Sunday, 11 November 2018

St. Teresa of Jesus (1515-1582), one of the great Christian mystics, was moved by a vision of hell which she experienced in 1560, to do and undertake  everything in her power for the salvation of those who were heading for hell.

 “From this experience also flow the great impulses to save souls and the extraordinary pain that is caused me by the many who are condemned (especially the Lutherans, for they were through baptism members of the church) it seems certain to me that to free one alone from such appalling torments, I would suffer many deaths very willingly”  (Life32:6)

Prayer and penance were the weapons she believed with which she would embark  on her mission. First, she would keep the rule of her order with utmost perfection. Teresa realized quickly enough that she would need to gather around her generous persons with whom she would share her project of saving as many souls as possible from the dreadful torments that she had glimpsed.

On 24th  August 1562, the first Teresian Cloistered Carmel was ready for inauguration, and received its charter in the WAY OF PERFECTION, where we read “ news reached me of …. The havoc the Lutherans had caused ….the news distressed me greatly, and as though I were something , or could do something , I cried to the Lord …. That I might remedy so much evil . I resolve to do the little that was in my power, that is, to follow the evangelical counsels as perfectly as I could and to strive that these few persons who are here might do the same.” (WAY OF PERFECTION.)

The Holy Spirit aroused many precious persons to surrender themselves to this ideal of rescuing as many people as possible from the power of darkness. Teresa herself was to make 16 more foundations in Spain .
This holy flame enkindled by the Holy Spirit through Teresa, spread to India via Pondicherry and Mangalore in the 19th century ,  and today in the 21st century there are  in India more than 30 Teresian Cloistered Carmels, where the daughters of St. Teresa are unceasingly offering their lives and immolating themselves in union with the sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of India and the world.

In February 2018 the Prioresses of all the Carmels in India gathered in Hydrabad along with Father General, Very Rev. Saverio Cannistra o.c.d and our Definitor General Rev. Fr. Johannes Gorantla o.c.d. to study the new document
COR ORANS, from the Holy See

                             (The 2 photos were taken during that Meeting.)                                                                  

Tuesday, 16 October 2018


Prayer is PRIVILEGE –
An unmerited gift of God
And an essential part
Of my relationship with the Word

A bond that daily grows;
An unfathomable encounter
With the One who loves me and knows

With Him who cherished me
In whose company
I constantly want to be.

To communicate everyday
To read His Word, to learn His will
To love Him and with Him stay.

Prayer is LOVE-
That redeems my soul
An offering on the cross
Where with Him I play my role.

Prayer is INTIMACY-
A secret delight in His will
Welcoming what He sends me
Joy or sorrow, good or ill.

Prayer is LISTENING-
To His voice in stillness
The power that builds me
In moments of weakness.

Prayer is YIELDING –
A surrender, joyful and free;
It is the pathway
Of blessings to me.

Prayer is LIVING-
A life that is true;
Striving to please Him
In all that I do.

Prayer is HOPE-
That replaces despair
A filling with His joy and peace
His love and His care.

Prayer is CALMNESS –
Amid the world’s loud roar
A life that like a river flows
Along a peaceful shore.

Prayer is a simple GAZE –
Fixed on Jesus and nothing beside
Seeing Him in spirit’s vision
Looking at the Crucufied.

Prayer is COMFORT –
When trials assail
His transforming renewal
When I stumble and fail.

Prayer is a CHALLENGE –
To give Him my all –
A deep yearning of my heart
So weak, so small!

Prayer is STRENGTH –
In His all sufficiency
Letting Him work through me
And His great power see.

Prayer is POWER –
The strength of my soul
A divine remedy
That makes me whole.

God everywhere
And discerning His gifts
Who causes me to share.

With me wherever I go
‘Tis He accompanying me
As I travel here below.

Prayer is WORSHIP
Of Him who made us all
Joining my voice in song and praise
Grateful for the gift of His call.

