National Conference of Vocation Promoters

We, 110 Vocation Promoters representing our dioceses and religious institutes from all over India came together at Pallotine Animation Centre, Nagpur from 12 to 15 November 2013 for a National Conference of Vocation Promoters. It was organized by the CCBI Commission for Vocations. The objective oritaf this conference was to sharpen the vision of the ministry of Vocation Promotion in India today and of creating a network for this all-important ecclesial task throughout the country with a missionary thrust.

Bishop Thomas A. Vazhapilly, the Chairman of the CCBI Commission for Vocations, Seminaries, Clergy & Religious, and the resource persons, Fr. Paul Parathazham, Professor of Sociology, JDV, Pune and Fr. Amirthraj OP, Director, St. Dominic’s Ashram, Nagpur helped us to become aware of the reality of the ministry of Vocation Promotion encounters in India today and to envision the right perspective of Vocation Ministry in India today. Recent studies have brought to light some important concerns in the area of Vocations to Priesthood and Religious life in India. Participants were divided into seven groups and had lot of group work and sharing.  At the close of our three day reflection and prayer, a group of 6 persons were chosen from the participants to draft the letter to the CCBI Commission for Vocation, to express positive experiences as well as the difficulties we face in Vocation Promotion.

 

These are the following few points:

Positives: Church in the forefront for humanitarian work; while there are a few dioceses and Religious Institutes which have a sufficient number of priests and candidates to the priesthood and religious life. A lot of missionary work is being done, dedicated work of caring, etc… But many others are facing difficulty in this area.

The present scenario:

  • Enormous investment of money and personnel fails to get the expected results
  • Low quality of the candidates selected
  • Decrease in number and quality of vocations because of erosion of family values and because of low number of children, study and job opportunity open for all today
  • Lack of proper motivation and mixed motivation
  • Erosion of credibility of priests and religious; our schools and institutions appearing to be money making enterprises; seeking academic excellence at the cost of Christian and humane values
  • Too early recruitment raises the doubts of “free and spontaneous and conscious choice”
  • Influence of secularism and globalization make priesthood and religious life more a  career than a vocation
  • Competition among the Religious institutes; Intolerance towards other religious congregations who come for vocation promotion; closing of doors to religious congregations not present in the dioceses
  • Dioceses and Institutions without vocation promoters and vocation commission
  • Lack of network for Vocation ministry
  • Lack of concern for the global mission of the Church, unwillingness to make vocations available to other missions and congregations
  • Promotion of vocations more for taking care of our own institutions than for the Mission of the Church
  • Preference among priests and religious for work in institutions, not willing to leave their  comfort zones, and not willing to take up the Mission of evangelization.

Strategies and policies

The Archbishop from Nagpur Rt. Rev. Abraham reiterated what all the speakers have said that vocation is the duty of every Christian. He emphasized that the commitment of the vocation promoters does not end with recruitment but they should continue to accompany them in their formative and life journey.

Though the evangelizing mission of the Church is in need of a great number of Vocations the quality should not be compromised. Looking  for  quality will not only attract better candidates, but will also ensure better formation and effective and credible leadership in the Church.

 Since Vocation Promotion is one of the most vital ecclesial tasks, there should be a Commission for Vocation in every diocese/Congregation consisting of all sections of the People of God, especially the Laity. As far as possible a full-time Vocation Promoter or a Coordinator of vocation activities should be nominated, trained and supported at all levels.

Vocation coordination should be carried out at the national, regional and diocesan levels, with adequate infrastructures for the same.

The dioceses and religious institutes should observe a policy of opening its doors for vocation promotion to all mission territories and religious institutes.

While carrying out the ministry of vocation promotion, emphasis should be laid on the Mission of the Church at large and the mission/charism of the diocese/Institute in particular.

Though the family background is an important factor in the selection of candidates, the quality and disposition of the individual should be given due recognition.

While evaluating the fitness and eligibility of the candidates in respect to their life, the vocation promoter should be positive about the candidate’s ability to transcend his/her past failures.

The family being the seedbed of vocations, great care should be given to foster a relatively larger number of children in every family. In this regard the pastoral, economic and educational care of the families should also be taken into account. Existence of large families will ensure sacrifice and generosity in family relationships, which will further help in the increase of quality vocations.

