The first missionary religious congregation for women in the history of the Church and the world is the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary founded in 1877 by BL. Mary of the Passion, now in the 139th year of its course.

Franciscan in its essence.
Missionary in its services
Mary - like in its approach.

» Dedicated to universal mission

» Seek strength from the Eucharist

» And offer ourselves in challenging services

Life Shared

A thirst for the Livng water - Ayurdhara

                       

A Thirst for the Living Water (OCT 28TH TO DEC 5TH 2013)

The Samaritan woman said “give me a drink “. Jesus answered “if you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, give me a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.”

These words were echoed by Maman Passion to her daughters and re-echoed in our hearts as we started our journey of Ayurdhara, with the deep desire and enthusiasm to know the roots, the life and the spirit of Maman and the Institute. We embarked on our journey to retrace the footsteps of Maman Passion.

Ayurdhara means “flow of life”. Maman Passion’s life continues to flow like a river through each one of us in the Institute with its ups and downs. Sixteen (16) of us from seven (7) Provinces representing three (3) nationalities arrived in ICC (Immaculate Conception Convent), Coimbatore on October 27, 2013. The happy arrival of sisters was the fruit of the meticulous planning of Sr. Regina Anthonimuthu FMM, the facilitator of Ayurdhara group.

The Provincial of Ooty Province, Sr. Valsa Joseph FMM, met the Ayurdhara group and we introduced ourselves and expressed our expectations of this journey. We set out for our pilgrimage on October 28, 2013 with excitement and enthusiasm to step in the land of Maman Passion, the Madurai Mission.

We were warmly welcomed by our sisters in Trichinopoly and Tuticorin. It was heartening to see the missionary works that started by Marie Reparatrice under the guidance of Maman Passion. Even today the mission is carried on with the same dedication and zeal. We can say it is indeed a challenging mission, we felt the vibration of Maman’s life and mission in Trichy, Tuticorin and Adaikalapuram.  We were moved by the love and affection of the people for Passion Thayar even today. We witnessed the deep love of God, love for Jesus, love for Mary instilled in the people by Mary of the Passion.

Our journey continued from the plains to the mountains. As most of us were new to the place we glorified the Lord upon seeing the magnificent panoramic view of the Blue Mountains and our thoughts travelled to Maman’s time.

On the way to Ooty we visited our sisters in Kotagiri, then we came to Nazareth the cradle of our Institute where our sisters young and old waited to welcome us in the Indian tradition with “chandan kumkum” . Our hearts were overwhelmed with joy to meet each one of them and to have the first view of Maman’s house.

We were initiated to the course by a prayer with the theme “Be like a little sanctuary lamp burning”.  Each one of us placed a burning lamp at the altar reminded us of our dear Mother Foundress’ words. It was our great privilege to be in Maman’s house and to touch the sacred places where she lived, walked and prayed.

The atmosphere and the surrounding of the place helped us to enter into an in-depth study of Maman Passion and the Institute and discovered encountered Maman and co-foundresses as the day went by. As the study proceeded we could feel one with Maman. We learned their struggles and hardships, all their values, their lives came alive and urged us to follow Jesus in their footsteps.

To know more about Mary of the Passion, Sr. Regina introduced us to many sources of the Institute; Biographies, Circular and Official Letters to the Institute, Memoirs, etc. through which we can see her love for her daughters past, present and future.

We have but one country the whole world is ours”… She emphasized the unity in diversity among her daughters in the communities. And she encouraged her daughters always to be united for the sake of the mission. Therefore when she suffered all her daughters experienced her pain. She was strengthened by God as well as the support of her daughters.

Our admiration grew towards her heroic approach in handling the difficult situation by keeping silence for charity sake for those who caused her pain. Her whole life had been a total surrender to Christ for the Church in a Franciscan way, and she experienced that true power is truth and charity. And so she wanted all her daughters to follow the same.

Our sincere thank to dear Sr. Regina who has been our source of inspiration and guide in this session. Our heartfelt gratitude to Sr. Katherine Paulo and the community for nourishing our material and spiritual needs.

When I die, my death will leave a great void for the Institute. However you must not be afraid, the Institute will follow its path just the same.”

“If it were my work it would perish with me, but it is God’s work and it will live”.

These words of Maman Passion is a challenge for all of us who have access to this “living water”.

 

1.Cecile (Philippines), 2.Emerensiana(Indonesia), 3.Manju (Delhi),4.Eta (Indo), 5.Rosi Alg,Tun,Lib), 6.Mariana (Indonesia) 7.Maria(Mumbai), 8.Nikke (Indonesia), 9.Claudia (Mauritus) 10.Ame (Philippines) 11.Usha (Chennai), 12.Rosily(Delhi) 13.Mary Devassy, 14.Anna Mary(Mumbai), 15.Theresia(Indo)