Saturday, 15 September 2018


Pooja Khandekar was born on the 12th of March 1992 at Belgaum, the 1st of 2 children born to Monappa and Pramila. Although born in a Hindu family, our Lord began to draw her to himself at a very early age. Her first vivid memory of Jesus is from the age of three when she saw a movie on Jesus that was playing in her village. The most striking scene to her then was the scourging at the pillar. Being very little, she soon fell asleep in her mother’s arms. The next day, however, she remembers the whole village talking about the movie being about a “Christian God”. She also remembers being drawn to a certain building which she had never entered before. A few years later she was to find out that that building was a Church.
Her attraction towards Jesus was further fostered when, at around the age of 6 or 7, she started watching the TV serial Daya Sagar which was on the Life of Christ.  At the age of 8, Sr. Pooja started schooling at the Jesuit run Rosary School at Ajra where she first encountered Christians and from where her own momentous journey towards Christianity began.
Even as a Hindu, Sr. Pooja was searching for God, was pious and was devoted to prayer. At school, the holiness of her principal, late Fr. Franklin D’Souza, S.J, left a deep impression on her. His simplicity, gentleness and uprightness convinced her that whatever he spoke, without any doubt, had to be true.
          Her father being in the Army, the family frequently had to relocate to different places in India which started disrupting the education of the children. With the desire to have their children receive a good education at a Catholic Institution and, for academic stability, at the age of 10, her parents admitted her into the Holy Family Boarding, adjoining the school. It was here that her prayer life began to sprout. Daily Mass and prayer was part of the time-table of the Convent, which she faithfully followed.
          The seed of her vocation to Carmel was sown when she read a children’s comic book on the life of St. Thérèse (Little Flower). So inspired was she with the life of the saint, that she herself decided to follow Jesus by becoming a Carmelite. The virtuous life of the sisters in her own boarding further nurtured her desire to become a nun. She realized that the first step towards the fulfilment of this desire was to become a Catholic. That year (at age 11) when she was home on vacation, she informed her parents of her decision to become a nun and a Catholic. So sincere and zealous was the desire of their child that her parents themselves agreed to become Catholics.
That same year, her parents and brother began their Catechetical formation under the spiritual guidance of Fr. Fremio, of the Diocese of Belgaum (who is also present with us here today) while Sr. Pooja was catechized at her School and Boarding. The family had to face a lot of resistance both from within their family as well as from the Parishioners of the local Church. However, with the kind help of Fr. Fremio, the necessary permissions were sought from Bishop Peter Machado (former Bishop of Belgaum).
 26th of February 2004 was that day of the Lord’s favour when the Khandekar family received the grace of Baptism and Fist Holy Communion too. Sr. Pooja was studying in the 5th standard at that time. Their extended family, being displeased with their decision, severed all ties with them. Two years later, in 2006, Sr. Pooja received the Sacrament of Confirmation ministered by Bishop Allwyn Baretto (Bishop of Sindudurg).
In the 9th standard Sister met Fr. Rocha, S.J who was visiting the Rosary School and communicated her intention to become a nun. She clearly informed him that she was looking for an enclosed convent only, but that she had no information about where such convents existed. Little did not know that she was talking to the Confessor of the Sisters at Pune Carmel.  Due to her tender age, Fr. Rocha did not inform the community immediately of the probable candidate. He, nevertheless, kept in touch with Sr. Pooja. It was only 5 years later that he informed the community. In the meantime, Sr. Pooja continued her education. Her vocation was supported and encouraged by her parents who never let her zeal slacken.
In 2011, after her 12th std exams, Sr Pooja, began to sense an urgent call from the Lord to join immediately but was persuaded by her spiritual director, Fr. Anthony D’Souza, S.J, to continue her studies in order to ascertain her vocation. A year later, seeing her determined determination, he gave his consent.
0n 24th May2012 (Exactly 6 years back), accompanied by her parents and Fr. Anthony, Sr. Pooja was admitted into this Carmel to ‘Come and See’ their life. After a month’s stay, she returned back 11 days later to enter the monastery as a Postulant on the 6th of June, the Feast day of St. Maria Goretti. From then on began her hidden life of service to the Church through prayer and self-denial. She was vested in the Holy Habit of Our Lady on the 3rd of July 2013 and was given the name Sr. Pooja of the Holy Trinity. She made her 1st profession of Vows on the 1st of May 2015 and three years later, she made her final commitment for life, through Solemn Profession on 23rd of May, 2018.

