The inaugural ceremony of the two day (11th-12th Sept.2015)  72nd Annual General body Meeting (AGBM) of the Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI) started at 9a.m. on 11th Sept 2015 at the CHAI Training Centre in Secunderabad, India.The Theme for the AGBM was “Action 2020:Repositioning for the future”.

About 650 representatives from various Member Institutions (MI.s) gathered together to celebrate this auspicious occassion.The inaugural function started with Holy Mass presided by His Grace Most Rev. Thumma Bala Archbishop of Hyderabad. The other dignitories present were Most rev. Prakash Mallavarapu ecclesiastical advisor of CHAI,

Dr. Freddie Loh, Chairman FIAMC Membership Committee, Rev. Fr. Julius Arakal President of CHAI, Rev. Fr. Tomi Thomas Director General of CHAI and Dr. Shoba Arole Director of Comprehensive Rural Health Project, Jamkled.

Following the prayer and invocation Rev. Fr. Julius Arakal in his welcome speech reiterated that the healthcare system is unjust and uneven. He emphasised the role of CHAI in providing affordable healthcare to the people especially the poor.

Rev. Fr. tomi Thomas in presenting the AGBM Highlights pointed out that the  focus of the organisation is to reposition itself for the future. Before concludng he said that the strength of CHAI lay in its 3,484 Member Institutions (MI.s)which are very active in reaching out to various corners of the country.

In presenting her Keynote address Dr. Shoba Arole, Director of Comprehensive Rural Health Project spoke at length of the importance of working together to empower oneself as well as others.In the country there is a failure of policies. A change in the Healthcare Policy is vital to safeguard the the health of women and children. We also need to take steps to contain domestic violence. Everyone in the healthcare field has to work together and become change makers.

Following the Keynote Address Most Rev. Thumma Bala in his Presidential address mentioned that the distinguishing feature of CHAI is that it changes according to the needs of the people. It always looks to the past and the future, introspects and improves on its performances.

Most Rev. Prakash Mallavarapu Ecclesistical Advisor  CHAI released his booklet entitiled “Action in the Field” and said that CHAI has begun its process of repositioning itself physically, mentally and psychologically to serve people more efficiently.

Dr. Freddie Loh Chairman of FIAMC Membership Committee as one of the Guests of Honour read out FIAMC President Dr. John Lee’s thought provoking Congratulatory Message.Dr. Freddie Loh also informed the participants that FIAMC Exco had only a few days ago approved CHAI’s application to join FIAMC. This was met with a round of applause.

Next the CHAI Herbal Calender was released by Msgnr Joseph Chinayyan Deputy Secretary General of CBCI, Delhi. He placed on record the wonderful work done by CHAI in collaboration with CBCI and other networks.

During the Elections Sr. Neene (Sr. Deena, SCN) was elected as the New President of CHAI with immediate effect.

Rev. Fr. Mathew Abraham – a good friend of FIAMC and AFCMA- was elected as director General of CHAI w.e.f. 1/5/16.

Rev. Fr. Tomi Thomas is relinguishing his post as director General of CHAI due to health reasons. We will miss him!

Finally the inaugural session concluded with a vote of thanks by Rev. Sr. Thomasamma President of the Catholic Health Association of Andra Prakash.

Photos of the CHAI AGBM can be viewed at CHAI’s Website <>.

Please also see Dr. John Lee’s FIAMC Presidential Congratulatory Message which is attached to this write up.

Report prepared by Dr. Freddie Loh, Chairman FIAMC Membership Committee


Message to CHAI on the occasion of their 72th anniversary

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On behalf of FIAMC (the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations), I would like to congratulate CHAI on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of its founding by the Sr Dr Mary Glowrey. Since its humble beginning with the mission to reach out to the poor and marginalized, CHAI under the leadership of visionaries like Fr Tomi has grown to become one of the biggest healthcare NGO in the world.

What is remarkable is that despite its phenomenal growth, CHAI is providing exceptional service to the poor by remaining faithful to its motto, “Love of Christ Compels Us”. I am glad that Fr Tomi and the board of CHAI have chosen the theme, “Action 2020: Repositioning for the Future” for this year’s Health Summit.

To remain relevant and to keep abreast of developments in today’s fast changing society, no organization can afford to rest on its laurels and must engage in periodic soul searching. A society focused heavily on individualism, relativism, and materialism, coupled with ideas that threatened the fundamental structure of the family, have put the future of the family – and society itself – at great risk. Catholic healthcare workers remains as one of the last bastion against the anti-life forces that St Pope John Paul II prophesied will afflict modern day society. I invite you to ponder over the ideas expressed by Pope Francis in his very first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” (The Light of Faith”).which is a celebration of Christian faith as the guiding light of a “successful and fruitful life”, inspiring social action as well as devotion to God, and illuminating “every aspect of human existence”.

Notice the strong accent on joy as the driving force in evangelization. The “Joy of Service” burning in our heart compels us to share God’s love with others. There is a insistent appeal to give preferential attention to the poor, the destitute, the excluded, the “trash and leftovers” of the human (or inhuman) society. There are many Catholics who are doctors but there are very few Catholic doctors. What do I mean by this statement? For many of us, our faith is something which we confine to Sunday worship and church activities. It is not easy to see how Christian principles can be applied to our professional life especially if we work in organizations that are secular.

Very few of us are Catholic doctors. All too often we tend to dissociate our religion from our professional life especially if we live in a multi-religious society. Sr Dr Mary Glowrey who was declared a servant of God in 2013, has shown us how we can attain sanctification by placing God at the centre of our life.

I would like to conclude by sharing a quote from Mother Teresa, “I am but a little pencil in God’s hand writing a love letter to the world”. What a beautiful philosophy to carry with us as we go about our daily life. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide each and every one of you not only in discerning the future direction for CHAI but also in your personal relationship with God.

Yours in Christ,

Dr John Lee President World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations