The VFCAP experience in Bangalore, India – from strangers to family members with a mission and tools. That is the story summarized from a lengthy report on April 27- May 1, 2015 Vincentian Family Collaborative Action Program in Bangalore, India.
The following pictures capture part of the story as well.
Edited Summary of the VFCAP in Bangalore, India
April 27 – May 1, 2015
Summarized from a report by Bro. Tomy Varghese, SSVP
The Vincentian Family Collaboration Action Program kicked off with a word of welcome by Rev. Fr. Shajan Pudussery, CM. Invoking the blessings of God Almighty, a beautiful and eye-catching Prayer Dance was presented by six sisters. The introduction that followed highlighted the role and relevance of the program. The world today needs our help in offering a helping hand to the poor and deprived. Fr. Shajan also extended a warm welcome to Sr. Rose Chirayil D.C the Visitatrix of the South Indian Province of the DCs and Rev. Fr. Joe Agostino C.M, the coordinator of VFCC team. Sr. Rose inaugurated the program by lighting the lamp accompanied by the melodious singing by Sr. Meera Nayak, DC.
Immediately after that Rev. Fr. Shajan presented an informative, interesting and thought provoking video. It was followed by the presentation on VFCAP outcomes and intentions, an ice breaking session lead by the Rev. Fr. Joy Thuruthel, CM, and work on the Vincentian Family tree in India. It was a pleasant experience.
The Holy Eucharist was presided over by Rev. Fr. Francis Puthenthayil, the National Coordinator of VFI
Lunch followed. When the group reassembled, Rev. Fr. Shajan presented Module 1: A Vincentian is a Visionary ……. Re-awakening.
We came together as strangers and made few friends initially but felt as Family Members by the end of the day.
Second day VFCAP activities began with a presentation by Rev. Fr. Francis Puthenthayil, CM on Module 2: A Vincentian is a contemplator – Re-Rooting. He emphasized the four Vincentian Relationships and, after the break delivered a highly informative talk on the five Vincentian virtues for collaboration.
The mass was officiated by Rev. Fr. Dominic, CM. In the beginning of the Mass Sr. Sebina DC read out a report on St. Louise Mariallac, Co-founder of Daughters of Charity. At the end of the Mass Sr. Ann Marianna explained the origin of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul (Mananthavady).
That afternoon, Fr. Joe began the presentation of the third module: Collaboration – Re-Discovering which was continued on the morning of the third day. Brother Pious spoke at the beginning of the mass about Bl Frediric Ozanam, the founder of Society of St. Vincent De Paul. After the Eucharist, the participants has a photo session in the Chapel as well as out-doors.
At the start of the afternoon session, Fr. Shajan asked the participants to create a game by using the objects or properties brought by the group. Each team came out with highly imaginative and amusing games which also conveyed beautiful meaningful messages. Immediately after that, Fr. Joe concluded the material on Module 3.
That night we had a colourful and entertaining cultural feast in which almost all participants took part. It was a time of joy and celebration that will be cherished by the members for a long time.
Day 3 began with the presentation on Module 4: Vincentian is a catalyst – Re-imagining by Rev. Fr. Joy Thuruthel, CM. It included a process on Pastoral Reflection which was presented as a method of doing and reflecting on ministry, an opportunity to think critically on their work and thus grow in self-awareness.
The group dispersed Mass which was officiated by Fr. Joy. At the beginning of the Mass, Sr. Rosy Joseph SCJM presented on her congregation, the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary. And at the end of Mass, Sr. Mary Abraham SCSJA also presented on the Sisters of Charity of St. Jeanne Antide.
That afternoon, Fr. Joe made a Presentation on Module 5: Vincentian is a Servant – Re-imagining. He explained the MAP and led the group through the initial process of planning for their next steps.
After Tea, the participants left to the City of Bengaluru by bus to visit the important sights. We visited St. Mary’s Basilica and the famous Infant Jesus Church. Our tour ended with a delicious dinner hosted by Sr. Rose Chirayil and the DCs at their Provincialate.
The fifth and final day began with the participants completing their MAPs. They were then asked to fill out the VFCAP Evaluation Form which was designed to determine the degree to which they have acquired knowledge and skills based upon their participation in the course. They were also asked to write three specific recommendations or suggestions to improve the VFCAP in the future. An oral evaluation session followed.
Afterwards, we had a very elaborate discussion on how the Vincentian Family can be taken forward. Rev. Fr. Francis Puthenthayil gave a vivid picture of the ‘famvin’ in India and plans and expectations to be achieved. The program technically came to an end and we left to the Chapel for the celebration of the Mass. It was an experience of spiritual ecstasy. The Mass was started with a procession with flowers and ‘Arathi’ Offertory etc. It was officiated by Fr. Joe and concelebrated by Frs. Francis, Shajan, and Joy. Fr. Francis congratulated Frs. Joe and Joy on their Feast Day and a cake was cut and shared. It was a thanksgiving Mass, thanking God Almighty for all the blessings of all five days and thanking the Resource Persons, planners, organizers, retreat center sisters, and one another for making the program a grand success.