SYNOPSIS OF SOCIAL APOSTOLATE
The genesis of Social apostolate in the history of Indian Provinces was originated in the Province of Ranchi by Bro. C.M. Joseph in the year 1972. The Visionary discovered the Spirit of Montfort that compelled him to shed off the comfort zone to go to the people living in the periphery of the society like Moses in the liberation story of the Israelites. He did not count the cost of being in the midst of people. It was a testimony of Montfortian daringness.
The good news was spread very fast to other provinces and many dioceses. Many wise men and women came from North and South and East and west to learn the wisdom of the visionary. A few of them became his disciples to discover and experience the Mission Manifesto. They carried the good news to their own respective provinces and applied it to their situations; while others like the young man in the gospel found it very challenging. So they disassociated with the new radical way of living the consecrated life.
Ranchi Province continues to respond to the cry of the marginalized people living around them. The literacy centres catering to most needy children who live in the neighbourhoods of the city schools, informal skill training centres and driving schools for the dropouts, computer and spoken English centre for the less privileged and insertion model of apostolate. The posh schools opening the doors for the street children were a mile stone decision by the Brothers. The fact of the matter was the willingness of the Brothers to provide opportunity to such children to grow and bloom like other children.
The Mission field of Province Ranchi is situated among the least developed states of Indian Index in many ways. The basic amenities are lacking in almost all the villages. I go around the villages of Ranchi town and observe these harsh realities. The tribal villages are still depending on the monsoon which is never steady. The country is progressing but the 40 – 50 percent of the population live below poverty line has no access to be part of the progressive India. The pope asks the Religious to make serious search to enter into the spirit of the Founder and respond today and tomorrow is too late. The province of Ranchi has a collective social responsibility to ask what step we are going to take to mark the event in tune with the Spirit of Montfort.
Bro. Jacob Panjikaran