28 Dec 2018

God’s Chosen One from A.P.

28th November2018 was a historically unforgettable day in Sundaraopeta village, Dharmajigudem parish, Diocese of Eluru. Fr. Katru Vinayanand was the first one to be ordained for the MSFS Congregation from this area of Andhra Pradesh. Rt. Rev. JayaRao Polimera D.D. Bishop of Eluru ordained Vinayanand a priest in the presence of Fr. John Britto Muthuswamy MSFS, Provincial of Nagpur Province, Fr. Johnson Gonsalves MSFS, Provincial Admonitor of Pune Province and Rector of Fransalian Seminary, Pune; many MSFS confreres, priests of Eluru diocese, religious nuns and lay people.

The Bishop preached about the identity, value and character of a priest and priesthood. He also shared about the present scenario of priests and religious living in society and the problems they have to face. He thanked the parents of Vinayanand and Sundarao peta village for offering a son of the soil to the church. During the felicitation program, Fr. Muthuswamy thanked the Bishop for ordaining Vinayanand for God’s service and for his inspiring homily on the priesthood, missionary vocation and challenges to the priesthood. A cultural program was staged on the occasion which was followed by a sumptuous meal for all. In the evening together with the family members and dear ones of Vinayanand, MSFS fathers of Orissa Apostolic Community, a few local priests, nuns and laity attended the thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration of the newly ordained priest. Nagpur Province is extremely happy to have one more priest for the service of the Lord and his people.                                                                        Fr Arun Ekka MSFS

11 Sep 2018

Seminar for Local Bursars

“Finance is not merely about making money. It's about achieving our deep goals and protecting the fruits of our labor. It's about stewardship and therefore about achieving the good society.” Robert J. Shiller

Financial management skill is an integral part of any organization which wants to grow and evolve into a better and efficient entity despite the fact that religious organizations are not-for-profit groups. The application of such skills makes sustainability of an organization better and longer. And when such skills are not applied the organization starts abusing public funds and in turn the wealth of such an organization becomes weaker which might lead to the ultimate shut down of the organization. Hence finance and its management matters. In the light of taking organizations forward one needs the services of good quality financial administrators who can manage finances carefully, artfully and lawfully. Therefore, we need more trained personnel who can increase the value of money by respecting the laws that govern them.

In view of harnessing the goodness of financial administrators the Province organized a three-day seminar on the 11th, 12th and 13th September 2018 for Stewardship forum members. This seminar covered a gamut of topics like: Trusts, Societies, Companies Act under Section 26 and 8, GST, TDS, TCS, Employee Pay-scale, Mutual Funds, RCM (Reverse Charge Mechanism), ITC (Input Tax Credit), Income-Tax and the impact of Union Budget 2018. Fr. Alex Gyanprakash SJ was the resource person for the first two days. He took off from definition of the terms and covered up to the principles of finances and the laws that govern them. He also shared how charitable societies can tread paths to invest into mutual fund market and multiply funds.

On the third day we had two auditors from K.K. Mankeshwar & Co. (Mr. Abhay and Mr. Ajay Singh) who dealt extensively only on TDS and Income Tax and the impact of frequent donations from one Society to another. Fr. Wilson Abraham taught the forum members the use of the software Tally for accounting and preparing a budget. Mr. Parag Date a professional architect shared information on different documents that one needs to carefully verify before purchase of land and before starting the construction of a building. The forum meeting brought in some new sights and insights and updated the knowledge on budget preparation, the flow of finance and taxation. The seminar was an eye-opener to many simple mistakes we make while handling finances. It is always advisable to take the help of the local auditor and ask him to walk along with us throughout the financial year.   Fr. William MSFS

27 Aug 2018

Update programme for Priests

An update programme was organized in the Nagpur Provincialate from August 27-30, 2018 for the priests of the Province who were ordained after 2010. It was a privilege to have one of our very own, Fr. Tom Pannalakunnel MSFS, as the resource person. A confrere from the South-West India province, he was very resourceful and was the apt person for the sessions, as he is a learned scholar in the field of Psychology and Counseling and has many years of practical experience. The program was formally inaugurated on 27th August at 9.00 am in the conference hall. Rev. Fr. Melroy Almeida, superior of the Provincialate, welcomed the participants and introduced the resource person. Rev. Fr. George Kurickal, on behalf of Provincial, wished all those who were present a fruitful time.

