur. It was a tight program and there were 45 participants. The first day was animated by Rev. Fr. Varghese Alengadan who emphasized that life and ministry of religious people should be more Christo-centric and there is a need to critically introspect the conventional delivery of services to the people. Creativity and innovation is lacking, and there need to have greater cultural integration to avoid criticism of exclusivism in terms of culture, language and festivals especially in schools. New problems cannot be solved with old solutions. On the same day, New Priests and Jubiliarians were felicitated. The next two days were mainly focused on secular laws and problems. There was a panel of judges who presented various new laws such as minimum wage law, juvenile protection, child labour, cybercrime and human trafficking, etc. Sr. Philo of St. Joseph Sisters of Chambery highlighted on the various important provisions of the Indian Constitution and on justice and human rights. On the last day of the meeting, there was a short evaluation of the program, and members appreciated Fr. Benedict De Souza for organizing it. Some of them also said that there need to have more dwelling on sacred sciences. Book reading culture has to be cultivated to remain up-dated by all members, there is need to take the members into confidence to know what they exactly want from programs of this nature. Some felt dwelling more on secular laws and government approach to various social problems were very informative which may not be available otherwise.
FRANSALIAN SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE (ICSE) comes into existence
On 28th July 2016, the Feast Day of St. Alphonsa, the Fransalians of Aurangabad-Jalna Apostolic Community witnessed ground-breaking ceremony (Bhumi Poojan Ceremony) of the newly proposed FRANSALIAN SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE (ICSE) at FTI premises, Aurangabad. The long-awaited sanction plan of the school approved by Aurangabad Municipal Corporation, finally arrived. The construction of the mega school project is expected to be completed in 18 months’ time. As of now only partially, the master plan will be implemented. Most Rev. Ambrose Rebello, Bishop of Aurangabad Diocese officiated the ceremony through a brief prayer service followed by blessing of construction site and the Bishop, in the name of the Holy Trinity, broke the ground with pick-axe. Each person from the three communities (FTI, CIDCO, Jalna) did the same followed by excavation work. The laying of the foundation stone ceremony will be soon scheduled. The work is awarded to a construction company based in Amravati. The architect is Mr. Parag Date of Renaissance Planners and Engineers Pvt. Ltd, Nagpur. It is an ambitious project of Jalna-Nanded Educational Societies to realize another premier Fransalian Educational Institution in Marathawada Region. Let us pray and hope that project finds its completion as expected.
Fr. William Antony, msfs
Nimkheda Community is now merited with two experienced confreres in the persons of Frs. Muthusamy and Philip Maleparambil which will enhance the school administration. We have a CBSE-affiliated school which needs much to come up in terms of better academic standard. Comparative study of other schools in the province is undertaken to arrive at standard syllabus, and other evaluation patterns. The school is new and requires lots of animation of the teachers. The collaboration of St. Joseph Sisters of Annecy is a great blessing. They make up for the lack of good teachers. Fr. Muthusamy is trying for greater stability of staff by giving them special conveyance and to attract good staff from nearby townships. He is also encouraging sports, thankful to NFC for the newly built compound wall. Around 90 new admissions were taken. The second batch of 9 CBSE students will write class 10th exam this year.
St John’s Community, Nagpur is special this year with mostly new confreres assigned with new responsibilities. Fr. Peter Dominic is the Principal with Fr. Patras Tirkey as Vice Principal who is also the House Superior. Fr. Telesfor Lakra is entirely new to the posting of Office Administrator with delegated works of the Manager. Fr. Kulandai Raj is the Manager of the school but most importantly the Priest-in-Charge for the proposed St. John’s Mass Centre. There are difficulties and problems in the school related to admissions, staff etc. The age old school has expert staff to assist the administrators to handle conflict situations. Fransalian Education Society of St. John’s School is engaged in constructing St. John’s Public School CBSE with the help of Delhi Fransalian Society. A bank loan is being availed by FES for this construction purpose. Plans are being mooted to secure the campus with more regulations through manned gates.