Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pope Francis at the World Youth Day

People greet the Pope as he visits the Varginha slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 25, 2013.
I am sure you have already read many reports of Pope Francis's visit to World Youth Day. From TV channels to Radio Stations, Internet, Facebook, twitter and the entire print media were reporting from Rio the happenings over there. All of them have spoken highly about the impact that Pope Francis has made. He has touched the hearts of everyone who has participated. The Cardinals and Bishops were full of praise for his human approach and wanting to be Life Jesus has touched million hearts on the globe. I feel it is the working of the Holy Spirit who is now active through Pope Francis. The face, heart and mind of the Holy Mother Church is up for renewal. 3 Million youth! Unthinkable and unimaginable crowd, All of them listening to his homilies, words of encouragement, words of challenge, to be aware of the present situation and inviting them all to bring Jesus Gospel to all. I am sure these words of Pope Francis going to set them on fire and there is going to be a new Pentecost for all but especially for the Youth.

Let us all collaborate and cooperate to materialise the dream of Pope Francis. Pope Francis's words: God! Do not be Afraid! Serve!

The message is for all. What he said, "You are call to serve people because the life of Jesus is a life for others. It is life of service. He reminded them that “Evangelizing means bearing personal witness to the love of God, it is overcoming our selfishness, and it is serving by bending down to wash the feet of our brethren, as Jesus did.”

Monday, July 29, 2013

Time to Relax and re-energize

Vacation Sensation/Sun Tan Lotion Scented Stinky Stickers - 13 designsIt is time for Vacations in Europe. It is good to take some time off from your daily routine and hard work. here in Curia some friars are on vacations for their well deserved holidays. Br. Charles sammons, English Language secretary left on Sunday morning for the United states of America. We wish Charles fruitful vacations and may he return back to Rome filled with new vigour and strength.
Switzerland  | Swiss  Pictures Photos Images & FotosBr. Mauro, General Minister, left this morning for Swiss, his home town. He has been waiting for these days of relaxation and rest after many long travels to different countries. We wounder how does he manage to travel such a long distances and yet on feet to do his normal activities. He has been blessed by the Lord with the gift of good health.Swiss Tee Four-Current Train 1961 Colour Train Photo Print Card FactfileSwiss Alps Summer | Pictures Photos Images & Fotos
For last one week he has been talking about his village which is situated on a mountain. He narrated that in his entire village there 400 people both protestants and Catholics living in harmony and brotherhood. He goes to relax and meet the people. He spoke about cows, goats, sheep, fowels, milk, butter and cheese. All fresh food, fruits and vegetables. We wish our dear Br. Mauro, good rest and peace of mind. May he return with more wisdom and good health. He has spoken so positive about his village that we have expressed our desire to visit this lovely littly heaven on earth. We pray that some good generous benefactors sponsor our trip to his village.Collections - Switzerland
Br. Joachim, from Angola is our new member in the curia. He will look after the department of Computers. He is professor of hard and software in one of the university of angola. He is knowlegeable and very intelligent. He takes over from Br. Praveen who goes to college for his higher studies.
We also have Br. Benedict from Tanzania to take up the department of justice and peace. At the moment he is having Italian language course.
Br. Ravi Rosario, from Tamil South Province is here for his Italian Language course and then he proceeds to Jerusalem to take up the post of Economo. We wish all of them a fruitful service.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Parents Day

Today the Catholic church celebrates the feast day of Sts. Joachim and Ann, parents of Blessed Virgin Mary. The simple and humble parents gave birth to a maiden who too was simple but went on to become the Mother of the Savior and all of us. What they taught in her childhood was to believe and do the will of God the Father. Both of them lived their call as Christians in an Ordinary way but went on to become an extraordinary couple because of their walking with the Lord. Today they are a great examples for the married couples. 
On Occassion of the feast in many places it is celebrated as the Parents day either in the schools or on parish level in India. In Mumbai and Bassein, it is celebrated to thank and appreciate the parents by Children. The whole celebration is prepared by the Catechism Sunday school teachers and children. The Eucharist is special for the parents where the liturgy is prepared specially for the parents and the children come out with beautiful ways to express their love and gratitude towards their parents. It is a nice and emotional moment where the parents are told that they are loved, accepted and appreciated in public. In some parished the children during the Mass hand over a rose or a small gift to them. 

