OFM Franciscans - India

News & Events

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 (September)

Date

Name of the Friars

Events

Year

02

+ Matthew Walsh

Jayaseelan P.R.

Home

Ordination

1969

2001

04

+ Kentigern Stuart

Home

1995

08

Arokiam John

Tom John

Arockiasamy P.

Niranjan Toppo

Birth

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Birth

1976

1999

1999

1993

09

Salun Kispotta

Birth

1995

10

Athanasius Xaxa

Birth

1959

11

+ Paulinus van Halderen

Home

1999

13

Bangalore Friary

+ Vincent Roy

John Sekar

Blessing

Home

Birth

1952

1959

1982

14

Anthony Pushparaj

Birth

1976

15

+ Fidelis Magee

Home

1979

17

Stigmata of Francis

Varghese Sebastian

Richard D’ Silva

Assisi Illam Dindigul

Feast

Birth

Solemn Vows

Blessing


1947

1956

2010

18

Joseph of Cupertino

Feast


19

Mesia Elias Moses M.

Birth

1973

20

Tom John

Birth

1961

23

Padre Pio

+ John Forest Hogan

A.J.Mathew Joseph

Feast

Home

Birth


1962

1989

24

Shalom Friary –Hyderabad

Blessing

1995

25

Sagaya Soosairaj

Birth

1968

26

+ Fabian D’ Souza

Home

2010

27

+ Conrad Gomes

Home

1993

28

Nicholas D’ Souza

Lourdu Augustine

Pradeep Anthony L.

Birth

Birth

Birth

1945

1976

1992

29

Sushil Beck

Salim Baxla

Birth

Birth

1973

1974