Fostering of Vocations: The ministry of Vocation Promotion presupposes the fostering of vocations at all levels within the Church: by priests, religious and the laity; by pious associations, groups, BCC/SCC and through all activities of the parish such as catechism, homilies, family visits, schools, etc.

The session concluded with a Solemn Eucharistic Celebration by Rt. Rev. Bishop  Abraham, Archbishop of Nagpur. 

I thank Sr. Ancy John  and team for giving me the opportunity to participate in this Conference.

Sr. Rita Joseph, Mumbai

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“Small Christian Communities: Communion of Faith in Love”

First National Convention of Small Christian Communities

“Small Christian Communities: Communion of Faith in Love”

The first ever National Convention of Small Christian Communities of India was truly an experience of a new Pentecost. The three-day Convention which was held in Goa (Bom Jesus Basilica, Old Goa) from 19—21 November 2013, was attended by over 7,000.00 (seven thousand) participants from all over the country. His Excellency Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolic Nuncio presided over the inaugural Eucharist which was con-celebrated by around 80 bishops including a number of Archbishops and a large number of priests from different parts of India.

The inaugural ceremony with the traditional lighting of the lamp was shared by different political dignitaries of Goa like the Governor and the Chief Minister. The first and third days of the convention were full of input sessions, sharing and presentation by individuals and groups, singing and praising God. On the second day, the participants were presented with an experience of visiting a deanery each in Goa where they participated in a rally along with the local delegates and visited homes and had Gospel sharing and concluded the day in a parish with different programmes.

The first presentation was by Most Rev Filipe Neri Ferrao (Archbishop of Goa and Daman) on SCCs : a home and school of communion and faith. The second presentation was by Most Rev Selvister Fonnuntham, bishop of Punalur on the theme of The power of SCCs to Evenaglize the neighbourhood.

Most Rev Bosco Penha, Aux. Bishop Emeritus, Mumbai talked on SCCs: an antidote to a culture of individualism, competition and consumerism. Bishop Bosco Penha exhorted the convention to change our mentality and attitude in three areas: viz. a) from individualism to community b) from consumerism to sharing c) from materialism to God.

A few of the eminent SCC Pioneers in India were called on stage and were honoured with a shawl and words of appreciation. Bishop Bosco Penha was named the ‘Father of SCCs in India’. Rev Fr Vijay Thomas, a Pallottine priest in Nagpur is one of the stalwarts of SCC in India and he organizes regular one month training programmes for all those who would like to work with SCCs. The report states that at present the Indian Church has 6,8105 (Six thousand eight hundred and five) SCC units excluding the ones of the Syro Malankara Church which may number about 300 or above. 

The afternoon of the first day witnessed a talk show by Fr Felix D’Souza of Mumbai Diocese with a panel of SCC Pioneers which was truly interesting and informative. There was also a moment in the programme when the convention paid homage to late Rev. Fr Paul Puthanangady who was one of the stalwarts of inculturation of Indian Church and a strong promoter of SCCs in India. Archbishop Abraham Viruthukulangara, Archbishop of Nagpur called him the steel man of the Indian Church and a prayer was offered by Most Rev Ignatius Mascharenhas, the bishop of Chandigarh.

After the initial prayer and warming up, the third and concluding day began with a spontaneous sharing of reports from the 28 deaneries across Goa where the delegates had been on the second day. The sharing poured in with a lot of joy and enthusiasm after which there were presentations by different regional groups about how the SCCs help in their life of Christian faith. All of them emphasized how Gospel sharing and celebration of the Eucharist in the SCC groups helps them to live their daily lives and the way God works through simple ordinary people. Their bond of love is strengthened each day and they narrated how SCCs help them to live the real values of Christian living and it definitely resembles the life of the early Christians. There were many instances where the SCC groups managed to pool in their resources, time and effort together to achieve goals like helping the people who are affected with natural calamities, building churches and community halls, ensuring rightful political benefits etc.

The Convention was also marked as an official conclusion of the year of faith in India as designed by CBCI. His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias of Mumbai, signified the closing by a symbolic gesture of closing of a specially designed door at the backdrop of the stage. In his message, the Cardinal expressed amazement at the number of programmes organized around the country during the year of faith and also praised the role of SCCs as the instrument and locus to come to know Jesus and to witness to him in the world today. Most Rev Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Pune who is also the chairman of the National Service Team of SCC, proposed a vote of thanks.

