Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Discernment of Vocations!!!!!

n Month of May normally all the religious and Dioceses conduct vocation camps in various places. The vocation directors do a lot of work before hand spending a lot of time and energy in contacting the candidates who show interest in joining the priesthood. The vocation promotion is well planned and executed by all of them But behind all these programs is the prayer that is prayed by each priest and religious and laypeople in the parishes. In the Capuchin conference of India we have a well written, meaningful and significant prayer that is prayed in all the provinces for the gift of vocations. The belief and faith in prayer is very strong that every vocation is born through prayer and sustained by prayer. Only our constant prayer can help these vocations to persevere and bear abundance of fruits.

I know when I was provincial minister, the vocation promoters would spend a lot of money in advertising about our way of life in local magazines. The result was not so encouraging but what brought vocations to the Order was our personal meeting and dialoguing with the candidates. The visits to the schools, talks to the students in the parishes did help us tremendously. The invitation to the friars and faithful to pray hard for the vocations has worked miracles in many dioceses and religious congregations. The Lord sends workers in His vineyard and he chooses the right ones and we need to collaborate with the Lord in discerning the candidates through prayer. The Church has always received vocations in all the parts of world….because the Lord is the founder and father of the Church and according to the needs of the Church, the Lord has been sending good vocation to spread the good news and work in the missions. 

When God chooses the vocations then our work is to preserve by good formation and accompaniment. The discernment process is not one sided but both the formee and formators have to work towards it.  God has chosen us to be His instruments and not we who choose to be. Those who feel that they have chosen to be Priests and religious have always made mistakes and have not been happy in their life. They have abandoned abruptly because he did not choose them. God loves his chosen ones unconditionally and in His encounter with the chosen one He assures His love and guidance. God becomes a constant companion and shepherd.

During these days of choosing the candidates let us keep in mind that it is God who sends these young men and women to follow our way of life. It is our topmost responsibility to take care and nurture these vocations. Let the process of discernment begin with prayer inviting the entire diocese or province to pray intensely. The candidates respond positively and recognize and acknowledge the prompting of the Holy Spirit within them. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Humility is the Crown of a Monk!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Visited Songaon Friary and there are 5 friars working in the Parish and school....the school has grown with 700 students and they have sent their first SSC batch for board examinations.
St. James, knowing well our frail human condition, reminds us to choose God over the desires of the flesh and worldly allurements. He encourages us, "Draw close to God and he will come close to you." God wants to give us true happiness but we must be humble enough to give up our sinful behavior. Nowadays in our society, at home and in the work-place, everyone wants to be first. People jockey for promotions and the best assignments, to be given the most recognition. Everyone wants to be the best and the greatest. On the other hand God wants his followers to be the smallest, the kindest, the simplest, the most child-like. This was the example lived by Jesus, his only begotten Son. So if we wish to be like God's Son Jesus, we must choose the path of the lowly, the abject, the poor.In similar fashion, in the Gospel reading, Jesus surprises his disciples when he says that to be first one must make himself the servant of all. Jesus himself taught and lived this path of humility and selflessness. We pray that this could also be our path. Are we ready to walk and live this path, of being small, least and last? Jesus tells us this is the path to being first in God's eyes.
The newly built cathedral of Nashik.....the Capuchins have worked here for 10 years and then the Bishop asked us to leave as he wanted his clergy to take over.....

 Capuchin Ashram in Nashik City....our philosophy house....first year brothers after their post novitiate have already come to attend classes in the Philosophy house of Salesians......the total number of Philosophy Capuchins are 18.

The house is surrounded by green garden....lot of birds like chickens, ducks, rabbit.....