As Part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Claretian Presence in India, on 18-22 November 2019, a renewal programme for the priests between 10 to 15 years was held at Claret Nivas Carmelaram. A total of 48 priests from five Major Organisms of India participated in the refresher encounter.
The programme, aimed at bringing together the members who have completed 10 to 15 years of their priesthood, included various sessions of input and sharing. Fr. Jacob Parapally MSFS inspired the priests through his thought provoking seminar on Living a Meaningful Life as Consecrated Priests. Fr. Joy Puthusery ISCH refreshed them on the topic Psychosexual Maturity as we grow in Priesthood and Consecrated Life. Fr. Rohan Dominic CMF updated the priests on our missionary involvement through SOMI-JPIC. Members had sufficient time to share their personal missionary experience, group discussions, visit to some of the Claretian Communities in Bengaluru, fraternal experience with our Novices and lighter moments among themselves. This fraternal coming together, helped the members in personal renewal and missionary encouragement during this Golden Jubilee year. During these days of encounter, Fr. George Mattathil, Prefect of Formation for Bangalore Province, and Fr. Jacob Arakkal, Provincial Superior of Bangalore Province, accompanied our priests.
ICL: Institute of Consecrated Life – Sanyasa is the only institute in Indiaorganized a two day seminar on theme “Consecrated Persons at the Service of Youth: Reflections on the Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit of Pope Francis” on 9-10 November 2019.
The seminar began solemnly with the reading of the Word of God, lighting of the lamp and prayer dance by the students of ICL. Then, Fr. Arul Jesu Robin, CMF, the director of ICL welcomed each one warmly. Rev. Fr. Jacob Arakkal, CMF, the president of ICL and the Provincial of the Bangalore Province of the Claretians gave an inaugural address in which he emphasized the importance of youth ministry in the mission of the consecrated persons. About 200 consecrated persons including novices from our neighboring communities participated actively and benefitted immensely from the seminar.
Renowned consecrated persons presented papers on the Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit from different perspectives. There were all together six paper presentations and two panel discussions. On the first day of the seminar, Dr. George Panthalanickal, CMF wonderfully brought out “Biblical and Ecclesial Portrayal of the Youth and Their Significance for Consecrated Persons”. The second paper was on “Today’s Youth – Tomorrow’s Consecrated Persons” by an inspiring personality Dr. George Kannanthanam, CMF. In the afternoon session, Rev. Sr. Michael Rita, FSJ former superior general of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph (FSJ) presented a thought-provoking paper on “Pope Francis’ Message to the Youth and Its Relevance for Consecrated Persons”. The last session was a panel discussion in which the participants were enlightened by a lively panel which included Mr. Paul from Jesus’ Youth.
Like the first day, the second day too had three presentations and a panel discussion. The first presentation was on “A Call to the Consecrated Persons for Transformation in the Light of the Gospel” by a renowned theologian Dr. Xavier Manavath, CMF, the Vicar for the Religious in the Archdiocese of Bangalore. Then, Dr. Sivy Koroth, SDB, an expert in youth ministry challenged the participants with his presentation on “Youth Ministry – A Daring Call for the Consecrated Persons”. The last paper of the seminar was on “Consecrated Persons at the Service of the Youth for Discernment” by Professor Dr. Smitha Gabriel, ASI. Then, we had the panel discussion enriched by the passionate interventions by Mr. Dino of Jesus’ Youth.
Indeed, the participants highly appreciated the seminar which enabled them to be familiar with the recent church document Christus Vivit, a shot in the arm for the ministry of the consecrated persons with the young people.
Annual Superiors´ Meeting at Carmelaram
Province of Bangalore organised its annual Superiors´ Meeting from 05-08 November 2019 at Claret Nivas Carmelaram. Along with the Provincial Government all the superiors and delegate superiors of the communities of the province came together for evaluation and planning.