After the lighting of the ceremonial lamp and the singing of a hymn, Fr. Tom began the first session. The sessions were based on the theme Affective Maturity and Psychosexual Integration. Though the sessions were hectic the resourcefulness of Fr. Tom made it quite simple and interesting. The three and a half days of program challenged all the participants to look at things from different possibilities. They were urged to improve rather than prove; to become best for the world instead of becoming best in the world. The program ended on the 30th August.  The members during the vote of thanks shared what they had personally gained from the sessions. After enjoying a tasty lunch confreres began to leave for their missions. It was really an enriching experience for all the participants
Fr. Jomon MSFS

06 Aug 2018

Stewardship Forum Meeting

The Stewardship Forum Meeting was held on 7th August 2018 in the Provincial House, Nagpur. Rev. Fr. Augustine Mangatt, the General Bursar, Fr. William Antony, the Provincial Bursar, and eight members of the forum participated. The day began with half hour adoration in the chapel. The members then assembled in the conference hall and were warmly welcomed by Fr. William. Fr. Wilson Abraham introduced Fr. Augustine Mangatt to the gathering. In his Keynote Address Fr. Augustine mentioned the call of the last General Chapter: “Involvement of every confrere in the life, growth, development, religious and missionary qualities of the Congregation.”   He then answered a few queries that were put forward by the participants. He said that the duties of the local bursar are clearly specified by the Provincial to avoid any confusion in handling of different accounts. He also insisted that in every monthly community meeting account related matters should be discussed. It is the duty of the local bursar to present the accounts of the previous month in the meeting.

The second session started at 10.30 am and was moderated by Fr. William. Every member was given an Orientation Paper and based on the contents of the paper they made many suggestions. Guidelines were given on paying of TDS and obtaining of GST bills. Every community should properly plan the budget of the community. Before executing any major project, three quotations should be studied by a team and a report has to be presented to the Provincial. Fr. Augustine suggested that every local bursar and office administrator should read the Action Plan of the last General Chapter and the Provincial Congress. He appreciated the fact that there is greater financial transparency among the members. He said that we need to constantly organize update programs in finance and taxation. A member said that the Government is on the watch through its different agencies like Income Tax, Charity Commission, Professional Tax and Provident Fund to penalize defaulters. We need to prepare a proper list of our assets, both movable and immovable and strictly adhere to FAST. We need to have different schemes for resource mobilization, like getting assistance from NGOs and other International Organizations. We can organize Talent Hunt and so help boys and girls who are talented and hardworking, but financially very weak. We need to make use of the available sources and exiting structures to help the poor and the needy. 

The third second session began at 3.00 pm. The minutes of the earlier two sessions were read and necessary corrections were made. Fr. Wilson who was the Provincial Bursar for the last six years then shared some of his personal experiences as bursar. By his constant hard work and timely reminders it was possible to implement FAST in all the communities. All appreciated his hard work and especially his efforts to implement FAST. Fr. William specially thanked Fr. Augustine for his guidance. He also thanked all the participants for the presence and wished them the very best in their work of financial accountability.