anne and joachim, saints
After the Mass there is a cultural program which is prepared by the children. Various themes of parenting and parenthood are explored. It is marvelous to see the tiny tots and grown up children dancing and singing in glories and thanksgiving to their beloved parents. The whole parish community participates in it. Before the celebration at least one month in advance they get down to prepare the celebrations. May all the parents be blessed through the intercession of Sts. Joachim and Anna.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Happy Birthday to Raniero Cantalamessa

The Papal preacher celebrates his 79th birthday today. A well known charistmatic preacher stays with us in the Curia, a simple friar and man of few words. He goes around for preaching retreats and seminars. At the moment he is in Sweden preaching retreat to priests and laity. It is a treat listening to Friar Raniero's sermons and talks. He speaks to our heart and person than our mind. We wish and pray for a long life. May the good Lord grant him all the blessings to be His instrument of peace and good will all over the world.

We have in curia the members of the Mission commission which has gathered for their annual meeting. They arrived all yesterday and began their meeting this morning with the new and old Mission Secretaries both being present. Br. Hugo replaces Br. Helmut who after many successful years of mission animation goes to Vatican to work. Wish him all the best and May the good Lord bless and shower all the good blessings upon him.

Br. Ravi Rosario from the Province of Tamil Nadu South arrived this evening. He is appointed as the Economo of Jerusalem House. He will study Italian for two months and then proceed to Jerusalem to assume the responsibility. We wish n pray that he learns good Italian and also some classes in accounting from Br. Luis Eduardo, the General Economo.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Br. Mauro, General Minister leaves for World Youth Day (22-29 July)

The Catholic Church is all geared up to celebrate the World Youth Day at Rio De Janeiro. Youth from all over the world have already reached to Rio in order spend one week of Mission animation. The youth are all exicited and awaiting to gather and celebrate this week with one another sharing their faith experience. The Pope is also getting ready to make his first visit to Latin America after taking over as the New Pope of the Catholic Church. He has already been in the news for his renovations in mode of relating to faithful and he is going to be a great hit among the Youth. He has a golden chance to win the hearts and minds of the youth in order to useher in a new season in Catholic Church. The work of evangelisation might take a new direction with this world youth day. The Catholic church will definitely give a clarion call to all youth to commit themeselves to spreading the good news of Jesus.
Many of Capuchins from Latin American provinces will take part in it and will make their presence felt through various ways during the meet. The friars will offer themseleves as confessors during these days of encounter.
During these days many programms are organised and many world political leaders will send their best wishes. The world youth Dat organizers and the Uniter Nations are coming together to host a morning of debates about the role of youth in sustainable development and peace. Many youth are expected to participate. The focolare young people of the movement will be presenting the life of Blessed Chiara Luce Badano. The members are expected to take part in a very big way.
Our dear General Minister Mauro Jhori leaves this evening for Rio in order to participate in world youth day. He too is full of hope that these days will be days of spiritual renewal and sharing of ones faith with others. The Capuchin brotherhood wishes all the participants a good week of Jesus experience and the touch of the Master to all. we wish Br. Mauro a safe journey and a wonderful experience among the youth. We wish him good time and good health during these days of encounter.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Happy Birthday to Br. Raffaele della Torre

This monring during the Eucharistic celebration, Br. Raffaele said in his homily that when he was studying catechesim the Pastor told him that one must look into the eyes of Jesus, Love as he loved, do as he did and speak as He spoke. The words came from Raffaele's heart as he thanked the Lord for manifold blessings in his life. He thanked the Lord for the grace he received to live the message of the pastor to be Jesus to others. He worked in Thailand for many years and was instrument in implanting the Order there. When he speaks of Thailand his face glows with a light and happiness which cannot be read and sensed by us. He loved to be a Missionary and his heart is full of love for the Missions. We celebrated his birthday by praying for him and in the afternoon a small get together in his honor. In the evening we are preparing Indian food in order to rejoice with him and make him feel a little bit of being Asian. Raffaele is a nice and good brother who can mix with anyone...He always wears a smile which is a million dollar. Let us pray for his animation in Italy and for the gift of good health.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The positive effect of Pope Francis

