To Preach the Good News to the Poor, our Oblate Deacons namely, Antony Davidraj, Nirmal Tirkey, Rathis Babin, Sumit Tirkey were ordained to Priesthood by the ArchBishop of Madras Mylapore Most. Rev. George Antonysamy on August 14, 2021 at Santhome Cathedral, Chennai.
Four of our Oblate deacons were ordained along with 3 Arch diocese deacons and 5 religious congregation deacons on the same eve. Due to covid-19 regulations from the government the ordination ceremony was restricted to public participation. The family members of deacons and representatives of the religious congregations and the Madras Mylapore diocese were allowed to participate.
The Arch Bishop Rev. George Antonysamy said in his homily, “The priesthood is a call to be a father. Let people call you not as ‘reverend’ but ‘father.” He quoted Pope Francis, “When a priest is called a Father it means that when he is baptized, he is never made to be a Priest or Bishop but called to be a lay person. We are called to participate in the Common Priesthood of Jesus Christ. “
As India was a delegation under the Province of Colombo, its office functioned in several places such as in Nivedanam-Banglaore, Perambakkam-farm house and St. Paul’s Institute, Oblate Scholasticate, in Poonamallee, before it could take its permanent place at St.Thomas Mount, the present Provincialate. Before it could take the final place the Indian Delegation office was functioning in St. Paul’s Institute attached to the Scholasticate. At this moment the members from Indian delegation felt the need to have a separate delegation office and thus chose St. Thomas Mount as a viable place together with many other other religious houses found their establishments on this mountain, the very place where St. Thomas, apostle of Jesus was martyred.
And the need for the new delegation office was proposed during the General Body meeting held at Kombadimadurai in 2002. All the members were in favour of constructing the delegate house enshrined as “St. Joseph’s Bhavan” and unanimously accepted the proposal. The first wing was constructed under the supervision of Fr.Cyril Joseph, St. Joseph Bhavan was blessed by the then Archbishop of Madras Mylapore Dr. Aruldass James and opened by Rev. Fr. Pathinathan OMI, the then Delegation Superior on 1st October, 2002.
With gratitude to God and to all our Oblate benefactors we have blessed open on 15 September 2008, on the beatification anniversary of Blessed Joseph Gerard OMI, a new wing of St Joseph Bhavan, an extension at St Thomas Mount, Chennai. We thank Rt Rev Dr. Neethinathan, Bishop of Chingleput, for blessing this extension of the delegation office.
We cannot but think of the large Oblate family which made this dream come true today. We place on record our benefactors – Rev Fr. Thomas Klosterkamp OMI, the then Provincial, Central European Province and Rev Fr. Aloys Terliesner OMI, mission procure, Germany and late Rev Fr. Josef Mathuni OMI the mission procure Austria, Rev Fr. Loius Lougen OMI, the then Provincial of Oblate US Province and present Superior General of the Oblates, late Rev Fr. Floor de Grauw OMI and late Rev Lucien Schmitt OMI. We remember each of them with love and gratitude.
We thank the former leaders of the delegation and its leaders after becoming a province for this mammoth work of conceiving and constructing the present provincial house and for the present administration under the leadership of Fr.S.Chinnappan, for taking care of it with periodical renovations, etc. Therefore, we are indebted to gratefully remember the former delegation superiors and provincials, namely, Frs.Emmauael Mariampillai, Stanislaus Philips, Joseph A Samarakone, Ambrose, Antonisamy, Antony Jeevaratnam, Missian Pathinathan Francis Nallappan and S.Chinnappan, of St.Eugene Province of India. We also gratefully remember Frs.S.D.Arokiaraj and Gnanaprgasam who contributed their share of shaping this house as procurator and secretary respectively. The house gratefully remembers late Rev Fr. Vethanayagam OMI, for his creative and attractive designs with the statue of the Risen Lord in the chapel. We thank one and all for the share they contributed in keeping this house in their hearts and making use of her services.
Later in the year 2019, the whole provincial house has been renovated once vacating the hostel that was leased out for, with the concerted efforts of Fr.S.Chinnappan, provincial superior and Fr.A.Varaprasathem, provincial treasurer; with the generous financial assistance from Mission Prokur, Germany and its director Fr.Aloys Peter Terliesner OMI. Thank you.
