CCI leaders meet Fr. R. V. Mathias, Former International Chaplain of IYCW
L to R: Fr RV Mathias, Fr Thomas Joseph, CCI Convenor MJ Ruben

CCI International Convenor M. J. Ruben and CCI Asia-Pacific Coordination member from India Ms Glynis Joseph met Fr. R. V. Mathias, former International Chaplain of the IYCW on Thursday, March 31 in Chennai, India.

This interaction is part of the initiative of the Cardijn Community International (CCI) to reach out to as many former animators and leaders of Cardijn movements in order consolidate their experiences.

Fr. Thomas Joseph (92 yrs), YCW/CWM Chaplain in India from 1950 was also present during this meeting.

Recalling his days as International Chaplain, R. V. Mathias narrated his encounter with the Sisters of Charity (Mother Theresa’s order) in Egypt who lived along with and served the workers’ community who did scavenging jobs in gutters amidst piles of garbage dump. It is impossible for any ordinary person to stand that stench even for a minute, he said

“Pure love combined with dedication was the motivation for those sisters”, Mathias continued, “Which is very much needed in all spheres of life today”.

Expressing his deep anguish at the competition, greed and false values promoted among the people, particularly the youth, R. V. Mathias stressed the need to work with real commitment based on love as the driving force in whatever field we are placed.

Fr. Mathias appreciated the efforts of CCI to promote Cardijn’s spirituality, vision and methodology.

Fr. Thomas Joseph agreed with Fr. Mathias on the need to re-orient the formation of the clergy in seminaries by offering them real life challenges just as the lay people.

Fr. Mathias offered his services as a resource person for any training sessions CCI would organise for animators. After his services at the Arul Anandhar Theological College at Karumathur, Madurai in south India, Mathias is on a sabbatical for a year now and is engaged in research besides conducting awakening retreat sessions for seminarians.

CCI International Convenor M. J. Ruben briefed Mathias about the forthcoming General Assembly in Bangkok in July and the CCI initiative to float a global forum to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Vatican II. Ruben requested R. V. Mathias to document his experiences as his testimony which he agreed to do.

M. J. Ruben

CCI International Convenor,
Chennai, India
March 31, 2011