Update for LWM Donors

I would like to thank all of our donors and assure them of my daily prayers for them and their families. As you know, the goal of Little Way Messengers (LWM) is to educate, equip and evangelize young men who will dedicate their lives to serving God by serving his Church wherever the priests are needed. Little Way Messengers will serve the Universal Catholic Church, especially the United States of America including the Archdiocese of Atlanta. 

Since 2014, LWM has:

* Acquire 5.5 acres of land,

* Completed the administration building,

* Built the Seminary Building including kitchen, dining hall, dormitories and classrooms and

* Finished two Priest residences.

At present, we have a seminarian who has completed a college degree including his philosophy studies and doing novitiate (Studying the spirituality of the Little Flower). We also have four candidates to be interviewed for acceptance into the seminary and based upon the contributions that we receive; we hope to accept ten to fifteen seminarians for entry June, 2017. We have many young men who are willing to join the seminary and become priests, but we don’t have the means to educate them. It costs only $2,400 for a whole year, whereas it costs $45,000 to $50,000 a year to educate a seminarian in the USA. And moreover, very few young men want to become priests in America, while vocations in India are plentiful.

As Christ formed the Apostles, we will form our seminarians to be missionaries under the spirituality of the Little Flower according to the heart of Christ. It takes eleven years to form the Little Way Messengers priests. They will be commissioned for three specific charisms. First and foremost, they will be available to dispense the sacramental graces always. Secondly, they will proclaim the Gospel to the truth without any delusion. Thirdly, they will be willing to go anywhere in the world – even to be martyred.

What we need now is to purchase land for a Motherhouse/Formation house and a chapel in the diocese of Bishop Anthony, our patron, so that he can take canonical charge. Immediately we need to acquire furniture and equipment for our current buildings. Our goal is to raise a total of $5 million to complete the project.

I would like to request your prayers and continued support for the success of the Little Way Messengers. May the merciful Lord bless you and reward you abundantly.

Yours Fraternally in Christ,

Fr. Selva Raj

Georgia Bulletin Article II

Archdiocesan priest continuing seminary project in India

By NICHOLE GOLDEN, Staff Writer|Published May 14, 2015

ATLANTAThe soon-to-be seminarians of The Little Way Messengers congregation in Karnataka, India, will eventually minister to the people of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Father Balappa Selvaraj, a priest of the archdiocese, will return to India May 18 to continue his work in establishing the seminary.

Father Selvaraj’s five-year project began during the summer of 2014. He has been back in Atlanta since mid-February serving as a supply priest and updating supporters on the status of the seminary.

“The dormitory is ready and the classrooms are ready,” said Father Selvaraj. “I’m very pleased on the whole.”

Upon return to India, the priest will be interviewing potential seminarians. Two men are already on the enrollment list. Father Selvaraj, former chief advocate in the Metropolitan Tribunal of the archdiocese, expects to have five to 15 students the first year.

First-year seminarians will experience a year of discernment, learn English, spirituality, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and have biblical studies.

The most pressing need for the seminarians is a diesel passenger van for easy transport of students.

“Diesel is cheaper in India,” explained Father Selvaraj. His current mode of transport is a motorcycle.

Other needed items are an altar and tabernacle for the chapel, kitchen equipment and appliances, and dining tables.

The priests’ quarters were recently completed with Bishop Udumala Bala of the Warangal Diocese in India hosted as the first guest. Father Thomas Stephen, a professor of St. John Seminary, will be coming to teach the students.

The five-year initial project is with the permission of Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory and at the request of Bishop T. Anthony Swamy of the Chikmagalur Diocese in south India.

Another project in the next 15 months will be construction of the congregation’s motherhouse in a nearby city.

Father Selvaraj is grateful to the Catholic World Mission, the bishops, and the Knights of Columbus of Georgia for support, as well as individual and family donors.

“They are helping me tremendously to fulfill this noble mission,” he said.
In India, Christians account for 2 percent of the 65 million residents.

“Christianity is the minority. You need to be willing to be martyred,” said Father Selvaraj. Bishop Swamy has called the region “fertile ground” for the spread of Catholicism.

