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The Santvana Community has conducted around 27 Schools of Evangelisation and almost 30 crash courses on evangelization in the past several years bringing positive changes in the lives of the participants. The effectiveness of these programs has led to convene a one month formation for the laity – a School of Missionary formation at the Missionary training Center at Delhi. The program is targeted to enable the participants to have a personal encounter with Christ present in the Word and the Sacraments. It will help to form mature Catholic leaders who could lead prayer groups and share Jesus with both Christians and people of other faiths. The program commenced on the 1st of November 2011 and will conclude on 30th Nov 2011 with them being commissioned by Most Rev Vincent M. Concessao the Arch bishop of Delhi. The Auxillary Bishop of the Delhi Arch Diocese, Most Rev. Franco Mulackal motivated them for evangelization and also celebrated the Holy Eucharist with them. There are 22 participants attending the program from Jalandar, Khandwa, Jabalpur, Andaman, Hyderabad, Agra, Assam and Bareilly.
The participants speak
“I am learning to be an effective Catholic Evangeliser and I experience the power of intercession” Rakesh (27), Jabalpur
“ The sessions here have made me so much more positive. I believe that God has a plan for my life and so He has brought me here.” Ranjana Jemra (20), Khandwa
“I was empty but now I realize that Jesus lives in me. Prayer has become a real weapon.” John Masih (32), Jalandar
“The Eucharist is becoming more meaningful and I experience an immense joy on receiving Jesus. I want to live for Him.” Jyoti (28) Andaman
“I am totally convinced that I am called for evangelization only.” Margaret (40), Hyderabad
“Now I am proud of being a Catholic and this is the most important event of my life.” Ashish (19), Jalandar
Celebration of the Feast of Christ the King
Every year the feast of Christ the King is celebrated in Delhi with great zeal and devotion. Catholic believers from all parishes of Delhi gather together in the Sacred Heart Cathedral after the Eucharistic celebration a grand procession is taken through the city of New Delhi. This year Santvana Community made use of the opportunity to share a specially prepared pamphlet that explained the meaning and relevance of this great feast and the content of the basic Gospel message. Most of the on lookers received the leaflet with interest.
Remarkable Christmas Celebrations of 2011
A Christmas Celebration with a difference
In previous years Christmas had been celebrated in a traditional manner, in the Parish Church and then in our own communities and houses. Christmas being a feast of universal brotherhood we thought of celebrating it along with people of all faiths. We planned to organize the Christmas program in Burari junction so that more people could participate in the celebrations. Main attractions were the ‘Keertan Mandali’ from Varanasi headed by Mr. Srikant who presented ‘Janam Katha’, (nativity narration) through singing. We had also put up ‘Bhandara’, free distribution of snacks. More than 2500 people were served. Along with this a leaflet with the message of Christ was also given to all. This program on Christmas day was started at 12.30 p.m. and continued till 6.00 p.m.
It was a great joy for all of us at Santvana Community. Like the wise men from the east and the shepherds who had visited the manger at Bethlehem all these people were filled with joy hearing about the good news of the birth of the Savior of the world. It was indeed a meaningful Christmas celebration.
Bro. Kalyan SCD
Christmas celebration at Santvana Prayer House
The round the clock intercession centre at Santvana Prayer House at Burari, Delhi is a house of consolation for many people from far and near. This year we made the Crib outside the house, in the garden. Even though the weather was not favorable from the 2nd of December due to severe cold and thick fog, it was pleasant and sunny on the Christmas day. It was a Christmas gift to all of us from Jesus. People belonging to different faiths from the villages around the centre started coming from morning onwards. The ‘Keertan Mandali’ from Varanasi conducted musical program from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. They sang Keertans and explained the event of the birth of Jesus the Savior. About 1000 people came to the prayer house to participate in the Christmas Celebrations. It was so fruitful that the people could know and understand about Christmas. We shared our joy and happiness with them by distributing cakes with people.
Bro.Anthony Doss SCD
Christmas exhibition in Delhi Cathedral Campus
Every year on the occasion of Christmas Jesus Youth Movement puts up an exhibition in the Cathedral campus of Delhi Archdiocese. This is visited by people of all religions. This year Santvana Community joined the Jesus Youth of Delhi, to prepare a kerygma presentation and to have the religious book stall and music material in this exhibition, which was very much appreciated by most of the people. About 50,000 people had visited the exhibition. It was helpful source for all the people to have a glimpse of the Gospel of Christ. I personally observed that people had a deep thirst for God and for a genuine spirituality. They were in search of answers for their inner conflicts and confused. Sr. Prabha a Holy Cross nun and a few of Santvana’s members gave a listening year to those who wanted to share their problems personally. “It was a meaningful Christmas for me because I could reach out to my wounded brothers and sisters” were the words of Sr.Prabha about her Christmas experience.
Bro. Sumiran IMS
Christmas celebrations with laborers from North India
Santvana Community in Kerala celebrated Christmas with laborers at construction sites. On 23rd December Christmas was celebrated at a construction site in Kottayam. There were 17 labourers in that site. On the 25th December after noon we had Christmas Celebration in another construction site in Ernakulam. About 50 persons participated in the celebration.
Since most of the labourers are from North India, they were delighted to meet some people who were familiar with their language and culture. In Kerala they live as though in a foreign land, Malayalam language of Kerala is strange to them, food habits too are different for many of them. Since all of us were familiar with Hindi language they were happy to listen to us. Alexy Pallan co-ordinated the entire program. Bro. Jeevan Kumar welcomed the participants and shared his testimony. Children presented the nativity play, I was happy to speak to them about Christmas and the coming of Jesus, the Savior. Mrs. Shiney Alexy coordinated the carol singing and action songs. Celebrations were made sweeter with Christmas cakes and tea.
Jesus was born as a marginalized. It was beautiful and meaningful to celebrate Christmas with people who are marginalized. After the celebrations many of them personally shared their struggles and problems at home. We prayed for each of them and promised to continue to support them through our prayers and in whatever way possible.
Fr. Dheeraj Sabu IMS
CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS AT AGRA
For the past three years now Christmas is a hectic time to minister to people who are still groping to see the light of Christ. There has been a steady increase in the last three years in the number of people who throng to the cathedral to pray at the life sized crib prepared just outside the cathedral church and then to make a silent visit into the cathedral church to pray there. This year we saw a crowd of almost 40,000 people of other faiths who came for such a visit. In order to cater to these people an exhibition on the life of Jesus, starting from the creation story was prepared at the St. Felix School, by Rev. Fr. Gregory and his team of seminarians. Along with them the Santvana Community also prepared an exhibit on the Kerygma message which conveyed the basic gospel message. The nodding heads and affirmations of those who watched these exhibits was evidence that the message was getting through. There was also an exhibition prepared by the St. Peter’s College of Agra which was watched avidly. The flow of people continued even late into the night.
The most notable event of the day was that the stalls that sold prayer cards and the free distribution of the Kerygma prayer and prayer cards for students was being done by non Christian disciples of Christ who are being discipled and formed by the Santvana Community. These disciples had also brought in some of their friends to help in the distribution. The whole day was spent by them at the cathedral even late into the night until 11.00pm. The intercession requests of the people who visited the campus was collected to pray for their needs. The New Testament Bibles that were kept at the stall was all sold out with people begging for more copies. Almost 250 copies of the English edition of the booklet God is Love written by Fr. Dheeraj Sabu, the director of Santvana Community was sold out on that day. The booklet very beautifully introduces new believers to the person of Christ. Though a tiring day, there was a deep joy in seeing so many people being introduced to their Saviour on the day that we celebrate His birth.
Mrs. Sali Santhosh