Oblate Community St.Joseph’s Bhavan, 2/17-Z, Rudra Road St.Thomas Mount, Chennai – 600 016, T.N, India.
FIRST PROFESSION - 2021
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” Psalm 118 : 24
On 21st May, 7 of our novices from 5 different states namely, Bro. Dalee Balaswamy, Bro. Dama kendulna, Bro. Dorwin Yagova, Bro. Mariavimal, Bro. Michael Reagan, Bro. Oskar Minj, Bro. Rupesh Nand made their First Religious Commitment. Rev.Fr. Varghese OMI, the delegate of Provincial Superior presided over the Eucharist and Fr. Simeon OMI preached the homily on the theme, ‘To Be Rooted in Christ’. It was concluded with the subsequent Fellowship Agape. At this juncture, we gratefully remember and thank all the Oblates of Zette District and neighbourhood Religious priests, sisters and friends for their support and participation in the celebration and glorifying God for the gift of Oblate Religious Vocation to these young men and their gift of life to the OMI Congregation, to our Province and to our Mother Church at large. With a deep sense of gratitude we also remember Fr. Maria Selvam OMI who Accompanied our novices spiritually during the 6 days of Annual Retreat from 9th to 15th May 2021.
Fr. Joy Amal OMI St. Joseph’s Novitiate, Arpanalayam
India’s deadly Covid-19 second wave has devastated big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru. Hospitals and crematoriums have run out of space, and funerals are taking place in car parks. But the pandemic has now firmly gripped many smaller cities, towns and villages where the devastation is largely under-reported.
People spend many hours taking their kith and kin from one hospital to another in Autos, bikes as the people cannot get an ambulance or any other vehicles. Once they reach to the hospitals, the hospital administration washes its hands saying there are no beds available, ventilators are running short, pharmacies are empty even if they have medicines are unaffordable by a normal even a middle class family. Thus the people leave ultimately everything to fate and come home leaving the patients on the corridors and sometimes spaces wherever available in the hospital vicinities.
The hospitals when they don’t find a place for patients with virus, send you back home to care for ourselves with prescribed medicines, we need to buy ourselves. And when people go to buy medicines in pharmacies, either it is very costly which even a middle class family can’t afford or not available at all.
A son who had taken his father to the hospital and returned without getting a bed for his father, cries on TV news as follows: “I am giving him medicines at home, but I am not sure that he will survive. We have been left to die on the streets. He says several private hospitals even “conned” him and took money to do tests, only to tell him later to take his father away as there were no beds. “I am not a wealthy person. I spent whatever I had to pay the auto driver and to hospitals. Now I am going to borrow some money to get an oxygen cylinder at home.” Such stories have become common in Delhi and other metropolitan cities, the worst affected city in India, but similar accounts are now coming in from smaller cities and towns across the country.
All the more government has made the ‘Remdesivir Injection’ sold only by the Government in Government hospitals, the relatives need to stand in line for hours together and sometime for days without food and drink and some lose their lives for dehydration, etc. this is very much true and has become common if you watch the news on India while it could be the same elsewhere on the globe, to see it is really devastating.
The Oblates were not exempted from this infection of this deadly virus. Several Oblates in India are infected with this virus, few have recovered from with great difficulties, and some have been treated in home quarantine with medicines prescribed by hospitals. Few others do not get beds. As we approach even the catholic hospitals for bed availability, even the routine hospitals the Oblates commute, say that they don’t have, for really the hospitals are full. Thus we need to wait for days to get a place in the hospitals. At least for now the number of the Oblates gone up to 08 seriously infected and hospitalized and some others are in home quarantine, several Oblate students and brothers are treated with medications, with ‘Ayurveda’ remedies in the communities itself as neither beds nor resources are available in reserve for us in this all of a sudden devastatingly increase of this deadly virus in the second wave.
In the first wave the Oblates concentrated outside of our communities to help the people affected by this very much but now in the second wave we need to concentrate both within our communities who need help and without/outside for the people who are really struggling for their livelihood and survival physically, mentally and medically. We too as the people do here leave it to God the Almighty to take care of the Oblates and people in his abundant mercy and compassion.