Half a day was dedicated to a seminar on “Community Animation” by Fr. Theophilos SDB. This helped the participants to update themselves on the leadership and animation qualities based on Biblical Leadership. Rest of the time was spent on presentation and evaluation of the reports based on our missionary life and activities. Various proposals were also discussed for better missionary orientation for the apostolate and lifestyle.
A Centre for all kinds of religious and liturgical articles was blessed by His Grace Most Rev Peter Machado, Archbishop, Bangalore Archdiocese and opened by Rev. Fr. John Paikattu, Provincial Administrator, Bangalore Province. It is a new venture of the Claretians in Bengaluru by the Claretian Publications. The program was attended by Superiors of various communities of the province, fathers, sisters, brothers, well-wishers and friends from neighboring communities and parishes.
CLARETIAN YOUTH ENCOUNTER AT TENALI
A 3 day Claretian Youth Encounter was conducted at Tenali Mukthi, Andrapradesh. 230 youths from 12 Claretian parishes witnessed the varieties of input sessions, group activities and a blind walk to conclude the camp. Many young Claretian fathers witnessed the event and contrubuted in arranging this Youth Encounter.
Inauguration of Mariadalam (Legion of Mary) was conducted at Christ the Redeemer Church, Bhattiprolu on 6 October, 2019. Forty women from different substations joined as the members of Legion of Mary. In his talk Fr. Chinnanna explained to the members on Origin, duties, functions and importance of Legion of Mary. Fr. Santhosh, parish priest thanked the members for showing their interest towards Mariadalam, encouraged and plained to them regarding how they should lead the mariadalam prayers in their own villages as small groups. Sr. Ester agreed to be the incharge person for Mariadalam in the Parish. In the end the members elected new president and secretary for Legion of Mary
CLARETIAN RENEWAL RETREATS AT CLARET NIVAS
As part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Claretian Presence in India, Bangalore Province organized renewal retreats for all its priest members in September 2019. All the three Claretian Renewal Retreats were held at Claret Nivas Carmelaram.
113 priests working in different parts of the Province of Bangalore in India were divided in three different groups for better participation, without affecting their ministries. The three retreats took place on 02-07, 09-14 and 23-28 September 2019. The first two retreats were animated by Fr. Gonzalo Fernández CMF, the Vicar General and Prefect of Spirituality; the third retreat was animated by Fr. Paulson Veliyannoor CMF, Coordinator for the Forge in English.
Indeed, this was the time of spiritual renewal and refreshing and rejuvenating as Claretian Missionaries.
ENVIRONMENT DAY CELEBRATION AT BHATTIPROLU
On 02 September 2019 Save the Environment programme was conducted at Chavali and Vellaturu substations of Bhattiprolu Parish in Andhra Pradesh. All the villagers, young and old along with the priests actively participated in the programme. While planting the saplings the people encouraged one other by repeating the slogan "Each one Plant One". Forest department of Bapatla Division were very generous to supply us five hundred plants for this noble purpose. Fr. Santhosh, the parish priest explained to the people the need to care for the Environment by planting more trees. The need of human beings for food, water, shelter and other things depends on the environment around us. Therefore it is our responsibility to safeguard our environment and make the possibility of healthy and happy life here. It’s important that every individual, in city or village is aware of this responsibility and take the positive steps, especially by proper use of water and planting more trees. Let us nurture the nature so that we can have a better future.
In August 2019 once again India saw some of its parts affected by the monsoon fury. Like in 2018, the people suffered a heavy loss of property and even some lost their lives. In this hour of tragedy and human need, Province of Bangalore came forward to extend the helping hand. Different mission centers carried out the relief work at different affected areas.
By Christu Bhavan Mission at Bhattiprolu, Andhra Pradesh
Though Andhra Pradesh was not affected by the flood on a large scale, a certain areas bore the brunt of flood waters. Juvvalapalem area in Bhattiprolu mission of Claretians was one of such areas. As the water engulfed the area for longer time, it resulted in damage and loss of agricultural crops. People could not go for their daily work, thus resulting in loss of livelihood.
