Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Two days of brotherhood

Our Conference meeting came to an happy and joyful end on 27th evening in a House boat. On 26th we finished forming the new Conference of the Franciscan major superiors and in the evening session with Br. Gianpiero. I also finished my session on 27th evening itself. On 27th morning after the Breakfast we drove to Alleppy which is known for backwaters. The friends of Brothers John and Prasad welcomed us on the houseboat. Br. Gianpiero was welcomed in Indian traditional way. The Houseboat has a conference hall where we gathered for our meeting. The agenda was pretty long but we were able to finish it by evening. Many decisions n recommendations were taken for the good of the conference.  The meeting was well organized and all the participants were present except the delegates of Karnantaka Province. They will participate only once a year. 

The Houseboat in which we spent the day.

The Conference Hall
The session in the Hall
Provincials in Discussion mood
Br. Gianpiero feels more Indian with John Barla
Hey Guys do you know us?
The Houseboat

Mathew Blessing Gianpiero with Tender coconut

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Conference of major superiors of 1st order n TOR

We have formed the Conference of the major superiors of the 1st order and TOR. Following are the officials
President - br. Dolphy Pais -ofm cap president
Vice president - br. John kochuchira TOR
Secretary - br. Babu Jose ofm
Joint se

cretary - br. Sebastian Conventual

CCMSI Members and Franciscan Provincials

The CCmSI members n other Franciscan members began to arrive at Kollam Kerala for the Conference meeting. The other Francis provincials are invited in order to form a inter Franciscan Conference for collaboration and co ordination. This morning we will do that first. There one conventual. Two OFM. Two TOR provincials. Br. Gianpiero will address the conference in the afternoon session.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Welcome to Br. Gianpiero Gambero to CCMSI

The Global Economic recession has hit every one including the Church. Europe has been a big donor towards the projects of Africa and Asia but due to economic recession these projects have taken a beating as the funds are not regular. The Capuchin Order in late 80 came up with the idea of Economic solidarity among the brothers. This solidarity instantly became popular phenomena in the Order. The rich provinces of America and Europe began to contribute towards this fund. The fund was regulated by the solidarity commission in the curia. The Poor and growing provinces of Latin America, Africa and Asia were financially supported from this fund. This fund has been a big blessing in the developing countries who benefited a lot in their process of growth and expansion. As the whole world is experiencing economic crisis the contribution and donation from the provinces which were once big contributors are not able to support. The economic commission is experiencing a big dilemma as to how to support the projects of Asia and Africa. The General Definitory has been communicating with the provinces in Asia and Africa to find ways and means to be self-sufficient. The provinces are encouraged to utilize the resources they have at their disposal. In this direction the CCMSI thought of inviting Br. Gianpiero Gambaro, the Provincial of Genovo, Italy and the legal representative of the Order. He has been active in the economic field and has been a great support to the general curia. For last few days he is going round in our Conference animating the provinces regarding self-sufficiency. He has already visited the south and north Tamil Provinces, Mary Matha and all the four provinces of Kerala. On 26th August he will address all the provincials of CCMSI. We thank whole heartedly Br. Gianpiero for his knowledge and expertise in the field of economics. The CCMSI is will definitely profit from his animation towards self-sufficiency. Thank you dear Br. Gianpiero,  

A Tribute to Br. Francisco Iglesias

A great Capuchin Friar who was simple and humble like St. Francis of Asssisi. He was my professor in the University of Antonianum, Rome in the year 1995-1997. He was one of those finest and best professors that the university had. He had his own style of teaching and communicating. He was wise and intelligent but never ever he demonstrated in his talk, speech or behavior. He was simple and humble friar who was dedicated to the profession of teaching, No wonder the Order assigned him many big responsibilities because everyone knew his abilities. He was kind towards the students., When it came to examinations he would ask us to summerize his entire course in ten minutes. And if the student would pin point the most important aspect of his lessons, br. Iglesias would award good marks to him. i have had the fortune of dealing with him during my studies in the university. Infact i requested him to be my moderator for the Thesina but due to his manifold responsibilities he could not take up. He suggested me the theme "The Human Face of Jesus in the writings of St. francis". I did not write a thesina but wrote a small paper as a fulfillment for the examination. 
He was great Capuchin with simple heart and love towards all. While teaching he would not tolerate any disturbance. He would inform us that if one is found doing it he would be sent out. So there used to be a pin drop silence.
May God grant him eternal rest and may his soul rest in Peace. Long Live Br, Iglesias

