Thursday, July 31, 2014

Visitation of South Province of Tamilnadu

Yesterday Br. Arockiam provincial minister came to Trichy to take me to his province. After some rest in the afternoon we left for Dindigul by road. It took us some 3 hours. On the way we met the newly appointed Archbishop of Madurai who is a friend of the capuchins, he was the bishop of Dindigul and will be installed as the archbishop of Madurai on 24th of August. 
From there Br. Arockiam took me to his relatives for dinner. Then to a village for the midnight Mass in honor of st. ignatius.....I have seen and witnessed many village feasts but nothing like the one i attended yesterday. We were taken in procession with band at 10pm with garlands around our neck. The bands were playing religious music. The Mass began sharp 12pm and ended around 2pm....great experience.
Before this village provincial drove me to another village to witness the festal celebration....i am impressed with the faith of the people.
This morning we visited one priest who runs an home for the aged and then came to Coimbotur to begin the visitation. I spoke the friars after the dinner and tomorrow onwards i will begin meeting individual friars.
 The newly appoint Archbishop with Provincial Arockiam and me

 The relatives of Br. Arokiam where we had our dinner...very good Catholics.....they are farmers but for las three years no rains....they are finding difficult to manage their families.....
 The procession with Band to the Church....all priests were taken in procession...
 The faithful from all near by parishes and the parishioners of st, Ignatius parish
 Fr. Arokiam preaching a homily to around 5000 people for the midnight mass


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The visitation of North Province concluded this Morning with Council Meeting

The Councilors discussing among themselves and getting ready for the meeting

 The councilors listening to my final remarks after the visitation
 I spoke to them about the challenges of Capuchin leadership. The challenges come from the Leader, Church, fraternity, society and culture.
 We had lively discussion after my presentation of the positive strength, the areas where the province needs to focus attention like areas of prayer, fraternal life, economic life too....

Monday, July 28, 2014

Eucharist with Capuchin Sisters and Orphans

 There are 15 girls who are looked after the Sisters. They are very bright and intelligent. They only lack parental love which is being given by the sisters and friars
 Br. Mathew, Provincial Minister preaching an interactive homily in Tamil

The sisters and girls blush and smile as Br. Mathew breaks the word of God
Philippine  Breakfast!
The girls all squat and eat their meals!....Today no school as it is a national holiday on account of EID celebration

Happy Ramaza

Fasting in Ramzan is not merely physically restraining from the obvious food and drink, but the total commitment of the servant’s body and soul to the letter and spirit of fasting.
The blessed month of Ramzan accords priority to charity and it could be well understood from the fact that Id-ul-Fithr is popularly known as ‘festival of charity’. The Muslims before attending the special Khutba Prayers in the Idgahs (open grounds) and mosques should give a certain amount of charity to the poor and needy. This gesture, ordained since Allah ordered people to fast throughout the Islamic month of Ramzan, was to enable the poor also to take part in the Id celebrations.
It is reported in the Hadis (sayings of Prophet) Sahih Bukhari that “The Prophet Muhammad was naturally the most generous of people and he used to be more generous than ever in the month of Ramzan.”
Allah Almighty has given you, so Muslims should try to give generously in Ramzan, both Sadaqah (optional charity) and Zakat (obligatory charity). Every time when a Muslim gives something in charity Allah eases his physical, spiritual and mental conditions. He expands for him His sustenance.
Sadaqah does not only have to be money. It can also be a good deed—such as helping another person—done for the sake of Allah Almighty and without expecting any reward from the person. Even a smile is considered charity in Islam. Most Muslims pay their Zakat during Ramzan because the reward is so much greater in that month.
Prophet Muhammad, according to Tirmizi Hadis, said “This is the month of charity in which believer’s sustenance is increased. Whosoever feeds a fasting person or gives a fasting person a single date fruit or a sip of water, to break the fast, for him there shall be forgiveness of his sins and he will be saved from the fire of hell, and for him shall be the same reward as for him (whom he fed).”
Because of the great reward for feeding a fasting person, in many places ‘Iftaar’ (the breaking of the fast at sunset) is served in mosques, with the food donated or brought by individuals to share. This contact between the various levels of society helps to create a real bond of brotherhood in the Muslim community.
Prophet Muhammad, again according to Sahih Muslim Hadis, said, “When a man dies all of his deeds come to an end, except for three: ongoing charity, knowledge which is benefited from, or pious offspring who pray for them.”
The Prophet Muhammad enjoined Zakat on those who fast to purify them from any indecent act or deeds. It is a sort of purification of the soul on the individual level, a cure against miserliness, and a social safety net. The rich are obliged to come in contact with the poor and the poor with the even less fortunate. Zakat provides for the poor and spares them the humiliation of asking for charity.
Syed Muthahar Saqaf

