To become missionary is an essential part of the nature of each Christians and much more for the Consecrated persons, who are called to follow Christ more closely. The understanding and assimilation of the Rogationist Charism, reveals the innate missionary aptitude inherent in the persons who receive Rogationist Vocation. The Rogationist Congregation is Missionary by its nature. The Missionary openings outside Italy began in Brazil, few years after the first general Chapter in 1945. The Rapid geographical expansion of the Congregation began after the Ordinary and Extra-Ordinary IV General Chapter of 1968. The Presence of Congregation initiated in Spain in 1970, Philippians in 1976, USA in 1978, Rwanda in 1978, Argentina in 1979, in India 1987, Poland 1991, Albania 1992, Cameroun in 2000, Korea 2003, Mexico in 2004, Vietnam in 2004, Papua New Guinea in 2004, Indonesia 2004, in recent years mission presence in Sri Lanka, Germany, France, UK, Portugal, Australia etc.
Our Congregation in India began with the untiring support of Missionaries from Italy and Philippines. Now, when we consider St. Thomas QP, we have to devotedly remember the zealous missionary enthusiasm of our founding fathers in India who watered the seed of Rogate with their living faith and sacrifices. Fr. Antonio Berbangelo, Fr. Vito Lipari, Fr. Filippo Puntrello, Fr. Luigi Toffanin, Br. Nilo Pelepello, Fr. Rene Panllesigi, Fr. Ronie, Fr. Jessie, Fr. Gaby, Fr. Ulyses and so many others untiringly supported for the growth of our congregation in India. Experiencing the care and encouragement of so many missionaries, now we need to be matured to be missionaries by ourselves.
Today as we begin the preparatory missionary endeavour, let us take courage and clarity of mission outlook from the words of Pope Francis. In his message for Mission day of 2015 he points out, the mission is a passion for Jesus and at the same time a passion for his people. Let passion for Jesus and Passion for his People may guide our entire Mission India Program.
Dearest Confreres, today Oct. 20, 2015 is counted as a golden day in the history of Rogationists in India.
Today begins a new history, for today happens the missionary partition of our great mother country as North Mission; North East Mission, Central South mission and South Mission. The children of St. Hannibal in India receive from his spiritual heritage our portion of paternal inheritance so that we may be good workers in the vineyard of our India and beyond.
Today begins a new history, for today the Lord of the Harvest extend his powerful hand and points out the Promised Land, the land of blessing prepared for each one of us.
Today begins a new history, for today many young and vibrant Rogationist Religious express their willingness and happiness to be authentic missionaries, to bring forth the spirit of the compassionate Heart of Jesus in the large harvest of India and Sri Lanka.
Today begins a new history, for today marks the beginning of a new formative approach in our formation houses giving amble attention for missionary formation.
Today begins a new history, for today begins a year of immediate preparation of Mission India Program particularly that of North Mission and North East Mission.
Dearest Confreres Let the Rogate be Universal. Let us put hands and hearts together in this missionary endeavour. Through our mission, Let God be glorified! Entrusting the entire QP in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and under the paternal guidance of our beloved father founder, St. Hannibal M. Di Francia, I wish you all the best for this new mission opening. Invoking the divine blessing on all of us, I cordially inaugurate the Mission India Program.
Fr. Shajan Pazhayil, RCJ