Issues Vol. 168‎ > ‎

Vol. 168 No. 05 - February 04 - February 10, 2017


01 Cover

posted Feb 1, 2017, 8:13 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2017, 8:13 AM ]


03 Index

posted Feb 1, 2017, 8:12 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2017, 8:12 AM ]


04 Engagements

posted Feb 1, 2017, 8:10 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2017, 8:10 AM ]


05 Editorial - Two Auxiliary Bishops for Bombay

posted Feb 1, 2017, 8:07 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2017, 8:07 AM ]

This is a day of great rejoicing in the Archdiocese of Bombay. A very historic day; for this day, on the feast of St Thomas Aquinas, the great doctor of the Church, we are receiving a gift from God of two new Auxiliary Bishops in the Archdiocese.

How happy we are! What a joy it is to each one of us, in a special way for the parishioners of Thane and of Borivli, and for all of us in the Archdiocese of Bombay, the Western Region and the Church in India. These pastors have been called by the Lord to a great leadership role; all of us rejoice, because we have new Shepherds to assist in the leadership of the Church—new leaders to guide us; holy men to take us to the Lord.

Allwyn D’Silva and Barthol Barretto—through the imposition of hands following the ancient tradition, from the very apostolic times, and saying the approved formula—will now join our ranks as Shepherds of the Church. Being a Shepherd of the Church is most challenging at every time, but especially in our times. Our Chief Shepherd in Rome, Pope Francis, insists on the central role of the Bishops, and has consistently been encouraging and guiding the Bishops in their role as leaders of the Church.

Pope Francis has been insisting "the Shepherds must have the smell of the sheep" (their flock). This smell you will have if you are connected to them, in an approachable, welcoming, understanding way, and opening his heart to them. It is not just the question of being physically present, but the attitude of the heart, receiving, loving them, understanding them, sharing in their joys and sorrows, and being of service to your people, just as the Lord was available to His people throughout the day.

The Holy Father issued an Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera where he reminded us that the Year of Mercy is past, but mercy and compassion cannot be forgotten. It is an essential element of Christ’s teaching. We have to promote a culture of mercy, says the Pope. That is why in the Archdiocese of Bombay, in the coming year, we will have as our theme “Promoting the culture of mercy” so that every parish, every institution, every religious house becomes an oasis of mercy for our people, reaching out to all those on the periphery, welcoming all those in distress.

The Archdiocese of Bombay has had the privilege of having the system of Small Christian Communities. This and other associations and groups can be used effectively to promote the apostolate of the laity. It is only with the laity that the Church can be vibrant. Hence, educate them, confirm them, encourage them, work with them and teach them to work with others.

Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city. Not all are of our culture, language or even religion. Hence, dialogue is important. Dialogue with people of other cultures, dialogue with people of other religions, dialogue with people of other languages, and work hand in hand with Government. We cannot transform all of society alone. We, as Christians, can be catalysts that can promote harmony among people of diverse cultures, languages and religions.

Both Allwyn and Barthol bring a great contribution to the leadership of this Archdiocese. Both have been Parish Priests, successful, loved by people. Both have a special love for their people; both have been associated with the Central Office of the Archdiocese, the Archbishop and his Curia. Both have been associated with the Seminary. And yet, both complement each other so much. One has spent a lot of time planning pastoral work; the other has spent more time doing pastoral work. One is very much continuously doing things; the other is much concentrated on planning things to be done. One has had much exposure in India and outside; the other has had deep exposure in the Archdiocese. What richness for the Archdiocese to have these two men with us. I very warmly welcome you to the leadership of the Archdiocese of Bombay; a very warm embrace to you from me, the Auxiliaries, and from all the clergy in the Archdiocese of Bombay and Religious and faithful.

Extracts from the Homily of Cardinal Oswald Gracias at the Episcopal Ordination

06 March for Life - Kurt Jensen & Julie Asher (CNS)

posted Feb 1, 2017, 8:05 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2017, 8:06 AM ]

'Life is winning again in America'

The leaders of the Pro-life movement are used to having the ear of the President, as they had with Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

During their respective administrations, they addressed the March for Life via telephone, but this year, the event marking the Roe v/s Wade anniversary had the highest-ranking government official ever to address the crowd in person.