As an immediate assistance, Claretian Missionaries came to the rescue of people. On 24 August 2019, we organized and distributed essential food material to 315 families. During our relief work, local MLA, Mr Merugu Nagarjuna, visited the area and appreciated the efforts of missionaries. Now our focus is to help those families, especially our parishioners, whose houses are damaged due to the floods.
By Infant Jesus Mission at Athani, Karnataka
The recent flood which devastated the north Karnataka districts has caused a lot of misery, pain and loss of many things in the lives of thousands of people of the region. It was time to act together to help these helpless people. Infant Jesus Mission at Athani along with a few volunteers plunged in to this crisis situation to render humanitarian service of providing relief materials which was most urgent according to the situation. We visited many of the affected areas of Athani and took a stock of the situation and found thousands of family houses fully submerged, some are even washed away in wild rage and furry of the water.
As an immediate help, our mission decided to help the victims who returned to their houses after a long stay in relief camps. Therefore we arranged and distributed relief materials, mostly food, as a support to restart their lives. We have provided relief material kit to so many affected families. It will need serious planning and efforts to bring back these affected people to normal life.
By Claret Niketan Community at Belagavi, Karnataka
Belagavi District of Karnataka was one of the severely affected area by the flood and remained marooned under water for longer time. The water-logging was so severe that most of the roads were flooded and blocked. This created serious health hazard as garbage was accumulated in residential areas. Relief work was hampered as it continued to rain for weeks together.
On 11 August Claret Niketan, our Minor Seminary community, along with the staff of Hope Recovery center and volunteers from Kerala Christian Forum organized a clean-up drive to get rid of the garbage accumulated on the streets of Peeranwadi and its neighborhood. During the day long work, our young seminarians showed real courage and missionary enthusiasm in time of need under the leadership of their formator. The efforts were appreciated by the people as it portrayed humanitarian concern.
By Project Vision Centre at Wayanad, Kerala
As the flood tragedy struck once again, Bangalore Claretians responded immediately. Thousand four hundred families were provided with a food kit for their survival for ten days through Project Vision in the name of its intervention called Bangalore Cares for Kerala on 24-25 August in the flood ravaged Wayanad district of Kerala.
As floods have affected large number of lives in several parts of the country covering Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Assam, Kerala was in a greater problem due to the fact it was getting affected second year in a row. People who had lost everything were just getting back to their normal life, stitching together pieces of whatever was left, when floods hit again in the same fatal month of August this year. Project Vision which was just exiting from its disaster intervention since last one year, again moved to action immediately.
Project Vision volunteers were immediately in the field to identify the needs of the affected people. A total of 255,051 people were in the 1341 relief camps across Kerala. Fatalities amounted to 120, mostly due to landslides in Malappuram and Wayanad Districts.
Wayanad was the district of our focus of work and the district had 196 relief camps in which 35,878 people had taken refuge in. Unlike the previous year, a great organizational strength was shown by the government which ensured good care in most of the relief camps. Therefore our focus shifted to the people when they return home and to those who did not have to go to the relief camps, but had lost everything. They also did not have any job and income to sustain their families. As the immediate help, it was decided to provide them with a food kit of twenty essential items for them to sustain at least for a few days. The essential items were provided by various generous donors and organizations.
Young Claretian missionaries from five organisms gathered at Claret Nivas, Carmelaram from 5th to 10th of August.The group numbering 48 was a lively energetic group. It was a period of reflection and renewal. The topics dealt with were: community life , Claretian missionary life today, value relativism etc. Holy Eucharist and common prayers infused in them the feelings of closeness and family. Daily personal sharing was a fruitful time for them to know the reality of our missionary journey. Time was also given to major superiors to listen to them in groups. Speciall time alloted for games, group work and half day program of watching a musical drama at the St Thomas Hall, Jalahalli.
But most of all, meeting and interacting with batcmates and friends after years helped them in close sharing of experiences and renewing of lost contacts. As a whole quinquennium 2019 helped them to face future with renewed energy as they march forward with missionary zeal.
