Quoniam zelus domus tuae comedit me [Ps. LXVIII:10]

Source: District of Asia

Such was the cry of a small gathering of humble and little boys and girls at St. Joseph’s Chapel, Trichy, India, who knew only to pledge themselves in the service of their Queen and Mother. And never was it known that anyone who fled to Her protection, implored Her help and sought Her intercession was left unaided! And a glimpse of the blessings received at Her hands is in order:

Divine Providence had constituted Rev. Fr. Stehlin to receive this little band’s enrolments in June 2016, and Rev. Frs. Wailliez, Therasian and Hattrup to guide them since then. The first thing to do was to learn “to be Christ's page at the altar, to serve Him freely there, where even the angels falter, bowed low in reverent prayer.”

To this end, the Seat of Wisdom would kindle in the hearts of her newly professed knights, a great desire to learn, and an equally great generosity, that led the boys to travel miles to get to the Chapel, to skip their meals to attend classes to learn the Mass responses, spend hours in practice, and then undertake an hour-long arduous journey to return home, week after week, month after month, without fail, for a good two years, while being constantly sustained, encouraged and guided by the most kind priests. And such a zealous endeavour was so blessed by God, so much so that Rev. Fr. Stehlin, (then district superior of Asia) remarked, “I have seen some places in Asia where the serving is good. But the best in Asia is here!”

Impelled by such extolments, the plan was formulated to found the Trichy Chapter of the Arch-confraternity of Stephen. More preparation classes were followed by more practise sessions, written assessments, oral assessments and practical assessments, until the big day, May 12, 2018, when the meritorious would be honoured, and the Trichy Chapter of the Arch-confraternity of Stephen was born.

As the Arch-confraternity would continue, God-willing, on its path of increase and of living up to its ideals, the time was ripe to start the next phase of development – the Schola! If “The Schola” was an ambitious title to be given to the jointure of three little girls, who started off just by singing a hymn at the Offertory of Sunday Masses, much more ambitious was the massive 3-year project commissioned them: that of learning the Mass Propers!

But the Queen of Heaven would lead them the same way that She led their brother-kights, and the Holy Ghost, on Whose Feast they embarked on the massive and ambitious project, would kindle in their hearts the fire of the love for Liturgy, and through their visible instruments – the priests – would closely guide and lead them. And God so blessed this endeavour too, to add to the beauty of the Liturgy. And after an intensive practice, the Schola was also able to perform their first Christmas Carols in 2018!

By January 2019, the MI at Trichy had a lot to thank God for – all the blessings received during the last two years. And it was also fitting to host a small “reward day”, to honour the dedicated and sustained efforts of all the MI members throughout this time – hence the visit to a Science Centre, a Planetarium, and a dinner!

May God continue to shower His blessings upon His Chapel and may Our Lady ever watch over her knights!

"A Domino factum est istud, et est mirabile in oculis nostris" [Ps. CXVII:23]