"Life is winning again in America, and today is a celebration of that progress," the official, Vice President Mike Pence, told the March for Life rally on the National Mall Jan. 27.

"More than 240 years ago, our founders declared these truths to be self-evident — that we are, all of us, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," he said. "Forty-four years ago, our Supreme Court turned away from the first of these timeless ideals, but today, generations hence - because of all of you and the many thousands who stand with us in marches all across the nation - life is winning again in America."

Pence said President Donald Trump had asked him to address the Rally, which took place under a sunny sky with temperatures in the 40s. "He asked me to thank you for your support, for your stand for life and your compassion for the women and children of America."

Other speakers included New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Pro-life Committee; Kellyanne Conway, Trump's campaign manager and now special adviser to the president; Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; and Reps. Mia Love, R-Utah, and Chris Smith, R-New Jersey. 

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07 Effective Evangelization - Bishop Percy

posted Feb 1, 2017, 8:04 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2017, 8:04 AM ]

When the missionary E. Stanley Jones asked Mahatma Gandhi why he rejected becoming a follower of Christ, the Mahatma responded with these words: "Oh, I don't reject Christ. I love Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ. If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today." Dr Albert Schweitzer, the Nobel Laureate once said, "Example is not the main thing to influence people. It is the only thing!" Jesus Christ said, "By this shall people know that you are my disciples, that you have love one for another."

Any amount of articles are being written in Christian books, magazines and periodicals about the many ways Effective Evangelization is possible. But can using all these methods ever compare with what Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Schweitzer and Jesus Himself were convinced about? Are we fooling ourselves by imagining that a beautifully written and eloquently delivered homily will do more good than a little kindness shown to a poor widow who knocks at our rectory door with a begging bowl, asking for something with which she can feed her children for the day; or the parents of a boy, who come at non-office hours, asking for a birth certificate urgently needed by his school, are helped even though they come out of time?

In one of the lectures I attended in the USA in the 1980s, the speaker told us that a learned Behavioural Scientist once declared that there are three absolutely necessary qualities for any one to be considered a successful leader: the first to be kind; the second, to be kind, and the third, to be kind! This concurs with what Jesus, the Mahatma and Dr Albert were convinced about, and is the most effective way we have in our hands as Christians, whatever position we may be holding, or holding no position at all!

Let us read the articles on this subject, by all means, and listen carefully to the well-written and well-delivered homilies, as they will definitely enhance our responsibility to evangelize, but the follow-up cannot be anything else than our determination to be Christ-like in our behaviour, so that people who come in contact with us will recognise Jesus and His teachings, as He Himself has assured us by His directive given to us in Jn 13:35, that by this will men know that we are His disciples, that we have love one for another!

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09 Touched by Jesus, walking His Way - Stalin Mathias

posted Feb 1, 2017, 8:03 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2017, 8:03 AM ]

Youth - 2800 of them - waved "goodbye" to a Billboard attitude and welcomed a Springboard attitude, with a new slogan "Touched by Jesus, Walking His Way." And so trending away from Billboard which is stationary, mere words to dynamic movement Springboard Youth. A Springboard is a strong, stable platform that catapults and helps a higher leap forward. And this seems to have met the purpose at this mega event. A new vision that empowers young minds, so that they engage in Christian lifestyle, thus engineering and influencing society.

"Hey, young man, you are the world," said Pope Francis.

And that message had a full throated resounding 'YES' at the National Youth Convention held at Mangalore, organised by the ICYM, from January 18-22, 2017 in Vamanjoor, Mangalore.

All filled with zeal and enthusiasm, we youth from the archdiocese of Bombay, set out for the Youth Convention, with our Diocesan Youth Director leading us from the front. We also had Dn Ivan, our Assistant Youth Director and Sr Roselyn, who accompanied us as Animator.

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11 Romila Palliative Care Centre - Serena D'Sa

posted Feb 1, 2017, 8:01 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2017, 8:01 AM ]

On Friday, January 27, SNEHA (Society for Nutrition Education and Health Action), a Mumbai-based NGO launched the ROMILA PALLIATIVE CARE CENTRE on the grounds of Holy Family Hospital, Bandra, Mumbai. This Palliative Centre, offering OPD and home-based services aims to address the cares of patients with life-limiting and debilitating conditions, primarily those with cancer. Romila (meaning heartfelt) symbolises the love, compassionate and competent care that this project wants to give to help people suffering from life-limiting illness to live a life of dignity and hope through their illness, and at the same time, enable their loved ones to look after them better, with greater assurance and confidence.

