Comments: Blessed are the poor

Thank you Simon Kershaw for this reminder of the origins of the Gospel ethic - oriented towards the poor and needy. Father Algy's initiative amongst the poor of India was indeed the seed of the Anglican Franciscan Community as we now now it in England, America and various other countries of the world.

Like Jesus himself, Blessed Francis became poor so that the rest of us could experience the riches of the Gospel - which includes ministry to the poor in spirit as well as to those of little or no material wealth. As a former Franciscan novice, I know how desperate is the need of the poor - even in those parts of the world where prosperity would seem to be endemic for a larger section of the community than present-day India. nevertheless, the poor exist in every community.

Your article should serve to remind all of us that poverty is always relative - relating to the willingness of neighbour to minister to the needs of neighbour, so that, even in the poorest of situations there can be evidence of a generosity that can rarely be seen in the halls of the rich.

This is one reason why the Church must be more than generous in its openness to ALL people - regardless of race, social status, chronological age, religious affiliation, gender, poverty or wealth, politics, or sexual differentiation. The words of the Maundy Thursday Liturgy are at the heart of what should be our openness to everyone
"Where Charity and Love are; there is God".

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 29 January 2010 at 2:16am GMT

Thank you Mr Kershaw for your piece on the CPS Ashram.

I wrote an article on the history of the Asham at the request of my father in law the Revd B . R. Onawale who was Acharya in the year the Ashram celebrated a significant jubilee (2001).

It is sad that such a wonderfully sacred place is being eyed by property developers. The spirit of the the Ashram is its most valuable asset at the moment and the vision of Fr Winslow and his successors needs to be rekindled.

Posted by Fr Marc Billimoria at Friday, 29 January 2010 at 9:42am GMT

Thanks Simon for the appreciation of the Pune ashram. It spurred me on to do something that's been sitting on my back burner and I've uploaded to the SSF General Secretary's website some scanned PDFs of the early Rules of the communities at the ashram and the English branch. The direct link is

Part of my interest in this is that I'm writing a thesis on the Franciscan identity of SSF and how that evolved from quite different origins in CSS/CPSS. Well - something like that!

I'd appreciate some photos from the ashram site - and any other documents available.


Posted by Christopher John SSF at Thursday, 4 February 2010 at 1:51pm GMT

i am trying to learn about the ashram as Bill Lash was a great influence for me as a child.

Posted by jane rothery at Thursday, 5 April 2012 at 9:42pm BST
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