MISSIONARIES OF ST. FRANCIS DE SALES

Note from Website content manager: Since the province does not send the news letter in Word Format, it is difficult for me to edit the content of the Pune Province - Fr. John Peter msfs

Greetings of peace and joy to you from the Provincialate

Our beloved Superior General has invited that we as the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales inaugurate The Year of Consecrated Life and The Year of Mission on January, 23, 2015. On the very next day, 24th January we are celebrating the feast of our Heavenly Patron St. Francis de Sales. We find these twin celebration so Providentially designed, sending us a very strong message that Our every effort to celebrate this year as a year dedicated to Consecrated Life and Mission, our every reflection and action in this regard has to necessarily be done with reference to and seriously take into account the paramount model we have in the Persons of Our Heavenly Patron and Beloved Founder. Both of them stand out as the supreme model and prototype of excellence in their Commitment to Living the Consecrated Life and the Mission.

More subtle and human way of practicing devotion taught and lived by our Heavenly Patron as different from the more austere and rigorous way of pursuing devotion existing in his time has become a statement of today's Christian Devotion under the inspiring leadership of Francis our Pope. I find hardly any difference between these two. If the world today admires and is swept over by the life style and the words and deeds of Pope Francis, it is because there is an essential character of Humanness in the Spirituality propagated and lived by him. The Salesian Spiritual Heritage entrusted to us by our Beloved Founder is far more superior in this line, fully human and highly relevant for all the time. Thus without any doubt St. Francis de Sales cuts across as one of the finest advocates of Devout Life as a fitting response to the unfathomable Love of God.  The manner in which he encourages us to practice this devotion is very simple yet sublime, no restrictions or condemnation in his respective of Spirituality, anyone and everyone is eligible to practice devotion and live a holy life. It is a spirituality simplified in human terms. If Pope Francis is gaining such a momentum, it is a clear sign that this is what the world is looking for, this is what captivates it, and this is what inspires it and this is what also the world appreciates. Therefore we must in fact be proud that we own and can boast of such a rich Spiritual heritage so appealing and take it as our onus to practice, live and promote the same through our witnessing life just as our Pope does. Therefore, Studying St. Francis de Sales, Imitating his Virtues and Forming our own method of reaching out to God's people, full of compassion for sinners – (the words of Bp. Joseph Ray) seems the most important and concrete way of meaningfully observing this year dedicated to Consecrated Life. If during the course of this year we can succeed in making such a spirituality integral part of our life and consecration, without even a slightest doubt we too will become great head turners just as our Pontiff is. We will find people thronging to our Missions and longing for our presence and ministry. Moreover, quite importantly we ourselves will never be deterred in Our Missionary Zeal.

It is quite obvious that in the life of both our Founder and Patron, it is their Commitment to their Consecration that serves as the Guiding source in their Mission; be it the Missionary commitment of Francis in Mission Chablais or that of Fr. Mermier in his commitment to a definitive Choice for Mission even when deserted by those whom he counted on. They were able to confidently take up their mission and continue to remain strong in their Missionary Endeavour with ever enduring zeal and vigour because their Mission was strongly founded on their commitment to the consecrated life, spirituality and prayer life. For them commitment to their Call meant extraordinary commitment to the Mission of God and Commitment to Mission meant extraordinary commitment to their Consecration. Commitment to consecration enables single minded focus on the Mission. Consecration is for God, by God and Mission is His – God's mission. Hence Commitment to Consecrated Life and Mission go hand in hand. In fact one facilitates the other. Therefore we must not look at this act of combining the year of Consecration with Mission and making it unique to our Congregation as an anomaly and pass remarks such as Oh! How many themes for a single year, how many celebrations and prayers etc...Instead start understanding the profoundness that lies Hidden that can transform tremendously each and every member of our Province and the nature of our Mission itself. May God bless our every effort in this regard.

