Latest MSFS News



SOUTH-WEST INDIA PROVINCE AT THE SERVICE OF THE COVID-STRICKEN PEOPLE
My dear Confreres, as we are well aware, the second wave of Covid-19 had been deadly, to say the least, especially in India. Many of our Confreres are also badly affected by it. As I request you to be very careful that none of us may contract this sickness, I also earnestly request you to pray for all those who are affected by this deadly virus. Let us specially remember and pray for all the health workers, nurses and doctors that they remain unharmed and continue to serve the humanity further. In this regard, I would like to bring to your notice the positive involvement of our Province in reducing the struggles of the Covid-stricken humanity.

Covid Warriors – Committed and Fearless
My dear Confreres, I am very happy to let you know that eight of our Deacons are engaged in the ministry of the Covid warriors. They do services at St Martha’s Hospital, St Philomina’s Hospital and St Joseph’s College, which is a Covid ward. Their residence is arranged at St Camillian’s House, near Dharmaram College. They are well taken care of and are committing themselves to the ministry under the guidance and animation of the Archdiocesan Authorities. On your behalf, I congratulate our Deacons for their selfless and courageous commitments at this very precarious time of the world. I also thank Fr Binu Edathumparambil, the Rector of Tejas, and the Tejas Community, for coordinating this ministry in collaboration with the Archdiocese.

Accommodation for Forty Needy Children at SFS CBSE School, Kengeri
Children are the ones who get easily affected by the pandemic, not only because they are affected by it, but also because they become orphaned/semi-orphaned as their parents succumb to the pandemic. There are many such cases in Bangalore itself. Therefore, FIDES India Society, in collaboration with Dream India Network and the Archdiocese of Bangalore, is accommodating forty children for a period of time in our school at Kengeri. They are provided with all the basic needs including food, accommodation and basic education. I take this opportunity to place on record the wonderful services rendered by Fr Riju Vazheparambil and the Community of NEST in this regard.

Providing Food for the Needy
At the request of St John’s Medical College, we are providing lunch for Hundred people every day. The people who are served are the relatives of the Covid-patients who are admitted to St John’s Medical College. These people are identified to be very poor and are in need of our help. I thank Fr Tony Erniakulathil and the Mermier Bhavan Community for their selfless services.

Mobile Ambulance Services
We have set apart two of our vehicles as mobile clinics to rush the affected people to the hospitals and to the nearby healthcare centers. These mobile clinics are completely equipped with Beds, Oxygen Cylinders, Wheel Chairs and Stretchers. The mobile clinics are in full operation and many are benefitting through them. I thank Frs Tony Erniakulathil & Lalu Thadathilankal for all the arrangements in this regard.

Supply of PPE Kits
As per the requests of various volunteers and health workers who are associated with the Archdiocese of Bangalore and the Diocese of Mandya we have already supplied freely Three Hundred PPE Kits. There is a demand for more supply and we are working on it. All these PPE Kits are stitched in our Garment Mill at Karahalli. I, specially thank Fr Benny Marangoli and the MSFS Community at Karahalli for their innovative and selfless services at this very urgent time.

MDO of the SOUTH-WEST INDIA PROVINCE at the Service of the Covid-Stricken People
At the surging of the second wave of Covid, Vikasjyothi, the MDO of the South-West India Province is in brisk action to support those affected badly by this pandemic. Through the efficient and innovative commitment of Rev. Fr Thomas Cherukat, the Director of our MDO, a full-scale plan is charted with the approval of the Provincial Administration to support Twenty MSFS Parishes in India belonging to our Province. Respective Parish Priests are requested to find out the needy families in the parishes and ask them to fill up an application to promote the disbursement of the financial aid. A substantial amount of Rs. 3 Lakhs is set apart for this project. I thank the MDO of the Province under the leadership of Fr Thomas Cherukat for this selfless service at a very needy time.

In this context, I would like to express my gratitude to all our Confreres and Friends who have extended their hearts and hands to support financially the Covid-related ministries of the Province. My dear Confreres, let us, as Missionaries, hold our hands together to support the agonizingly struggling world through humanitarian gestures.

