In the diocese of Kannur, the province has two friaries....this is in the Northern part of Kerala. It is not very developed and the Catholics are migrants from the southern part of Kerala. Most of them are farmers. The Church both syrian and latin has done wonderful work in the field of education and social work. The Jesuits have been missionaries in the early 90's and today we can see a very vibrant church here. The Catholics are getting good and quality education and are able to upgrade themselves. But poverty is still there and it will take some years to eradicate.....
Friday, August 28, 2015
This is a new friary bought as a ready made house for the province. It is in the city and very convenient for the traveling friars. This friary is situated in a campus of CMI fathers where they have schools and colleges....we poor capuchins have nothing but our presence as simple and poor capuchin is well appreciated and accepted. There are people who frequent our friary for their spiritual need and the friars are very happy to serve them. There are two friars one is doing his diploma in Education. They also go around for the ministry to the sisters.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
In CCMSI we have the biggest number of Candidates preparing to be Capuchin Franciscan Priests. These days of my visitation I had the opportunity to interact and dialogue with these young friars. The friars are full of promises and hopes for the Order and the Church. They are intelligent and ready for any kind of life in the Capuchin Order. They have dreams for the Order and Province.
They are all well prepared with intellectual formation by the formators. In my dealing and interactions with them I realized that all of them are not prepared well to face the challenges and reality of the world of today. Many expressed that we are not told what we would do after the Ordination. Most of them have already some Idea but a little bit scared to share with the authority for fear of rejection and denial.
I also met many young Priests who are recently Ordained. Generally they are happy with the pastoral ministry but there is something that they are lacking. Most of these young priests find difficult to face the challenges and new situations in the society and in the parishes. They find themselves inadequate and not well prepared to handle some of the human problems and difficulties. They expressed that parishioners and others come with loads of problems but we have not been trained in this area to guide and counsel them rightly. We feel helpless to guide and support them as we don’t have any training in this field.
They feel incompetent when issues and problems crop up in the parishes and groups. It is high time that our formation houses give them these essential and urgent training to deal with the problems of the people. It is a fact that many of our priests who come out of the seminaries after long years of formation find themselves helpless in dealing with even ordinary conflict situations. Some shared that many times we get upset and angry with people because we know that it arises from incompetence. Most of the aggressive behavior is a defense mechanism to counter the inability and incompetence. People listen and accept our advice because of our religious capuchin habit.
Some shared that they have a low self-esteem and low level of self-confidence compared to their friends outside who are doing well. They compared themselves with their friends who after 5 years of studies in secular subjects are well prepared to handle and to produce whereas a newly Ordained priest is not able to do so. The question we need to ask why? If that is the fruit of long years of formation, it is a real paradox.
How will, then, they function effectively as prophets of the Kingdom, builders of communities and leaders of worshipping communities? We need to find out some good effective methods in the area of human resource management. It is time we give up the false idea philosophy and theology, with some skill in homiletics will equip our men to be effective priest at the service of God’s kingdom.
The vision of Dr. A.K.J Abdul Kalam, who died recently and former president, for an India of 2020 has succeeded to stir the imagination of thousands of people, especially school students. Unless we anticipate the future and develop a vision for it in a fast changing world, we will find ourselves irrelevant and sidetracked. The failure to give shape to such a vision may be the greatest challenge the Indian Church faces today. The notion of ‘tradition’ is venerable indeed, but unless tradition is perceived as a dynamic reality, it will inevitably lead to stagnation.
Today as we think afresh on priestly formation, let us remember this: yesterdays answers and models may be good, but not necessarily for today and tomorrow; new wine requires new wineskins. Can we visualize a Capuchin Order and friars at the service of the Kingdom in a world context twenty-five years ahead? Can we ask what kind of a priest friar do we require in such a context? Then it will be easy for us to visualize our formation that would prepare men appropriate for that context. The coming generations will not, then, blame us for keeping the new wine in old wine skins.
Dear Brothers thank you so much for reading my blog and also commenting on it. I am happy to update practically everyday but sometimes I am not able to due to travel or lack of internet availability. I would appreciate your most valuable suggestions to improve the presentation of my blog....
The novices of st. Francis and Prem Jyoti Custody....they are 16 of them .....equal number of novices both the jurisdiction has.....Prem Jyoti is really working hard to promote good vocations....congratulations to the custos and the vocation promoters....God bless your efforts in bringing good candidates for the Order