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

Inter faith Prayer

  Celebrating the year of mercy through Interfaith Prayer                                 

  A province programme, which was decided at the EPC, was organised by Srs. Stella Balthazar. Lally Stella and Rosily, on July 2nd, 2016, at Nazareth convent, in the Nilgiris mountain. It was a very special day as the trees received the July showers and were welcoming the guests from many different quarters. The aim was to see God’s mercy and compassion in all the people of different faith including the tribals. We were able to contact the different tribal leaders after getting information from the tribal research centre in Ooty.The tribal leaders were from Todas, Kothas, Kurumbas, Paniyas, Malainaickars and the Irulas .For the first time the tribal leaders sat with the dignitaries who came to grace the occasion.

              Most Rev.Bishop Amalraj of Ooty Diocese, Sr.Valsa, our provincial and leaders from the protestants, Bahai, Brahmakumaris, Abhubabaji ashram, Jains, Muslims, Suhajmarg, TIbetian Buddhists, as well as friends from ‘make Ooty beautiful’ campaign and Bio-cultivation experts joined us in this exquisite and exciting venture. Children of Nazareth School began the function with a most enchanting song. Nazareth School hall was packed with priests, sisters, seminarians, parishioners and teachers. The youth association members were part of the preparation of the event and took the responsibility to honour about 20 guests with Ponnadai (shawls) at their own expense.

       The peace prayer for mercy and compassion began with a colourful procession led by Fr.Christopher Lawrence, V.G.of Ooty diocese. All the leaders from different religion, religious congregations men and women , tribals carried symbols and placed them on the stage. Bishop Amalraj read the scripture reading. “Give to the one who asks without expecting to pay him back; Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” Each dignitary took turn to share their reflection and prayed for mercy and compassion  in their own religious way. It was an experience of cosmic communion where hearts converged  beyond religious affiliations.

                 The event was crowned by the enchanting colourful dances performed by the Toda tribes women clad in their original costume. It was followed by the dances presented by Kotha tribe from Ketti, Irulas from Attapadi. The whole event was a memorable event of fellowship and communion and it was a very energetic experience and this event united our hearts and minds and made us rise above the difference of caste and creed. Pope Francis was the great inspiration behind this gathering of all religions. Thank you Sr. Valsa for giving us an opportunity to arrange a memorable, meaningful event. May we continually communicate the message of mercy and compassion.

The core of themessages given by different religion leaders:

-“In everything do to others as you would have them done to you for this is the law of the prophets” (Christianity)

-“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself” (Buddhism) 

-“In joy and grief, in happiness and suffering we should regard all creatures as we regard our own selves.”(Jainism)

-“Humankind has oven the web of life. We are but one thread within it.  Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves” (Nature spiritual tradition)

 

Sr.Stella Balthazar, Nazareth convent.