Bengaluru, India: The Golden Jubilee Year of Claretian presence in India was inaugurated in Bengaluru on 15 July 2019. The solemn event included Priestly Ordinations and public gathering at our Jalahalli campus.
During the solemn Jubilee Mass presided by Most Rev. Anil Joseph Thomas Couto, the Archbishop of Delhi, three of our Deacons were conferred the Priestly Ordination. Our Superior General as well as the Major Superiors of Claretian organism in India and Sri Lanka were present for the celebrations.
After the Holy Mass, the public meeting was presided over by Rev. Fr. Mathew Vattamattam CMF, our Superior General. Along with the Archbishop of Delhi, the Archbishop of Bangalore Most Rev. Peter Machado, Archbishop Emeritus of Bangalore Most Rev. Bernard Moras, Bishop of Mandya Mar Antony Kariyil CMI, were present for the public meeting. A large number of Priests and Religious, the family members and relations of the three Priests who were ordained on the day, well-wishers, benefactor and the Claretian fraternity participated in the inaugural celebrations.
Jubilee Message by Provincial Superior of Bangalore
On July 16, 1849 Father Anthony Mary Claret with his 5 companion priests gathered together in a small room in the diocesan seminary at Vic, Barcelona, Spain and there he declared, “a great work begins today.” Father Manual Vilaro one of the cofounders answered smiling, “what can its importance be, being that we are so young and few in number?” “You will soon see,” said Father Claret, “and if we are few God’s great power will shine brighter.” These were prophetic words of Father Claret that today over 3000 Claretian Missionaries, the religious congregation founded by Father Claret on that day, are working in 66 countries around the world “seeking in all things the glory of God, the sanctification of its members and the salvation of people”.
The beginning of the Congregation in India 50 years ago was no doubt part of the Prophecy of Father Claret. Right from 1952 attempts were made to start the Congregation in India. The visit of Fr. Peter Schweiger, the then Superior General, to India in 1956 was the first concrete step towards starting the Congregation in India. It was followed up by Fr. Rudolf Mainka and Fr. Walter Safran of the Province of Germany. Bishop Sebastian Vayalil and Fr. Alexander Cherukarakunnel of the Pala Diocese are to be specially remembered who later on proposed concrete steps in starting the Congregation in India and were true helping hands in the beginning times.
One person, Fr. Franz Xavier Dirnberger CMF, who laid the foundation and shaped the future of the Congregation in India, stands above all other persons. Along with him we remember with gratitude Fr. Peter Schutz CMF, the then provincial superior of the Province of Germany, who stood behind every step for a strong foundation of the Congregation in India. In 1970 Fr. Dirnberger was sent to India by the Province of Germany, who from then continued his dedicated missionary life and service in India until he died in 1993.
On 31 March 1970 the foundation stone for the first Claretian House in India was laid at Kuravilangad, Kerala and it was named ‘Claret Bhavan’. That was a phenomenal and divinely willed beginning no doubt, that now at 50 years we the Claretians in India are 3 Provinces, 2 Independent Delegations, 94 Communities in 12 States in India and 476 Priests working in the missions in India and abroad. The Province of Bangalore today has 27 Communities, 149 Priests working in India and abroad, missions in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Haryana-Delhi, Jharkhand, Punjab and in New Zealand.
At this juncture we gratefully remember the contributions of the pioneer Indian Claretians in moulding the congregation in India. Fr. Joseph Madavath the first Indian Claretian Priest who was ordained in Germany in 1968 is the first to be thankfully remembered. Along with him Fathers Mathew Njayarkulam, George Vanchipurakal, George Nedumplakunnel and Kuriakose Thekkilakattil under the leadership of Fr. Franz Dirnberger laid a strong foundation for the congregation in India and guided the initial stages of its growth. We joyously remember all other Claretian Missionaries, our benefactors, friends and well-wishers who stood at the forefront and zealously worked for the growth of the Congregation in India.
The successive General Governments and very specially the Province of Germany which is our Mother Province whose unparalleled and wholehearted support all throughout the 50 years of our journey made the great difference in our growth story is ever remembered with deep sentiments of gratitude.