The experience of hosting the two thousand delegates hailing from outside Goa in Goan homes which offered them hospitality and care itself was one of returning to the spirit of the early Christian communities. The well-organized programme and the conducive atmosphere of the place (especially in the vicinity of the sacred remains of the great missionary St Francis Xavier) helped to make the whole experience of the convention a memorable one for the participants. There was a theme song composed and a dance prepared for the occasion and different dances and programmes added colour and liveliness to the convention.  There were CDs and books released on the occasion and a few souvenirs were put on sale. The event was well covered by the media. A local TV channel (HCN) aired live telecast and the local newspaper published write-ups every day of the event and prior to it.

The convention concluded on a happy and hopeful note that the SCCs in India will further re-invigorate the Church in India and will act as “the Church in Miniature in the Neighbourhood”.

Sr. Liza Luis fsp, Goa

ICPA National Convention

The theme of the day-long convention held at Don Bosco Centre, Okhla, New Delhi on March 3, 2013 was Media and People’s Outrage. At his inauguration speech the Chief Guest, Archbishop Anil J Couto congratulated the ICPA (Indian Catholic Press Association) for completing 50 years of its existence. Incidentally, the ICPA was an offshoot of the Second Vatican Council. Plans for its Golden Jubilee Celebrations are in progress.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe theme was sub-divided into (1) Sting Operations and Paid News, (2) Gender Violence, People’s Outrage and (3) Corruption and People’s Movements. Eminent journalists like Pranjoy Guha Thakurta, John Dayal, A J Philip, Dominic Emmanuel, Seema Mustafa, Anil Chamadia, Anto Akkara, Augustine Veliath, etc. were invited to speak on these themes. Many insightful interventions from the participants threw more light on the points in discussion.

The convention was organized by Fr. George Plathottam, Secretary to the CBCI Commission for Social Communications. Also present at the sessions were the students of NISCORT pursuing studies in social communications.

The General Body Meeting of the ICPA commenced at 5.30 p.m. on the same day and carried on to the next. The minutes of the Meeting 2012 and the financial Statements were circulated among the members and clarifications sought.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The next item on the agenda was the election of the Executives for the next 3 years. The EC consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, a Representative each for North South, East and West, and a Woman Member. As very few women were present at this meeting, as also in other years, I was requested to file my nomination paper and fill the last post. In the recent past the ICPA was going through a turbulent period. The new blood injected into the governing body, has brought hope and enthusiasm as we move towards the fifty-first year of ICPA. The participants welcomed with joy the proposal to revive SAR News and initiate a new website for ICPA.

One of the main problems of the ICPA is scarcity of finances. Hence it was decided that the membership fee be hiked: individual membership fee to Rs 300.00 (from 150.00) and the institutional membership to Rs. 1000.00 (from 350.00). It was pointed out that the membership fee has not been revised for the last 10 years.

The next item on the agenda was the planning of the golden jubilee celebrations. All present agreed that it will be held before the end of this year in Mumbai. A committee was formed for the purpose; Fr Joe Eruppakkat is the Convener. There is also a Souvenir Committee under the chairmanship of Fr. Feroz Fernandes (Goa). A point on which everyone agreed is the urgent need to remind the old registered members who have not been attending for years and to recruit new members, particularly Catholic media houses.

The Meeting came to an end with a joined meeting of the outgoing and incoming Executives.