“We have many young men who are interested in entering the priesthood to continue building the Church not only in Karnataka but also around the world wherever the Lord will call them to His service,” wrote the bishop in a recent letter.

Donations to support the seminary are tax-deductible.

Father Selvaraj continues to offer prayers and Masses for those supporting formation of priests. When visiting Atlanta next spring, he will be available to speak with parish youth groups, schools or anyone interested in the seminary.

Remembering the seminary in prayer is important, reminds the priest. “If you could pray ... because I am yours,” said Father Selvaraj.

To learn more, visit www.littlewaymessengers.org. Email balappaselvaraj@gmail.com.

Donations may be sent to: Little Way Messengers, 3000 Old Alabama Road, Suite 119-419, Alpharetta, GA 30022. 

Prayers

Please pray for the Little Way Messengers and for me, so that we may finish the construction of the seminary building and get many vocations.  Be assured of my prayers for you and for your loved ones for all the support and love that you render for the Little Way Messengers.  May God bless you and reward you for all the good that you do for us.  Again I am sorry for the breach in communication.  Once I get the internet service I would prefer to communicate with you through email.  

Yours gratefully in Christ,
Fr. Selvaraj
The Little Way Messengers

Letter of Update October 7, 2014

Dear Little Way Messengers Supporters,

Here come the prayerful greetings and well wishes to you from Fr. Selvaraj, India, of the Little Way Messengers.

First and foremost, I apologized for the delay in communicating with you as I have been getting adjusted to the new milieu here in India.  From Mid-July onwards, I have been involved in the construction of the seminary building.  We have almost completed the first floor which consists of a kitchen, a dining hall, two class rooms and a priests' residency.  We are yet to lay the tiles on the floor and get the electricity (power), which we are planning to complete by next month.

Recently, I have moved into my unfinished residence.  I got the power to my residence but I am yet to get the phone and internet service.  It my take some months due to many government red-tapes.  Hence to check or to send an email I have to come to the city.  I hope and pray that I may be able to get this facility soon.

Georgia Bulletin Article I

Priest of archdiocese returning to India to start seminary, new congregation

ATLANTAFather Balappa Selvaraj now realizes that his experiences as a priest of the Archdiocese of Atlanta have uniquely prepared him for his new endeavorforming a seminary in India.

Father Selvaraj, chief advocate in the Metropolitan Tribunal, will be leaving the archdiocese June 17 for a period of five years. With the permission of Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory and at the request of Bishop T. Anthony Swamy of the Chikmagalur Diocese in south India, Father Selvaraj will be establishing The Little Way Messengers religious congregation.

Just prior to his ordination, Father Selvaraj and two other Indian seminarians spent time in north Georgia learning from Maryknoll missionaries. Born in Bangalore, India, Father

Selvaraj was ordained a priest in May 1986 by the late Bishop Joseph Rajappa of the Diocese of Kurnool.

It was Bishop Rajappa’s dream to start a religious community in the Karnataka state in southwest India, and he discussed the idea with the new priest.

“He wanted to start a congregation to evangelize the people,” said Father Selvaraj. He added that in Karnataka, there are more than 65 million people and that just 2 percent of them are Christians.

The timing proved wrong for the seminary, but Father Selvaraj would think of Bishop Rajappa’s idea throughout the years.

The idea that simmered on a back burner for nearly 30 years came to a rapid boil last year when Bishop Swamy began to revisit the plan for a seminary. “He wanted to start this work,” said Father Selvaraj.

Bishop Swamy and Archbishop Gregory began a correspondence with the archbishop agreeing to release Father Selvaraj until May 2019.

Father Selvaraj is grateful for the “global view” of Archbishop Gregory.
“He’s sending his own priest for the benefit of the universal church,” said Father Selva
raj.

The Little Way Messengers will work for the spiritual and liturgical formation of priests to go wherever requested in the world as missionaries.

Father Selvaraj said that Archbishop Gregory put much thought into this decision and is willing to sacrifice his own priest for the salvation of souls. “He listened to the Holy Spirit,” said the priest.

Future priests may serve in Atlanta

Father Selvaraj said that his first priority will be in sending priests to serve in Atlanta. “Charity starts at home. I am a priest of this diocese,” he emphasized.

