Capuchins Brothers serve the Tribals


Blessing of Garo Village Chapel in Khasi Hills




About 40 Capuchin friars who were participating in the ongoing formation program at the headquarters friary of Nirmala Matha Custody at Guwahati, Assam-Meghalaya, descended on the non-descript village of AMPHANGGRE on 10 December 2017 for the blessing of its newly built chapel and for the Holy Mass, giving a festive mood for the occasion. Obviously the villagers were overjoyed at the presence of a large number of Capuchins in their small hilly village. Children and elders alike heartily welcomed each one with a broad smile, warm hand shake, and the JISUNA RASONG (‘Praise be to Jesus Christ’) greeting on their lips, which are customary among  Garo tribe in the north-eastern part of India.

Retreat with Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa Ofm Cap

God blessed the Curia members with the possibility to spend quality time with our Br. Raniero. It was a time of inspiration for the participants. He based his sharing on the Letter to the Romans and made it alive with insightful and humorous wisdom saying and stories out of his 83 years of living the faith.

The following are some of the points and themes which touched us we share this to you so that they may touch and inspire you also.

Coming to Holy Land is a moment for renewal and experiencing God’s presence personally in Jesus. Being here, one always has the experience of ‘home coming’ to the central place of our faith and rediscovering our roots.

Brothers are given possibility to visit the Biblical sites for three weeks mostly in the morning with an expert accompanying them. In the evening there are biblical insights, Christological reflections, time for inner journey and personal integration using spiritual therapeutic methods.  They also spend quality time in sharing about their life story and particularly that of their Capuchin Vocation.

One of our objectives is to help our brothers know the history of Christianity along with the traditions passed on to us for many centuries. The archeological and biblical reflection along with the theology helps one to set aside the exaggeration and go closer to the historical person of Jesus and try God experience. A friar who visits these holy places could be satisfied with the popular interpretations and devotions alone. But for true ongoing formation one needs to go deeper than that so that we have something to contribute to the modern society which tends to throw away everything as not relevant. It could be a good opportunity to try new answers for oneself and to share the personal findings with the searching world.

During the discussion, burning life issues are touched and discussed. With the first two weeks centering on the visits and visually experiencing the holy land the third and fourth weeks are moments of deeper personal reflection along with the inputs and healing sessions for personal growth. Brothers are also inspired to enjoy silent meditation in Jesus presence and in silent contemplation find new meaning to the fresh challenges of life.

Thus it is a moment of new inspiring focus with renewed faith, healing and integration. In Jesus we find many answers to our basic questions and His experience is amazing!


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