When we think of a movement inspired and impelled by the Holy Spirit, we do not think much about the works and achievements but the element of the Divine in it and how powerful this Divine element is moving on. Then we count every growth, every progress, and every achievement as a Divine plan and blessing. More than anything we Claretians count everything within the perspective of evangelization because we are apostolic missionaries by call and evangelization is our charism and our hallmark. As Father Claret was, we too work for the “greater glory of God and salvation of souls”.
The beginning of the Congregation in India 50 years ago was the result of the Divine inspiration. 50 years later, as we look back today, we realize that the very foundational blessings we had, been always with us. As we celebrate the Golden Jubilee of our presence in India we journey on with the hope and prayers that God will continue to bless our life and work in India further that we may dedicate ourselves for the service of God and our fellow human beings and we take this year of Jubilee as a time of thanksgiving and a time of renewal.
Fr. Jacob Arakkal John CMF
Province of Bengaluru
Silver Jubilee Celebrations & Book Releasing
Malleswaram, Bengaluru: Keeping with our tradition of celebrating the province level jubilee of our members who have completed 25 years of their Religious Profession and those that have completed 25 years of Priesthood, we the members of Bangalore Province came together on 6th June for the celebration. This Claretian Family programme was held at Provincial House with solemn Eucharist at 6.30pm, felicitation of the jubilerians and sharing of fraternal meal. The choir by our Claretian Seminary students made the evening more vibrant and colourful.
All together there were nine jubilerians. Frs. Deonis Kujur, Joseph Madavath, Rajashekhar Reddy and Jose Ammaikunnel celebrated 25 years of their Religious Profession, while Frs. Benny Cheruthottupuram, Martin Mankunnath, Thomas Manakuzhiyil, Thomas Thanniyanickal and George Theruvel celebrated their Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee. Indeed it was a moment of gratefulness to God for the innumerable blessings received, and to appreciate the faithful service and dedication of our missionaries.
The occasion also marked the releasing of a Book “THE SIGH OF A DEW DROP” written by Fr. Linto Kokkandathil.
Professions and Diaconate 2019
Bangalore, India: 31st May, the Feast of Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was a day of great festivity for the Claretians of Bangalore Province; as Three of our Novices made their First Profession, Nine of our Students Renewed their Vows, and Three of our Students made their Perpetual Commitment in the Congregation. The first profession was held in the morning at Novitiate House, while the renewal and the perpetual profession was held in the evening at Claretian Seminiary Malleswaram. Rev. Fr. Jacob Arakkal John, the Provincial Superior of Bangalore presided at the Solemn Eucharistic celebrations and received the vows. The celebrations were attended by a good number of Claretian confreres, the relatives of the students and neighbouring priests, religious and well-wishers. The previous day, on 30th May, 23 Novices from different major organisms of India began their Novitiate at Claret Bhavan Carmelaram.
On 1st June three of our Students were conferred the Order of Diaconate by Most Rev. Peter Machado, the Archbishop of Bangalore at Claretian Seminary Malleswaram.
Priestly Ordinations 2019
Bengaluru: God has blessed the Province of Bangalore this year with five new Priests. All together the province will have eight new priests this year, three of them will be ordained in the month of July. The five ordinations took place in the native parishes of the ordained. On 11 May 2019 Deacon Nelson Thomas Puthanparambil was ordained by Mar Joseph Pandarasseril, Auxiliary Bishop of Kottayam, at Holy Family Forane Church, Rajapuram Kerala; on 15 May 2019 Deacon Birajman Tigga was ordained by Most. Rev. Emmanuel Kerketta, Bishop of Jashpur, at Catholic Ashram, Bara Koronja, Jashpur Chhattisgarh; on 20 May 2019 Deacon Jessin Joseph Kocheril was ordained by Mar Joseph Kallarangatt, Bishop of Palai, at Marth Mariam Archdeacon Pilgrim Church, Kuravilangad Kerala; on 21 May 2019 Deacon Tony Mathew Mundaplackal was ordained by Mar Jacob Muricken, Auxiliary Bishop of Palai, at Holy Family Church, Mattakkara Kerala; and on 23 May 2019 Deacon Siljo Michael Pallithazhe was ordained by Mar Jacob Muricken, Auxiliary Bishop of Palai, at St. Mary’s Church, Plassanal Kerala. We rejoice with these young missionaries for their courageous choice.
