‘With Hearts Filled With Gratitude’ Betharram Fathers celebrate 20th Anniversary with Thanksgiving Eucharist
‘With Hearts Filled With Gratitude’ Betharram Fathers celebrate 20th Anniversary with Thanksgiving Eucharist, concelebrated by Very Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha-Bishop of Mangaluru, along with Sacred Heart Fathers of Betharram (SCJ) Superior General Very Rev Fr Gustavo Agin SCJ, and Sacred Heart Fathers of Betharram (SCJ) Regional Superior-Rev Fr Enrico Frigerio SCJ from Italy, joined by Fr Andrew Leo- Parish Priest of Bondel Church, Mangaluru, and Fr Arul-SCJ-Regional Vicar of India. The Mass was also graced by Fr Stervin SCJ – Superior, Maria Kripa, Mangaluru, Fr Santhosh- Parish Priest of Kasargod, Fr Cyril-Asst Parish Priest, Bondel Church, Ravi- Missionary Society of Infant Jesus (MSIJ), Fr Ronald- Director of Codialbail Press, Mangaluru and Fr Jacob- SCJ
Mangaluru: The Society of Priests of the Sacred Heart of Betharram is a Roman Catholic institute of consecrated life. Established in Bétharram in 1832 by St. Michael Garicoits as fulfillment of a dream, the task of this congregation, dedicated to the Sacred Heart, was to evangelize the people through missions and to teach the young. It received formal approval of the Pope after Garicoits’ death. And in Mangaluru, three priests along with 20 other Seminarians live in Formation House of the Betharram Congregation- “Maria Kripa” located at Mary Hill, Bondel-Mangaluru, who celebrated their 20th Anniversary of the Congregation Mangaluru, graced by the Congregation Superior General Very Rev Fr Gustavo Agin SCJ, originally from Argentina, during his Canonical visit to India, and also joined by Regional Superior-Rev Fr Enrico Frigerio SCJ from Italy. A concelebrated Eucharistic Mass was held on 21st January at 6 pm presided over by Most Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha-the Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese.
The congregation of The Society of Priests of the Sacred Heart of Betharram, which is a Roman Catholic institute of consecrated life has been in Mangaluru from the last twenty years, and the Formation House In Mangaluru is managed by three Roman Catholic priests belonging to the SCG congregation, namely Fr Stervin Selvadass Fernando scj hailing from Tamilnadu-the Superior at Maria Kripa since four years, Fr Jacob scj and Fr Liwin scg- who are active in forming the future priests. These three priests along with 20 other Seminarians, hailing from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Assam and one from Thailand, live at the newly built Formation House of the Betharram Congregation “Maria Kripa, which was inaugurated on 10 September 2014.
The 20 Seminarians at Maria Kripa, of which few learn Theology at St Joseph’s Seminary-Jeppu, few others attend college at Roshini Nilaya School of Social work; and Padua College. While others get one year get training at the Formation House in English, Prayers, Spiritual lessons, spoken English, good mannerism lessons, communication skills etc -undertaken by a team of teachers, well wishers and volunteers who donate their time in training these Seminarians. Once they get trained for a year and found qualified they will be sent for theology classes at Jeppu Seminary. The theology students go to different parishes for their pastoral ministries at the weekends whereas the postulants and scholastic are involved in social ministries. The postulants too go to a nearby ‘Home for Aged’ run by the Little Sisters of the Poor Congregation and also ‘White Doves’ an NGO, and help them out in all possible ways.
Maria Kripa- the name of the Formation House where the City Betharram Fathers have been living since 1999, was a beautiful cottage which was later converted to be a prayer house for the Apostolic Carmel Sisters in 1977. From then on, it was at the service of the Sisters and in 1980 it turned out to be centre for the study of ‘Asian Spirituality’. It became the House of Postulants of Apostolic Carmel from 1980 to 1994. But on 31st May 1999, this Maria Kripa house was placed at the disposal of Betharram Fathers as their Formation House. It all started with two fathers namely Fr Jose Mirande SCJ and Fr Britto Rajan SCJ and a handful of brothers in the year 1999 at Maria Kripa under the guidance of the Apostolic Carmel Sisters and with the magnanimous approval of the Bishop of Mangaluru. From then till today, it has been the mother who has given birth to many priests and deacons.
Rev Fr Gustavo Agin SCJ and Rev Fr Enrico Frigerio SCJ
Regarding the Congregation, in the XIXth century, St Michael Garicoits ardently desired that Betharram would be a missionary congregation, ready to respond to the call of the Church and of the people of their time. Today four continents benefit from the missionary involvement of his disciples: In Europe, the pastoral activity of their communities has shifted from an almost exclusive engagement in education to a much more varied series of pastoral programmes: parishes, educational missions and chaplaincies, animation of specific groups and presence in the new poverty’s.
In His Homily during the Thanksgiving Eucharist, Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha said, ” In every formal programme at the end there is Vote of Thanks, where we express our gratitude for the help and encouragement rendered to the function by various persons. Generosity is always forgotten, but Gratefulness is never Forgotten. Grateful people never forget, even though generous people may forget. We should know that Jesus always thanks His Father for all the gifts showered on His children. And in reciprocation the Children are always grateful. St Paul, stated in the Bible thanks God for the revelation received. God loves the cheerful Giver, and also the Grateful receiver”.
“God waits for our gratitude so that we can receive His gifts with open heart, and it is essential that the receiver receives the gifts gracefully. It is always the simplest and poor people who are the receivers, while the Givers are in a higher level community. Finally we should have a Eucharistic Consciousness, which means Gratitude. Receptivity is always important along with generosity. For that matter, I always reciprocate with thanks for the generosity showered towards me. Today, during the Mass, Fr Arul SCJ expressed his gratitude to the Apostolic Carmel Sisters for donating land for their Formation House, which is a very good sign of gratefulness, while celebrating their 20th Anniversary. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation” added Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha.
At the end of the mass, Fr Stervin SCJ thanked everyone for their unstinted support towards their Congregation in Mangaluru, and looked forward for similar kind of support and encouragement in the years to come. Following a photos session of all the priests snapped together by Team Mangalorean photographer, it was time for social get-together, which comprised of dances performed by the children of Bala Yesu Nilaya Orphanage, Mary Hill, and Mime and dance by the Maria Kripa Seminarians, which enthralled the audience, especially the CSJ Superior General and CSJ Regional Superior, who were seen enjoying every bit of the entertainment.
Fr Jacob SCJ of Maria Kripa handled the felicitation part of the function in a witty manner, which brought extra laughter in the audience-when Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha, CSJ Superior General, CSJ Regional Superior, and few other priests were felicitated. Superior General Very Rev Fr Gustavo Agin SCJ in his foreign accent gratefully thanked all those who had rendered their support and encouragement to the local Betharram Fathers and Maria Kripa, and solicited their future help too. Fr Akhil CSJ compered the function very professionally.
For more information and if you want to support the Betharram Fathers in their mission, you can contact Fr Stervin -Superior, Maria Kripa by calling: 9611346687 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details on Betharram Congregation log on to www.betharram.net