Issues Vol. 168‎ > ‎

Vol. 168 No. 06 - February 11 - February 17, 2017

01 Cover

posted Feb 8, 2017, 9:35 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 9, 2017, 9:06 PM ]

03 Index

posted Feb 8, 2017, 9:35 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 8, 2017, 9:35 AM ]

04 Engagements

posted Feb 8, 2017, 9:33 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 8, 2017, 9:33 AM ]

05 Editorial - Pope's World Day of Sick Message

posted Feb 8, 2017, 8:56 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 8, 2017, 8:56 AM ]

On February 11, the 25th World Day of the Sick will be celebrated throughout the Church, and in a special way at Lourdes. The theme of this year's celebration is "Amazement at what God has accomplished: 'The Almighty has done great things for me….'" (Lk 1:49). This Day is an opportunity to reflect in particular on the needs of the sick and, more generally, of all those who suffer.

It is also an occasion for those who generously assist the sick, beginning with family members, health workers and volunteers, to give thanks for their God-given vocation of accompanying our infirm brothers and sisters. This celebration, likewise, gives the Church renewed spiritual energy for carrying out ever more fully that fundamental part of her mission which includes serving the poor, the infirm, the suffering, the outcast and the marginalised.

I will be spiritually present at the grotto of Massabielle, before the statue of the Immaculate Virgin, in whom the Almighty has done great things for the redemption of mankind. I express my closeness to all of you, our suffering brothers and sisters, and to your families, as well as my appreciation for all those in different roles of service and in healthcare institutions throughout the world, who work with professionalism, responsibility and dedication for your care, treatment and daily well-being. Like Saint Bernadette, we stand beneath the watchful gaze of Mary. The humble maiden of Lourdes tells us that the Virgin, whom she called "the Lovely Lady", looked at her as one person looks at another.

The gaze of Mary, Comfort of the Afflicted, brightens the face of the Church in her daily commitment to the suffering and those in need. The precious fruits of this solicitude for the world of suffering and sickness are a reason for gratitude to the Lord Jesus, who out of obedience to the will of the Father became one of us, even enduring death on the Cross for the redemption of humanity. The solidarity shown by Christ, the Son of God born of Mary, is the expression of God's merciful omnipotence, which is made manifest in our life – above all when that life is frail, pain-filled, humbled, marginalised and suffering – and fills it with the power of hope that can sustain us and enable us to get up again.

This great wealth of humanity and faith must not be dissipated. Instead, it should inspire us to speak openly of our human weaknesses and to address the challenges of present-day healthcare and technology. On this World Day of the Sick, may we find a new incentive to work for the growth of a culture of respect for life, health and the environment. May this Day also inspire renewed efforts to defend the integrity and dignity of persons, not least through a correct approach to bio-ethical issues, the protection of the vulnerable and the protection of the environment.

On this Twenty-fifth World Day of the Sick, I once more offer my prayerful support and encouragement to physicians, nurses, volunteers and all those consecrated men and women committed to serving the sick and those in need. I also embrace the ecclesial and civil institutions working to this end, and the families who take loving care of their sick. I pray that all may be ever joyous signs of the presence of God's love and imitate the luminous testimony of so many friends of God, including Saint John of God and Saint Camillus de' Lellis, the patrons of hospitals and healthcare workers, and Saint Mother Teresa of Kolkata, missionary of God's love.

Surely, the moments of prayer, the Eucharistic liturgies and the celebrations of the Anointing of the Sick, the sharing with the sick and the bio-ethical and theological-pastoral workshops to be held in Lourdes in those days will make new and significant contributions to that service.

(Compiled from Vatican Radio)

06 29th CCBI Plenary Assembly - Divya Ajmera

posted Feb 8, 2017, 8:47 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 8, 2017, 8:54 AM ]

The 29th Plenary Assembly of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) commenced with a solemn Eucharistic celebration at St Assumption Church, Asha Niketan Campus in Bhopal on January 31. More than 130 Bishops of the 182 Latin-rite bishops in the country participated in the 8-day deliberations on the issues concerning Families in Asia with special focus on India.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the main celebrant in his message, called for revitalising the families in view of the call given by Pope Francis. "We need to turn good families to better, and holy families to holier," he said. "We the bishops", he said, "will discuss about all the issues affecting family life in the changed social milieu."

