Responding to Pop's invitation for new evangelization and also realizing the fact that evangelization is one of the greatest needs of the time, Ernakulam S.H. Province is trying our level best in preaching the gospel in different ways. The following are the methods we use in evangelizing people of different walks of life.
1.Retreats/ Christeen/ Seminars
There is a group of sisters who have dedicated their life for direct evangelization . They work with Potta and Attappady retreat groups and go through different parts of the world in preaching the gospel and giving counseling.
We have another group of sisters to conduct retreats in schools, hostels and also in parishes. In schools teachers are also given retreats/ seminars which is very helpful for them to equip themselves, to become more dedicated in their profession
And also to make them aware of the real life situation of the students and to guide them properly. While arranging retreats for students, counselling is also given because many of them are victims of drugs and the guidance help them to abandon their past sinful life, undesirable friendships and to start a new life. Wherever we conduct retreats, follow up programme are also arranged may be once in two or three months . As we new venture we are planning to be with the working women especially in industrial areas to help them grow spiritually while they are in the working field.
We too conduct Christeen Programme especially during holydays, some times in collaboration with other christen teams. There are trained sisters who conduct this programme which is really useful to the teenegers . Through children we come to know about their families and we extend our service in the form of family counseling.
It is started in almost all the parishes where we have convents . Childern are verymuch interested because of various activities being conducted. This year we brought all the children of Alphonsa Garden to Clarapuram for a one day programme. There was class, prayer and cultural activities and they enjoyed well.
We have 2 sisters who are dedicated for full time city evangelization. They stay in arented house and move from place to another accordinging to the needs of the people. They work among the migrants too. There is also a community of 4 sisters who move from door to door visiting families without any discrimination of cast or creed. They feel one with the people and depend fully on the providence of God. A life of witnessing can really change the minds of people.
Family is the basic unit of the church. If the families are having a loving and prayerful atmosphere, the world become a heaven. One team is organized for home mission. We have already completed 3 parishes this year and in June we are starting in another parish having more than 3000 families. There are junior and senior sisters in the team. Many couples could become reconciled who were at the brim of divorce.
The parish and families are very happy and prayerful about home mission.
5.Media/ Communication/ Printing Press
Though it is not direct evangelization , there are sisters who work in the printing press and they try to proclaim the Good News to the whole world. We printed books ( Pathangalkku Vilakkum Pathayil Prakasavum.) which contain word of God which helps people to pray earnestly when they have varied life situations. It is in Malayalam and we are going to translate in English and Hindi.
6.Catechism and Pious Associations.
Faith formation should begin from the childhood. With this goal in mind sisters actively participate in the teaching of chatechism. Apart from theoretical teaching, practical sessions are also conducted through outreach programme like visiting and also by adopting families.
Being Animators of pious associations in the parishes , we conduct leadership and training porogrammes, thus helping the youth and children to mould a generation based on moral and Christian values. Children are energized and this help them to deepen their faith gradually.