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Yesterday evening the doctor told me to go for a short walk as it would help the healing process. As I walked down the streets of Mavelikara, kerala I observed the nature. It has been dressed greenly with different colors of flowers. All these flowers are also found in my home town Bassein, Mumbai. These flowers brought back some of my childhood and school day’s memories. I studied in a government school up to primary and then shifted to the parish school. In the government school we celebrated all national and state feasts with pomp and gaiety. The celebrations were eagerly awaited as we would receive some sweets and half day leave. One of the local celebrations was the “PATTI PUJA” the worship of the Slate. You may wonder why on earth one should worship the slate on which we first begin to scribble and explore the world of writing. In fact now I understand the meaning of it more than before. The teacher would communicate about the feast two days in advance and give all information. We were asked to draw on the slate a picture of goddesses Wisdom or Knowledge using our imagination. Then decorate it with some beautiful flowers which I saw yesterday evening. They are wild but you the beauty of wild flowers. They capture all your senses. The decorated slated had to be brought in procession to the head teacher who would judge and declare the winner. The winner would get a chance to explain the image before the assembly of the school.  The Primary schools were really challenging the young little minds of ours. The teachers who really be our gurus teaching us the mantra of life and the world. I still remember one of the teachers telling us that all of you must become good and see that your goodness must reach every nook and corner of the world. Your education is not only for yourself but also meant to educate others in order to be good. Oh, what lessons we learnt. The lessons to respect and love, the lessons to see and experience God in all that we did, lessons to be more human and touch the core of the others with kindness and smile.
Today all this is gone. Our education institutions have become more business center. The wild flowers brought these thoughts to my mind and made me to travel to 43 years back. God bless my primary school which exists today but no more as excellent as it used to be.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Enjoying the Monsoon in Kerala

The return journey from Uganda to Trivendrum was a great experience and enjoyed too, I was asked for the Yellow fever card which luckily i had it with me. This card saved a lot of time and trouble for me. I landed at the airport from Dubai and as usual the flight was full of Indians. I came out of the airport to be greeted and welcomed by one of the definitors of st. francis province. I am now in a Ayurvedic center for treatment. I will be here for one week. It is run by Carmalite sisters and I am feeling at home. The monsoon is great in India this year. The land of God, Kerala has received good rains this year, You can see all over greenery and a lot of paddy cultivation. It looks beautiful all around. There some few showers now and then but it keeps the climate cool and enjoyable.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Last Day in Uganda

One week's stay in Uganda has come to an happy end. It was memorable visit to the Custody and to see and experience friar-s mission work here. It was learning experience and a first hand look at the mission work of the friars. I visited all the friaries except one which is a little distance away. Travelling is comfortable as the roads are good and smooth. I am leaving the custoday with great satisfaction and contenetment,. I wish and pray that the friars work hard to make this custody a great jurisdiction which will live out the capuchin charims in Ugadan way. There are many great challenges and difficulties which they will have to confront and over come. The animation is another big challenge. Let us all pray for the growth and success of the custody.
 Brothers Dolphy, Maxim, Francis and Bishop
 Friary at Jinja
 Visit to the sisters of  St. JosephTaubs
 Source of River Nile
 The Cathedral of the st. Charles Luwanga
 At the source of Nile and Lake Victoria merging with Nile
Small grotto of BVM at Jinja friary

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Source of Nile River Jinja

The Capuchins are here for 20 years in Jinja where they have a big parish and a school. Wonderful place to live and work. There are many religious congregations working here. They have a common philosophy house. The famous Nile river has one of its sources here. I visited the place and you can see the water source. It is in this place the lake Victoria and Nile river meet each other.
The friars are busy with pastoral and educational work. It is a town where the Indian Business men have worked for number of years and then they were asked to leave the place. Today there is a rich Indian who runs a sugar factory and other business too. He is very charitable it seems. May God bless him.
Tomorrow we celebrate Indian Independence day and the Feast of Assumption of BVM. Let us pray that our Mother Land receives the blessings of Mother Mary for a good future for all citizens.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mission and Missionaries

While i was in Formation house and the Ugandan Missionaries would visit us and speak about their missionaries experiences. It was just a formality i thought. But today visiting these places was a reality and a life long experience.

