Chennai (India) During the lockdown, the Province of St. Thomas the Apostle (INM) organized a Webinar on the theme: “Introduction to the letters of St. Paul the Apostle” for all the FMAs of the Indian State Tamil Nadu, and Sri Lanka, in which the FMA of the INM Province from Rome and the new missionaries destined for Sri Lanka from the United States were also able to participate.
The Webinar, made possible by the Provincial, Sister Lazar Maria Nirmala, and the Provincial Secretary Sister Kanickaraj M. Tamizharasi, who coordinated the technical implementation, was held from 20 to 24 July for one hour a day. The speaker, Jesuit Father Maria Arul Raja, a scholar of Sacred Scripture at Loyola College in Chennai, began with the general introduction to all the letters of Saint Paul. He then presented the personality of Saint Paul in order to understand the background of the Epistles. Finally, he dedicated himself to a systematic study of the Letters to the Romans and the Corinthians, which the Province has chosen as in-depth studies for this year. Each session was given time to answer the participants’ questions.
Father Maria Arul Raja outlined the figure of Saint Paul as a young man from the city, intellectual, shrewd and insightful, a profound visionary, a great leader, and above all, a warrior of Christ passionate about the universal Church. Through his teachings and exhortations, Saint Paul made Jesus Christ alive for all nations and for all types of people and cultures, including the poor and marginalized. The scholar provided the FMA with the keys to understand St. Paul’s universal contribution to the Church and its still current impact. He led the participants through an interesting journey with San Paolo, arousing interest in reading the letters of St. Paul according to a historical, cultural, and theological approach, but also to deepen the faith from a personal and community point of view and to be able to say together with St. Paul, Apostle of the Gentiles, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20).