TODAY -

"Our medium is the message," says new CRI president appealing to members for a mission to the marginalized
Source: C.M.Paul *

Hyderabad, November 02 2012: Returning from the epoch making national meet on innovation in religious life, the newly elected Conference of Religious India (CRI) national president on transit in Kolkata airport en route to Guwahati made a passionate appeal to some 125,000 (hundred twenty five thousand) members spread out in India.

About 550 Superiors General and provincials of various congregations meeting Oct 28-31 in Hyderabad for their triennial assembly elected Salesian provincial of Guwahati province Fr.V.M.Thomas (Vattathara) as their new national president, 30 October.

"Our medium is the message," said 61 year old Fr Vattathara making a strong appeal to members for a mission commitment to the marginalized.

"Those who need the most today, get the least and those who need the least get the most, even from the Church," lamented Fr Vattathara the newly elected president.

He insisted that, "we include the excluded and give our best to the least" .



Fr.V.M.Thomas (Vattathara)
Fr.V.M.Thomas (Vattathara)


"Quality education and opportunities for the poor in education and job oriented skills training with competence and commitment...

is the mission of the religious today," he said spelling out mission priorities for his fellow religious in India.

He further explained, "our mission today is proclamation by witness," and encouraged members to live, "our life as our proclamation" .

Using an imagery from the Gospel, Fr Vattathara recalled Jesus' words "new wine in new wineskin" as a slogan to interpret the signs of the times in the light of the person and the message of Jesus in the Emmaus story.

It is a call to all those who are "relishing the old wine" to wake up to the fast changing realities of today.

Taking a cue from Frederick Buechner's book "The Road to Emmaus" Fr Vattathara asserted that Emmaus was not so much a place as a state of mind.

The road to Emmaus is that place where young people go to escape from their failures, responsibilities, their brokenness, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, a demanding family, frustration over life and disappointment in love.

The CRI has a total of 334 religious congregations and 822 major superiors representing Catholic Religious brothers, priests and nuns in India.

Most of the schools, hospitals, social service centers and other institutions of the Catholic Church are managed by this group.

Fr.Vattathara widely acclaimed as an HRD (Human Resource Development) consultant, expert trainer, passionate youth worker, ardent educationist, a proactive catalyst of social transformation and an institution builder was born in the southern state of Kerala in 1951.He made North East India, particularly Assam his home from 1962.Besides being Harvard (USA) graduate majoring in Education, last 18 years Fr Vattathara, has been on the Faculty of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie training IAS and IPS Officers.

* The sender of this news can be contacted at cmpaul53(at)gmail(dot)com .


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