Ever since he has been elected as Pope, he has been in the news but in positive sense. He has touched the hearts and minds of everyone with his simple words and life style. I sometimes feel that St. Francis of Assisi is re-born again. St. Francis is come again to re-evangelise the 21st Century world again. The world needs him very badly and he is doing his best to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. He has called first and foremost his own collaborators to do the act of cleaning and get personal experience of Jesus in order to make him know to the nook and corner. Popes homilies, talks and encouters are nothing but the extension of the personality of St. Francis.
All over the world the Catholics and others are speaking good of him and it is a good feeling. I feel proud and happy to hear people speaking positively about the Pope. Many Catholics who had give up hopes for a change in the Catholic Church are now suddenly filled with positive hopes. One Catholic whom i know for years has not been practising her faith but for last four months she has found herself back into the church and many other social activites. She said that the Pope has inspired her. I am sure including you and me are too inspired and spured on to do the same as the Pope. He is challenging us every day. read his homilies and addresses, they are full of new challenges. The world and society is changing and taking a new direction all together. The moral values are taking a back seat. The great and holy institution of Marriage is at the cross roads and the Catholic church with like minded church can convince some of the governments of the world to save Institution of marriage being destroyed.
Let us pray that the up coming event of the world youth day brings in a new wave and new hope in the world. Let us pray for the success of the event. Long live the Pope. May St. Francis of Assisi our father and founder be with him always.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Feast of St. Bonaventure

Today is the patron a feast of my province, Maharshtra, India. Ever since it has been created as the jurisdictions it has seen a lot of progress and development, a lot spiritual growth and fraternal life and brotherhood. The intercession and blessings of St. Bonaventure are really with the friars. The number of vocations that we keep receiving every year is sign of his constant accompaniment with the province. The six friars working in South Africa are also fruit of the intercession of st. Bonaventure. I feel it is he who wanted us to go there through the call of the ex general minister JohnCorriveau.  Today the friars are celebrating with fun and a spiritual enthusiasm the. Feast day of the patron, there is an environment of celebration and gratitude. It is nice that the friars are wishing one another through SMS and email. It is a good sign of growth in our brotherhood. May St. Bonaventure continue blessing and a interceding for the province. May the friars be faithful to the name of Bonaventura. 
When the vice province was created in 1998 and the announcement of the name of the new vice province was made in Kirol, Ghatkopar Mumbai, many friars were not happy about the name. But today after 15 years of journey with St. Bonaventure everyone appreciates the name and his intercession. 
In the archdiocese of Mumbai we have a small shrine dedicated to St. Bonaventure which was some years ago offered to the care of the Capuchins for spiritual help. The Capuchins could not take it up as the number was small but today of course if the same offer is made i think the province will not refuse since we have sufficient number of friars and the number is increasing.
Happy Feast and Pray for our Province.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sad Demise of Fr. Godwin Lobo, Capuchin