DATA – EFFICIENCY WITH EFFECTIVENESS
De Sales Academy for Talent Assistance (DATA), initiated by the Province to provide quality training in foreign languages as well as professional development programs, has within such a short span of its existence made long strides in becoming one of the premier institutes in India in this category. Even in the midst of such adversities caused by the pandemic, it is making its impact more visible with various pro-active online programs and international collaborations. Towards facilitating international education for students from poor and economically backward areas the institute has entered into agreements of collaboration with Sozialstiftung Bamberg (Germany) and Klinikum Dritter Orden, Munich (Germany). The students who complete successfully their language training at DATA have the possibility to take up their professional training in one of these institutions of international repute, that too free of tuition fees and living cost. In addition, taking into consideration the growing demand for accommodation for the students, the Provincial Administration has permitted the local management to start a new hostel building adjoining the institute. The new hostel facility is a necessary step in stabilizing the functioning of DATA by addressing a number of the existential problems faced by it at the moment and will be an added advantage for the institute to extend its reach to more needy students. I wholeheartedly congratulate Rev. Fr Thomas Kalariparambil, the Superior of the Local Community and the Manager of DATA, and Fr Jino Plathottathil, the Director of DATA and all the members of the Community of ‘SFS Vidyashram’ for their visionary endeavours, solid planning and ardent commitment to raise DATA to new heights in par with the needs of the time. ITSSCAT – A NEW DREAM VISUALISED ITSSCAT (Institute for Talent Search for Social Change and Transformation) envisages profound and quality education based on the right values, culture, customs, traditions and beliefs is making scintillating efforts to create an ameliorate society where everyone can feel equal, free, accepted and live in harmony without discrimination. Education of the young is the essential principle on which ITSSCAT functions in order to bring about a positive change in society, which will last for centuries.

ITSSCAT aims at educating the less privileged and unfortunate but talented and highly intelligent students to play a catalyst in the administrative system and the society for positive growth and change. Through the able leadership of Fr Jose Karekatt and our Confreres, it envisions to bring forth a group of world-class personnel to be scientists, executives and leaders emerging from the marginalized and downtrodden strata of the society in order to motivate them to make their own indelible contributions and services to the growth and welfare of the society, nation and the world at large.

Down through the last ten years, with the limited facilities, this movement has so far helped 42 students. ITSSCAT aims to form, educate and train as many children as possible. Towards the realization of this goal, the Provincial Administration has permitted Fr Jose Karekatt to start ITSSCAT-India UNIT 2 at Palachode, Perinthalmanna, Kerala.

The plan is to start the second unit at Perinthalmanna this academic year in a rented house. We plan to construct a new house in the piece of land donated to the MSFS through the contact of Fr Jose Karekatt by Mr Joseph Thomas, the Retired DIG of Prisons, Kerala. The new building will be adequate enough to accommodate and educate more students. We wish and pray that this new venture of the Province through the passionate involvement of our Confreres will be materialised soon through the blessing of God.

SFS COLLEGE HEBBAGODI
St Francis de Sales College and Postgraduate Centre has secured B++ grade in the latest assessment by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in its second cycle of assessment. The College was assessed for a period of five years starting from 2015 to 2019 on seven criteria such as Curricular Aspects, Teaching-Learning, and Evaluation, Research and Extensions, Infrastructure and Learning Resources, Student Support and Progression, Governance-Leadership and Management, and Institutional Values & Best Practices. I place on record the ardent commitment of the management of the past and present for their profound commitment. A special word of appreciation and congratulations to Fr Roy Plathottam, the Principal, Fr Jijo Manjackal, the Vice Principal, Fr Santhosh Kumar, Manage, and Fr Tony Erniakulathil, the Administrator for their immeasurable dedication to take the college to new heights. Sincere congratulation to the Management, Administration, Staff and all those who made this achievement possible.

SFS COLLEGE HEBBAGODI
St Francis de Sales College and Postgraduate Centre has secured B++ grade in the latest assessment by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in its second cycle of assessment. The College was assessed for a period of five years starting from 2015 to 2019 on seven criteria such as Curricular Aspects, Teaching-Learning, and Evaluation, Research and Extensions, Infrastructure and Learning Resources, Student Support and Progression, Governance-Leadership and Management, and Institutional Values & Best Practices. I place on record the ardent commitment of the management of the past and present for their profound commitment. A special word of appreciation and congratulations to Fr Roy Plathottam, the Principal, Fr Jijo Manjackal, the Vice Principal, Fr Santhosh Kumar, Manage, and Fr Tony Erniakulathil, the Administrator for their immeasurable dedication to take the college to new heights. Sincere congratulation to the Management, Administration, Staff and all those who made this achievement possible.

