Day 3 – FCAO Meeting – Updates By Br. Praveen Henry D’ Souza, the Minister Provincial

We began our day little late. We had mass at 7 am followed by breakfast. Friar Gonza (he actually has a very long name and this is one of the names, simplest) the Custos of West Papua and also the president of SAAOC celebrated the Mass. Through the story of "one among you is a Messiah" he brought out the need to respect, to care-share-cure in our communities.

Our session began at 8.30. Today we met in each of our conferences i.e. SAAOC and EAC. In our conference we elected a new President in the place of friar Gonza. The new President is the Custos from Pakistan friar Yusuf. The Vice President is friar Philip from Australia who also continues to be the Bursar for the conference. The secretary is normally from the entity of the president and so naturally from Pakistan. We also had to elect three secretaries:

Formation and Studies: friar Hieronymus from Indonesia;
Mission and Evangelization: friar Johnson from India who is re- elected;
JPIC: friar McKay from Australia.

The EAC didn't have the election.

When we gathered together for a combined meeting, we made ready the draft of all the discussion we had. There were statements, resolutions and recommendations. One of the important aspects of all this is the Ongoing Formation. These will be shared later.

Today we made a visit to the ECO-PASTORAL centre cared by the friars. This was very special for us. This is a centre for organic farming and from here so many families are taught. The poor are kept in mind for self sustenance. I share some inspiration from brother MIDI the organic farmer here. He says that the insects are not enemies. They tell us what's wrong with plants. A plant has a natural resistance system it forms a thin layer on the leaf. So when insects come and attack it means that we have to change the constituents of the water or compost. When insects know that plant is resistant they leave. So the duty is also to program the mind of farmers and people.

This is very much a pastoral ministry as the friars work with the indigenous people who have so much wisdom to offer to the world especially for protecting the Creation. Seeds are naturally cultivated and used. One who controls seeds controls the lives of the people. Brother Midi says that according to the Tradition: earth is mother and those who destroy tress are males. Mother protects and men destroy. Local wisdom helps them to care for the creation and cultivate the land.

If the needs of the creation are not going to be taken care then we are awaiting destruction. The way we cultivate and relate with the plants changes our thinking. Organic cultivation is growing of organisms. What we plant is part of our lives. What we plant what turns out to be part of our life.

The centre works in tandem with the research centre locally. This knowledge needs to be translated to the poor. The alumni of this centre help in running the centre.

The spirituality is all about knowing that God doesn't simply give you a banana to eat and the skin to throw away but rather even use the skin. Unless we give up this throw away culture we cannot understand. It's all about saving the refuse.



St. Francis of Assisi


FRAIRS B'DAYS (September)

Arikiam John
8 / September / 1976

Niranjan Toppo
8 / September / 1993

Salun Kispotta
9 / September / 1995

Athanasius Xaxa
10 / September / 1959

John Sekar
13 / September / 1982

Varghese Sebastian
17 / September / 1947

Mesia Elias Moses M.
19 / September / 1973

Tom John
20 / September / 1961

A.Mathew Joseph
23 / September / 1989

Sagaya Soosairaj
25 / September / 1968

Nicholas D' Souza
28 / September / 1945

Lourdu Augustine
28 / September / 1976

Pradeep Anthony L.
28 / September / 1992

Sushil Beck
29 / September / 1973

Salim Baxla
29 / September / 1974