OFM Franciscans - India

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MESSAGE FOR THE MONTH OF RAMADAN 2019

To our Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the World:

As-salaamu ‘alaykum! Peace be upon you!

On behalf of the Special Commission for Dialogue with Islam of the Order of Friars Minor, it gives me great pleasure once again to extend our greetings to you at the beginning of Ramadan. This is a holy time as you commemorate and celebrate God’s revelation of the Qur’an as a guide to humanity (al-Baqara 2.185). It is a time of great contrasts: the rigorous fasting of the daytime and the generous feast (Iftar) of the evening, when carefully prepared dishes and desserts contrast with the simple sweetness of dates and the purity of water with which you break the fast; when thousands gather together for prayer in mosques, and each individual prays in the quiet of their hearts “that you may be more conscious (taqwā)” of God (al-Baqara 2.183). It is a special time spent with one’s family and friends, and a time when strangers are welcomed to the table; and it is particularly during this quintessential Islamic month of fasting that Muslims welcome people of all faiths to share iftar at the end of the day.

This year, in the months preceding Ramadan, Muslims have shown extraordinary hospitality and generosity to His Holiness, Pope Francis, during his visits to the United Arab Emirates in February, and to the Kingdom of Morocco in March, as in his previous visits to the Holy Land, Turkey, the Central African Republic and Egypt among other countries. In these visits, Pope Francis has often spoken of his desire to follow the example of St. Francis of Assisi who, bearing a “message of peace and fraternity” traveled to Egypt in 1219 where he was warmly received by the Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil. As was the case for St. Francis and the Sultan, these visits have provided Pope Francis and Muslim leaders with opportunities to likewise demonstrate the fraternity that God desires for Christians and Muslims as “descendants of the same father, Abraham." (General audience, April 3, 2019)

Indeed, as His Majesty Muhammad VI, King of Morocco, reminded us during the Pope’s recent visit, the fraternity shared by Christians and Muslims dates back to the early Islamic era. Several years before the Hijra, when Muslims were experiencing persecution in Mecca, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) sent them to seek refuge with the Negus, the Christian king of Abyssinia who gave them his protection.

Tragically, in today’s world, both Muslims and Christians are still forced to flee from their homes due to persecution, war, and injustice. Even those who have fled the arenas of war are not entirely safe as seen so tragically in the recent events in Christchurch, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. In his recent visits to the Emirates and Morocco, Pope Francis has continued to speak on behalf of migrants and the world’s vulnerable. In Morocco he exhorted the Christian community to: “continue to be neighbors to those who are often left behind, the little ones and the poor, prisoners and migrants," citing works of charity as “a path of dialogue and cooperation with our Muslim brothers and sisters, and with all men and women of good will" (Rabat, March 31, 2019). The concern for the poor, the needy and the migrant are, of course, foundational to Islam, as expressed so emphatically in the Qur’an:

It is not righteous that you turn your faces to the East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in God, the Last Day, the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance out of love for Him, for your kin, for the orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves…(al-Baqara 2.177)

We see the values that Muslims and Christians share, as well as their common concerns, in the remarkable document signed by the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmad al-Tayyeb and Pope Francis in Abu Dhabi in February. In this historic text titled A Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, the faithful – both Muslims and Christians – are addressed as "believers," and are exhorted equally to protect the creation and support all people, especially the poor, the destitute, the marginalized, and those most in need, including orphans, widows, refugees, exiles, and the victims of wars and torture, without distinction. While acknowledging the issues and challenges Muslims and Christians together face in the world – political, economic, technological and environmental – this document, the result of Muslim-Christian fraternity, can help to significantly advance dialogue "among believers and non-believers, and among all people of good will."

One of the most enduring images I have of Ramadan is the iftar, the much-anticipated meal at the end of a day of fasting. I fondly recall invitations to break the fast – not only from friends – but from complete strangers, policeman on duty and shopkeepers in Cairo among them. Around the world, Franciscan friars, sisters and lay people of all faiths are fed generously at the table in mosques and Muslim households. The iftar table thus becomes a symbol of the gathering of "believers."