Sr. Clare Ukken, Mumbai

Celebration of International Women’s Day

women - chosen 2Five of us from the Bandra community, namely, Srs Joeyanna, Neena, Pauline, Rita and Zarina participated in International Women’s Day Celebrations organized by the Women’s Commission of the Archdiocese of Bombay on 3rd March, 2013 at St Michael’s Church, Mahim.  After the registration and breakfast snack, there was a warm welcome address accorded by Ms. Marcia D’Cunha, Executive Secretary of the Archdiocesan Commission for Women, to the near 350 strong crowd of mostly women. The Indian lamp was lit by some of the dignitaries present, which included Merlyn D’Sa, the first catholic and woman municipal corporator, Sr Jeanne Devos ICM, (honourable awardee) and Flavia Agnes, Advocate (honourable awardee) who were to be honoured with awards during this programme. His Lordship Emeritus Bosco Penha was also present for the occasion. The programme which followed consisted of watching a video to the tune of Ram Sampat’s “GoriChiraiya” of Aamir Khan’s Satyameva Jayate fame, which featured the plight of women. This was prepared by Andre D’Cunha in view of the 37 Million Diyas programme which was organized in January, this year.  Another interesting item was the recitation in act of the poem by Maya Angelou ‘Still I Rise’, which was enacted by young women of the group 1 Billion Rising, which mushroomed after the horrendous Delhi rape, or better known “Nirbhaya Rape Case”. Fr Ralph Fernandes then read a poem “Every Man” which spoke of woman from a man’s point of view which was indeed meaningful. This was followed by the much awaited award-winning ceremony and after Mrs Astrid Lobo Gajiwala introduced both the aforementioned awardees, their citations were read and the awards handed over by His Lordship Bishop Bosco Penha.

women- chosen 1Awardee Sr Jeanne Devos, of Belgian origin and belonging to the ICM sisters, in her address to the floor said that she had accepted the award in the name of the domestic workers movement, incidentally for whom she had dedicated her life.  She said among other insightful things that rights are never given into our laps, you have to fight for them.  She emphasized that domestic work is the growing option for those who do not have employment, and still though everyone wants domestic help, these women still remain the most vulnerable and ill-treated of society.

Awardee Mrs Flavia Agnes, Advocate, accepted the award on behalf of the women she worked for, those who suffer domestic and sexual violence. He address to the attentive group consisted of various incidents from her professional life concerning the plight of women today. She said that unless women are ready to stake, go out and do something, the award she has received will not be effective.

In the panel discussion which followed various questions were raised and comments made. Sr Pauline and Sr Joeyanna also made comments and reflections in the light of the context being discussed, namely about the education of the boys in our families towards respect for women and the often forgotten moral responsibility of women towards society respectively.

The Eucharist was presided over by Bishop Bosco Penha and he gave a meaningful homily highlighting the contribution made by women to society and the Church. The programme ended with lunch and a feeling of satisfaction as we left a little more inspired from the programme and also challenged to actively participate in the cause of women.

Sr Joeyanna, Bandra

Report of CRI National Assembly – Hyderabad, 28-31 October 2012

Sr. Ancy John fsp, Provincial
Mumbai

The National Secretariat in Delhi had been working hard toward this Assembly by planning the entire programme meticulously together with AP CRI (CRI Andhra Pradesh).

The Theme was: INNOVATION in Consecrated Life for Greater Effectiveness.

National CRI MeetFrom the Major Superiors 558 were present out of 865 in India for this National Assembly. It was in the Grand Hall of Leonia Holistic Destination at Hyderabad. I combined this assembly together with my visit to the community of Secunderabad.

The National Assembly was officially inaugurated with a Solemn Eucharist and a welcome dance by the students of Nirmala school of Nursing. The dignitaries on the inaugural day evening were Most Rev. Thumma Bala, Arch Bishop of Hyderabad, Indian Administrative Officer of AP & Chief Commissioner of Land Administration an IAS Officer Mrs. Mini Mathew, and the Telegu Film actress and MLA of the Secunderabad Constituency, Mrs. Jayasudha, who is also a zealous follower of Christ.

The Archbishop of Hyderabad in his speech highlighted how the CRI has always been a special honour to the Church and especially to the diocese of Hyderabad, and he underlined powerfully the role of Religious in India today. As a disciple of Christ, he invited the religious Major Superiors present to opt for the poor and challenged Religious to see the face of Christ in the poor and downtrodden.

Mrs. Mini Mathew in her address brought home to us the contribution of the Catholic Church and in the development of the people. She said that the problems we encounter today are different than the ones a decade ago. She highlighting the problems we face in families, schools and society at large recommended us to uphold the values and bring a strong revival in the Christian Faith.

Mrs. Jayasudha, MLA applauding all the educational institutions and health care services in the country run by the Religious said, that the conferences like CRI will bring change in our system, and thanked all the Religious for the selfless service to the country.

