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Fr. C. Bernard CR


Fr. B. A. Thomas O.M.I, our venerable founder, founded the Rosarians to pray and to do penance for the sins of the world and for the conversion of sinners. He wanted it to be strictly contemplative. If we do not remain strictly contemplative, we are the most useless.

We have only 150 members even after 66 years! An active Congregation may have been 150 in one year. What can 150 members living in a remote corner of the world do by our activities? Nothing. If one Little Flower could win the title of “patroness of the mission” by her strictly contemplative life, what wonders can we 150 not do?

Ours is a clerical Congregation and Priests have an irresistible temptation to be active. That is why, inspired by the Holy Spirit, our founder wanted it to be strictly contemplative. If we want our life to be fruitful, we should follow as closely as possible the strictly contemplatives. I consulted the Cistercians in Europe and America; they do not take up any active apostolate. Contemplative life is not easy; it is more difficult than the active. The founder used to say, if we live our life, it would be a heaven on earth.

Pope Pius XI has said, “Those who devote themselves with fervour to the contemplative life and who fulfill the duty of prayer and penance contribute much more to the increase of the Church and the welfare of mankind, than those who labour in tilling the field”. Pius XII has said, “The apostolate of prayer and sacrifice is the most efficacious of all apostolates”.

Our rule No 46 is very clear “To be free to be busy with God alone, we dedicate ourselves fully to the contemplative life… we do not undertake any form of external apostolate that would hinder us from a life of habitual prayer according to our charism”. Vatican II speaks about the institutes entirely devoted to contemplative life (canon 674) says that their members cannot be called to render assistance to the various parochial services how urgent the need of the active apostolate be. The Church is even stricter than our rules.

The immediate reason that prompted me to write this letter is what I heard from Fr. Bosco C.R about the scrupulous care Bishop of Jaffna takes in adhering to the spirit of the founder. The Bishop does not allow any Rosarian to leave the Ashram for any apostolate and even the Parish Priests do not call any of the Rosarians for any kind of assistance in the Parishes.

Unfortunately, Parish Priests and Bishops in India do not know about Fr. Thomas and his spirit. They take the short cut and are trying to get our help in their apostolate. It is partly due to our ignorance of our contemplative life. Some of us think that charity demands it. Let us follow the prudent advice of the founder and the Church. One Priest was allowed to assist in the parish and he lost his Rosarian contemplative vocation.

During the founder’s time, there were four Rosarian Priests with him, but he did not allow anyone to go to the parishes. But he used to warn against another temptation which is perhaps more dangerous. All our Ashrams are too much preoccupied with the material affairs at the cost of our prayer life.

Fr. C. Bernard CR

Spiritual Animator




KERALA- 670 502

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