OFM Franciscans - India

News & Events

â€Ĥa sign of Providence, a symbol of Faith and an emblem of Hope!

​

10 November 2019, Chennai: It was on 28th February 1953 that Friars set foot in St. Sebastian’s Church, Madhavaram. It is 66 years since Friars began their pastoral ministry for the people in and around Madhavaram. Over the period of these years, the parish has seen its growth and development spearheaded by various Friars who have ministered here. The year 2019 marks a remarkable milestone in the history of St. Sebastian’s Parish as the existing church has been extended and renovated with a magnificent façade, a splendid interior and an impressive sanctuary. It has been a sincere prayer of the parishioners and friars for a spacious Church with an elegant frontage ever since the number of the attendees for the liturgical celebrations was on the rise. Added to it, it was an urgent and immediate need to create adequate class rooms to ensure a quality catechism towards the children, effective animation for the youth, professional guidance for the couples and resourceful assistance towards women. While this felt-need was growing in its magnitude, successive pastoral team of friars in these years have addressed the same to the best of their ability utilising the available resources to the optimum.

Treading the footprints of friars who have served in St. Sebastian’s Parish, the pastoral team of friars under the gifted leadership of Br. Simon A, the Parish Priest undertook a courageous initiative to venture into extending and renovating the existing Church. While it was an exciting development in the life of the Parish, it was not an easy endeavour! However, with a firm belief in the Word of God, “If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do its builders labour” (Psalms 127:1), the parishioners and the pastoral team marched ahead with the insurmountable faith and the resilient hope that it was the LORD who was going to build His House and that their labour shall not be in vain.

St. Francis of Assisi began his life of conversion repairing the Church. He went about in the streets of Assisi begging with a loud voice, “He who gives a stone, will get a reward. He who gives two stones will get two rewards. He who gives three stones…” It is this simple yet profound faith of St. Francis that resulted in repair of some churches in and around Assisi. St. Sebastian’s Church as it stands today is a testimony to the same experience of St. Francis in his time. When this Church construction met with various roadblocks, when faced with the financial crunch and when the difficulties were on the increase, the Lord sustained the parishioners, the Building Committee and pastoral team throughout this tedious journey providing them with the strength and courage to persist in their pursuit and accomplish faithfully this great task. The Church today stands as a sign of Providence, a symbol of Faith and an emblem of Hope. This Church dedicated to St. Sebastian, the martyr, whose intervention in the life of many through his powerful intercession has worked miracles. This abode in honour of St. Sebastian will continue to be a place to experience the divine favours. Jesus, the Redeemer with His hands outstretched is a beautiful sight to behold. Everyone who passes the Church cannot but wait to have a glimpse of Jesus, the Redeemer. Jesus, stands there inviting His Children with these irresistible words of consolation, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt.11.28). These words of unfathomable assurance echo in every brick of the Church.

The mighty presence of Jesus adorning the façade of the Church is a divine visual and a heavenly scene. The accompanying presence of the 12 Apostles, the pillars of our faith is a representation of our history of Church. These Apostle stand there as an inspiration for every Christian to model our lives in the Gospel manner. I am indeed overwhelmed with joy and gratitude towards every parishioner of St. Sebastian’s Church, Br. Simon A, the Parish Priest, the Building Committee, the pastoral team of Friars and the fraternity of St. Sebastian’s Friary for their dedicated efforts that have borne fruits in constructing a marvellous Church. My sincere thanks to every donor, parish, funding agency and well-wisher for their timely support. It is my duty to acknowledge the toil of every skilled labourer in each department of the construction work for their meticulous care and patient application of creative mind. I join you, Brothers and Sisters of St. Sebastian’s Parish, the devotees of St. Sebastian and my Brothers of St. Sebastian’s Fraternity in singing, “How Lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty.” Yes. It is indeed a lovely dwelling place of our Lord!

Fr. Praveen Henry D’ Souza, OFM
Minister Provincial

                                                                         Consecration of Renovated St. Sebastian’s Church
                                                                                             Madhavaram, Chennai
                                                                                    Blessing of the Foundation Stone
                                                                                                          on
                                                                                                27 March 2016
                                                                                                          by
                                                                         Fr. Arulraj & Fr. Anthonysamy, Vicars General

                                                                                     Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore
                                                                                           Consecration of the Church
                                                                                                         on
                                                                                               10 November 2019
                                                                                                        by
                                                                                Most. Rev. Dr. George Anthonysamy
                                                                                    Archbishop of Madras- Mylapore
                                                                                               In the presence of
                                                                                  Fr. Praveen Henry D’ Souza, OFM

                                                                Minister Provincial, Province of St. Thomas, Apostle, India
                                                                                                             &
                                                             Parish Priest, Parishioners, Friars, Religious Sisters and Well-wishers

 

 

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

ST. FRANCIS

ST. FRANCIS

FRIARS' BIRTHDAY (December)

Date

Name of the Friars

Events

Year

02

St. Louis Friary – Palmaner

Fidelis D’ Lima

Foundation

Ordination

1949

1964

05

Abraham Vadana

Shaji Nicholas Vadachery

+ Valentine Crasta

Birth

Birth

Home

1946

1969

2011

06

Baptist D’ Souza

Birth

1975

07

+ Anthony’s Church - Bannur

Erection

1999

09

Anil Kerketta

Birth

1980

11

Richard D’Silva

+ Agnel D’ Mello

Ordination

Home

1960

2013

13

Vincent Soosai

Varghese Sebastian

Scaria Varanath

Thomas M.M.

Dayanand

Anand Suresh Minj

Nideesh M. John

Birth

Ordination

Ordination

Ordination

Ordination

Birth

Birth

1970

1975

1975

1975

1975

1987

1993

14

+ Titus Myppan

Home

2012

15

Gregory Fernandes

Ordination

1963

16

Paul K.L.

Assisi Sadan - Nagpur

Birth

Foundation

1952

1993

17

Sidney Mascarenhas

Varghese Lakra

Ordination

Birth

1967

1977

18

Ajit Kerketta

Birth

1976

19

James Kallarackan

Friary Chapel – Palmaner

Birth

Blessing

1942

1967

21

Parish Church - Palmaner

Blessing

1964

22

Francis Agnelo Rozario

Birth

1966

24

Emmanuel Christopher

Birth

1992

25

Mukti P. Ekka

+ Celestine Reardon

+ Ambrose Staskunas

Birth

Home

Home

1973

1976

1986

26

Tony D’ Souza

+ Paschal Fernando

Birth

Home

1962

1994

27

Irudayaraj Fernando

Sahaya Dhas J.

Ordination

Ordination

2002

2013

28

Madhu Sudhan Reddy

Ordination

2015

29

Thumma Ranjith Kumar Reddy

Ordination

2015

30

+ Gratian McEvoy

Wilson Paul Nattalil

Stephen Lamin Gashnga

+ Kuriyan Joseph

Home

Ordination

Ordination

Home

1992

2003

2012

2015

31

Sleeva Reddy

Birth

1968