REPORT OF SECOND RETREAT

It is true that the Lord has blessed us with the New Year 2015 and very especially through the Congregational Retreat headed by Fr. John and Fr. Jose to start afresh and to begin anew in Christ. The retreat for the second group of Pune Province was arranged in Carmel Haven of the Old Age Home run by Carmelite Sisters of th th Trivandrum, at Pune. The Retreat started on 4 night of Jan 2015 and ended on 9 evening of Jan 2015. The number of the participants for this retreat is around 30. The members were divided into five groups to organize liturgy of the day and to spend time in group dynamics and self-direction programme and to submit at the end of the retreat the report of the group dynamics and the self-direction programme to Fr. Tony Prem Anand, the Provincial Secretary of Pune Province. The Retreat ended with the solemn Eucharist presided over by Fr. Vincent Lourduswamy, the Provincial, with a vote of thanks by Fr. Ramesh, followed by the Birthday celebration of Fr. Santan Gama. The days were very systematically planned and meticulously organized to immerse more fully in the love of God. The preachers' fiery and exhortative spiritual talk with the tone of St. John the Baptist was purely a prophetic clarion call to reawaken and to rekindle the charism and enthusiasm, the spirit and spirituality of our Patron St. Francis De Sales and Founder the Servant of God Fr. Peter Marie Mermier. The God experience in the mission and the personal encounter of Fr. John with St. Mother Theresa, the God experience in the ministry and 25 long years of administration in the Nagpur Province by Fr. Jose made us feel the retreat and its ambience heart-touching and soul-soothing. We gratefully acknowledge the good efforts and good works of Fr. John and Fr. Jose and we faithfully submit them into the hands of God in prayer to be effective witnesses of God and His people.

EDUCATION FORUM REPORT

The education forum meeting and update Program was organized on the 10 of January in the Provincialate. It was attended by all those confreres working in the schools and some Principals and managers from the Catholics institutes in the vicinity. Most of the confreres were present for the meeting except just a couple of them who couldn't be part of it for reasons unavoidable. The resource persons for the day were Ms. Mona Seldon( former investigative officer in the department of sexual offences against women and minors UK) & Mr.Madhav Patil , Local inspector, Pune). Both of them extensively dealt on the details of areas of concerns and the precautionary measures we need to take very especially with regard to sexual offences against minor in our institutions and schools. The resource persons threw adequate light on the “POCSO act - Protection of children from sexual offences act.” All those who attended the meet strongly felt that it was such a great eye opener from very many perspectives. There were a lot of interaction from the Participants and the resource persons too responded to the questions very enthusiastically and applauded the participants for the kind of sacrifice they make in the midst of rising challenges. Other than the formal sessions given by the resource persons the forum members also took  sufficient time to discuss various matters concerning the education forum and our schools and came up with certain positive conclusions. In the name of the Province we express our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Provincial administration and the Provincialate community for making this rare opportunity possible.

REPORT OF REGENCY MEET

The regency meet was held on the 16 of this month in the Provincialate. It was attended by all four Regents of our Province. The day started with an adoration where the regents meditated and reflected on the teachings of General Directory of our Congregation concerning Regency which emphasizes on the Period of Regency as a crucial period of formation when the Scholastics for the first time face concrete challenges being put in concrete situations. The day was marked with a number of sessions by Fr. Provincial and the resource person for the day Fr. Benjamin OFM the Rector of Capuchin Scholasticate and councilor in charge of the Regents and the Formees in his Province. The resource person dwelt deeply on the challenges we face as young scholastics and religious at this stage of formation and how we have to go ahead from here. We also took enough time to share our views and concerns with both the Provincial and the Resource Person. It was really a meaningful experience coming out of our regular schedule of life and spending sometime reflecting and introspection over our life as regents and the concrete actions we need to take from here to become effective in our call to this way of life. We thank the Provincial Administration and the Provincialate community for making the necessary arrangements and making this very refreshing day possible for us.