En este contexto parroquial las periferias tocan el corazón, y movilizan: acogida de Cáritas (atención persona a persona, y en red con otros programas), Grupo Proclade-Yanapay (sensibilización, voluntariado, proyectos misioneros), coordinación con Claret Ikastola (campañas y otros proyectos solidarios), en Unidad Pastoral, y con las parroquias claretianas de la Provincia. En Misión Compartida con seglares claretianos que, tanto en Donosti como en Bilbao-Askartza, son referencia para el trabajo en procesos de inclusión social. ___ Koldo Iribarren [Euskal Herria]
It is a joy and my pleasure to share my missionary experience and witness with you all as a claretian missionary. I am Thevaraj Peiris, a Claretian missionary from Sri Lanka. After 8 years of missionary and pastoral experiences with the people in the peripheries, I am doing my specialization in Sacred Scripture in Rome now. I prefer to share my missionary experience in a parish with the gypsis community. We were invited by the bishop of Batticaloa, one of the dioceses in the eastern part of Sri Lanka to take care of the pastoral need of this special people (Gypsis community settled now) in the parish of Algambay which is situated close to a jungle. These people are very poor and very innocent but very rich and very generous in giving their life for the church and missionaries. Trusting only in God’s providence and protection of our blessed mother I began my mission with love burning for Christ and these people. It was a very hard, difficult, and dangerous beginning. There are thousands of elephant come every day into the village and danger of snake biting. We began the life from almost zero with very limited facilities.
It was a blessing to work with my Claretian companion Fr. Rohan Peiris cmf. Though we were only two a very small community we experienced the fraternal love in our community and showed an example to the people in our way of life. I always remembered what Fr. Calistus Joseph, our Provincial of German Province said in his first visit to our community. My sons remember you are here for the people and let your presence be a presence of the symbol of God. Let this poor and broken people see God’s presence in all your actions…we tried our best to be the symbol of God’s presence with all our humanness and limitations.
I can never forget the hands of God that was helping me through these people in construction a church for God and this people. The church is the heart of their life. They contributed generously their labour, money and life even in their utter poverty. I spent my time and life always with the people in doing everything with them and became one with their life. I never regretted and felt difficult to be in this hard mission but every time I come to my sleep in the night, I cherish and experience joy and peace within me. I used to remember the saying of our Holy Father Pope France… Christian peace always come with the cross.
Last two years I worked with these poor, marginalized, innocent people of the periphery are the most beautiful and joyful time in my missionary journey. It was very hard to leave them and to be separated from their love. The farewell was like a funeral of someone in his or her own house. The whole community cried for my leaving. Sometimes I felt as life completes and had the feeling of the worth of life in dying for others. What a beautiful and satisfying missionary experience… an experience of heaven on earth in sacrificing our life for other... This is what Jesus says in the Gospel of Mark 8: 35..For whoever wishes to save his soul , will destroy or perish it but whoever will destroy his soul for my sake and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. The Greek verb used here is not simply to loose ἀπολυω apoluw but ἀπόλλυμι apolummi… will destroy or perish… the Greek noun used here is psuche…which means not only soul but the whole life or self for my sake and for the sake of the gospel… will save it…for the sake of the gospel…what is this Gospel? There is only one value in the gospel that is THE PEOPLE. THE PEOPLE ARE THE ONLY VALUE IN THE GOSPEL.PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN MONEY, POWER, PRESTIGE, POSITIONS… IF WE DESTROY OUR LIFE FOR THIS SAKE OF THE PEOPLE WHICH IS THE GOSPLE, WE WILL SAVE OUR LIFE AND SOUL. THIS IS WHAT THAT CAN MAKE US JOYFUL MISSIONARIES WITH THE SYMPOL OF GOD’S PRESENCE WITH OUR CLARETIAN MISSIONARY IDENTITY. ___ Thevaraj Peiris, CMF [Rome, Specialization in Bible]
MS 1 (Cf. CC 2; Dir 26.)