One-Day Camp for Rural Youth at Doddaballapur
Youth are our power. The future lies in their hands. The rural youth may not be so privileged like the city youths. They may lack the modern language skills. However, given the opportunities they can master it all; because they have faith and dreams. Realising their potentials and their desire to come up in life, we, the Claretian Missionaries, with the collaboration from Holistic Child Development Programme organised "One-Day Camp" on 16 February 2019 for the rural youth of Doddaballapur. There were 67 boys and girls who benefited from the program. Our motive is to bring out potentialities, dreams, desires and aspirations from the youth and to direct them to the proper channel; that they become better citizens.
After the prayer and introductory session by Fr. Chacko Kelamparampil CMF, Mr Harish from SDB Bangalore briefed the participants on education and various job opportunities for the youth. The resource persons Guna and Rachana gave guidance and counselling on how to become useful citizens. They highlighted the value of determination and hard work.
In the later sessions, Fr. Chacko guided the youth through some challenging questions like: How many people from your village are government employees? How many are working abroad? How many are in the political field? These were challenging questions for the youths to make use of wider range of opportunities available to them in India and abroad to come up in life and make life better for themselves and the society at large.
The youth were further inspired to form small groups to do something for the welfare of their own villages through internal support. The youth were happy because they were challenged. From our part, we have decided to support the youth through education, training and ways to build better future. For the organizers it was encouraging to have youth who are disciplined, enthusiastic and full of dreams. The youth themselves were very happy about the well-arranged seminar. We are happy that our efforts to form a better society through training of youth is taken positively.
The Meeting of Social Ministries of the Province of Bangalore was held at CPH, Bengaluru, on the 15-16 February 2019. Fathers working in various social ministries such as Fr. Lindo from Sumanahalli Leprosy Project, Fr. Joseph Madavath from Support Bengaluru, Fr. Bernard from Support Belagavi, Fr. Pradeep Correa from Hope Belagavi, Fr. Joji Machukuzhiyil from Sneha Jyothi, Athani, Fr. George Kannanthanam from Project Vision Bengaluru were able to participate, Mukti Tennali, Yesu Nilaya Honnali and Gandhiji Health Centre Barwadih could not participate.
Fathers shared the work that is being done in each of their centres. They could also share their difficulties and problems that they encounter. We are reflecting the sentiments of the General Chapter (MS 49-52) and our Provincial Chapter documents in our Apostolate, reaching out to the most deprived and marginalized in the society, the privileged recipients of the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
Prefect of Apostolate Fr. Peter D’Souza guided the meeting. The deliberations of recently held SOMI meeting in Bengaluru were also presented to the participants. The mission Procure could speak to the participants over the phone via conferencing. The relevant numbers of the chapter documents were studied and reflected upon to better understand our responsibilities and implement them in our work.
The members felt encouraged by the sharing and discussions and expressed the desire to meet more regularly to share the views and experiences.
Pastors’ Meeting Held at Provincial House
On 23-24 January 2019 the Pastors’ Meeting was held at Provincial House, Bengaluru. 20 Parish Priests from our parishes in different states participated in the meeting. The Provincial Superior along with the Prefect of Apostolate and Prefect of Youth and Vocation Ministry coordinated the programme. On the first day Mr John Don Bosco enlightened the participants by analysing our present society in the context of Justice and Peace. In the afternoon every parish priest was given an opportunity to share his experience, the challenges and the possibilities in the ministry.
On the second day Rev. Fr. Jacob Arakkal John, Provincial Superior, addressed the gathering explaining the congregational aspects of carrying out the parish ministry in a Claretian way. He also explained the three processes of transformation in the renewal of the congregation according to XXV General Chapter.
