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Village exposure boosts Religious' faith

Religious with the villagers Religious with the villagers
  • Lissy Maruthanakuzhy, Guwahati
  • India
  • March 1, 2011
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Seminarians and young Religious in Assam say their faith has been strengthened after attending an exposure program in an interior village in the north east Indian state.

“The program has charged the spiritual batteries of young people. We are all enriched,” said Salesian Sister Kentiemlyne Mary Kurba, who attended the February 22-27 program.

The Guwahati archdiocese organized the program for young people in formation in Nagrijuli village.

The program was attended by 205 seminarians and young Religious from 18 congregations. They engaged in social work and organized faith renewal activities.

The event also included talks on missionary and social themes from veteran missionaries and social workers twice a day.

The participants also spent five hours a day in different villages, offering social and spiritual assistance or animation.

They also organized games for children, taught them prayers, songs and offered them medical assistance.

Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil exhorted the seminarians to “keep close to the poor and show sympathy toward them.”

“We may have some things to teach them but they too have something to teach us. The very vibration of their faith is an inspiration to us,” he said.

Sister of Mary Immaculate novice Lincy Joseph said she discovered that people have “more faith in God than me. My faith increased by being with them.”

Sister Kurba said that people from other religions were initially suspicious but welcomed “us when they realized that we were on a goodwill visit.”

Nidhin Philip, a seminarian, said he was inspired by the simplicity of the poor villagers and their readiness to pray.

He said that the program trained him to face difficulties and go out of “my way to help the needy.”

Sister Regina Mareem of Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians said, “One day our group bathed a man who was suffering from malaria for a month. Nobody in his house had the time to bathe him.”

The sister said that they prayed in every house they visited.
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