OFM Franciscans - India

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Easter at Prakruthi Mithra with Migrant Workers

Prakruthi Mithra in Chundale is situated at the valley facing the majestic Chembra hills. This magnificent hill is always beckoning us with its outpouring benevolence of cool breeze, ever flowing refreshing water and greenery which is always soothing for the soul. The hills seem to say from time immemorial: ‘take a leaf out of my life and be majestic and benevolent in shaping a harmonious living all around you among different cultural, ethnic and linguistic groups’. Life out there is so hectic that no one has time to heed to this silent voice. To the majority of people ‘more work force’ is the only feasible solution to the ever increasing workload. And people began coming in leap and bound to this area from all over India. The influx of migrant workers to Kerala from other parts of India has given an added colour to the fabric of Kerala Society. In spite of the valuable service they do for the society, the migrant labourers are often seen and treated as ‘the outsider’, not ‘one among us’. This lack of acceptance is hard indeed along with the cultural, linguistic and food customs and barriers they encounter in their new environment, uprooted from their home and surrounding to fulfill a cherished dream.

Recently a group of labourers from Jharkhand were in our area to build a culvert which could not stand the wrath of monsoon in the past. They are bestowed with a special knack in handling granite stones – granite stones in their hands are like butter, they can cut it, shape it and mold and build on it with such ease and at will that the local people were looking at their work with amazement. The group consisted of fourteen unorganized workers making cement blocks, doing construction work at PWD sites and doing any other odd jobs come on their way. Their presence in our area gave us an opportunity to have a closer encounter with them and what followed thereafter was actually ‘going up to Jerusalem’.

We hit upon an idea of celebrating Easter together as they were all Catholics. They showed an extraordinary enthusiasm at this proposal and we cancelled all our other Easter engagements. We literally made a hunt for Eucharistic prayers in Hindi. Friars Sushil and Wilson were quick to put Eucharistic prayers in Hindi together and send it to us. The group prepared the liturgy really well – selected readings, hymns, offerings and their prayers for their own intentions. Nazareth Sisters also joined us who are engaged in tribal development and also providing legal aid for ‘stranded’ people. Soon after the Easter Sunday Mass in our small chapel, Prakruthi Mithra was turned into ‘the upper room’ to celebrate Easter festivities.

Lenten Retreat 
 
Lenten Retreat 

We had a grand celebration with home-made cakes brought by the sisters recalling sweet memories of home and with coloured Easter Eggs symbolizing new life and hope – colourfully and decorately painted by Mr. Louis, the volunteer from Germany. After the tea we were engaged in preparing a simple meal of rice, dal and chicken. Being together and eating the meal together made it all the more festive and memorable. When the group made their way home at around four o clock in the afternoon, they are already looking forward to their next ‘being together’ saying: ‘Next time we shall have a drum with us and we shall sing and dance’.


Lenten Retreat 
 
Lenten Retreat 

Yes, a lot of sorrow can be wiped away and familiarity can be built up if we take a caring and determined step towards the other. Ours is a small step in this direction. fr. Davis ofm

 

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

ST. FRANCIS

ST. FRANCIS

FRIARS' BIRTHDAY (April)

Gabriel Mathias
01 April

Rajasekhar Reddy Gopu
07 April

John Chrysostom
08 April

Agnel D’Mello
13 April

Mathew Kootumkal
14 April

Cajetan S. Lourenco
14 April

Richard D ;Silva
16 April

Shanborlang Wartde
16 April

Peter Saleth Nathan J.
17 April

Ushar Kachhua
17 April

Anthony Roobandass
23 April

Johnny Anthony
24 April

Thaddeus Bazla
26 April

Arun Prakash
29 April