Vox Nostra  |  Wishes  |  Obituary

In order to mark the “Year of Youth” as wished by the Pope and especially our Bishop, Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, the Conference of Religious in India (CRI) of the Udupi Diocese organized “The Formees’ Gathering” – a day for all formees at St Cecily’s School auditorium on 7th July, 2019.

The presence of all the participants was surprisingly ‘before time’ and also ‘full’ which was greatly noteworthy. This good response facilitated the beginning of the program exactly at 10.00 a.m. The Pallotine sisters invoked the presence of the Lord and led the gathered into prayer. The President of CRI, Udupi, Rev. Fr Mark D’Souza SAC welcomed all the gathered – the priests, brothers and sisters. The stage was beautified with the presence of Fr. Roshan Menezes Capuchin, the Episcopal Vicar for the Religious, Udupi, Fr. Baptist Menezes, the Rector of the Minor Seminary of the Udupi Diocese and also the Resource person of the day and Sr. Vibha Jessy AC, the superior of St. Cecily’s Convent, Udupi.

Fr. Mark made the participants of various congregations to introduce themselves and set the event in motion. Fr. Roshan through his short address called the participants to be “protagonists” in the ‘vineyard’ of God. Br. Rixon, a regent brother in the Minor Seminary of Udupi Diocese activated the participants through his ice-breaking sessions.

Fr. Baptist Menezes, the resource person of the day enlightened the participants on the theme “Challenges of Youth and their response to the Religious Vocation”. The session which was divided into two, was indeed very practical, captivating and highly suitable for the gathered. Fr. Baptist gave some practical points for the seminarians and the sisters to have undivided attention to God alone, to develop a proper attitude in the way of vocation through which one is able to transform one’s behaviour. In a word, the session by Fr. Baptist was an inspiring one, knit with many situations, events, incidents and examples and turned out a boost to the young vocations.

The Eucharist was then presided by Fr. Mark D’Souza along with other priests. Fr. Jason shared the Word of God. The liturgical singing was animated by the Capuchin brothers by their singing and the readings were shared by the Pallotine brothers. The session resumed with the ice-breaking sessions animated by Fr. Jason and Br. Rixon. The brothers and sisters interacted well during these activities.

Br. Rixon shared his vocation story and inspired the formees. The Bishop of Udupi, Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo then came and addressed the formees. The Bishop conveyed the message of Pope Francis namely the three ‘words’ to be used - please, thank you and sorry. Besides, the Bishop personally admonished the formees – to speak good, to think good and do good. Fr. Baptist then shared his vocation story which was a boost to the gathered. The evaluation of the whole program was done by Fr. Baptist and Fr. Mark and the formees gave a very positive feedback. With the words of gratitude from Sr. Thelma, Holy Spirit sister, the session was concluded with the blessing of the Bishop. A group photo was taken to mark the event.

It was a great maiden event and surprisingly there were 107 formees gathered. The venture of the CRI to celebrate the “year of youth” was thus greatly rewarded with success.

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