Fr. Peter D’Souza, Prefect of Apostolate and Missions explained in brief about the SOMI (Solidarity and Mission) and discussed the ways and means of collaborating with the JPIC wing of Claretians@UN and the JPIC General Secretariat. Updating the participants on the recently held Claretian Family Youth and Vocations Ministry Meeting, Fr. Tom Vellappattu, Prefect of Youth and Vocation Ministry, discussed with the pastors the modalities to make the youth ministry a driving force in our parishes.
The parish priests discussed various aspects of the pastoral ministry and came up with suggestions to improve our style of ministering and to make our parishes more vibrant and dynamic in faith formation.
NEW DOCTOR IN BIBLICAL THEOLOGY
On 04 December 2018, Fr. Martin George Mankunnath, CMF successfully defended his Doctoral Thesis in Biblical Theology and obtains his Doctorate. The Thesis “Denunciation of Ritualism and the Option for Ethical Religion in the New Testament: a Case Study of Mt 23:13-33” was directed by Dr. Sebastian Mullooparambil CMI at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (DVK), Pontifical Athenaeum of Philosophy, Theology and Canon Law in Bengaluru, India.
The Theme Discussed in the Thesis:
The New Testament denounces the error of neglecting the essential matters of religion, while paying too much attention to its non-essential aspects. This study proposes that this error is the result of a ritualistic approach to religion and the solution to the problem lies in an ethical approach to religious praxis. A common misunderstanding about religious praxis is that ritual practices form the essence of religion and that solely by performing the rituals one can summarily fulfill one’s religious duties. However, the New Testament teaches that the ethical principles such as love, truth, justice, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, etc. are the ones that form the essence of religion. Therefore the New Testament condemns ritualism, the tendency to limit one’s religious praxis to ritual observances, neglecting the ethical values necessary for the well-being of humanity and the universe. On the contrary, it promotes an ethical approach to religious praxis, wherein one’s religious duties do not end with ritual observances, but necessarily extends to the practice of the above ethical values. It is this approach that will enable the Christians to partake in the kingdom of God proclaimed in the New Testament.
Ministries of Lector and Acolyte
On 22 November 2018, 5 of our 2nd year theology students (2 from Northeast Independent Delegation) made their first step in participating in the ministerial priesthood in the Catholic Church. Rev. Fr. Jacob Arackal, the Provincial Superior, conferred the orders of Lector and Acolyte. The whole community rejoiced over the celebration and congratulated the students.
Claretian Youth Ministry (CYM) at Surepalli
Claretian Youth Ministry (CYM) at Surepalli, near Bhattiprolu, has initiated new programme for empowering women and youth. In the first phase, we have started with tailoring and fashion designing for women and electrical training for boys. In the first batch 25 women and 15 boys have enrolled their names. It is a joint venture of VRO, Government and Claretians. At the end of the three months of training, they will be given sewing machine and electrical kit free of cost. We are also planning to start musical drums training, paper plates making and basket making. For children, tuition classes, dance classes and spoken English classes are being planned. We are planning to make this centre as an animation centre and skills training centre for empowering children, youth and women.
Members of the Province of Bangalore came together for the General Assembly of the Province in August 2018. The Assembly was held in two sessions 2-3 August and 24-25 August at Claret Nivas, Carmelaram. The month also coincides with General Canonical Visitation to the Province. Rev. Fr. Henry Omonisaye, General Consultor, and Rev. Fr. Callistus Joseph, Provincial Superior of Province of Germany, are making the visitation simultaneously in different communities of the province.
On 02-03 August, for the first session of the Assembly there were 67 participants, including the General Visitor Rev. Fr. Callistus Joseph, the Provincial Government and 17 Students. During the opening session Rev. Fr. Callistus Joseph gave the opening message and at noon presided the Eucharist and gave an inspiring homily.