Each March through May, when the school is to have breaks, Father Selvaraj will return to Atlanta to work where most needed.

His experiences since arriving in Atlanta in 1991 have equipped him in a variety of ways for forming and overseeing the religious congregation.

Father Selvaraj served as pastor of St. Peter Church in LaGrange, St. Francis of Assisi Church in Blairsville, and St. Paul the Apostle Mission in Cleveland. He was parochial vicar at St. Thomas More Church in Decatur, Sacred Heart in Atlanta and St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Alpharetta.

The priest’s friendship with Msgr. Al Jowdy, with whom he served at St. Thomas Aquinas, was important in his ministry. “He helped me in every way. He molded me. I’m grateful to him.”

Father Selvaraj was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Atlanta by Archbishop John F. Donoghue on Nov. 25, 1997. In 2010, he completed his graduate studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy, where he received his licentiate in canon law.

Part of Father Selvaraj’s role in forming the congregation will be to file the appropriate canonical papers for its establishment with the Vatican.

“I never realized how much canon law would help me in this,” he said.

Father Selvaraj also completed graduate studies at Georgia State University, earning a master of science in counseling psychology. He is active as a supply priest for the parishes in the archdiocese and regularly visits the sick at the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Father Selvaraj and an Atlanta support committee have outlined a five-year plan, including funds needed. “God will help,” he said.

The priest personally obtained five and a half acres for the seminary, and his younger brother Balraj has begun construction. Future needs will include transportation for students, a chapel, construction of a sacristy, vestments, a dining hall and computers.

The priest’s family is “many generations Catholic,” and he recalls the rule of his mother: “No Mass. No breakfast.”

Father Selvaraj acknowledges that his work in Atlanta is more comfortable than what lies ahead in India. “Why am I doing this? Now is the time,” he said.

St. Therese will be their patron

The priest recounted the story of a serious motorbike accident he had at the age of 23 in India. An order of sisters prayed for the intercession of St. Therese of Lisieux for his recovery.

St. Therese, known for “doing little things with great love,” will be the patron saint of the community.

A seminary for a new religious congregation, The Little Way Messengers, is under construction on this five-and-a-half acre site in Karnataka, India, in the Chikmagalur Diocese. Atlanta priest Father Balappa Selvaraj has been assigned to serve for the next five years with this congregation.

“Do and die for Christ,” said Father Selvaraj.

The local committee members for The Little Way Messengers Order include Janice Givens, Leslie Genske, Fran Smit, Rebecca Gilligan, Deb Hampel, Fred Lojo, Tony and Meg Jatcko, and Brian Campbell.

Father Selvaraj also expressed gratitude to Deacon Tom Badger of St. Ann Church in Marietta, Msgr. Hugh Marren of All Saints Church in Dunwoody, Father Nicholas Azar of Holy Spirit Church in Atlanta, and Father Adrian Pleus of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Dallas, for their encouragement and support.

Givens, a parishioner of St. Brigid Church in Johns Creek, said it’s exciting to see this dream come to fruition.

“If anyone is looking to support the formation of evangelizing priests, this is a perfect opportunity to find some ‘little way’ of their own to contribute—whether through prayers, talents, donations or spreading the word about the Little Way Messengers,” said Givens. “Families with young children can watch this mission grow over the years, and what an excellent way to teach your family about the power of prayer.”

Givens added that the committee’s plans are to gather monthly for Mass and to communicate regularly with Father Selvaraj about the order’s progress.

“Although we will miss Father’s wisdom and presence here in the states, it will be exciting to think of him building a community in India that will help spread God’s message of love throughout the world,” said Givens. “I guess we can share him, or rather let him return to the country of his birth, to make this happen.”

Father Selvaraj said there is one student ready for enrollment and a priest on board to help as well. First-year students will live at the seminary for a year of discernment. The cost of a seminary education per year in India is an estimated $2,000, 10 times less than in the United States.

While all are called to evangelize and proclaim the Gospel, Father Selvaraj knows that many are not able to do this on a global level.

“On your behalf, we’re going to evangelize. You’ll get the grace,” he said.