The city of Jerusalem also serves as a place where believers gather, the children of Abraham – Muslims, Christians and Jews – each with equal devotion and fervency. To this end, while in Morocco, Pope Francis signed an appeal with His Majesty Muhammad VI to protect and promote Jerusalem (al-Quds) as:

the common patrimony of humanity and especially the followers of the three monotheistic religions as a place of encounter and as a symbol of peaceful coexistence, where mutual respect and dialogue cam be cultivated. (Rabat, March 30, 2019)

The encounters between different representatives of Muslim communities and countries with Pope Francis exemplify the deeply-felt fraternity that Muslims and Christians can experience in spite of the differences that have defined us for too long. During this Ramadan, we pray for the safety and security of your communities, and that this time may offer a most blessed encounter with God (swt) and a peaceful encounter with all who may benefit from your faith and fraternity. As the Holy Qur’an reminds us:

Everyone has a direction to which he turns. So vie with one another in good deeds. Wherever you are, God will bring you together. Truly God is Powerful over all things. (al-Baqara 2.148)

We wish you a most blessed Ramadan.Ramadan Mubarak! Ramadan Kareem!

Br. Michael D. Calabria, OFM,
Special Assistant for Dialog with Islam

Members of the Commission for Dialog with Islam:

Br. Manuel Corullón, OFM
Br. Ferdinand Mercado, OFM
Br. Jamil Albert, OFM

 

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

ST. FRANCIS

ST. FRANCIS

FRIARS' BIRTHDAY (May)

Date

Name of the Friars

Events

Year

02

Arulsamy A.

Mesia Elias Moses M.

Arvind Kerketta

Benedict Gomes

Ordination

Ordination

Ordination

Ordination

1991

1999

2005

2008

03

Charles Arulanandam

Alwyn D’ Souza

Birth

Ordination

1978

2006

04

Davis Kallookaran

Tommy T.J.

Arockiasamy P.

Thomas Manakuzhiyil

Saji P. Mathew

Arun Devasia Nattalil

Roshan Lobo

Francis Michael Velcy Barreto

Birth

Birth

Ordination

Ordination

Ordination

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Birth

1950

1959

2002

2004

2004

2017

2017

1992

05

Mathew Koottumkal

Jesu Maharajah G.

Peter Saleth Nathan J.

Andrew Thomas

Ordination

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Birth

1999

2010

2010

1997

06

Jayaseelan P.R.

Fulgence Ekka

Thaddeus Baxla

+ Leopold Vaz

Xavier Durairaj

Manoj Xalxo

Baikim Chadra Minj

Birth

Ordination

Ordination

Home

Ordination

Ordination

Ordination

1970

1997

1997

2000

2009

2012

2012

07

Vincent Soosai

Salim Baxla

Augustine Tirkey

A.J.Mathew Joseph

Bipin Kishore Kandulna

Ushar Kachhua

Ordination

Ordination

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

1999

2011

2017

2017

2017

2017

08

Julius Arul Rayan

Robin Lakra

Ajith Kerketta

Shanborlang Wartde

Ordination

Ordination

Ordination

Solemn Vows

2004

2007

2011

2017

09

Joy K.D.

Fabianus Toppo

Deen Dayal

Birth

Ordination

Birth

1970

2008

1983

10

+ Clement Griffith

Alwyn D’ Souza

Lourdu Augustine

Hemant Xess

Home

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Ordination

1950

2001

2001

2006

11

Gabriel Mathias

Joseph Raj M.

Baptist D’ Souza

Praveen Henry D’ Souza

Salim Baxla

Ajit Kerketta

Anil Xalxo

Anil Xalxo

Ordination

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Ordination

1974

2003

2003

2003

2008

2008

2008

2011

12

Ignatius Baa

Fulgence Ekka

Jose Palimattom

+ Baptist van de Sande

Vilas Baptist Correia

Salvador D’Souza

Birth

Solemn Vows

Ordination

Home

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

1970

1994

1999

2001

2007

2007

13

Shaju Paliyathil

Jesu Maharajah G.

Birth

Ordination

1967

2012

14

Kulandaisamy M.

Felix Vijay M.

Nijil Chiramel

Leos Ekka

Malom-Noatoli – Church

Simon A.

Birth

Birth

Birth

Ordination

Blessing

Ordination

1958

1983

1986

1994

2006

2011

15

Alwyn D’ Souza

Mukti Prakash Ekka

Fabianus Toppo

Baptist D’Souza

Santosh Ekka

Birth

Ordination

Solemn Vows

Ordination

Ordination

1975

2004

2005

2007

2010

16

Simon Pinto

+ Paul Ryan

+ Egbert Barnes

Jerome Kispotta

Prasad Papabathuni

Joy K.D.

