Greetings from Rome
My dear Friends of the Fransalians,
Cordial greetings and good wishes to you from the Missionsprokura in Rome. This Mission Office was established on 15th November 2013. On this first anniversary, with a deep sense of joy and gratitude I would like to wish each one of you a grace-filled season of Advent and a very Happy Christmas and Bright New Year. The joyful feast of Christmas is a reminder to all of us that God is on the side of the poor. Jesus was born poor. He grew up in a poor family. He went about doing good to all and especially to the poorest of the poor. He healed the sick. He mingled with sinners and outcasts. He questioned the powerful and defended the weak and the abandoned. He gave his life as a ransom for many by dying on the cross to rise again to life. Christmas is therefore a great challenge for all of us. It is a challenge to live like Jesus, to think like Jesus and to act like Jesus. We need to reach out to the poor, to give life to them in order that they may be liberated from all forms of injustice and inhumanity.
To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us. (Pope Francis, EG, 54)
We, the Missionaries of Saint Francis de Sales have just entered into the 177th year of our existence. The new year 2015 has been declared as the „Year of Mission“ for the entire Congregation. We are now over 1400 members working in 26 countries including 9 countries in Africa. Let me share with you some of our immediate concerns in our missions especially in Chad and Cameroon.
Adoption at Distance
Homes for Destitute Children
Apart from the two Boys‘ Homes of Bero and Doba in Chad, the Congregation is managing a number of “Homes for Destitute Children” in India and in several countries of Africa. The cost of maintaining these homes and educating the large number of children is indeed enormous. We are looking for potential benefactors to help us run these Homes more effectively. There are appeals coming from many of our Missions to establish more such Homes for the poor and abandoned children. Your contributions are very precious for such a noble cause.
Providing Clean Drinking Water to Villages in Africa
In the rural Sub-saharan Africa, millions of people share their domestic water sources with animals or rely on unprotected wells that are breeding grounds for pathogens. The Mission Office has received a number of applications from our missions in Africa seeking financial help towards providing safe and clean drinking water in the remote villages of countries like Chad and Tanzania. Any contribution towards this noble cause of providing clean drinking water to the villages in Africa will be much appreciated.
The Congregation has a large network of educational institutions chiefly in India and Africa. We are looking for help to establish several more schools in our newly opened missions where no such facilities are available. We are grateful to you and appreciate your generosity. The two schools we are managing in Chad are growing very fast. The Mission is now planning to start a school in Ngaoundere in North Cameroon. It is going to be a huge investment which will certainly benfit a large number of children who have no other possibility of receiving a good education. Your generous contributions are solicited.
Freundeskreis in Jubilee Year
It was on 10th November 2005 that our Verein „Freundeskreis der Missionare des Hl. Franz von Sales/Fransalianer e.V. „ was established in Mömbris. The year 2015 is therefore a jubilee year for our Verein. We thank God for all the good work that we have been able to accomplish during these past years on behalf of so many needy people in the missions. I am immensely grateful to all the founding members of our Verein as well as the present vorstand and all the registered members for their keen interest in mobilizing funds to support our missions. The Verein has around 50 registered members besides some 150 regular donors. In this jubilee year we would like to see an increase in the number of registered members as well as in the number of donors. Hearty welcome to join hands with us for the noble cause of bringing education and development into some of the least developed regions of the world. May the Joy, Peace and Blessings of this Christmas be with all of us in the New Year and in the years to come. May this Christmas strengthen our resolve to reach out to the poorest of the poor.
Greetings from Chad-Cameroon
Dear Friends of Fransalians,
Greetings from the Fransalians in Chad-Cameroon Mission. First of all I would like to wish each and every one of you a very Happy Christmas and a blessed and prosperous New Year. Christmas is a feast of great joy and hope for the world. It is a family feast. Bonds of solidarity, fraternity, mutual acceptance, unconditional and unselfish love, loving care and attention are some of the elements that keep a family united and joyful.
The Fransalian Mission of Chad-Cameron has just completed 15 years of its existence. We are now 42 members as a family of missionaries.: 16 priests, 10 students in theology and philosophy, 2 novices, 6 pre-novices and 8 postulants. Our two missions in CHAD namely BERO and DOBA are making tremendous progress. DOBA Mission now consists of a large parish with a college, high school and a home for destitute children. In BERO too we have a primary school with a Boys’ Home attached to it and several additional infrastructure constructed during the past few years.
LA FEUILLETTE in Ngoya just outside the capital city of Yaoundé is indeed the “Mother House” of Chad- Cameroon Mission and continues to play a vital role in the formation of local vocations. 14 priests have passed out from this house completing their theological formation during the past 15 years. There are now 14 seminarians under formation. EKEKAM and EBANG are two missions entrusted to the Fransalians in Central Cameroon. A lot of work has been done towards the integral development of these missions. At Ekekam, a village chapel, a multipurpose hall and a priests’ residence were built besides providing clean drinking water to the villages through a number of wells dug during the past few years. EKOUMDOUM, a mission on the outskirts of Yaoundé city is another flourishing mission. The local people continue to be very resourceful and enthusiastic in completing the construction of a beautiful parish church there. We are also entrusted with two University Chaplaincies, one at NGAOUNDERE in North Cameroon and another at BUEA in the South-West of Cameroon. Our ministry to the thousands of students in these two Universities calls for special skills like patient listening, cheerful availability, gentle and fraternal counseling. MBE-KARNA and BEREM are two other Missions in NGAOUNDERE where we have initiated a project of providing clean and safe drinking water to the villagers.
Our youngest mission at KOKOBOUMA in the South-West of Cameroon is facing a major crisis as Fr. Mathew Kavithazha, the first missionary there had a severe attack of malaria and typhoid and had to return to India. The future of this mission therefore remains uncertain. As upcoming projects, two new schools are proposed for the immediate future, one at Ngaoundèrè and another at Ekoumdoum. We are extremely grateful to the numerous friends, benefactors and well wishers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland who support us spiritually and financially for the growth and well being of our mission. Having already 10 major Centres, Chad-Cameroon Mission is making good progress and therefore we feel the need for support from outside more than ever. We assure you our prayers and wish you good health and God’s blessings.
Yours in Christ,