CBSE SCHOOL HEBBAGODI – A NEW LAUREL
It is fascinating to notice that SFS Academy (CBSE) Hebbagodi is shortlisted as one of the top 10 CBSE schools in Bangalore by the Academic Insights a well-known independent Education Magazine and News Portal, that aims at helping schools, colleges and other educational establishments to display their proficiency and competence. This shortlisting is done on the basis of certain yardsticks, such as, the academic and learning environment - promoting inclusivity; the ease at which the campus was shifted online during the pandemic; infrastructure, accommodations, and amenities; Faculty excellence; Promoting creative thinking and thinkers; Strong industry-academia collaborations; Scholarships & concession facilities; Holistic development of everyone present on the campus and Location & feasibility of access. Congratulations to the School Management under the able leadership of Fr A. Lawrence, the Principal, Fr Joshy Thazhathukunnel, the Manager, and Fr Tony Erniakulathil, the Administrator for this encouraging achievement, especially at this time of the pandemic.

PMP RETREAT - TAPASYA
TAPASYA is chosen as a brand name for all the PMP Programs in Karnataka. The Executive Committee decided on Tapasya, as an Indian name for the PMP Programs in Karnataka to convey more effectively the meaning and significance of Parish Missions in the cultural context of Karnataka. Tapasya primarily means austerity, a refined form of self-control and surrender. It is a process of purification and renewal.

After much study, discussion and deliberations the Executive Committee of PMP finalized a blueprint for the Five Days’ PMP Program. A preaching module was prepared with the 10 specific themes as suggested in the PMP Manual. It was decided that the PMP Teams will always comprise three preachers apart from the director. The Five Days’ Program was designed with 10 major talks with Holy Eucharist and the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament occupying a prime place in the daily schedule. Due importance is also given to the popular devotions of Holy Rosary and Way of the Cross. Family Visits are made an integral part of the Program. Visit to the cemetery and blessing of the tombs are also part of the program. The daily morning prayer, adoration and meditation by the Team as a community in mission is a mandatory spiritual starter for every Mission Team.

The first-ever Five Days’ Tapasya Mission under the banner of Parish Mission Preaching (PMP) was conducted 01-05 March 2021 at the Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Gumatapuram in Talavadi. The team of preachers consisted of Frs Erudaya Raja, Christopher Crasta and Sudeep Andrews besides Fr Sebastian Conrad, the Director. The entire program was a great success and was much appreciated by the parish community of over 250 people. Almost 80 % of the parish community had actively participated in the program. Apart from the 10 well-prepared Talks, the family visits as well as many of the popular devotions and practices had found sufficient space in the program. In a post-tapasya evaluatory session, the Team expressed their joy and happiness in having conducted such a beautiful program. All agreed that it was the result of a systematic planning and the hard work of the executive committee and the members of the first Tapasya Team. All expressed their eagerness to take up more such Tapasya Missions in the weeks and months ahead.



SFS CARNIVAL
“When you face difficult times know that challenges are not sent to destroy you. They’re sent to promote, increase and strengthen you.”

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for a touch of a friendly hand… This was what the Desalites’ carnival was all about. The month of January saw the exuberant celebration and a fun-filled day in the amphitheater of SFS ACADEMY, through the carnival held on January 31, 2021.

The history of the world is full of people who rose to the occasion and proved themselves by the sheer force of self-confidence, bravery, and tenacity. The young, ignited minds of our society are our greatest assets. We, at SFS Group of Institution, designed a joint venture promoted by SWIP and organized by SFS Public School (ICSE & ISCE) and SFS Academy(CBSE) encouraged these youngsters from different schools of South West India Province to explore their true potential by awakening their passions and cultivating their talents by participating in various events held virtually.

The afternoon celebrations commenced with the Principals, students, parents, faculty members of SFS Group of Institution who are the beneficiaries of the proceeds of the carnival.

The president of the function, Rev. Dr Benny Koottanal MSFS, the Provincial of SWIP, a man of distinct vision and a fountainhead of illuminating ideas, presided over and lauded the efforts of Rev. Dr Jabamalai, councillor incharge of education in providing the virtual platform during this pandemic situation for the students across the SFS schools of south-west India province to express their talents. He also congratulated Rev. Fr P. M Lawrance Principal of SFS Academy whose constant support and enormous guidance motivated the students and the music teachers to compose and release the Desalite Album “Go Covid – 19”.

Mrs Pavithra, theatre and film artist, present faculty in theatre arts, Bangalore University, chief guest of the day expressed her anecdote in seeing her dreams come true in the field of performing arts. She shared her experience on how she was inspired to get into theatre arts even after she was discriminated due to her complexion.

