On May 1-3, 2024, the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in India conducted its annual fraternal assembly of all solemnly professed friars. The Minister Provincial, Friar Michael EARALY, convened the assembly at Assisi Shanthi Kendra, the Provincial curia in Karukutty, Kerala State, India. Most of the friars from the friaries in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka attended, along with the friars working in the Provincial Delegation and in the missions of the Province.

The assembly began on Wednesday afternoon, May 1, with the first profession of Friars Divin MAROKKI, and Anil KALATHIL. On Thursday morning, May 2, four confreres officially entered the novitiate. Afterwards, there were meetings of various commissions and at 2:30 p.m., Friars Jintesh MALIAKKAL, Jomon PULICKAMANDAPATHIL, Nibil KOLLITHADATHIL, Anto CHEPPUKALAYIL and Jibin EDAPULAVAN professed their solemn vows with the Order of Friars Minor Conventual. Later that evening, there was a feast for all of the newly professed and for several friars who had been recently ordained to the priesthood.
The third day, May 3, began with Mass concelebrated by the recently ordained priests. The rest of the morning was devoted to classes in financial accounting and record keeping.
The afternoon session began with a visit to the local cemetery where there was a prayer service for the souls of the departed.
Finally, at 6:00 p.m., there was a general assembly of all of the participants. The Minister Provincial spoke and expressed his great gratitude for all the friars of the Province. Next, Friar Kolbe PUTHENPURAYIL, the Provincial Econom, gave a presentation on the financial status of the Province during the last six months. Friar Jain KOTTUKAPPALLY, from the Legal Commission, spoke next. He explained certain issues regarding land holdings of the Province in Andhra Pradesh, India. Afterwards, Friar Peter KANNAMPUZHA, the Provincial Vocation Promoter, spoke about the status of his work promoting vocations. The assembly concluded with dinner served at 8:30 p.m.
The friars very much enjoyed spending this time together. They were able to discuss the sufferings and joys of their lives, while helping each other see the grace of God and the promptings of the Holy Spirit in everything. They talked about their ongoing lives together, sharing the joy of working for the Kingdom of God. As the Minister Provincial said during the assembly: “All of this shows that it is not the life and success of an individual that matters, but the success of being in communion. We are each of us good, but we are even better together in our fraternal communion.”

Friar Patrick VARGHESE (KANNADAN), Provincial Secretary