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School Of Evangelisation at Bagalpur
The Santvana Community of Disciples conducted a School of Evangelisation (SOE) program from 10th of Aug to the 18th of Aug, 2011, at the Pastoral Center in Bagalpur. It focused on the Kerygma (the initial message of proclamation) and instructed the participants on how to share this Kerygma effectively with people of all religions. The team included Mr. Naveen Lobo, Mrs. Jini Lobo and Ms. Reena Kujur of Santvana. It was inaugurated and also concluded by His Grace Bp. Kurian, Bishop of Bagalpur along with the VC, Rev. Fr. Thomas Kurungatt. Rev Fr. Alphonse, the Catechetical Director of Bhagalpur Diocese was present for the whole program. There were more than 125 participants who attended. Most of the participants were catechists besides 26 nuns and some lay leaders of the Diocese. At the end of the program one of the Catechists shared, “All these years I didn’t know that there was such a beautiful way to communicate the Gospel message so effectively, that too step by step.”
School of Evangelisation, Delhi, September,2011
Since 2009 when programs started being conducted at the Santvana Mission Training Centre there have been various Schools of Evangelisation conducted at the centre. Each time there are people coming in from various parts of North India who come and have a rich experience of the love of God and return with a zeal for evangelization. The last 10 days School was conducted from the 1st to the 10th of September 2011. There were 16 participants from Punjab, Jabalpur, Ranchi, Bhagalpur and various other parts of North India.
Jalandar Diocesan youth Convention, Amritsar, Punjab
Around 200 youth came together from the various parts of the Jalandar Diocese for the annual youth convention at Amritsar, Punjab from 27th to 29th of October. The program was inaugurated by Most.Rev. Anil J Coutto, the Bishop of Jalandar. The participants said this year’s program was more fruitful in their lives due to the powerful sessions they received and also a good confession, they could make. The resource team was Rev.Fr.Dheeraj, Mr.Santhosh J Chittilappilly, Bro.Amit toppo, Sr.Reeena Kujur and Bro. Kalyan Toppo of Santvana Community.
Youth Animator’s training at Indore
Rev.Fr. Anand, the youth director of Indore Diocese and his team had organized the youth Animators training at the Pastoral Center, Indore on 13th to 14th of August. There were 27 participants including religious, youth leaders and lay youth animators. The program was a new experience for most of them.
Resource building program for Catechists at Jalandar
Around 54 catechists of the Jalandar diocese came for a resource training program for 5 days from 14 th to 19th of August at the Pastoral center. The program helped the participants to go through deep inner healing and faith building and clear many doubts in the Catholic Apologetics. The session on Eucharist with video clipping and power points helped the participants to go through a deep conviction of the living presence of the Eucharistic Lord. Sacrament of confession and counseling also helped the participants to experience deep healing. The resource persons were Mr.santhosh JC and Bro. Amit Paul of Santvana Community.
Inner Healing Retreat for Seminarians at Tundla, Agra
A four days Inner Healing retreat was conducted by Rev.Fr.Dheeraj Sabu IMS, Mr.Santhosh and Mrs. Sali Santhosh of Santvana Community from the 10th to the 13th of October 2012 for the seminarians of the spiritual orientation batch of the year 2011 to 2012. They were 45 of them from 19 different dioceses of north India. The high point of the retreat was the Sacrament of reconciliation which gave a remarkable experience to many. They were able to reconcile themselves with many experiences of their past life. Counseling was also a beautiful experience of healing for some.
Mission Orientation Programs, Kerala
“The need for all the faithful to share in this responsibility (evangelization) is not merely a matter of making the apostolate more effective; it is a right and duty based on their baptismal dignity, whereby “the faithful participate, for their part, in the threefold mission of Christ as Priest, Prophet and King”; Therefore, “they are bound by the general obligation and they have the right, whether as individuals or in associations, to strive so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all people throughout the world”(R.M.71). Therefore the Community strives to motivate, empower and equip the laity everywhere, to participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church. For this purpose the Community offers Mission Orientation Programs (MOP) in different parishes and also a variety of groups and organizations. These programs sometimes extend from 1 to 3 hours according to the convenience of the group. The participants are made aware of their responsibility as baptized Christians and encouraged to respond to the call given by the Lord. One of the participants of one such Mission Orientation Program was Mrs. Mini, from Kottayam. She was the headmistress of the Sunday School Catechism of a parish. She shared that she had been praying for 11 years for mission not knowing what else the Lord wanted her to do for the mission. This program opened doors for her. She received more clarity on what she could do. She has started distributing prayer cards on mission based on St. Little Flower’s prayer, to her students. Her heart was also ignited to be able to give a 10 minutes session on mission to the 103 students of the Sunday Catechism.
Follow up of Mission Exposure Programs at Santvana, Delhi
In the month of April both in 2010 and 2011 children of the 9th and 10th standards of the Sunday School Catechism of two different parishes were brought to North India for a mission exposure program. On Sept 10th and 11th members of Santvana Community visited these two parishes. There was a separate gathering and orientation given for the children and for their parents. The participants were motivated for a recommitment for mission and to pray for the mission. Each of the houses of the children of one of the parishes was also visited. The children were encouraged to write letters to the mission centers that they had visited and they report that they have received encouraging replies.
Bible Convention Betia, Bihar
Around 1200 people attended the convention conducted by the Santvana Community at Betia in Bihar. Rev Fr. Lopez the parish priest of the place organized the annual convention. The team comprised of Rev. Fr. Dheeraj Sabu IMS, Mr, Naveen Lobo the Servant Leader, Mrs Jancy, Br. Amit, Br. Kalyan and Sr. Reena. The participants were touched by the power of the Word and the healing grace of the Blessed Sacrament.