The school amphitheater pulsated with scintillating music and a lively crowd. The carnival had something in store for everybody, be it children or adults. An array of edible delights, rolling trophy – Desalites’ Vencedora 2021 won by SFS High school, Malur and exciting prizes ensured an unforgettable time with near and dear ones. The zest and zeal exhibited by an enthusiastic crowd of visitors and participants made the Desalites’ Carnival a memorable one.

I express my heartfelt congratulations to Fr A. Jabamalai, the councilor incharge of education and all the collaborators for executing this new venture with precise and meticulous planning. HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS!



ST JOSEPH’S CHURCH AT CHINTAMANI: RAISED TO PILGRIMAGE CENTER
My dear Confreres, in accordance with the wish of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, the Apostolic Penitentiary has bestowed the gift of the Indulgences during the Year of St Joseph. In line with this, the Archbishop of Bangalore has declared seven Churches in the Archdiocese as Pilgrimage Churches in this year of St Joseph. One among them is ST JOSEPH’S CHURCH, CHINTAMANI, which is permanently entrusted to the MSFS. The Faithful are exhorted to visit these Churches to obtain Indulgences (naturally following all the modalities).

Along with our MSFS Confreres, I consider it as a great privilege and honour for us that one of our Churches in the Kolar Deanery is raised as a Pilgrim Church. It is very necessary that we take special attention to promote the devotion to St Joseph especially through this special privilege entrusted to us.



News From Germany-Austria (GA) Delegation
Appointment of the New Delegation Superior: Rev. Fr Siby Joseph Manickathan
After having consulted the Members of the GA Delegation, with the unanimous consent of the Provincial Council and the approval of the Superior General I have appointed Rev. Fr Siby Joseph Manickathan as the new Delegation Superior of the GA (Germany-Austria) Delegation of our province. Fr Siby Joseph will take the Oath of Office on the 24th of January 2020 during a concelebrated mass of the Confreres. I wish Fr Siby Joseph God’s abundant blessings in his new stint as the Delegation Superior of GA.

I take this opportunity to thank Rev. Fr Joseph Pattarakalayil, the outgoing Delegation Superior for his spirited animation of the Delegation for the past three years. Thank you, dear Fr Joseph.

News From Chad-Cameroon Delegation
43rd Annual Seminar of the Bishops of Cameroon at La Feuillette, Ngoya,
At the request of Mgr. Sosthène Léopold, the bishop of Obala, the MSFS community at La Feuillette, Ngoya hosted the annual seminar of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (NECC). It was a moment of great pride for the MSFS Congregation in general and the Chad Cameroon delegation, in particular, to welcome nearly 35 bishops into their house. MSFS was privileged to host such an important event. This important event was held from 6th to 11th January 2020 based on the theme: “What Episcopal Conference do we want”. The seminar was presided over by His Lordship, Abraham KOME, bishop of Bafang and President of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (NECC).

The solemn opening ceremony took place on Monday 6th January in the Amphitheater of the Saint Cyprian Theological School of Ngoya in the presence of His Grace Julio Murant, Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon, and His grace, Ludwing SCHICK, Archbishop of Bamberg (Germany) and the President of the World Church  Commission (Welt Kirche) of the German Episcopal Conference. After the Solemn opening ceremony, the Bishops came to La Feuillette, MSFS house for the rest of the seminar. The Bishops stayed at La Feuillette for 5 days. They reflected on the Synod of Youth, basing themselves on the two papers presented: “Presentation and challenges of the Apostolic Exhortation Christus VIVIT  (Christ is alive)  by his grace, Andrew FUANYA NKEA and The Pastoral implications of the Apostolic Exhortation Christus VIVIT by his Lordship Joseph Marie NDI-OKALLA.

The 43rd Annual seminar of the Bishops was spiritually nourished by the prayers and Eucharistic celebration animated by MSFS Brothers with which other religious communities, priests and seminarians from the Diocese of Obala were also associated. Bishops through the person of Msgr. Abram KOME, president of the National Episcopal Conference expressed their deep sentiments of gratitude to MSFS Congregation for hosting the annual seminar in their house. Local ordinary, the Bishop of Obala appreciated the MSFS community for their Salesian hospitality, cheerful availability and joyful service.