There was the keynote address by Dr. P.M. Bhargava, a Hindu, who has got the award Padma Bhushan and a great Visionary of Science. He, in his address highlighted three points; Innovations, Building our standing Institutions and the Problems we face in running higher educational Institutions. He also gave emphasis about having in mind always the 5 Cs, Commitment to the institutions, Commitment to the objective, Courage to act, Concern for People, Compassion and readiness to Change. He also stressed upon the Principles of being a good leader; Perseverance, Forgiveness, Openness, Transparency, Accountability etc.

On the following day we had three talks on Innovation in our Mission, Life-style and Formation. What I felt personally was that we had been reflecting on Redesigning of our presences, it can go in line these three talks.  For some the expressions are re-founding, for others it is innovation etc.

Two concerns were also pointed out:

1.      Our invisibility on the media: We have not sufficiently come in the forefront of media, therefore the need to be seen, heard and read.

 2. Need for Inter-congregational Collaboration and Networking: We need to work together in collaboration with other Congregations in the area of the mission, sharing the mission with other Congregations.

 They also stressed on the need for us to work in the Government offices, hospitals, schools, Editorial board etc. I can say that the stress was that “Religious must revision their lifestyle, mission and formation to remain authentic to their calling and relevant to the local Church and to one’s own Congregation.

As regards to mission, the thrust was to ensure that members move out of their “comfort zone,” shake off any “stagnancy” and allow the context to shape the content of mission. “Innovation in mission is a challenge of being a disciple of Jesus creating a community of prophetic people in order to be close to the poor and under privileged.

In order that this is done, the invitation was to be even daring to close down ministries that are irrelevant in the given context.” About formation of members, formative structures of their communities should be defined by particular contexts. However, “formation in mission for the mission” must continue to be the primary process.
The CRI has a total of 334 congregations and 822 major superiors representing more than 125,000 Catholic Religious brothers, priests and sisters in India.

Symposium on the Year of Faith – Pauline Family enterprise

A symposium on the “Year of Faith” was organized by the Pauline Family and the Diocesan Catechetical Centre on the 24th Oct 2012, at Alberione Hall, St Paul’s Media Complex, Bandra (W), Mumbai. Bishop Percival Fernandez was the chief guest of the symposium and the main speakers were: Fr Terence Murray, Director of the Diocesan Catechetical Centre,  on the apostolic letter “The Door of Faith”,  Dr Pauline Chakkalakal DSP, on the Biblical Faith with special reference to St Paul, Fr Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on Communication Media for Faith Formation. There was also sharing of Faith experience by Smitha Anthony and Bhisham Chandiramani. Dr Marie Fernandez, Principal of St Andrews’s College was the moderator.

The programme began with an invocation dance by the postulants of PDDM.  Sr Caroline Duia DSP gave a warm welcome address, followed by the lighting of the Lamp. After a short inaugural message by Bishop Percival Fernandez, Fr. Terence Murray skillfully presented the Apostolic letter “The Door of Faith” by Pope Benedict the XVI.

This Year, we recall to mind three significant events of Faith: first, the 5oth anniversary of the Vatican II, in which the Universal Church calls us to update ourselves so as to read the signs of the time. Secondly, the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which holds the content of our Faith, the summary of what we believe. Thirdly, the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “New Evangelization” which is “joyful living”.

Sr Pauline DSP, spoke on the “Biblical Faith” with reference to St Paul. She said, “The Bible considers Faith as the source of all religious life or spiritual life.  In other words, life of wholeness or holiness. Quoting several passages from Deuteronomy, Exodus, Hebrew and the Letters of St Paul, where the word Faith occurred 200 times, Sr Pauline carefully explained the various meanings and implications of Biblical faith connected to the words justification, fidelity, loyalty, belief, conviction of things unseen etc in relation to God and his people.

The third speaker Fr Joe SSP spoke on the Communication Media for Faith Formation. Fr Joe began by giving a brief sketch of the three major initiatives that shaped and enhanced the Churches Faith formation or Evangelization.

  1. Mother Angelica of the Poor Clare , who  in her humble effort to reach out to God’s people began writing her reflections in books  which were gradually  produced and distributed by her sisters in forms of talks in CDS and VCDs . No one ever thought it would one day grow to become The Eternal Word TV network (EWTN) the largest religious TV network presently in the world.
  • In the 1980’s, a small group of young men from Kerala, in their effort to bring peace to families and Society prayed and were inspired to use  the Communications Media. Now under the leadership of Mr Benny, Shalom Times, Shalom TV, Shalom internet ministries, cover all the corners of the world.
  1. James Alberione a young seminarian of 16 years, prayed, reflected and studied much to bring God to humankind and humankind to God. Thus, nearly 100 years now, the Pauline Family he founded has 10,000 members dedicated to evangelizing and using the Mass Media. They are present in all the five continents. Pope Paul VI called Alberione “A marvel of our time”.

