Amidst the temptation of globalisation through materialism, individualism and institutionalism, there is a constant vibrant but silent revolution taking place among some religious both individually and collectively. Among these the Franciscan Capuchin Friars of Amala Annai Province of North Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry have come up to respond to the call of the Pope and the Church to renew the Consecrated life.
Ever since the inauguration of the year of Consecrated life by the Holy Father, there has been an excitement among these friars who are predominantly involved into the mission of evangelization through team preaching, witnessing through personal life amidst the poor and the marginalised, showing compassion through Individual and family counselling working on socio-spiritual transformation through retreats, pastoral commitments towards the migrants, refugees and underprivileged.
The members of the province gathered together at Amalashram, in Sri Rangam, Trichy to celebrate their Province Day, 8th Dec, 2014. The provincial Minister Br. A.J. Mathew OFM. Cap led the group with his input session on the letter of the Holy Father Francis with a vibrant Franciscan interpretation on personal and communitarian witness to the Gospel, Commitment to God and those in the periphery. He led the group with his deep insights on re-living the response of St. Francis and St. Clare, facing challenges in one’s concrete life and ministries.
The whole province went into a SWOT analysis led by Br. Nithiya through group discussions and reports. This self criticism helped them to check the fidelity and witness of the friars through individual and collective life and ministries. The perennial temptations like positions, power, groupism, secularism, materialism, Institutionalsm, individualism etc. were discussed in depth. Both young ones and elders showed their vigour to go back to the spirit of Francis through Prophetism, spiritual search, radical poverty, socio-pastoral involvements etc The concelebrated High Mass again focused on how God trusts us totally in spite of our failures and strengthens our consecrated life.
The Province has selected the same theme of Consecrated life as the theme of the forthcoming Election chapter of the province. Thus it would be a soul searching commitment for the next triennium. The seminars, conferences and meetings will specially focus around the life of meaningful Consecration. As the theme was initiated, there began a new energy among the friars for new ventures and radical witness. This is certainly a sign of God’s grace upon us. Even though the province has no institutions, many join this Province joyfully. A good number of the friars from this province offer their services as Missionaries in Africa, Europe and the Americas. This year of Consecrated life has become a great occasion for a Radical renewal into the Prophetic Charism of St. Francis of Assisi.
-Report by the Provincial Secretariat,Amala