They were doing it in order to motivate us and many young friars did respond to their call. These days as i am going round and visiting the same very places about which i had heard from the friars i thanked God for the hard work of the friars. One can only imagine what it must have been 25years ago and what it is today, It is sheer hard work of the Capuchins. You can see that they have given their heart, mind, body and soul for the development of these mission places.
I visited the following friaries which are far away from Kampala like Kanyogoga, the present Novitiate House, Busunju where the Capuchins have a friary, parish, two schools and boarding. The newly erected mission parish is Kasese where two friars are working. I visited the place driving from Kampala for six hours and returning on the same day. But it was a wonderful and interesting visit. The humble and poor people, very welcoming and accommodating. There is a lot of work done by the friars for these people. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Celebration of silver jubilee of uganda mission

What a Wonderful Celebration of silver Jubilee

We began the Holy Eucharist at 10am with one Cardinal, the Archbishop and a Bishop from the USA along with over 100 priests. We processed towards the Altar with the candidates for Simple, Final, Diaconate and Ordination with dance and music. There were more than 3000 faithful who were participating a biog event with the presence of some government officials. The choir was led by the students of st. Padre Pio school. Oh my God, they sang like opera and heavenly too. The Liturgy though complicated was made to look so simple and well organised. Credits and cudos go to Fr. Leo Lobo who did the job of Liturgy incharge. There were diocesan 3 priests who were ordained along with the Capuchins. The homily was the hallmark of the celebration. The Bishop did a wonderful job by breaking the word of God including all four events and giving each one a due place in homily.
The felicitation program with lot of speeches by the dignitaries. I spoke in the name of General Minister telling them that the Capuchin charish and brotherhood has to be given top priority. Living the gospel brotherhood and living according to the constitutions is the clarion call given by the church and the order. The Provincial, superior regular and the others emphasised that the missionary work should go on without any hassels. The bishop is very happy with the work of the capuchins and he announced that he is offering the capuchins another three parishes as a gift for the silver jubilee.
The food was simply Ugandian and very tasty too. All the partiicipants were served the meals. The celebration ended at 6.30pm. The friars did a marvellous job.
Congratulations and all the best for the future of the Custody.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

This is the Day that the Lord has made....

The Friars, religious, priests and Lay people are already singing songs of praise and thanks to the Lord for 25 years of Capuchin service and mission. The celebration is about to begin at 10am and the guests are already arriving from near and far. The celebration is expected to last for about four hours depending on the how the liturgists proceed. There is happy climate and joy in the air. The Capuchins are simply blushing with joy and satisfaction. Each one seems to be saying thank you Lord! Thank you Capuchins of Karnataka!
Yesterday, afternoon we went round for sightseeing in the city. We also paid a visit to an Indian saloon for a haircut. The barber reminded us of the robbers on the road who snatch chains, mobiles and watches. At the traffic signal we we were waiting for the traffic to get cleared a strong and hefty man snatches my chain from the neck strongly. I caught his hands and as a result he left the chain but another guy was on the driver side who put his hand and pulled the gold chain. They could not succeed as we proved stronger than them. what was surprising was that it happened in a broad day light in full public view and yet no one came to our rescue. But a horrific and frightful experience. Nothing happened to us but it shook us a little bit! Praise the Lord and Thank God, Padre Pio and Divine mercy who came to our aid.
We visited the first Missionaries who landed in Uganda on the bank of lake victoria.
Lake Victoria Bank where the first Missionaries arrived.
 Friars Isidore, the Rector of the International college. Lancy and Sunil friars of Uganda
 The Church at the sight of Missionaries arrival

The Pearl of Afirca

I arrived in Uganda, the pearl of Africa. Indeed, it is a pearl of Africa and you can see, feel and experience it. My journey from Rome to Uganda was pleasant and good one. The Superior Regular along with two friars received me at the airport of Entembe. We drove to the custody house about 40 minutes. Everything has impressed me a lot. The place and the culture is superb and awesome. The friars are very active and enthusiastic. The silver jubilee celebration is in full swing. The student friars in formation are all assembled here to prepare for the great and big event. The house is having a new look with new paint n stuff. The friars and guests are already started arriving. The Provincial of Karnataka, Tanzania are already here.
I have been enjoying the scenic beauty of Uganda. The Victoria lake is a big attraction. I had only heard and read about one of the biggest lakes in the world which is shared by three east African countries. It is a beautiful lake.
The celebration will begin tomorrow with multiple celebrations all combined together, they have simple, final, diaconate, Ordination to priesthood and silver jubilee celebrations. Let us pray that all go on well. Let us thank the Lord for the blessings and graces received by the custody over the period of 25 years. Congratulations!
Br. Giorgio, an Italian Friar, Missionary
 A Hindu Temple in Kampala
 Interior of the Cathedral of Kampala
 By the lake of Victoria
 Bros. Lancy, Sunil and Giorgio by the Lake

 Old Baptism pond in Cathedral
 The names of Ugandian who sacrificed their lives for Faith