On 24-25 August, for the second session of the Assembly there were 51 participants, including Rev. Fr. Henry Omonisaye, General Consultor and Visitor, and the Provincial Government. The first day began with the opening remarks of the Provincial Superior, followed by an orientation talk by Fr. Henry on the processes of transformation based on our XXV General Chapter document. The day being the Feast of St. Bartholomew the Apostle, during the Eucharist Fr. Henry highlighted the call to Discipleship.
The message of Fr. General was read out at the beginning of both the Assemblies. These General Assemblies serve as the platform for all the members of the province to come together to share the Claretian Fraternity and to discuss and discern the life and mission of the province. During these Assemblies province’s reports were presented and evaluated. It was also an opportunity to discuss in common the important issues concerning province.
Project Vision, a movement of the Claretians of Bangalore Province, inaugurated three Eye Collection Centres in the Wayanad district of Kerala, in collaboration with three Catholic Hospitals in the district. The Catholic Church has been promoting the eye donation movement through Project Vision, based in Bengaluru.
Shri Alphonse Kannanthanam, Union Minister for Tourism, speaking at the inauguration of the first Eye Collection Centre in Wayanad in a function at the Fathima Hospital, Kalapatta, called for a new law that can make the collection of eyes a responsibility of all the citizens. The three eye centres for Wayanad are located at Fathima Mission Hospital, Kalpatta, Good Shepherd Hospital, Vythiri and St Martin’s Hospital, Ampalavayal.
Mr Shasheedran MLA, offered his assistance to have a vehicle for eye collection for the district from his MLA fund in his message at the programme. District Panchayat President Smt. K B Naseema, who participated in the programme offered all her support to the movement. Presiding over the function, Fr. George Kannanthanam, founder of Project Vision said that Wayanad District for the first time, is getting an opportunity to donate eyes through the three eye collection centres. A phone number has been created for anyone to access this facility - 6235002244.
Eyes have to be collected within six hours of death. They can be collected from hospital or from the houses. There are no limitations for eye donations. People of all ages, those using spectacles, and those with diseases can also donate their eyes. The consent of the surviving family is the only requirement. This is a free donation that involves no money. Only corneas will be collected from the eyes and not the whole eye. Thus there won’t be any disfigurement for the person after eye donation. This is a small operation that will take only about 15 minutes. Eyes can also be collected from mortuary.
On 28 June 2018 during solemn Euchristic Celebration Order of Diaconate was conferred on eight of our Students. His Grace Most Rev. Bernard Moras, Archbishop Emeritus of Bangalore presided at the solemn celebration in Claretian Seminary, Malleswaram. Rev. Fr. Jacob Arakkal, Provincial Superior, other council members and a good number of Claretians were present on the occasion.
INAUGURATION OF ACADEMIC YEAR AT SANYASA
The Institute of Sanyasa began its academic year on 16th June 2018 with the Holy Mass presided by Rev. Fr. Jacob Arakkal, CMF, the president of Sanyasa and the Provincial of the Claretian Province of Bangalore at 9.30 am. The occasion was also graced by the presence of Rev.Fr. Peter D’Souza, the Vicar of the Claretian Province of Bangalore. During the inaugural Eucharistic celebration, Father President prayed for the success of the academic year and delivered a thought-provoking homily. In the homily, he highlighted the present situation of consecrated life in India and the need of the consecrated persons to play a prophetic role with greater commitment and enthusiasm. In this academic year, they have 42 diploma students and 9 postgraduate students and a few audit students who would take part only in few selected courses. On the same day at 11.00 am, they also had the inaugural orientation talk given by Fr. James Niravath, O.C.D., the rector of the Carmelite Theology House, Carmelaram. In his orientation address, he invited the participants to recall their commitment to experience the love of God and to share the experience with others. He also exhorted the students to be joyful witnesses to the Gospel. With the Holy Mass and the orientation talk, the new academic year 2018-2019 was officially inaugurated at Sanyasa.
Copyright © 2017 Claretian Missionaries. All Rights Reserved.
Developed by : DoBIG