Parish Missions and Retreats
Parish Missions are usually conducted over an eight-day period and include three days of home visits and five days of preaching. Parish retreats consist of five days of preaching only. The preaching is done twice each day in the context of a four-hour service, one in the morning and another in the evening so as to facilitate the maximum participation of the people. The team is usually made up of two confreres and one lay person who conducts the singing and sometimes leads praise and worship.
Preaching Retreats to Priests, Religious and at Various Centres
Many confreres have taken up retreats to priests, religious. Some confreres are regularly going for conducting retreats in different centres run by different religious groups.
Youth Ministry and School Children’s Programs
Most of our Youth ministry is done through school programs. In most of the schools the majority of the students are not Catholics. Therefore, the confreres use this as an opportunity to enter into interreligious dialogue and to communicate values. The school programs also offer a valuable platform for vocation promotion.
Confreres also are involved in the youth ministry through programs in colleges and professional institutions and parishes. We have had two assemblies for planning and evaluating the youth ministry. Many confers have gone with the christeen team to different language groups, places and countries.
There are five parishes taken care of by the Province. Two parishes are attached to our communities and in four parishes we are working temporarily.
In Kunnambatta, with about 13 families, there is a demand to shift the church from the present location to a more accessible place so that more people may join our parish. In Karavaloor, we have 35 families, the parish is functioning well and new families are joining it.
We have realised the value of parish ministry for our own formation and for carrying out successfully our specific apostolate. Our association and close ties with the parish clergy and the various diocesan authorities brings in more apostolic work and requests for assistance in parishes.
Half Day Programs
Karavaloor on Wednesdays and Chowara on Saturdays host half day programs beginning with mass followed by a sermon, then praise and worship, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Many people, both Catholic and Non Catholic attend the weekly programs. At each site there is a group of lay collaborators who assist the confreres through prayer, planning, preparation and in Chowara to serve a light meal.
Chowara enjoys the privilege of being surrounded by a large Catholic community. The strong determination and hard work of confreres has given the project a very quick start and it has taken off very well and now Shiby is appointed as the director of the retreat centre. Together with him, the rector, the community and students are working very hard to organise the program well. Around seven hundred people attend the program every Saturday.
Media Ministry, Apostolate of the Pen and the Brush
Many confreres have dedicated their time to writing books, to art work and presenting programs on the television. Being aware of the value and influence of modern means of mass media and communication in spreading the Gospel, a team was appointed to prepare and execute plans for presenting programmes in collaboration with Shalom TV and/or Divine TV. Many confreres have presented programs in both the Goodness channel and Shalom TV. Apostolate of the pen and brush has been another vibrant ministry done by the confreres.
The confreres do their selfless service in the farms and they they contribute to the running of the formation and the growth of our unit by what they do in the farms.
Solidarity and Partnership with Other Redemptorist Units
We have eighteen confreres working abroad, most of them with other units. It gives our confreres opportunities for an exposure to the West and it supports the mission of the Congregation, especially in Redemptorist Units that experience shortage of personnel.
The perpetual prayer centre Yahvinisi has the mission and vision for people to have God experience through prayer.
Most of our local apostolate comprise of masses in convents and substituting for parish clergy. We have developed and maintained a good rapport with the clergy, the religious and the people of the locality. We also have added to the faith of the local community by starting devotions to our saints and novena to our Lady.
PIM – Participants in Mission
We have become more conscious of the role and necessity of lay people in carrying out the Redemptorist mission. Now practically all our missions, Bible conventions, school programs and even retreats are conducted with the help and support of lay people. Their participation is not merely restricted to the music ministry. They also take responsibility in organizing the different aspects of the mission.
Social and Charitable Activities
We organize and coordinate the social and charitable activities of the province. We need to do much in an organized manner though lot of social and charitable reaching out has been done both at the level of the province and at community level. The social work team has identified three types of people for whom we could work in the future. 1. Physically challenged people. 2. People who are facing old age problems. 3. Alcoholics.