Fr. Jnanamani MSFS

01 Aug 2018

Salesian Programme Annecy

The Pre-SPA 2018 orientation program was organized at the MSFS Provincialate from 1st to 10th August 2018. The three animators were Fr. Isaac [Nagpur], Fr. Philip [NE] and Fr. Adaikalarajan [Pune], who had participated in the SPA 2017 program. The six participants, one each from the six different Provinces of India, were Fr. Pakki [Vizaj], Fr. Jijimon [NE], Fr. Melroy [Nagpur], Fr. Sheen [SE], Fr. Abey [SW] and Fr. David [Pune]. All were warmly welcomed to the Provincialate and were given comfortable accommodation. Fr. Isaac the Chief Coordinator had meticulously planned the 10 days program in consultation with a few others so that the participations would get the maximum from it. Besides regular three classes every day, of one to one and half hour, the evenings were fruitfully spent visiting various places and the local MSFS communities. Besides sharing their personal experiences of SPA 2017, the animators dealt with different topics. Fr. Isaac focused on SFS and his Spirituality; Fr. Philip based his sharing on his understanding of the Love of God and Fr. Adaikalarajan shared about Fr. Mermier and the History of the Congregation. The teaching methods used were mainly power point presentation, the lecture method and discussions.  Timings of the lectures: 8.30 – 10.00; 10.30 – 12.00; 3.30 – 5.00. All the sessions were held in the conference hall. They participants also faithfully followed the daily time table of the Provincialate.

The seminar began with an Inaugural Ceremony on 1st August at 3.00 pm. The General Administration was represented by Fr. Noel Rebello [GCIF]. Others members present were Fr. Muthuswamy, the Provincial of Nagpur Province, the animators, the participants and the members of the Provincialate community. Fr. Isaac gave a brief introduction of the program and spoke of it the light of one of the sayings of SFS; “Knowledge is the 8th sacrament for a priest.” He then invited the dignitaries to light the ceremonial lamp. Fr. Noel, Fr. Muthuswamy and the animators were welcomed with floral bouquets. Fr. Noel in his Inaugural Address spoke briefly on the mission of SFS and Fr. Mermier and related it to two stalwarts of the Church – St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Alphonsus de Ligouri. He wished the members of SPA 2018 ‘Good Luck, in their journey to the very roots of our Congregation. Fr. Muthuswamy warmly welcomed the members and wished them a comfortable stay in the Provincial House. Fr. Isaac then gave a brief introduction of the program and spelt out the details of the time table. The other animators then shared their experiences of SPA 2017 and the items that need to be taken for a comfortable stay and a fruitful outcome of the program. The participants made a few queries which were responded to by the animators. 

At 7.00 pm the members assembled in the chapel for the Eucharistic celebration. The main celebrant was Fr. Muthuswamy; the main con-celebrants were Fr. George K. and Fr. Patras. Fr. Muthuswamy told the participants that they have been chosen by the Congregation for a special mission and they should take full advantage of it, especially to grow in Salesian spirituality. The homily was preached by Fr. Noel. He focused on the theme of Local Communities. He dwelt especially on the four main aspects – Eucharistia – “It is the sun of spiritual exercises, the centre of the Christian religion, the heart of devotion, the essence of piety.  Through it God touches us in reality and gives us his graces and favours with abundant generosity.”[SFS] Thus by our daily participation in the Eucharist the other three areas of Koinonia, Kerygma and Diakonia are positively affected. We live together joyfully as brothers; we effectively proclaim the Word of God and we reach out in loving service to all, especially to those in need.

Every day from 2nd to 9th August three lectures were held on different subjects of Salesian Spirituality, Life of SFS and Fr. Mermier, the History of the Congregation and Treatise on the Love of God. Every evening the participants visited different places. First they visited our three communities in Nagpur and shared a fellowship meal with them. They also visited Kamptee where are pioneers lived and worked; Seminary Hills and the cemetery; SFS Cathedral and Bishop’s House; the tomb of Sr. Gertrude, Co-Foundress of the SMMI Congregation. They also got an opportunity to visit the Ashram of Gandhi at Sewagram. All the outings were very fruitful and a learning experience.

On the 9th evening all the members of the Nagpur Apostolic Communities joined for dinner and wished the SPA-2018 participants the very best for their program. On 10th morning the concluding Eucharist was held in the Holy Cross Provincialate as it was the birth anniversary of Mother Claudine their foundress. The sisters served us a sumptuous breakfast. The participants express their gratitude to the animators and expectantly look forward to their program at Annecy from 15th September to 31st October, and to meeting our confreres in France, Rome and Germany. We leave from Nagpur on 13th September and return to India on 17th November. Keep us in your prayers. 

Fr. Melroy MSFS