- Written by Dr. Thomas Cherukat
Greetings From Rome
My dear Friends of the Fransalians,
This is the last Agape Africa addressed to you from Rome. I wish to greet each one of you a very joyful and peaceful Christmas. Christmas is indeed a time of sharing and caring. May this Christmas be an occasion for all of us to reach out to the poorest of the poor in the remotest regions of the world. Care and concern for the neglected and abandoned should be a joyful responsibility for every Christian. The birth of Jesus as a poor little baby in a stable at Bethlehem challenges us to be on the side of the poor and the needy. I wish to thank each one of you for your love and concern for our Fransalian Missions all over the world especially in Africa.
All our missions in Africa are growing steadily. The Fransalians are now working in 10 African countries namely Chad, Cameroon, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa, Namibia and Swaziland. Over 150 Fransalians – most of them are from India – are actively engaged in a large number of educational and developmental projects in these countries. Over 70 African candidates to Priesthood are in various stages of formation in these Missions.
P. Dr. Tom CHOZHITHARA, MSFS my successor in Rome has already taken up his responsibilities as the Director of Amisales. However he needs more time to take up his permanent residence in Rome due to his commitments unfinished works in Uganda where he has been the Director of a newly established school. He is expected to be fully present in Rome only from April 2018.
As for me it is time to leave Rome. On 28th December 2017 I will take the flight to Bangalore, in India from where I will proceed to Mysore, a small city of 1 million inhabitants and join my new community there on 1st January 2018. Mysore is not new for me. I have spent 20 years of my priestly life in the Region around Mysore and Bangalore. From Mysore I hope to continue the work of mobilizing resources for the missions in Africa especially for our Chad-Cameroon Mission. I hope to continue the ongoing projects of “Schuelerpatenschaften” and “Trinkwasserprojekte” in close collaboration with the Freundeskreis/Agape in Kahlgrund/Germany. Thank you one and all for your readiness to help our missions thourgh your generous donations and support.
Before I leave for India, I have planned a visit to our Chad-Cameroon Mission from 5 – 20 December 2017. Mr. Bernhard Melchart from Vienna, a long-time friend and benefactor of our Chad-Cameroon Mission will also be travelling with me. I am looking forward to the joy of being once again in Chad and Cameroon where I had spent 7 years of my missionary life. On my return to Rome I hope to spend Christmas at Vatican. It has been an enriching experience for me to have lived in the Eternal City for the past 10 years. Certainly I will miss Rome very much. But it is part of our missionary vocation to be constantly on the move. It is also a joy for me to return to India after 17 years of missionary service outside. “Bloom where you are planted”. “ Everything by love and nothing by force” said our Patron Saint Francis de Sales.
As I say Adieu to you all from Rome, I hope to be in touch with you all from India through Agape and through emails and Whatsapps etc. I wish you all a joyful and grace-filled Christmas and Blessings of God in abundance in the New Year 2018.
P. Thomas Cherukat, MSFS
Greetings From Chad-Cameroon
My dear readers of Agape Afrika,
Greetings of peace and joy to you from the Chad-Cameroon Mission of the Fransalians. I wish each one of you a very blessed Christmas and a grace-filled New Year 2018. We the Fransalians in Chad and Cameroon thank God for the marvelous ways He has guided us and protected us all throughout the past 18 years. The year 2017 has been an year of blessings for all of us. Through the generous help of friends and benefactors from all over the world we have been able to complete the construction of a minor seminary at Ngaoundere in North Cameroon. The new seminary is scheduled to be inaugurated in January 2018. A new extension of La Feuillette, our Mission Headquarters and the Theology Study House at Ngoya near Yaounde has also been completed. The inauguration is scheduled to be held on 8th December 2017.
This year we are fortunate to have received a generous contribution from the friends and benefactors through the Amisales of Rome and through the Freundeskreis of Kahlgrund towards the education of 128 children from our missions in Chad and Cameroon. We have also been able to continue the drinking water project by providing two more wells to the needy villages in our missions in Chad and Cameroon. A big thank you to all our friends and benefactors.
An entirely new educational complex is coming up at our Doba Mission in Chad. It is a project of great promise for this poverty-stricken country. The Congregation has acquired sufficient land at GAKI about 3 kms from Doba. The construction of St. Francis de Sales school is already underway. The first phase of the school with 7 class rooms will be ready for inauguration in January 2018.
We are also grateful to our friends and benefactors in the Frieden Christi Parish in Munich and in the Parish of Saint Francois de Sales in Annecy, France for their continued support towards the development of our SFS School at Gada Mabanga in Ngaoundere. We are also immensely grateful to the many donors who help us through the Verein Agape Austria for a number of projects in Chad and Cameroon.
We give thanks to God almighty for the many good vocations we receive from Cameroon and Chad. We have already three young priests from Cameroon. On 8th December one more Cameroonian will be ordained a deacon at La Feuillette. This year we had six novices from Chad and Cameroon who made their first profession in the Congregation. A new batch of 5 novices have entered the novitiate. Over 20 candidates will enter the new minor seminary at Ngaoundere for their initial formation.
Dear Friends and Benefactors, We thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement. May the Spirit of God bind us together with a strong bond of love and affection while working for a noble cause. We also promise our prayers for you and for your intentions.
May God Almighty reward your generosity.
P. Manoj Arackal, MSFS