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MSFS North-east Province: Provincial Circulars

Bloom where you are planted!  Be what you are, be at its best!! To be nothing, if not human!!!    -SFS

   

   

   

Province of North-east India

Provincial Circulars

   

Provincial Newsletter  -  AM/No. 07

02 August 2002

 

Provincial Circulars

 

 

Satgaon-Narengi,

Guwahati – 781 027

(Guwahati – 781 001),

Assam – INDIA

 

E-mail:

msfsghy1@sancharnet.in

 

Tel: (P) 0361-2648507,

(R) 2642174,

(F) 2648510

 

 

     

Dear Confreres,

 

Greetings of peace and joy in the Lord!  Sometime back Fr. General had given his approval for the Acts of the Provincial Chapter. 

 

Please find his letter of approval printed here below.

 

My Dear Fr Abraham and confreres,

 

As I greet you in Jesus, I commend you for the openness of the Province during the Provincial Chapter to respond to what God is asking of you in the context of your life and mission of North-East India Province. Going through the Minutes of the Chapter, the Resource Papers, the daily Time- Table, the Statement of the Chapter and its Action Plan I was impressed by the sincerity of your search, sensitivity to the challenges of the Mission, eagerness to be relevant, determination to be renewed in our Fransalian vocation and community life, and openness in accountability and in joint responsibility. Let all that has happened during the Chapter continue to be for every member of the Province the visible expression of God's Will.  Let it be an assurance of each one to each one that we are a Province firmly guided by the Holy Spirit.  Let our commitment to implement the Acts of the Provincial Chapter be the new strength and new source of life of the Congregation.

 

Therefore, with great joy and trust in what God has achieved through you, I grant my whole- hearted approval to all the Acts of the Provincial Chapter 2002 of North-East India Province. I ratify the election of the new Provincial administration consisting of Fr Thomas Aerathedathu, Fr Mathew Puthumana, Fr Athnas Kerketta, Fr George Vettukattil as Provincial Councillors; Fr Mathew Puthumana as the Provincial Admonitor; and Fr Jacob Mattathil as the Provincial Bursar.

 

The theme that you chose for the Provincial Chapter: "Fransalian Charism at the Service of the Church and Society -Regional Challenges and Global Perspectives”  was very apt and an effort to be a follow-up of the theme of the General Chapter 2001. Through your deliberations you have rightly identified the strands of the complex situation that exists in the North East India - multi-culturalism, ethnocentrism, regionalism, alcoholism, militancy, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, drug addiction, AIDS, disintegration of family life, rampant corruption and frequent violence. The Pastoral Plan that you intend to have, the Diverse Ministries that you want to launch out into, the Fransalian education thrust that you want to give in our educational institutions, formation of our students and our very living of religious life will have to be a prophetic and divine understanding, insight and answer to the context in which you live. Our presence in North-East India in such complex situation is the humble, faithful and creative responsibility of the Congregation. The whole Congregation shares your anxiety and at the same time is proud of your courage to be in Christ's name, his leaven in the troubled dough of the society.

 

May I highlight to you some of the issues that may need urgent attention from among those that you have chosen for yourself:

 

1. Pastoral Plan. Education and Social Works: Pastoral Plan will have to integrate education and social work in its wider ambit. While educational institutions and social works will demand their own functional space and independence, educational institutions and social programmes will have to implement the pastoral plan for children and youth and the needy in the context of study, play, fun, recreation, needs and other activities of the students and the social needs of a place. While responsibility for predominantly educational apostolate and pastoral and social apostolates can be entrusted to different competent persons, tendency for exclusivity, lack of mutual concern and sensitivity and co-ordination can prevent the team from building a faith community or a kingdom community.

 

2. Preaching Ministry, Counselling, Spiritual Direction and Salesian Spirituality, and Ministry through Media:  I am extremely glad to see the keenness with which you want to encourage this traditional Ministry of Preaching in our Congregation. That there are already Centres and groups that render effective service of preaching and animation in the Province, speaks for the enthusiasm of the confreres. North-East India is blessed with the presence of Christian Communities wanting to know more about Jesus and His Word and to live by it. Spiritual renewal of such communities is surely our responsibility by way of our charism. Presence of our trained personnel at the Counselling Centre in Guwahati at the service of the local Church and the desire to have more trained spiritual directors will go a long way in authenticating us as true MSFS. To share Salesian Spirituality as a way of life with lay people and religious is another commendable step of which North-East Province can be very proud. The Province will have to ensure planned growth and continuity of these very relevant ministries today. It is heartening to note that the Province is keen to launch into ministry through media of communication and is set to train more people to use this powerful instrument for evangelisation and building up of God's kingdom.

 

3. Commitment to Pioneering Missions in India: I wholeheartedly endorse what you desire: namely, greater response to the missionary call from Arunachal Pradesh .God's Spirit is at work in the hearts of people and nothing will stop them from going where He leads. I appreciate therefore the concern and plan of the Chapter to strengthen the organization of our missions in Arunachal Pradesh.