School of Evangelisation, Muringoor
Santvana Community assisted the participants of the one year Bible Course being conducted at Divine retreat Centre at Muringoor in Kerala. Fr. Dheeraj Sabu IMS, Prof. CC Alice and Mrs. Shiney Alexy were the resource persons. They were given a 10 days School of Evangelisation from the 12th to the 13th of Oct. The program was for motivating and empowering the participants to share the Kerygma viz is the initial message of proclamation.
Faith Formation Program Jabalpur A 5 days’ faith formation program was conducted by Mr. Naveen Lobo for about 55 catechists of the Jabalpur diocese from the 17th to the 22nd Oct at the diocesan Pastoral Center. The participants were helped to deepen their relationship with the Lord and to recommit their lives for evangelization.
Fr. Dheeraj Sabu IMS It pains me to see Europe, a Christian continent which sent forth many missionaries to other continents. Now its faith foundation has been drained out by secularist forces. Europe urgently needs a re-evangelisation. Our out look on Europe must change. Europe is now a mission land. As the consequence of western secular cultural ideal of individualism, reaching in its peak, I find too many people who are now mentally and physically ill. I meet too many people who are going through financial crisis also. A deep spiritual emptiness is created by western secular culture which is atheism in disguise. And so we have a great responsibility to help Europe find Christ and his Gospel of Salvation once again. We need to empower the faith of young people and train them to reach the people of their generation. This thrust is very clear in the POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION ECCLESIA IN EUROPA OF HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II (Para 2), ‘That first Special Assembly emphasized the urgent need for a “new evangelization”, in the awareness that “Europe today must not simply appeal to its former Christian heritage: it needs to be able to decide about its future in conformity with the person and message of Jesus Christ”. The conviction that “the Church has the urgent task of bringing the liberating message of the Gospel to the men and women of Europe” once more emerged with compelling force. There is a need, in other words, to proclaim this message of hope to a Europe which seems to have lost sight of it.’ Reaching out to the people of Europe, the following programs were conducted at Leipzig in Berlin, at Axam near Innsbruck in Austria, at Carinthia, in Austria, at Kirchshlag in Austria and at Dulliken, Switzerland. Santvana’s School of Love and School of Prayer have been a great help to those who have attended it. PLEASE PRAY FOR EUROPE MISSION: Pray 1Our Father, 3 Hail Marys and 1 Glory be, consecrating Europe to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Reaching out to Oman
From 7th September to 16th September 2011 there were retreats conducted by Mrs. and Mr. Santhosh of Santvana Community for couples in the Sultanate of Oman in three different parishes-at Ruwi, Ghala (Muscat) and at Salalah. In all about 150 couples ie 300 people attended the retreats. The retreat was very effective as reported by some of the participants almost a month later. Some of the feedbacks were that there were no readymade solutions, but there was a hint as to how to solve problems. Some families have started to think about more children. Vijay Edasserry said “Thanks to your presence and by the grace of God, Ghala is now witnessing a very positive response. Many new couples are now seen regularly in our gatherings. For families like ours that are already in the renewal, the retreat helped a lot in reinforcing our faith and in identifying the blind areas. We hear many sharing about their decision to reduce TV time and to increase family time. Many are really moved and inspired. Almost all the families are taking part in daily rosary in each house during the month of October and its becoming a unique experience.” Another participant who is the family co-ordinator of Jesus Youth in Oman said “There is a huge change in my relationship with my wife and my son. We are finding time to spend together. I have received much patience. I felt that the same experience is there with many families from Ruwi and Ghala. In the gatherings the families are sharing about the fruitfulness of the retreat.” May the lamp that is lit in their lives give light to many more.
Commitment Ceremony report
“For the honour and glory of God and moved by an ardent desire to quench the infinite thirst of Jesus on the Cross for the love of souls, I, (………………..) take private vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and whole-hearted and free service to the evangelising mission of the Church according to the charism of the Santvana Community of Disciples for a period of five years. May the power of the Holy Spirit and the help of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, our heavenly patroness, lead me to perfection in the love of God, of my neighbour, thus to make the Church more fully present in the world.” Amen. These words echoed in the Rosary Parish Church on the 25th of September 2011 as Reena Kujur, Amit Kerketta and Kalyan Ekka consecrated their lives as singles for the Lord in Santvana Community. With a dress code of Blue kurta and black trousers and they will hence forth be called brothers/sisters of the community. Their consecration will be renewed every five years. The main celebrant of the Holy Eucharistic celebration was the Archbishop of Delhi His Grace Most Rev Vincent M. Concessao. The occasion was also graced by the presence of the Provincial of the Varanasi Province of the IMS congregation, Rev Fr. Jyotilal, to which Rev Fr. Dheeraj Sabu the founder and Director of the Santvana Community belongs. The Holy Mass was con-celebrated by almost 15 priests. The occasion was also blessed by the presence of almost 70 of the family and dear ones of those consecrating their lives. Many of the well wishers of the community were also present on this joyful occassion. The consecrated singles were felicitated during the program organized after the Holy Eucharist.
Consecrated singles are those members of the community, women and men who receive the grace to give themselves completely in virginity/celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom, thus making themselves more completely available for the mission of “prayer and proclamation” according to the charism of Santvana Community of Disciples. Commitment to a life of virginity/celibacy is taken after a period of discernment. Now there are 6 such consecrated singles in Santvana Community. Another note worthy event of the day was the commitment taken by four couples and 3 singles to be associate members of the Community. Each in their own way will be associating with the community to do the work of evangelization entrusted to them by God through the Church while remaining in their own homes.