THE QUARTOSEPTCENTENNIAL JUBILEE
MISSIONARIES OF ST. FRANCIS DE SALES (MSFS) IN NORTH EAST INDIA
The Province has currently 175 priests, who are actively involved in a variety of ministries in India and overseas missions. A number of confreres are involved preaching ministry. The Retreat centre at Umroi has given a new emphasis on parish mission. Confreres in the parishes are fully involved both in education as well as pastoral ministry. Taking into account the social realities, confreres have been qualified for social work. In the recent years, the social ministry of the province has received better organizational set up and more confreres have been empowered to involve in social ministry, which in fact enhances the pastoral ministry. Today the social ministry is mainly monitored by FAsCE India, which is the registered NGO. Thus the northeast province is currently serving 33 parishes with schools and hostels; and 10 institutions of the congregation that are spread out in the three Archdioceses and 13 dioceses within the country.
BLESSED PETER MERMIER :THE FOUNDERServant of God Fr. Peter Mermieris the founder of the MSFS,along with Claudine Echernierfounded the congregation of the Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod. He wasa? man of tremendous missionary zeal and was? at service of the local church who responded to clarion called of universal church to reach out globally. A man of deep faith through prayer and salesianspirituality strived to built up the missionary force who will be committed anddynamic, daring and innovative, creative and responsive to the signs of time.The need and the trust of the missionaries at that time was promotes Personal and Family renewal of the FAITH in troubled times that post revolutionary France Society was going through.
MSFS REACHING INDIAWhen the congregation was only 8 yearsold Fr. Mermier went to Rome to seek approval of the Holy father ,thePope. Finally, Rome gave its approval in 1889. The first band of missionaries had to sail to India, go to the ends of the earth and preach the Gospel to all creation. Fr. Mermier was enthusiastic to send first band of missionaries to India. Hence, he chose the best of them. They were six of them, four priest and two lay brothers, sailing through the whole Africa coast. They reached India??? landed on Indian soil at Pondicherry on 8th sept. 1845.
COUNTRIES AT MSFS PRESENCEAustralia, Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Chad, Chile, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherland, Papua, New Guinea, Philippines ,South Africa, Switzerland, St. Lucia- West India, Tanzania, Tobago ? Trinidad, Uganda, USA, Canada.
THE IDENTITY OF A MSFS A MSFS is a committed missionary, who is led by the love of God and neighbor, growing? daily in his life of joyful holiness, firmness, gentleness, deep humanity and enduring optimism. He is also aware of the need to? practice holy indifference, unfailing hospitality, cheerful availability and unquenching thirst for knowledge. He carries on his ministry, in communion with the whole church and in solidarity, with his fellow conferers,the Fransalians. Every MSFS priest is at the service of humanity by doing a variety of missionary activities.
OUR VISION: To pass on the love of God and gentleness to the world and to bring about the renewal of Christians life by preaching parish missions, evangelizing people and educating the youth.
OUR MISSION:To be a missionary with a vision and explorer of the unknown builder of communities, a sower of God?s word and enlighten guide of his students and a formator in the spirit of SFS.
Social Ministry:A Fransalian envisages, an effective change in the society, and this dream is actualized through his? day-to-day activities. On sensing the needs of the people, a fransalian respond very effectively. Fransalians are actively involved in empowering women, children,especially the oppressed, and enlighten them of their rights and duties. Many of these priests are working among the remote tribal areas in India andin Africa. They are interested not onlyin providing education, butalso give themthe necessary training and opportunities? to live a meaningful? life. Children are the future of tomorrow. This congregation has a well functioning innovative ministry for uplifting the most neglected section of the society.The poor street children who live in indignity and destitution are very well taken care of in rehabilitation centers.THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION ?Knowledge is the 8th Sacrament? says St. Francis De Sales. In actualizing, the very words of patron ,Fransalians are involved in education apostolate to impart knowledge and values. Many schools and colleges with the mark of POSSITIVE difference have been erected in various parts of India and world. Our educational institutions are beautifully synthesized, by time tested values. Living up to its mottos of knowledge, service and charity, true education is the education of heart. Providing value based education in one of the mottos of our schools and colleges having regular prayer service, catechism classes and moral education. The Fransalians see to the over all development at the students including their talents, by conducting various extra curricular activities like sports,quiz, singing, debates, seminars and gymnastics. A noble venture of the time is to provide boarding facilities to the orphans, semi-orphan and poor children from rural area.
MSFS AND EDUCATION IN NORTH EAST REGION Missionaries of Saint Francis De Sales have taken up the ministry of education in Northeast very seriously because they have realized that the lack of education among the youth adding fuel to the already burning issues in this region.There are forty well reputed high schools and nearly hundred lower schools in different part of northeast regions .They have also a few high secondary and a degree level colleges .Care has been taken to opening and running schools in interior villages ,neglected even by the? authorities. Later on, this school situated areas have become very prominent and have become an epicenter of development. MSFS have certain values and principles in opening new centers for schools and its daily administration. Considering the poor financial conditions of the local people the expenses of education has been kept as low as possible. Deserving children are given free education or free concession.There are also hostels attached to these schools because they can facilitate a safe and conducive study atmosphere for the children from far away interior villages .Our college in Arunachal cater to the educational aspirations of several children in that region.Most of our school has all the necessary modern facilities.? And with the limited resources the authorities have succeeded in giving excellent atmosphere for curricular and co-curricular activities in all our school.
CHILDRENS VILLAGE AND NON FORMAL EDUCATION The wonderful idea of children?s village is to provide the less privileged aconduciveambience for study and make them realize that they are loved and cared. Apart from the various formal educational institutions the Fransalians also have some non-formal educational centers where people are trained in tailoring, textile designing, embroidery, typing, computer based courses, printing course etcto the non-matric poor children. Those children who are successfully completing the courses are offered with job opportunities .In cases of need ,follow up programmes are also conducted for the weaker ones.
HEALING MINISTRYA unique project in its dynamism and orientation is the Mermier Healing Centre where Fransalians are involved in growing herbs of different sorts in healingministry which can even heal fatal diseases.
FAMILY AND YOUTH WELFARE? ?What God has united let no man divide?,said Jesus. True to this call a Fransalians helps the families that are distressed and are on the verge of collapse. So, in such cases?? counseling and guidance by competent persons will be arranged to help them with Christian values and the ways of their implementation. Later, they will be supported with prayers and timely home visits. Well spring, Redeemer Retreat center, CharisBhavanetc are some of the Fransaliancentres for counseling and spirituality. They provide opportunity to any one who is interested? togo closer to God. Fransalians are actively involved in preaching retreat and renewal programs specially in Europe, America, Gulf Countries and in India. Thousands flocks to this conventions and listen to the word of god withrapt attention. A separate apostolate for the youth has been the light of the day. Much has been done to empower the youth of the region with new vision and strategies to evolved better society. Novel activities like leadership camps, youth conventions, youth retreats, music class and specific reach out programs to village are organized.