Local Economes Meeting and Annual Retreat of St. Thomas Province

Oct 10, 2023 | St. Thomas

Karukutty, India. The Claretian Province of St. Thomas recently hosted two significant events, the Local Economes Meeting Meet and the Annual Retreat of the second batch of members of the Province.

Local Economes Meeting: Assessing Economic Activities with a Catholic Ethos

The Local Economes Meeting was held at the Provincial House in Karukutty, India from October 2 to October 4, 2023. The meeting was attended by 31 participants, including Local Economes and Administrators from 27 houses, residences, and educational institutions of the Province. The meeting provided an opportunity to reflect on the economic activities of the communities.

During his inaugural presentation, Fr. Thomas Vechoor, CMF, the Provincial Econome, highlighted the significance of assessing and evaluating the economic status of the province. He stated that this gathering is an opportunity to share fraternal affection and plan the province’s activities for the year 2024. 

During the meeting, the Provincial Superior, Fr. Siby Njavallikunnel, CMF, emphasized the importance of implementing the goals set out in the General Chapter’s Exhortation and the Provincial Chapter document in their activities. The meeting also included presentations of various reports, such as the provincial administration’s report and reports from economes and administrators on the centers and missions.

The meeting revolved around the concerns and challenges faced by different groups in reference to the recent congregational-level Economic Encounter organized by the General Government in Vic. The discussions covered various topics that included economic activities, utilization of funds, responsibilities of economes, sharing of goods, provincial inventories, self-sufficiency plans, and an overview of the congregation’s current economic status.

During the discussions, several practical outcomes were achieved, including updates to the accounting data, budgeting systems, and inventory management. Additionally, Mr. Sony Abraham, a Chartered Accountant, conducted a half-day session to equip participants with essential economic and administrative knowledge in accordance with government regulations. Furthermore, an online course for economes was introduced as a result of the discussions.

Annual Retreat: Embracing God’s Love and Missionary Life

Between September 26th and October 1st, 2023, 49 members of St. Thomas Province gathered for their annual retreat at CSR in Pariyaram, Kerala, India. The purpose of the retreat was to deepen their spiritual connection with God and embrace their missionary calling.

Rev. Fr. Roy Palatty, CMI, acted as the preacher, leading the attendees toward accepting God’s love as their own. The Retreat was organized around the Provincial Chapter document ‘Rooted in Christ and Itinerant in Mission.’ It was split into two sessions:

1) Closeness to Jesus which encouraged reflection on closeness to Jesus through Mary, the intercession of Saints, the Congregation’s charisms, and personal spiritual growth.

2) Missionary Life which delved into the missionary life of the members, drawing inspiration from Gospel reflections, examples, anecdotes, the lives of Saints, and reflections on the works of famous Catholic authors.

Source: Fr. Martin Vithayathil CMF, Secretary, St. Thomas Province.

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