Naveen George

+ Bala Sundar Raj

Peter Shashikanth Reddy G.

Birth

Home

Home

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Ordination

Home

Birth

1952

1958

1985

1994

1995

1995

2011

2011

1996

17

Balthazar Pinto

Anthony Pushparaj

Arokiam John

Charles Arulanandam

Ordination

Ordination

Ordination

Ordination

1990

2007

2007

2007

18

Bryan Carneiro

Arvind Kerketta

Birth

Solemn Vows

1969

2003

19

Shaji Nicholas Vadachery

Jugal Kishore Lakra

Ordination

Solemn Vows

1999

2002

20

+ Thomas Province - INDIA

Bernardine of Siena

Pradeep Kalliath

Matthew Koottumkal

Jayaseelan P.R.

Jamesmon P.C.

Thomas A.

Joy Valooran

Sushil Beck

Joy (George) Sebastian

Xavier Durairaj

Santosh Ekka

John Sekar

Alangara Boniface

Foundation

Feast

Birth

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Solemn Vows

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1948


1977

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2007

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1989

21



Thaddeus Baxla

Ajit Kumar Dung Dung

Lalith Kujur

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Ordination

1995

2006

2012

22

Guwahati Mission

Sandesh Manuel

Balaswamy Gundiga

Benedict Gomes

Vijay kAmirtharaj A.

Foundation

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

1996

2004

2005

2005

2005

23

Anthony Alex Martis

Solemn Vows

2004

24

Dedication of the Basilica of St. Francis

Pradeep Kalliath

Feast


Solemn Vows



2004

25

Jose Palimattom

Sleeva Reddy

Vincent Soosai

Matthew Koottumkal

Johnson M.V.

Shaji Nicholas Vadachery

Joy Valooran

Tojy Mandapathil

Mesia Elias Moses M.

Anthony Roobandass A.

Arokiam John

Charles Arulanandam

Entry

Entry

Entry

Entry

Entry

Entry

Entry

Entry

Entry

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

1990

1990

1990

1990

1991

1991

1991

1991

1991

2004

2004

2004

27

Basil Lobo

Varghese Lakra

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

2001

2007

28

Jerome Kispotta

Fulgence Ekka

Cajetan Lourenco

Francis Agnelo Rozario

Sagaya Soosairaj

Singarayar A.

Prasad Papabathuni

Thaddeus Baxla

Joy K.D.

Assisi Bhavan, Chippilithode

Phyrnai Lyngdoh

Madhu Sudhan Reddy

Deen Dayal

Nathaniel vTirkey

Jesu Raja A.

Johnvinzen Lyngdoh

Teiborlang Wartde

Rajasekhar Reddy Gopu

Entry

Entry

Entry

Entry

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Entry

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Entry

Blessing

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

1988

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1989

2006

2014

2014

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2016

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2016

2016

29

Varghese Sebastian

Scaria Varanath

Thomas M.M.

Dayanand

Bala Marneni

Paul Kallan

John Chrysostom

Regi Matthew

Entry

Entry

Entry

Entry

Ordination

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

1970

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1970

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1990

1993

1993

2003

30

Gregory Fernandes

Fidelis D’ Lima

Augustine Pinto

Sidney J.M.

Nicholas D’ Souza

James Kallarackan

Charles Mathew Kolanchery

Joy Prakash

Gabriel Mathias

Amaladass Manickam

Jayaseelan P.R.

Jamesmon P.C.

Thomas A.

Tom John

Arockiasamy P.

Cajetan Lourenco

Francis Agnelo Rozario

Sagaya Soosairaj

Singarayar A.

Irudayaraj Fernando

Austin Francis

Mukti Prakash Ekka

Francis Xavier

Wilson Paul Nattalil

Basil S. Lobo

Thomas M.J.

Julius Arul Rayan

Alwyn D’Souza

Sushil Beck

Saji P. Mathew

Lourdu Augustine

Shaju Paliyathil

Bryan Carneiro

Ignatius Baa

Regi Matthew

Bhaskar Reddy

Tomy Palackal

Benjamin Jojo

Joseph Raj M.