It was a time of intense activity for the MSFS confreres of La Feuillette. They did everything possible to make this event a memorable one. Bishops expressed their total satisfaction and requested the confreres to convey their sentiments of gratitude to the Provincial Superior and the Superior General for making MSFS house available for the annual seminar.

News From the Philippines Delegation
Volcanic Eruption in Philippines
On 12th January 2020 around 1.00 pm local time, the TaalVolcano which is situated near to Tagaytay City, Philippines, erupted without any warning. Thick clouds of wet ashes and sand were thrown into the air as tall as 15 km. Residents who came within the 14 km radius of the Volcano were forcefully evacuated to evacuation camps. The debris of ashes and sand smelling sulfur were spread as far as Manila Airport which is situated nearly 100 km away from the Volcano. The Philippines Delegation of South West India Province has 3 formation houses within the vicinity of the Volcano. Our Novitiate House and Theology Scholasticate are situated in Amadeo, which comes within the 17 Km radius of the Volcano. Our Philosophy Study House in Silang is also within the same radius. All these three houses and also the compound were covered with volcanic ashes and sand. We are now outside the forceful evacuation zone, but there is a high alert for a more fierce eruption imminent. All the members of the Delegation gathered on 20th January, 2020 to evaluate the situation and to plan for the future course of action. The confreres who are in these formation houses prefer to stay there itself, till there is a forceful evacuation measure adopted by the authorities. The cleaning of the houses and the premises are going on. There are also possible health hazards involved by breathing the dust-filled air. All the members are provided with masks to protect themselves.

News From the Philippines Delegation
Volcanic Eruption in Philippines
On 12th January 2020 around 1.00 pm local time, the TaalVolcano which is situated near to Tagaytay City, Philippines, erupted without any warning. Thick clouds of wet ashes and sand were thrown into the air as tall as 15 km. Residents who came within the 14 km radius of the Volcano were forcefully evacuated to evacuation camps. The debris of ashes and sand smelling sulfur were spread as far as Manila Airport which is situated nearly 100 km away from the Volcano. The Philippines Delegation of South West India Province has 3 formation houses within the vicinity of the Volcano. Our Novitiate House and Theology Scholasticate are situated in Amadeo, which comes within the 17 Km radius of the Volcano. Our Philosophy Study House in Silang is also within the same radius. All these three houses and also the compound were covered with volcanic ashes and sand.

We are now outside the forceful evacuation zone, but there is a high alert for a more fierce eruption imminent. All the members of the Delegation gathered on 20th January, 2020 to evaluate the situation and to plan for the future course of action. The confreres who are in these formation houses prefer to stay there itself, till there is a forceful evacuation measure adopted by the authorities. The cleaning of the houses and the premises are going on. There are also possible health hazards involved by breathing the dust-filled air. All the members are provided with masks to protect themselves. 

Blessing of the Foundation Stone for the PG Block, SFS College, Hebbagodi
20-01-2020 - the fancy date - went into the annals of St Francis de Sales College as a historical day when the Foundation Stone of the Postgraduate Block was blessed by Rev. Dr Benny Koottanal MSFS, General Manager and Provincial Superior. The ceremony of blessing the Foundation Stone was held during the prayer service at 02.20 pm, in the presence of Rev. Fr Vinod Kanattu, the Provincial Bursar, Rev. Fr Jabamalai, the Provincial Councillor in charge of Education, Rev. Fr  Mathew Chavelil, Rev. Fr Jose Puthiaparambil, Rev. Fr  John Melukunnel and Fathers from Mermier Bhavan, along with all the Faculty, Staff and students of the College. We thank God for His abundant love and support that He always bestows upon us and we pray for the prosperous completion of our Postgraduate building.

Inauguration & Blessing of the New School Building in Anthoninagara, Chikmagalur
On January 22, 2020 was a red-letter day for the Fransalian Mission at Anthoninagara as it marked the formal blessing and inauguration of the newly constructed extension of the school building and (DeSalotsava’20) 3rd Annual Day Celebration. Rt. Rev. Dr T. Anthony Swamy, Bishop of Chikmagalur, blessed the School Building and Fr Benny Kootanal Provincial, inaugurated the newly constructed extension. The event was also graced by the presence of Shri. H. D. Revanna the Member of Legislative Assembly and Ex-Minister of PWD, Fr Vinod Kanat, Provincial Bursar and Fathers from different communities. The Bishop and Ex-Minister, Shri. H.D. Revanna were impressed by the progress of the school in a short period of time and thanked the MSFS in the mission for the commendable service rendered in the local area.