"Revitalising the families is one of the most urgent needs for the Church. Family is sacred, and so we must protect it. There are many ideologies around us which destroy family values. So we must reach the message of love to the families without any exclusion."

"Even though Asian families do not face so much of problems, families worldwide are in crisis on account of economic disparities, cultural differences, religious and linguistic differences among a host of other things." "Jesus' presence was a healing presence, and it will be an answer to many problems the families face today. So one needs to deepen faith in Jesus and take the gospel values," the prelate emphasised. 


07 ‘Fulfilling every demand of children constrains their growth’ - S Vijay Kumar

posted Feb 8, 2017, 8:45 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 8, 2017, 8:46 AM ]

Second day of CCBI

The second day of the 29th Plenary Assembly of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) on February 1, began with serious reflections on parental responsibilities by His Eminence Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri from Italy, the Secretary General, Synod of Bishops. Recollecting his past memories of India as its Apostolic Nuncio from 1999 to 2002, His Eminence called India a blessed land. In his message during the Eucharistic celebration, His Eminence Lorenzo said, "A father does not "educate" his children by always saying 'yes'; indeed it is sometimes necessary to say 'no' to help the child grow and improve."

"Being a father is a difficult and demanding job." With reference to Pope Francis, His Eminence Lorenzo reminded fathers of the families not to neglect their children's upbringing. They must exert themselves in 'making time' for their children. Reflecting on the Bible readings of the day, His Eminence Lorenzo pointed out the meaning of human sufferings permitted by God: "Do not be discouraged by the sufferings of the present moment. Through the tests, God shows that He is a loving father."

"Promoting the Joy of Love in our Families" was the central point of the keynote address of His Eminence Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri. "Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia (The Joy of Love in our Families) is a true masterpiece on the family." Each chapter of the document was explained with a pastoral perspective. His Eminence Lorenzo strongly exhorted Bishops, priests and pastoral workers to create a renewed enthusiasm in family ministry. Citing Pope Francis, he said: "Today, there is a world war to destroy marriage. Today, there is ideological colonisation which destroys, not with weapons, but with ideas." Marriage and family can be saved only by the power of true love. Because God is love, the family with its positive characteristics of beauty and inherent values is the splendour of the work of God in humanity.


08 Matrimonial Holiness - Lorraine & Leon Bent

posted Feb 8, 2017, 8:43 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 8, 2017, 8:43 AM ]

Marriage is "a gift" from God, and there is a great urgency to safeguard this gift (Amoris Laetitia/The Joy of Love, 61). God's primary goal for marriage is holiness. That's why we call it Holy or Sacred Matrimony. God's highest priority in each of our lives is to make us more like His Son Jesus (Romans 8:29). Marriage is one way in which God develops the character of Jesus within us. In total agreement with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI [Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est (2005)], Pope Francis writes that God's way of loving becomes the measure of human love.

If you have left your first love - God, go back to the basics. Get back to Bible study. Get back to fellowship. Get back to worship. Get back on your knees in prayer. In Scripture, we hear from Christ. In fellowship, we share Christ. At the Lord's Table, we commune with Christ. In prayer, we talk to Christ. This spiritual foundation invariably brings us back to Christ. When married lovers have Jesus as the Third Partner, they are caught up in an intimate, eternal whirl of the Triune God in a communion of love (cf. AL 11).

Christ is the Centre of Marriage

There is no doubt that the passionate devotion to family, the love which bound Eddie and Zita, for example, in holy matrimony, the Catholic care and upbringing of eight children, and fidelity to each other, which they maintained throughout their lives, is a testimony to their saintliness. Their home, whether an imperial palace or a simple, damp, poverty-laden cottage or even a tiny shanty-love-nest, was filled with a spirit of prayer, humility, mutual sacrifice, love, and a commitment to duty in fulfilling their state in life. Christ was the centre of their nuptial alliance. For this reason, it seems appropriate to call this couple a model of Catholic marriage and family life.


09 Reminiscences of St Joseph High School - Sr Dollyrose D’Souza, PSOL

posted Feb 8, 2017, 8:42 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 8, 2017, 8:42 AM ]

St Joseph High School, Kandivli, one of the oldest schools in the suburbs of Mumbai, completes 125 years of service in the field of education of young minds this year. The fruits that we see today are due to the arduous efforts of the past Managers, Principals and staff. The school aims to give the best to the students with the minimum means, as it has done for the past 125 years.