 

4. Commitment to Missions Abroad: The Province of North-East, for the last three years has taken missions in South Africa and Namibia .Already we have four centres with 8 Priests .These are clear signs of a confident commitment to implantation of the Congregation in these two vast countries, I am happy to note the desire of the Chapter members to form them into a Region so that distance that separates them from the Province headquarters need not delay planning and implementation of various schemes to strengthen the mission of the Congregation there. It will be for the members in South Africa and Namibia to personalise the proposal and to suggest modalities and parameters of functioning of such a Region.

 

I am thankful to the Provincial Chapter for being sensitive to the needs of our Western world Provinces that are lacking in vocations and personnel and welcome its decision to place its confreres at the service of these Provinces.

 

5. Formation and Vocation Promotion: It is but natural that when you evaluate the challenges of mission today, you feel critical of present formation. It is a healthy sign. The Provincial Chapter has rightly pointed out basics that are needed to be stressed in formation: skills to be in touch with people, the first and foremost being proficiency in local language; exposure to and reflection on pastoral experiences .Men who come from our formation houses must be men of enthusiastic missionary solidity, deep interiority, and joyful, human and humble Salesian availability.

New priests over a period of 4 to 5 years need accompaniment by senior experienced priest/s to help them to sift through their initial ministry experiences that often leave some surprised and dazed, some discouraged and disheartened by the harshness of ground realities of life and mission, some with a washed-out feeling and sense of inadequacy. I welcome very heartily the implementation of this Action plan suggested under Ongoing Formation.

 

6 Religious Life:  Our apostolic life is part of our religious life and our religious life is part of our apostolic life ( Constitution No. 69). The more we engage in apostolic endeavours the more we are called to deepen our intimacy with the Lord, for Jesus says, " Without me, you can do nothing".

 

"If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit … fruit that will last.” The fruit that lasts is the reign of God seen in a way of life that is marked with peace justice, unity, love, attentiveness, sharing.  I am deeply touched by your self-confrontation with this truth and for taking concrete collective measures to improve and enhance the quality of religious life. May the Spirit whisper this secret of your authenticity and effectiveness in your inner ears every-day. The realisation of all your planning is founded on this foundational resolve of your life.

Conclusion: Once again, I extend to you my deep appreciation for the direction, and orientation that you have given to the Province through the Acts of the Provincial Chapter 2002. You have a long road to travel. Be confident. He who has called you is your fellow-traveller. He will open your minds and hearts. He will explain to you the Scriptures. He will break the bread, feed you and strengthen you.  He will make your hearts burn with the fire of His Word.  I assure you and all the confreres of our North East India Province my fraternal love and confidence. Human as it may be, may it remind you of God's own love for and confidence in each of you.

 

Yours devotedly in Jesus and Mary.

Sd/-

Fr. Agnelo Fernandes msfs

Superior General

 

Acting Provincial

 

I am planning to visit the confreres in Namibia and South Africa from 7th August to 5th September.  During this period Fr. Mathew Puthumana will be the acting Provincial.  His phone Numbers are: 0361-201285 (SFS Bhavan) and 0361-603477 (Office in Peace center).

 

Three Provincials Appointed

 

The General Council in its meeting held in Rome in August has finalised the appointment of three Provincials. 

  • Fr. Joseph Pullopillil has been appointed as the Provincial of Nagpur Province.  He will assume his office from 15th September 2002.

  • Frs. Thomas Kochuparampil and Jerson D’Souza have been re-appointed as Provincials of East Africa Province and Pune Province respectively for one more term.

On behalf all the confreres of North-East Province I offer good wishes and congratulations to them and wish them a very fruitful term of service to the Congregation.

 

Fr. Salu Thattamparampil

 

Fr. Salu who has been waiting for his work permit and other documents is all set to leave for Namibia. If everything goes well he will leave from Mumbai on 9th August.  The province wishes him a safe journey and a very fruitful ministry in the new place.

 

New addresses

  • From 1st week of July 2002 Fr. General has shifted his office and residence to: Via del Mascherino 46/2, 00193 Roma, Italy. e-mail: sgmsfs@fransalians.com

  • Fr. Tomy Thekkel who is doing his B. Ed in St. Xavier’s College Kolkata resides at: Our Lady of Dolours Church, Boitakhana, 147 B.B., Ganguly Street, Kolkata – 700 012, Tel: 033-2271822 & 2279156

Transfers and Appointments

  • Fr. Saji Tharayil has completed his studies in MA.He has been appointed as assistant priest in SFS Church Dhemaji.  I thank Fr. Saji for the service he has rendered to the community at MSFS Study House, Mawroh during the past few years.

  • The regional office of YCS/YSM has been shifted from SFS Bhavan to Peace Centre in the Archbishops House, Guwahati.  This took place as a part of the restructuring of NERYC (North Eastern Regional Youth Commission). Henceforth Fr. Jimmy Mathirampuzha, who is the Regional Chaplain of the YCS/YSM will be functioning from this office.  He will also be serving the NERYC, as it’s Assistant Director.

Office Address:

YCS/YSM Regional Office

Peace Centre, P. B. No. 130

NERYC

GNB Road, Ambari, Guwahati – 781 001

Tel: 0361-524455/603643.

 

 

With every good wish.

 

Fr. Abraham Mullenkuzhy MSFS

(Provincial, North-East India Province)

e-mail: amullenkuzhy@yahoo.com

 

 

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Provincial Circulars