Baptist D’ Souza

Anthony Alex Martis

Jugal Kishore Lakra

Anthony Pushparaj

Praveen Henry D’ Souza

Michael Anand

Kulandaisamy M.

Arvind Kerketta

Hemant Xess

Pradeep Kalliath

Anthony Roobandass

Arun Junes A.

Balaswamy Gundiga

Robin Lakra

Arokiam John

Charles Arulanandam

Sandesh Manuel

Benedict Gomes

Vijay Amirtharaj A.

Salim Baxla

Ajit Kumar Dung Dung

Francis Xavier

Thomas M.J.

Saji P. Mathew

Joy (George) Sebastian

Xavier Durairaj

Varghese Lakra

Santosh Ekka

Salvador D’Souza

John Sekar

Ajit Kerketta

Anil Xalxo

Simon A.

Naveen George

Lalith Kujur

Tony Marshall

Vijay Minj

Manoj Xalxo

Baikim Chandra Minj

Prashanth Wilson Fernandes

Jesu Maharaja G.

Peter Saleth Nathan J.

Prem Kumar D’ Souza

Stephen Lamin Gashnga

Jayapal Dwarakonda

Joseph Stephen

Vinoth Robin

Sahaya Dhas J.

Praveen Roshan Toppo

Felix Vijay

Eugene A.

Jeddu Praveen Chinna Reddy

Nijil Chiramel

Joseph Prasanna Kumar

Pasala Showri Raju

Christopher

Phyrnai Lyngdoh

Basil Tirkey

Vinod Kujur

Madhu Sudan Reddy

Francis Arokiasamy M.

Thumma Ranjith Kumar Reddy

Deen Dayal

Prashanth Wilson Fernandes

Nathaniel Tirkey

+ Valerian Quadros

Jesu Raja A.

Johnvinzen Lyngdoh

Teiborlang Wartde

Shanborlang Wartde

Rajasekhar Reddy Gopu

Augustine Tirkey

A.J.Mathew Joseph

Bipin Kishore Kandulna

Arun Devasia Nattalil

Roshan Lobo

Ushar Kachhua

Salvador Drego

Anand Suresh Minj

Emmanuel Christopher N.

Anto Leo

Martin Sangma

Clinton J.

Nideesh M. John

Albinus Ekka

Prasad Rao

Kasu Eliyas Reddy

Stephen Arun

Thomas Kiren

Vineet Kerketta

Silash Panna

Nicolas Marak

Adarsh Y.

Deepak Kumar

Rajesh Praveen Kumar

Avinash Kujur

Alphone Velankanni

Abhishek M.

Anmol Bara

Akshay Showry Raj

Ejekial Lakra

Francis Michael Velcy Barretto

Henry Jose

Ibrahim G Momin

Joseph Raj

Kalyan Kurmar

Manish Ekka

Marius Dahanga

Nichol John

Ravi Bara

Salun Kispotta

Sujit Ganji

Alangara Boniface

Anthony Joseph archer

Pradeep Anthony L.

Jacob Tani

Gali Bal Reddy

T.S Leo Max

Joseph Kishan

Niranjan Toppo

Peter Shashikanth Reddy G.

Ankit Kumar Baghel

Niraj Kumar Tirkey

Nelson Toppo

Avinash Toppo

Andrew Thomas

Justin Savio A.

Felix A.

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Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

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1956

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31

Gregory Fernandes

Fidelis D’Lima

Agnel D’Mello

Augustine Pinto

Sidney J.M

Salim Joseph

Nicholas D’Souza

James Kallarackan

Charles Mathew Kolanchery

Joy Prakash

Gabriel Mathias

Varghese Sebastian

Scaria Varanath

Thomas M.M.

Dayanand

Alphonse Moras

Gerald Lobo

Simon Pinto

Paul K.L.

Davis Kallookaran

Lawrence Simon

Arok Sundar Sebastian

Dharma L. Bernard

Johnson M.V.

Shaji Nicholas Vadachery

Joy Valooran

Mesia Elias Moses M.

Irudayaraj Fernando

Austin Francis

Anthony Pushparaj

Simon A.

Naveen George

Tony Marshall

Lalith Kujur

Manoj Xalxo

Baikim Chandra Minj

Vijay Minj

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Birth

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

Solemn Vows

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Solemn Vows

1960

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