Monday, 10 September 2018



Happy Birthday to wish you, Blessed Mother dear
All we your children have gathered here
Privileged to sing the splendor of your birth
Profoundly bowing before You – our host
You, our tainted nature’s solitary boast!

Bless us Mother, we plead You
Immaculate Virgin, pure heavenly dove
Rare jewel of humility and unconditional love
Transform our hearts with grace from above.
Detach us from worldly ambitions that lead to sin
Aflame with the fire of love divine
Youthfully to serve God’s kingdom in time.

Devoted Mother, with courage and endurance
Enable us to work with prayer and penance
Announcing the good news of Your Son, our Saviour
Reaching out to the poorest of the poor.

Marvel of God’s creation are You, Maria Bambina
Obedient daughter beautiful of Joachim and Anna
Tabernacle chosen by the Father for His Son
Heavenly lily planted in earthly garden
Eighth September, the thanksgiving day for harvest
Rejoicing we celebrate Your birth, Mother dearest.

Mary pure Virgin, full of grace
Angels surround You in time and space
Reign supreme in us with Your Son
Yes, until our earthly journey is done!


Saturday, 4 August 2018


Carmel’s height, that glorious sight
Beacons you and me
To take the flight to the Lord of Light
Bravely on bended knee.

Carmel is more than a mountain
It’s the symbol of human soul –
Sweet source of divine fountain
The secret of our goal

Only those who dare to ascend
Can taste its joyful gospel;
Soft, yet strong, its echoes trend
To shake pride’s towering steeple

Carmel transcends all other peaks
In its beauty and its glory
To the serene, silent soul it speaks
The ode of celestial story

It looks down from eternity
Upon the earth below
From the abode of the Trinity
Whence grace-filled waters flow

Carmel covered with clouds unknown
The encountering sight of the Absolute
Lit by the radiance of the sun
Reveals the mystery of the Truth

Standing between earth and heaven
Carmel unites God and man
Raising spirits as does the leaven
In unbroken, unspoken communion

Carmel, altar of contemplation
Goads on seekers in their search
To be “Carmels” to our nation
To be “Carmels” to God’s holy Church.

 By her life, her words and deeds
She wrote he gospel day by day
People read, near and far
The message of her Little Way.

Her life became a veritable channel
The love of God flowing through it;
She toiled for souls saved by Him
And her Little Way became a hit!

Saturday, 14 July 2018



     Then God thought of sending His only Son,
The Chosen one and the Beloved one.
Resplendent in glory, radiant like the Sun!!
Oh Generous Father, we admire thee,
We admire thee (2)
Oh Generous Father, we admire thee.

     God sought out a face over all of the earth,
And then prepared Mary for Virgin birth.
In due time in a stable to His Son she gave birth!!
Our dear Mother Mary, Oh how we love thee,
Oh how we  love thee(2)
Our dear Mother Mary, Oh how we love thee.

       In virtue and patience she taught him the way,
Teach them to be strong in their faith and show them the way.
Do the will of the Father, there’s no other way!!
Dear Son of the Father, we fall at thy feet,
We fall at thy feet (2)
Dear Son of the Father, we fall at thy feet.

       Healing and preaching he walked through the land,
Spreading the message with His chosen band.
Have a house built on rock, not a house built on sand!!
The Kingdom of God, is nearer to thee,
Is nearer to thee (2)
The Kingdom of God, is nearer to thee.

       To finish Him off was the plan the Jews made,
A cruel death, Oh! on the Cross was he laid!!
His last drop of blood for great sinners he gave
To save us from sin, what a prize did he pay.
What a prize did he pay (2)
To save us from sin what a prize did he pay.

       Bleeding profusely and writhing in pain,
His death on the Cross, Oh was it in vain!!
The great Paschal Lamb for us sinners was slain.
Sweet Heart of my Jesus, have pity on me,
Have pity on me (2)
Sweet Heart of my Jesus, have pity on me.

       With a heart set on fire and His arms open wide,
Jesus my Savior is here at my side.
To guide me and help me to sail through each tide!!
Jesus my Redeemer, I kneel before thee,
I kneel before thee (2)
Jesus my Redeemer, I kneel before thee.