The term 'Palliative Care' often conjures up an image of care that is given in a situation when there is no hope, when everyone else seems to have given up—an image that is often depressing. However, we at Romila Palliative Care want to make people realise that, in palliative care, there is a ray of sunshine, a reassurance of our faith and belief, when everything around seems full of despair, that life matters.

The essence of palliative care is to improve the quality of life of patients, not focusing on “the days they have to live, but rather on how they live those days," comfortably and without pain, and to help the caregivers and families face, with knowledge and confidence, the problems associated with a life-threatening illness. Palliative care starts when the illness is diagnosed, continues through treatment, during follow-ups, until the end of life. The Palliative Care team consists of the doctors, nurses and counsellors trained in this field, together with nutritionists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and volunteers, who work together with the primary treating Doctor to support the patient and his family and caregivers.

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17 Book Review

posted Feb 1, 2017, 7:58 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2017, 7:59 AM ]

I’m Pro-Life; Are You?

by Dr Jeanette Pinto

In every generation, people have risen to the challenge of speaking authoritatively and pro-actively on critical issues of the day. In this book, Dr Jeanette Pinto puts together well researched pro-life articles and papers presented by her at conferences and seminars, projecting values of love, life and family that uphold the dignity of the human person, including the unborn. They reflect the reality and truth of life situations that challenge us to choose, cherish and celebrate the beautiful gift of life.

I’M PRO-LIFE, ARE YOU? [ST PAUL’S – pp 238 – Rs 220 – ISBN 978-93-5015-290-4] throws light on various pro-life issues and the anti-life mentality of people in general, by touching on topics such as abortion, assisted reproductive technology, homosexuality, euthanasia, pornography, human trafficking etc. This book will help enhance the reader’s understanding of crucial anti-life issues and the culture of death prevalent in the world, to enable one to choose, cherish and celebrate life, in the process creating the environment needed to produce a generation of pro-lifers.

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19 Book Review

posted Feb 1, 2017, 7:56 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2017, 7:57 AM ]

Health for All

Measures for Healthy Living : For a Healthy Body, Mind and Soul — Think Preventive Health published by the Health Promotion Trust of the Archdiocese of Bombay, 21 N. Parekh Marg, Mumbai 400 001 (pp. 194, illustrated) No price given, but donations are gratefully accepted. For private circulation only.

The Health Promotion Trust (HPT) is an organisation of the Archdiocese of Bombay geared to promote healthy habits and attitudes through prevention, rather than cure. HPT promotes naturopathic means of healing, cautions against the artificial ingredients found in so many foods today, and recommends regular, moderate exercise. The Trust is presently headed by Fr Rocky Banz (St Joseph Church, Vikhroli), and engages the services of a trained and dedicated team of animators to spread its message of "Health for all" by the year 2020 (a UN campaign goal).

The Catholic Church is concerned about both the spiritual health and the physical well-being of its members. In many places, the Church runs hospitals and clinics, and lobbies in public whenever governments enact laws which impinge on the rights of the poor, especially poor women. This is only natural, considering that the Gospels present Jesus as a healer, who spent so much of His public ministry "preaching and healing", and reached out especially to the poor.

But the aim of HPT is not merely curative; it is preventive. It aims to reach out as a priority to marginalised groups, whether in the city or in rural areas, and inform them, not just about not falling sick, but how to live a healthy and productive life. So 'holistic health' – that is, of body and soul – is HPT's goal and challenge. This is specially relevant, considering how impoverished we are in India, regarding even the very basic conditions of well-being.

How does HPT set about doing this? It has a three-fold methodology. Firstly, by training groups of 'health workers' or 'para-medics' and setting up clusters of centres from where they can operate. Presently, 50 such centres exist, and Fr Rocky's ambition is to double the number within three years. The key to HPT's approach therefore is not technology, but interpersonal contact. And it is women who make the best teachers and health workers, so it's no surprise then that women are the mainstay of the HPT system.

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