The Annual Assembly for the Indian Perpetually Professed Confreres was convened by the Divine Providence Province, India on 14th – 16th, December 2016 at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu. The number of the participants was 45 Guanellian Perpetual members working in India. Rev. Fr. Soosai Rathinam was the president of the assembly. Rev. Fr. Samson and Rev. Fr. Francis Assisi were nominated as the moderators and Fr. Benson and Fr. Amalraj were elected as the secretaries. The precedent of the assembly cheerfully invited and encouraged all the office bearers and the participants to be more dynamic and authentic. The major themes dealt in the assembly were as follow;
- “Outward-Bound” Servants of Charity - By Rev. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC
The Crux of the Session: It is to have fidelity to the charism and newness well tuned in order to express it today in a society which is very different from that of our Founder. Church by its very nature is missionary and it needs the spiritual and apostolic contribution. The consecrated life is being characterized by the constant search for God and the constant re-visitation of its identity. One needs to overcome the wrong perspective of religious life and learn to find God in all things. The prophetic character of the consecrated life is to nurture, nourish and evoke a consciousness. Church’s deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God, celebrating sacraments and exercising the ministry of Charity.
- Together as DPP “Upholding your Spiritual Vibrancy and Mission in India” - By Fr. Antony Joseph, SDB
The Crux of the Session: The spiritually vibrant person would be with fire, passionate and their motive is to love God and people. The feeling of being loved and the best interest to live the Christian life move a person to be spiritually vibrant. He gave five keys to find out the spiritually vibrant, they are member’s contribution, assimilation, trust in leadership, community impact and health growth. They live a life bible based, Christ centered and spirit led. He added twenty one (21) points to be spiritually vibrant. Be a giver and not a receiver, identify blessing, speak words of blessing, nurture a shared prayer life, take a step of Faith, restore someone’s faith, be a grateful person, share the journey with others, serve, cultivate the solitude, fast and pray, turn worries over to God, spread love wherever you go, keep your priorities straight, strive for excellence, use it or lose it the talents, meditate on scriptures, be reliable, ask God make you a blessing, Spend time with nature, exercise the power of choice. After the questions and clarifications the assembly left for midday prayer and lunch.
- Guanellian Identity and Mission in India Today: “Paradigm shift from Mono-Cultural to Multi-Cultural phase” - By Fr. Kulandaisamy, SdC
The Crux of the Session: He took root from GC 19, Evangelized to Evangelize No: 5 Establishment of International communities, and from 7th General Consultation’s General Issues “confreres should be prepared to inter-cultural life and values. He defined world “culture”, mono – culture and multi-culture. He explained clearly quoting from Pope Francis “Tradition is not the worship of ashes but the preservation of fire”. One has to know how to preserve what is essential and open ourselves to the newness of the Spirit. It is only in this way that a presence can lasts, even for centuries. In transmission of Charism, the identity must not be lost. The transmission of a charism has a charismatic nature rather than an institutional nature (Mono culture to multi culture). It is inexorably linked to people, who make it a living experience. Guanellian Charism has experienced many cultures in the world and it would be more enriching in Indian pluralistic culture without losing its origin. The Guanellian focus must be on the people who have no one disregarding the religion, caste geography etc. After the clarifications the meeting came to an end and assembly proceeded for the health break.
- “Updating on legal compliances such as FCRA, taxation and financial situation of DPP” - By Fr. Visuwasam, SdC
The Crux of the Session: He started with the quote of Mother Teresa, “It is not that we are called to be successful rather faithful”. He explained the present situation of India and invited everyone to be aware of FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act), the exemption from the income tax, and charitable purposes according to the income tax act. He listed out the documents to be maintained properly in a all the communities, pointed out the list of frequent mistakes and rectifications in maintaining the bills and accounts. He added the eligibility criteria for section 80G, donations permitted under section 80G, Exemptions under section 80G, the main purpose of the societies’ registration act. He gave the clear idea on the term society and way to manage the society. Eventually he brought to the notice of the confreres the assets of the congregation in India. After giving the details of the account of the different communities he gave some suggestions for the progress.
- The Journey of Guanellian Lay movement and Guanellian Co-operators: ‘Richness and Diversity of experience and co-operation’ in India - By Fr. Visuwasam, SdC
The Crux of the Session: He started his narration with the sayings of our Founder “He who is called by the Lord to be an Instrument of his Divine Providence, must have great Faith and the Right Intention.” He gave clear idea about GLM and GC, the statistics, vision, purpose, members, type of formation given to them, the difference between GLM and GC, the journey accompanied with them and the activities of GLM and GC in different communities. At the end of his talk he gave some proposals in the province level in order to motivate the GLM and GC members.
- “Along the River, Outside the Gate” - By Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC
The Crux of the Session: As we are going to celebrate 174th birthday of our merciful founder indeed it is a providential moment to revision things, new directions and new ways of looking at reality. Father Guanella was a visionary and great missionary. Henceforth we are called to re-incarnate his presence, vision and mission contextually. Creative fidelity is a fundamental theme in the Consecrated life..the fundamental question is not , why be a religious? but rather ‘for whom and with whom? Today we live the culture of the ‘disposable’ of the collapse of ideology like anti-values, no long term commitment, greater speed, crisis of consecration etc.. in this context the quality of our love for Christ and for humanity is equally important. The important features for the promotion of the charism are Qualitative progress of charism, fraternal solidarity in the furtherance of the spirit of the mission, visibility of the religious witness and etc.,
Exclusive of the all the resourceful sessions, there was a meaningful group discussion and valid report making on questionnaires drawn from the different sessions. At the climax of the assembly there was enough time given for ‘open forum and dialogue’ where the participants made their ‘Concrete proposals for the renewal of DPP in order to grow in fraternal communion and mission was made’. Finally, there was a great joy and festive fragrance in all to celebrate the 25th Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee of our first Indian confrere Rev. Fr. A. John Bosco, SdC. It was a grand celebration with solemn Holy Mass, Felicitation and Cultural Program. On the whole, with the spirit of contentment and family spirit the assembly came to its end. Rev. Fr. Provincial superior with his cordial love thanked and greeted everyone with Christmas gifts.