Popular Missions in Tamil Nadu: a good example

missionTamilNaduOur charism in the Church is the ministry of the word through which we communicate the total mystery of Christ to humanity. We do this by sharing the hopes and joys, the sorrows and trials of the people, especially the poor and by joining hands with all those who strive to transform the world according the Gospel vision. St. Claret did it so beautifully in Spain and Cuba in a very difficult time in the 19th Century. The early years of ministry in the Congregation were marked by popular missions, spiritual exercises and retreats (Auto 491).

We seek to do it today in the same spirit.

In fact, We have realized that the XXIV General chapter signaled to us the importance of the prophetic dialogue of life as key to our pastoral and missionary activity (cf.MFL 58,2) and also Prophetic dialogue with others opens up for us new horizons, new opportunities, and gives us new impetus and energy for a more creative, imaginative and innovative mission. (Witnesses and Messengers of the Joy of the Gospel, 62)

Truly, we are open to the recommendation  of the Holy Father Pope Francis to the Congregation-Dear Claretian missionaries, Poadorare”,  “camminare”  and  “accompagnare” (worship our God the Father “In spirit and truth”(cf.Jn 4:23), walk and accompany) and also take my greetings to all the laity with which you share your lives and mission” (Address of the Holy Father pope Francis to the 25th General chapter of the missionary sons of the Immaculate heart of Mary ,September 2015).

In response to the Circular Letter of Father General Rev.Fr.Mathew Vattamattam CMF, “Called to Radiate the Joy of the Gospel in the World Today,” Rev.Fr.Jesudoss CMF, the Provincial Superior of the Province of Chennai, During the “province day on 30th May 2017 at Claret Bahavan, Karumathur, earnestly urged the commission for preaching team to conduct the Claretian popular mission preaching in all our claretian parishes from June onwards.

As a result, the commission for preaching mission, which is functioning under the guidance of the prefect of Apostolate, received an invitation from Fr.Maria David Antony cmf, the Parish Priest of Thadikarankonam, Kottar Diocese to organize a popular mission preaching on the occasion of the parochial feast.

As a prelude to the popular mission, Fr.Joseph Santiago cmf, the coordinator for the preaching team along with Fr.Michael Maria Doss cmf, the director of LIFE (Lay institute for formation of evangelizers) and Fr.Vincent Paul Raj cmf prepared a program list and explained the plan of action. Thus, this master plan guided the team asa blue print or resource tool to enhance a popular mission preaching at Our Lady of Snow Mission, Thadikarankonam from 21st July to 6thAugust 2017.

The popular mission preaching is completely different from charismatic preaching or other forms of preaching during the parochial feasts that we do. Popular mission preaching is a team work and needs better preparation and training. The objective of popular mission preaching is the renewal of faith in a parish. It aims at the renewal of all the age groups of people, children, youth, married people and aged ones, in a parish.

Since preaching the Word of God is one of the important tenets of our Claretian Charism and the need of the hour is new evangelization,the central focus of all our preaching was “UTRAI THEDI” -Towards the source of living Water.

God’s Love, Word of God, Sacraments, Marriage and Family Spirituality, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Mother Mary and Saints, Can faith be transmitted?, With Christ, For Christ and in Christ etc were dealt thorough during the novena. We have documented everything in view of future mission.

Some of the veteran preachers were Frs.Anselmus, Deva doss, Maria doss, Maria David Antony, Stanislaus, Joseph Santiago, Arockiasamy and George benzigar. Fr.Pannier selvam cmf looked after the choir.

Preaching team met the Pious associations which include Altar boys, YCS, Little Way Association, Cecilia choir, Youth and Rose Young Women Association, Rural Women Association and Legion of Mary, Small savings and Chit coordinators and collectors, St.Claret Tuition Centre, Catechism and Catholic Seva Sangam, Parish Council and Anbiyam Coordinators, Finance Committee, etc. During the technical sessions, preaching team and members of different Pius associations discussed in details the matters related to the growth and development of the parish. A short report was submitted to the parish priest after the meeting.

The preaching team did the works of house blessing, preached novena talks, conducted Healing services, sat for hearing confessions, offered individual and family counseling, met the local claretian community and pious associations and hunted the ways and means for building families through peace and reconciliation.

In the Church we are steadfast helpers of its Shepherds in the ministry of the word, using all means possible to spread the good news of the kingdom throughout the world (CC4).

Most Rev.Dr.Nazarene Susai, bishop of Kottar visited the claretian parish during the novena on 2nd August 2017 and appreciated the claretian popular mission preaching in his diocese.

On the whole, the popular mission went on well. It was a successful event because of the cooperation of the parish priest and laity. Finally, the Christian community at Thadikarankonam saw us an Apostle of Faith and Hope and an agent of Peace and Reconciliation.

Thank you

Fr.Joseph Santiago CMF

Claret Prem Nivas

Salem -Dist
Tamil Nadu
Mobile 09600416771