Jesus’ concern was ‘justice, mercy, compassion, love and forgiveness’. Like our own, Jesus’ world was a very stratified one: people were discriminated against on the basis of the group to which they belonged (Samaritans, Gentiles), the work they did (tax collectors, prostitutes), their appearance (leprosy patients). Jesus cut across all purity-impurity rules and mingled with all to share the unconditional love of the Father which he had experienced—Abba experience.

Jesus was free from attachments (even to his mother), fear (he attacked Herod, those in authority, the great ones of world—see Mt.23) hatred, lust, living for self; free from legalism and ritualism (Mk. 2 and 7). Being free he was able to love all. Love in an unjust situation means taking sides as Yahweh does: so Jesus opts for the poor (Mt 4:23f; 25:31-46; Lk. 4:16f.). He loved all, and even when he rightly opposes the attitudes and actions of some he does not condemn the person. This is the life style of Jesus which one will have to follow to be Jesus’ authentic disciple.

Some years ago some young men who were genuinely aspiring to be the authentic disciples of Jesus founded what is today widely known as Marathi Samaj. Their inspiration, Guru and model was none other than Jesus himself. Therefore they proclaimed with one voice: our hero and patron will be CHRIST THE KING, and our every thought, word and act should witness that. So they also said with one voice our aim/motto like our Master will be: To be for all, in love and service.

All of us are familiar with saying, “Harvest is plentiful but laborers are few”. The founder fathers of Marathi Samaj were well aware of their relevance in the society as there were many poor and needy people whom they could serve and share God’s love. But as usual hands that would extend themselves in service of others were few. So they came up with the wise idea of welcoming every student of St. Charles seminary who would later work as a priest/missionary. The members of Marathi Samaj soon realized that though it was a small group, nonetheless it was preparing them for bigger mission for which they were aspiring and simultaneously their generous activity was helping many poor and needy around the hill. This inspired others to carry out the work begun by a few. And so this small tiny fire lit by a few spread like a wild fire and today we have in St. Charles Seminary sufficiently big and well organized group commonly known as Marathi Samaj.

Structure of Marathi Samaj: If a group has to function well then it should have a good structure. This is how it is structuralized. Every student of St. Charles seminary who is aspiring to work in the state of Maharashtra as a priest is a member of Marathi Samaj. These members are either pursuing their philosophical or theological studies. This group is headed by a leader/president who is usually a student of theology. Then the group is supported by a spiritual guide who is normally one of the Staff members. Today the group is spiritually motivated and guided by Fr. Sunoj O.P. (Thanks for his dedicated service). Once a month or once in two months he celebrates Eucharist for the members of the group and tells them the significance of Abba experience which should always be the basis of their activities.

Activities of Marathi Samaj: Every activity of Marathi Samaj is called as charitable act, since it flows from Abba Experience. Each member works for the poor and marginalized of the Society because they are created in image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26). Marathi Samaj mainly concentrates on the education of the children. In order to facilitate education it distributes text books, note books, uniforms and other required material at the beginning of the every academic year. It also reaches out to sick, homeless and mal-nourished and supports them by way of distributing food, medicine and clothing.

Finance: In order to carry out above mentioned activities the group needs financial support. And it is the faith of every member of the group that the Good Lord does not abandon his faithful and committed servant. In order to raise funds Marathi Samaj runs a stall containing Religious articles at the grotto of our lady of Lurdes, Nagpur, during the year. Sell of religious articles is also one of the ways of evangelization which the members faithfully carry out through-out the year. It also depends on the generosity of other well wishers. Here we would like to appeal to our readers and well wishers for their generous contribution. We assure you that our good Lord will reward your generosity with hundred fold.

Conclusion: Every member of Marathi Samaj sincerely thanks our elder brothers for their good will to start this group in St. Charles Seminary, Nagpur. We would like to tell you that it not only plays vital role in the uplift meant of the poor people of the area but also prepares us for our future mission. We are happy to inform you that years ago the seed that you planted has already grown into a huge tree under which many take shelter. We will certainly look after the tree with your prayerful support and God’s blessing.

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