Owing to horrendous circumstances, the perfect history could not be traced. One of the accounts in The Examiner of 1894 states that the old school in the churchyard has been the lasting testimony to Fr Nicalao D'Oliveira's zeal for the education of the youth in the parish of Our Lady of Assumption.

The foundation of our school was laid during the British era in 1891. The school, being the first in the area, was officially recognised as an Anglo-vernacular school by the British Government. The people of Kandivli were fortunate to have an educational institution of their own. The children from the neighbouring areas of Orlem and Poinsur also attended the school. Initially, the school was a small indigenous structure with a few students, as compared to the present number. In the early years, the numbers were also affected due to the epidemic of cholera and bubonic plague which was rampant in Bombay.

Earlier, the school was probably known to be a 'Primary English School'. In August 1919, the school was renamed as St Joseph School by the Vicar, Rev. John A. Gomez, since the parish had a popular devotion to St Joseph. The old school building had only four classrooms on the ground floor and a conference hall, which was later renovated by Fr George Newman Lobo. This hall was a shed with a tiled roof, with one entrance facing the ground. The KG classes were conducted in the hall, while the other classes were held in the school building; the school office was situated near the church. The first batch of SSC students passed out in the year 1969.


11 Your Vote counts for better living - Gerson Da Cunha

posted Feb 8, 2017, 8:40 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 8, 2017, 8:41 AM ]

Vote on Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 must be circled in red on your calendar. It's voting day in the 2017 elections to the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, best known as our BMC. It is one of the city's best kept secrets.

The BMC is responsible for 75% of our daily needs. Except for the city police run by the State government and the suburban railways owned by a ministry in Delhi, everything else we use and need is the BMC's responsibility. We vote 227 Corporators to the BMC, potentially architects of a better Mumbai, to ensure citizens are well served. Hence the importance of February 21.

In the last civic elections, 60% of those entitled to vote did not vote, despite appalling municipal services, on the one hand, and the resources of our BMC, on the other. It is India's richest municipality, with an annual budget of Rs 37,000 crores, larger than the budget of many whole States. If we don't vote on February 21, we don't care for our city. So why should the Corporators whom we elect?

Incompetence, negligence, corruption

An emblem of the BMC's generalised incompetence, negligence and corrupt practice is the pothole. The status of our roads. The BMC is responsible for nearly 2,000 km of roads in Mumbai. Their potholed surfaces, which routinely cause deaths, make national and international news, like the BMC's inability to handle the Monsoons, our source of life, but also of inundation. Some 90% of rain water goes into storm water drains, instead of being absorbed by the city's natural topography, now flattened and hardened by concrete and haphazard construction permitted over the years by the BMC.

Mumbai produces nearly 10,000 tonnes of solid waste every day. How does the BMC deal with this enormous volume? It all goes (if ever collected) to just three locations. These are little more than dumping grounds, often bursting into methane-induced flames.


12 Together towards Tomorrow

posted Feb 8, 2017, 8:36 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 8, 2017, 8:36 AM ]


The 24th All-Religion Prayer and Get-together was held on January 30, 2017 from 4:30 pm to 7 pm at R. D. & S. H. National College Auditorium, Linking Road, Bandra, Mumbai. The theme for this year was "TOGETHER TOWARDS TOMORROW: Governance Towards Building a Strong Multi-Religious Community in India." The programme was organised by Dr Sr Pauline Chakkalakal of the Daughters of St Paul, BUILD, Bandra and Bandra Hindu Association (BHA) in collaboration with R.D. & S. H. National College, Anjuman-I-Islam G.H.S. & Junior College, Duruelo Convent High School, Smt. M.M.K. College of Commerce & Economics, Rizvi College, Brahma Kumaris and Wilson College. In her welcome address, the Coordinator, Dr Pauline, highlighted the purpose of this yearly meeting in a few words: "To Celebrate our Unity in Diversity; to bring together youth and adults from different religions, ideologies and walks of life; to promote sisterhood and brotherhood among all people, thereby contribute our share to build better homes and society, better nation and world." Underlining the need for action-oriented reflection on the concrete realities affecting our Nation, she quoted the proverb: "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Sr Pauline emphatically stated that our youth should be helped to channelise their God-given talents effectively and become responsible citizens and leaders. She also stressed that the All-Religion Get-together initiated by her is neither a platform for political activities, nor a forum to compare and contrast one religion with another


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