It was in 1980 at monte Guirim that i met Fr. Godwin Lobo, young and handsome friar. He drew my attention because He was surrounded by many young students from the school and the boarding. In the evening he met me again in the refectory and said something which i have not forgotten. He said that I would become a good Capuchin. I dont know whether I am a good Capuchin but i do know that i try to live his words every day. After that encounter in 1980 whenever he met me there was a word of encouragement from his part to me. when i became the Provincial of Maharashtra he did telephone to congratulate me. When we met in person he had words of wisdom to share with me. 
After many years of teaching in Monte De Guirim school he retired and devoted himself to preaching and other apostolate. He always wore a smile and was available for a talk or a dialogue. He would mingle with old and young friars. When he opted to go as Missionary to Mexico, it came as a pleasant shock to me but later when i met he had something beautiful to say. He said that I have tremendous experience and wisdom which i can share with the Mexicans. Language was not a problem for him as he was fluent in Portugeese. After serving there for four to five years yesterday i get a sad news of his demise. Who ever thought that Fr. Godwin would die so early. He has left behind a huge number of friends and admirers who will remember him always. I for one will not forget his encouraging personality. When i was elected as the General Definitor i receive an email from him sent from Mexico. Again wonderful words and wishes from his part.
Dear Fr. Godwin I will miss you dear. May the good Lord grant Eternal life.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

In Swiss

Since 7th July I am in swiss visiting a family. I am in Buch Saragans. It is a beautiful place surrounded by green mountains. The weather is very nice and people here are enjoying their summer vacations. You can all of them in their summer best. Children all cycling around with lot of fun. Old and young have thronged to lakes, rivers and restraints. 
Today I am in Olten visiting the Capuchin friary which is about 340 years old. This friary has about 20 friars engaged in various apostolate. I was told that many missionaries come for holidays from various parts of the world where swiss capuchin missionaries are working. We have Fr. Suhas studying here. I met him and along with am going to visit the provincial curia this evening which is at Luzern.
God bless Swiss land and its people.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

New member in General Curia

Br. Benedict Ayodi, from the Province of Kenya arrived yesterday afternoon to General Curia. He has been appointed to the office of Peace and Justice. He is a young friar with lot of experience in the field of social and justice field. He was invovled in the Damietta peace project which is run by the South African friars. His experience and enthusiam will give a new direction and vision to the office of Peace and Justice. We hope that revamps the whole office in order make the Capuchin family get involved in the peace and justice activities of the Church. We promise our prayers and spiritual support to Br. Benedict to carry out this wonderful work of the Order. Let us all promise our prayers for him.
It is warm in Rome but its nice weather. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Definitors visit again

After the New Provincials meeting the definitors have gone to their respective areas either to celebrate the chapters or visitation. They are links between the General Minister and the various jurisdictions. Five of the definitors have already left and only four are remaining but very soon they will be gone to their respective areas. Please keep them in your daily prayers.
Tomorrow is the feast of St. Thomas, apostle of India.In the Breviary lessons Pope St. Gregory the Great makes the following reflections: "Thomas' unbelief has benefited our faith more than the belief of the other disciples; it is because he attained faith through physical touch that we are confirmed in the faith beyond all doubt. Indeed, the Lord permitted the apostle to doubt after the resurrection; but He did not abandon him in doubt. By his doubt and by his touching the sacred wounds the apostle became a witness to the truth of the resurrection. Thomas touched and cried out: My Lord and my God! And Jesus said to him: Because you have seen Me, Thomas, you have believed. Now if Thomas saw and touched the Savior, why did Jesus say: Because you have seen Me, Thomas, you have believed? Because he saw something other than what he believed. For no mortal man can see divinity. Thomas saw the Man Christ and acknowledged His divinity with the words: My Lord and my God. Faith therefore followed upon seeing."
Concerning later events in the apostle's life very meager information exists. The Martyrology has this: "At Calamina (near Madras in India) the martyrdom of the apostle Thomas - he announced the Gospel to the Parthians, and finally came to India. After he had converted numerous tribes to Christianity, he was pierced with lances at the king's command."
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Patron: Against doubt; architects; blind people; builders; construction workers; Ceylon East Indies; geometricians; India; masons; Pakistan; people in doubt; Sri Lanka; stone masons; stonecutters; surveyors; theologians.
Symbols: Spear and lance; carpenter's square and lance; builder's rule; arrows; five wounds of our Lord; girdle; book and spear; spear; t-square.
Often Portrayed As: With a lance (because of his martyrdom) or with a square (because of the legend that he was sent as an architect to the king of India).
Doubting Thomas - Gregory the Great - Early CHurch Father and Doctor of the Church