A socio-pastoral meeting of Bangalore province was held in Chandapura, Bangalore from Jan. 15-17, 2019. Twenty-eight sisters including pre-novices and candidates attended this meeting. Sheela Palamoottil, SCN, the Social Action Ministry coordinator and all the others welcomed Joel Urumpil, SCN, the resource person for the first day. Each day began with a prayer by different Sisters. Sister Amrita Manjaly, the provincial, gave her welcome address to all the members gathered in the hall. Sister Amrita appreciated the sisters for their work with the people and challenged them to attract the younger Sisters to socio-pastoral ministries by their way of ministering to the people. She also invited the sisters to look for ways and means for collaboration and networking. She took up the most urgent cry of the environment and also addressed the need to have a balance of ministries in the province and Congregation at large.

Many Sisters were energized and happy to be appreciated, challenged, and motivated as the provincial gave a solid base for the members to build on.

Sisters Joel and Manisha led the sisters and formees to the most current mission of the time “Systemic Change”. The following topics were covered:

  • Why is systemic change needed?
  • What is systemic change?
  • Criteria for systemic change
  • Social analysis
  • 10 steps for systemic change

The sessions involved examples in order to make the idea very clear. One of them was dealt with in a detailed way, the example of Rangasamy Elango. There was also a case study done in groups which made the participants think. The final results were shared in the group.

Sister Joel shared some of her work in Chatra, Jharkhand, which brought about systemic change in the mission which made a deep impact on everyone. The first day concluded by appreciating and honoring Sister Joel for all that she has contributed to the people and the community and for serving the SCN community for 50 wonderful years.

On the second day the draft of a strategic plan for socio-pastoral ministry was read in groups, clarified doubts and approved by all the members. Afterwards, there was reporting of both Social and pastoral ministries which was facilitated by Sisters Beena, the vice provincial and Sister Sheela.

The reports gave the participants a glimpse of what and how our sisters are reaching out to the marginalized women and children and those who are pushed out of society. The Provincial appreciated the sisters who though so few in number make such a huge impact in the lives of the people. To set the tone for Social ministry Sister Manisha taught the sisters and formees “Muh Sike” (Stitched Mouth) a song about empowering women.

It was very encouraging to know that every community in Bangalore province is involved in doing pastoral ministry.

Listening to the sisters and their works was a motivating force for our young pre-novices and candidates who were enlightened. Pre-novice Salomi and candidate Sneha gave a beautiful vote of thanks to the sisters for inviting them to be part of the workshop.

The second day was concluded with an entertaining program named ‘SOC-PAS-CUL’ for all the sisters from the meeting and from Chandapura community.

On the third day, Ann Moyalan, SCN, shared about the responsibility of the Global Justice committee and the need to connect the 17 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) to systemic change- which is the fourth Directive of GA 2018.

Afterwards the sisters had an open sharing about the concerns, issues and the future plans for the ministry. This session was facilitated by sister Bridget Vadakeattam.

The meeting was concluded with a deep sense of gratitude to God, to the leadership for their guidance, to one another and with a determination to bring about systemic change in the society.

Florina Joseph, SCN

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