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A Loving Tribute to Fr Joseph Carreno SDB

By Bro. John Casimir Joseph SDB
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Chennai, Jan. 4. On 9th October 2020, Department of Life Education at Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur, India organized Fr. Joseph Carreno Memorial Lecture on the topic, ''What is God Doing Through the Coronavirus?'' The lecture was delivered by Fr. John Alexander SDB, Rector & Secretary of the college. The Memorial Lecture was established to honour Fr. Joseph Carreno who was the founder of Sacred Heart College and a zealous apostle of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As a Provincial, Fr. Carreno had consecrated the entire Salesian Province of South India to the Sacred Heart on 2nd July 1943.
During the lecture, Fr. John Alexander reflected on the current pandemic situation and how Christians should respond to this crisis. He said, ''In every way, the coronavirus pandemic is God's call to overcome fear and self-pity, and respond in love with courageous good works, from taking care of the sick and vulnerable groups to finding the vaccine and improving our health systems to offering spiritual nourishment. It is an invitation to turn from
a preoccupied, inward-looking ''self'', ''church'' and ''religious communities'' to a deeper relationship with God and fellow humans.'' He also presented the Early Christians, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Charles Borromeo and St. John Bosco as apostles and prophets of the pandemic.

There were 80 participants from Salesian family for the lecture, while over 1200 were connected through YouTube live streaming. In response to the lecture, Fr. Stanislaus Swamikannu SDB said that this pandemic should change every human being to imbibe the spirit of caring and sharing. While Fr. Daniel Ambrose SDB and Fr. Alphonse Philip SDB shared their own experience of being COVID-19 travellers, Sr. Jayaceli FMA and Fr. Edwin George SDB reflected on the vulnerability of the human life. The memorial lecture concluded with the Eucharistic adoration for healing and protection animated by Fr. Alexander Thomas SDB.

The memorial Lecture is now published as a book A Loving God in Difficult Times by Pauline Press, Mumbai and is available through Amazon

On 8 th December 2020, Fr. Praveen Peter SDB released the book and handed over the first copy to the Chief guest Fr. Nallayan SDB. Fr. Praveen said, ''the memorial lecture and the book are a fitting tribute to Fr. Carreno as he himself had written over 30 books, most of which dealt with practical issues concerning prayer, interior life and Christian faith.'' Speaking on the occasion, Principal Fr. Maria Antony Raj SDB recollected the great
contributions of Fr. Carreno. He said, ''As a zealous missionary from Spain, Fr Carreno worked tirelessly for than more 30 years in South India, Goa and later in the Philippines to evangelize and educate the poor youth by establishing parishes, formation houses, schools, colleges and social work centres.''


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