Finally, the Sharing of Faith experience (Their journey from Hinduism to Catholicism) by Smitha Anthony and Bhisham Chandiramani was truly inspiring. It shows us how the Holy Spirit works actively in the midst of God’s people and the importance of the witness of our Christian Faith in our world today. There was also a lively interaction of questions from the audience and answers by the speakers.

 Sr. Salome, Mumbai

SIGNIS Asia Meeting 2012

Kuala Lumpur: The SIGNIS ASIA Assembly was held at Kuala Lumpur with the theme, Promoting Media for the Culture of Peace. The sub theme was Visibility for the Vulnerable: Refugees, Victims of Human Trafficking& Migrant Workers.

Bull. Guwahati photoThe SIGNIS aims to network among the members, and educate and inspire the Society towards a culture of peace. It also tries to engage with media professionals and support Catholic communicators, inspired by the message of Jesus. There were 51 Catholic Media Professionals from 16 Asian Countries at the meeting held at Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur in October. The members discussed the plight of vulnerable communities in the Asian context.

 Explaining the Significance of this Assembly in Malaysia, Signis Asia President Mr Lawrence John from Malaysia said, “Hosting this meeting in this country is exceptionally significant because Malaysia is not just the destination of the powerless and vulnerable communities, but also a hub and transit point of the region.”

Terence Fernandez from the Newspaper Malay Mail shared his experiences of working with various newspapers and with migrants. According to him “The migrants undergo atrocities in the refugee camps, and women face harassment in the camps.”

A TV journalist Charles Mohan through visuals presented the situation of “Women Trafficking”. He said that many women are falling prey to prostitution after having been promised jobs. “Are these affected people given visibility through the media,” he asked. “We have to change with the situation, our mission has to be adapted, or the situation will change us,” he said explaining the various situations in Malaysia and other Asian countries where migrants form large communities and are considered “A Stateless People.”

“How do we deal with the vulnerable we are not comfortable with,” he challenged, pointing to the different communities of gay & lesbians, migrants and sex workers. “As journalists we must take people as they are, and have to be understanding towards all, he said.

Ms Mendes from an NGO “TENAGNITA” shared how she started working for the people in a vulnerable situation and said, “Though she has no home of her own, she still accommodates the homeless.” She observed, “We do not want to take risks and challenges. To safeguard our structure we keep silent.”

Mr Mike from Saba, Malaysia shared how he started working for the migrants in his spare time  and how it has helped them improve their lives. Now he runs a computer Centre, managed by and used by the migrants themselves. The centre has been instrumental in improving the life situations of many migrants from various Asian countries.

In a statement given to the media the 51 delegates endorsed that “the existence of vulnerable communities is a reality which is on the rise around the region, and needs to be addressed urgently. The statement added that, “We are aware that the issues concerning the lack of visibility for the vulnerable are major struggles, which need to be highlighted by media professionals and social communicators.” As a practical step the members decided, “As Catholic communicators, we accept that our role is not just about disseminating information but also about interacting and advocating. It is not just in telling but it is in doing; it is about collaborating.”

The statement exhorted the members to have the courage  to stand up for our personal convictions on how far we would go to fight for the vulnerable, regardless of race, creed or gender, without choosing only the groups whom we are comfortable with, but being inclusive of all those who are facing subtle discrimination. The members hoped, “This would affirm and align our works on the social teachings of  the Church because religion without compassion and sacrifice is merely a ritual, and theology without mission is merely dogma.”

DSP Guwahati Pauline SistersThe meeting also provided the participants an opportunity to visit the island of Malacca, where St Francis preached. He was also buried in a church there before his incorrupt body was brought to Goa in 1553.

( I am very grateful to Sr Ancy and her team for giving me this  wonderful opportunity. May God bless each one of you.)

Sr. Lissy Maruthanakakuzhy, Guwahati