It is amazing to be taken up into the Indian mission to the West. We are the beneficiaries of the ‘Ministry to Priests’ wing of the Seihon ministries from Kerala in India. The Seihon ministry has members scattered all over the English dioceses and they come together every month numbering up to 3000 at a convention centre in Birmingham. What is special is that the whole community is involved in this multi-pronged ministry: they reach out to the youth, sick, to children, to childless couples, to alcoholics. Not only do they stress catechesis but also the healing side of the gospel.
Tomorrow, Sunday 4th September, Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be officially declared a saint of the Catholic Church.
70th Independence Day Celebrations in
UCANews reports on preparations for the canonisation of Mother Teresa in Kolkata, India.
The new formation year 2016 -17 began this month of June, 2016 on a good note. As the saying goes: “Well begun is half done”. We began this new year of 2nd Cycle formation in Pune with 18 students, out of which two deacons and four final year students will be soon leaving us at the end of July 2016. This year we have 10 new students for 1st year theology – six African students i.e. two Cameroonians, two Kenyans and two Ugandans and four Indian students.
Every four years, ever since 1983, Fr Francis Baartmans mhm and the Benares Foundation organise an 'India Day'. The 8th edition of this event took place on June 18th in St Jozefhuis, Oosterbeek and brought together some 125 participants, most of whom have a personal connection through voluntary service with the work of Fr Francis among the Dalits in the Hindu Holy City of Varanasi, India, on the banks of the Ganges.
The present book is a serious study on the Dalits in the Assi-Nagwa area of Varanasi. It deals with a community who lives in a colony in the midst of a rather upper-caste neighbourhood with a Brahmanic aura. Dr. Frans Baartmans' study is not a desk analysis of Dalits. He is a scholar, a social activist, tireless catalyst for a transformation of a community while living among them for the last thirty-four years. He is heart and soul dedicated to the cause of making an unbroken identity out of a broken community. Baartmans is an exceptional transformational leader in this epoch of slow, yet emerging discourse on discrimination of a community wrought by the upper castes.
New Mill Hill Formation House in Pune, India
At the occcasion of the 150 year jubilee of the Mill Hill Missionaries the new generation of Mill Hill members in India has produced a video presentation of the work on the Mill Hill missionaries, past and present, in the Indian subcontinent.
Francis Baartmans mhm came to Varanasi in 1977 just when India shut its doors to foreign missionaries. Mill Hill was going to withdraw but Francis persuaded his superiors to be allowed to go to Varanasi. His argument was: 'This is not a time to withdraw. Hinduism and Buddhism are now coming to Europe. Vatican II promotes dialogue. We do not need less but rather more contact. I want to go there and stay, i want to really enter into the depth of the Indian experience'.