Pilgrimage to Velankanni and Poondy Shrines

The Provincial arranged a visit to the shrines close by. This morning around 5am we left for Velannkanni which is called the Lourdes of India. Throughout the year the pilgrims flock to thank Mother Mary for the favours received. The pilgrims and devotees belong to all sections of the india society. This shrine is busy one and the priests are available for the spiritual needs of the devotees. The priests are now getting ready for the feast which will be preceded by 9 days novenas by the end of august.

 I was granted permission to celebrate 10am Mass this morning. The Mass was in English and good number of faithful from outside the state. I preached a homily on the day's Gospel.
 On the way we visited this famous temple
 This is shrine of our Lady Poondy Matha, close to Velannkani

 We spent some time praying the rosary here in this beautiful Cathedral. One of the capuchins from North Tamilnadu province is rendering his spiritual services.

 The orphanage run by the province but looked by the capuchin sisters from Philippines.

 The children performed some dances and an act too...These are semi orphan...some of them have either  mothers or fathers.....they study in government schools....the friars along with sisters look after the chidden.....they always look support and donors to run this orphanage....Here is a golden opportunity to make these children smile with your donation....

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Visitation of Provincial Curia ends

This morning we began our Local chapter which lasted for more than one hour. We discussed many points related to our Fraternity. we then had discussion on various topics like self-sufficiency. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Provincial Curia, Trichy

we began the visitation of the provincial curia yesterday evening with an opening talk and eucharistic adoration. This morning i began meeting the friars. Two friars came from Pondicherry and Kotagiri to meet me since one is working in South Province and another friar alone in Pondicherry.
 Friars in recreation after the dinner

 Br. Vincent Babu celebrating Eucharist this morning
 Friars attentive to sharing of Br. Vincent


The name of the friary is CLARES but it is not named after st. clare. It stands for Capuchin legal and research in education society. It is a residential area and about 6 Km away from the provincialate. The friars here serve the poor people who cannot afford the court fees and hire an advocate. This centre is helping all these poor one. The enter has been running with the generous donations but today the center does not receive any help and as a result the friars are handicapped to do it in a big way. You are most welcome to know this social work and find some support for the same.
The Friary, it is small little house purchased and converted into friary

 The legal aid center
 There are three friars working in the center from right Br. Antony swami (provincial councilor, Br. Yeshu raja (Guardian) promoted for higher studies in Canon Law and young friar Br. Yeshu.
 The concluding Eucharist with the friars

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Padony ILLam, Trichy

This friary is in the heart of City, donated by Benefactors and since last three years the friars are staying in this place. It is a beautiful family home and on the main road. The friars have opened a free counselling center for the people since close by there are two hospitals where kinds of patients come for treatment. The friars get many people coming for counseling. This is a great opportunity for the friars to go in a big way by making themselves available for the people who need help. The friars are also busy with pastoral ministry around here in the City. The city of
Close by neighbors come every day for the Eucharistic celebration.....all retired teachers and professors

The friars praying with the People and celebration of the Eucharist

The local benefactors Mr and Mrs. Christine Gomez. Both retired professors. Christine Gomez is a well known christian writer and has many books, scholarly articles to her credit. She writes both in English and Tamil. All her books and works are appreciated by the readers. She has gifted me two of her books, one is about Mary, Our Model of Faith, pleasure reading it. 

The fraternity of Padony along with the benefactors, next to them is Kunlandairaj (Guardian), Mariadass and Fidelis.

Trichy has got about 20% catholic presence and there are many congregations of Male and Female active in pastoral and educative fields. Our friars are in demand for ministries.
Friars Kundalairaj, Mariadass and Fidelis and Br. Joseph from Malaysia is studying theology here in Trichy.
I began my visitation yesterday evening by an opening talk on the challenges in Consecrated Life. This morning i celebrated mass with friars and few people who frequent our chapel every day.