Tuesday, October 5, 2010


MUMBAI, OCTOBER 5, 2010: Fr Maria Arokiam, the Regional Councillor for South Asia, celebrated his birthday yesterday, October 4, 2010, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. The birthday program included a meeting with the Provincial Council at 1000 hrs and a meeting with the heads/representatives of the Provincial Commissions at 1800 hrs. The two meetings were sandwiched between the “celebrations” – the Eucharist in the morning and an agape in the evening.
In the morning, Fr Arokiam presided at the Eucharist with the members of the Provincial Council and the confreres of the Provincial House. In his reflection on the parable of the Good Samaritan, Fr Arokiam said that Jesus urges us to choose our neighbours. We have to make a preferential option for the poor and the marginalised. Further, it is not enough to help victims of injustice; in the words of GC 26, we have to network to combat the causes of injustice. Fr Arokiam exhorted those present to be counter-cultural – like St Francis of Assisi, who imitated well the “unconventional” Jesus. As religious, we are not supposed to be “normal”!

During his interaction with the Provincial Council between 1000 and 1300 hrs, Fr Arokiam shared his impressions of the province that he gleaned from his visits to the communities and his interaction with the confreres of the Province.

Fr Arokiam addressed the heads/representatives of the Provincial Commissions at 1800 hrs. He reminded the members that they are the intelligentsia, the “think-tank” of the province. He called for a paradigm shift in perceptions and perspectives, and exhorted the confreres – as individuals and as a province – to be unconventional and to take courageous stands on contemporary issues.
The evening ended with a moment of prayer for Fr Arokiam and for Fr Michael Fernandes (who celebrated his birthday on October 2), and a toast for them.

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