Issues Vol. 168‎ > ‎

Vol. 168 No. 24 - June 17 - June 23, 2017

01 Cover

posted Jun 14, 2017, 10:31 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 15, 2017, 11:58 PM ]

03 Index

posted Jun 14, 2017, 10:17 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 14, 2017, 10:17 AM ]

04 Official

posted Jun 14, 2017, 10:08 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 14, 2017, 10:16 AM ]

05 Engagements

posted Jun 14, 2017, 9:57 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 14, 2017, 9:57 AM ]

07 Editorial - Body and Blood of Christ - Fr Anthony Charanghat

posted Jun 14, 2017, 9:52 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 16, 2017, 12:00 AM ]

The Feast of the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ is a special Feast to reflect on the Reality of the Eucharist. The Real Presence is the teaching of the sixth chapter of St John's gospel. "The one who feeds on my flesh and drinks My blood has life eternal" says the Lord. One of the first things we learn as Catholics and one of the most comforting, strengthening truths that pervades our whole life from childhood into our senior years is the truth of the Real Presence.

This is a mystery of faith when we acknowledge that we have Christ in our blood, that we are people for whom God takes flesh, the people who are hungry and thirsty for God. We do not partake of a symbol. The Eucharist is not a metaphor; neither is it a 'piece' of His flesh; it is Christ, whole and entire. The Communion that we partake of is in fact a reception of the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ in His glorified state.

When we come to church we don't have to hope that the Lord will be there. His presence does not depend on our mood, our feelings, our holiness, or even our faith. Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. The phrase 'flesh and blood' is a common way of characterising His tangible and intimate presence. His presence that we receive in Communion is the Risen Christ who is now present in the Church, and so to receive the whole sacramental presence of His flesh and blood and abide in Him, is a pledge of sharing Christ's Resurrection.

Today the emphasis is no longer on processions with the Blessed Sacrament but on participation of the mystery that enables us to say what we are: the body of Christ, head, and members. This is what gives us the strength not just to walk behind the Sacrament, but to walk in the power of His presence day after day aware of our dignity, our communion with and solidarity for one another.

The Lord also gave us the Eucharist to draw us together. That is the teaching of St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians. Paul says boldly. Though our communion is in the cup of blessing and the broken bread, we not only become one with Christ, we become one with one and another. We are called to the nourishment for our sisters and brothers, to be living bread for them in the wilderness ready to be broken, given and consumed by them.

Today when we hold out our hands and accept the broken bread, we too, are daring to take hold of the body that was broken in death and rose for freedom and justice. When we drink the cup, we pledge ourselves to solidarity - especially with the powerless, the have-nots, the 'dregs' of society the sinners - for whom Jesus drained the cup of suffering.

The Solemnity, therefore should focus our attention on that every Eucharist we partake in must create in us a great sense of unease about disunity, discrimination, and hypocrisy in the body of Christ. No matter how liturgically correct or ritually beautiful our celebration, much is missing from the full active and conscious participation of our Eucharist, if we do not do this in memory of Him.

Liturgical memory is not a nostalgic or romantic recall of the past but a present demand that in Jesus' name we do justice now and in the future, in building His kingdom of justice and peace.

08 Sacred Heart: symbol of Christ's Incarnate Love

posted Jun 14, 2017, 9:50 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 14, 2017, 9:50 AM ]

(Extracts from Pope Pius XII's 1956 encyclical, Haurietis Aquas)

The Heart of the Incarnate Word is deservedly and rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that threefold love with which the divine Redeemer unceasingly loves His eternal Father and all mankind.

It is a symbol of that divine love which He shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit, but which He, the Word made flesh, alone manifests through a weak and perishable body, since "in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily."

It is, besides, the symbol of that burning love which, infused into His soul, enriches the human will of Christ and enlightens and governs its acts by the most perfect knowledge derived both from the beatific vision and that which is directly infused.

And finally — and this in a more natural and direct way — it is the symbol also of sensible love, since the body of Jesus Christ, formed by the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, possesses full powers of feelings and perception, in fact, more so than any other human body.

Since, therefore, Sacred Scripture and the official teaching of the Catholic faith instruct us that all things find their complete harmony and order in the most holy soul of Jesus Christ, and that He has manifestly directed His threefold love for the securing of our redemption, it unquestionably follows that we can contemplate and honour the Heart of the divine Redeemer as a symbolic image of His love and a witness of our redemption, and at the same time, as a sort of mystical ladder by which we mount to the embrace of "God our Saviour."

Hence His words, actions, commands, miracles, and especially those works which manifest more clearly His love for us — such as the divine institution of the Eucharist, His most bitter sufferings and death, the loving gift of His holy Mother to us, the founding of the Church for us, and finally, the sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and upon us — all these, we say, ought to be looked upon as a proof of His threefold love. Likewise, we ought to meditate most lovingly on the beating of His Sacred Heart by which He seemed, as it were, to measure the time of His sojourn on earth until that final moment, when, as the evangelists testify, "crying out with a loud voice 'It is finished,' and bowing His Head, He yielded up the ghost." Then it was that His heart ceased to beat, and His sensible love was interrupted until the time when, triumphing over death, He rose from the tomb.


09 Accompanying Refugees - Fr Cedric Prakash sj

posted Jun 14, 2017, 9:48 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 14, 2017, 9:49 AM ]

Pope Francis has never stopped reminding the faithful of the need and importance to respond to the cries of the refugees, migrants and other displaced persons. Addressing the 6th International Forum on Migration and Peace (February 21, 2017) in the Vatican, he said, “For us Christians, hospitality offered to the weary traveller is offered to Jesus Christ Himself, through the newcomer: “I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.” (Mt 25:35) The duty of solidarity is to counter the throwaway culture and give greater attention to those who are weakest, poorest and most vulnerable. Thus “a change of attitude towards migrants and refugees is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalisation – all typical of a throwaway culture – towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world.”

Accompanying the refugees has been a recurring theme of his pontificate: visiting them in Lampedusa and Lesbos; washing the feet of refugees on Maundy Thursday; providing homes to Syrian refugees in the Vatican; asking that every Catholic parish in Europe shelter and support at least one refugee family. Besides, making the plight of refugees a constant reference point in his homilies and teachings, particularly that Joseph and Mary had to take the child Jesus and flee to Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod; the Holy Family was a refugee family too.

It has been a difficult year for refugees. The UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants which took place on September 19, 2016 was meant to bring in greater global commitments. ‘The New York Declaration’ which emerged had some lofty ideals; however, in the nine months gone by, precious little seems to have taken place. There are some countries, like the United States, that have reneged in their response to refugees. The official stand there today is about building border walls, keeping out refugees, and even cutting down on financial commitments. In Europe, the emergence of political parties with an exclusive right-wing agenda which promotes ‘nationalism’ is a cause of great concern. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently criticised rising xenophobia and “aggressive nationalism” in western democracies, calling for greater social cohesion. He said that “It is essential to not just address the humanitarian crises, but to build resilience - of populations, of regions and countries - to create the conditions for those humanitarian crises not to be repeated.”


11 Pope names new cardinals from Laos, Mali, Sweden, Spain and El Salvador

posted Jun 14, 2017, 9:47 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 14, 2017, 9:47 AM ]

The ceremony to induct the new Princes of the Church will take place on June 28, and the new cardinals will say Mass with him on the following day - the feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

The fact that the five cardinals come from "diverse parts from the world," expresses the "Catholicity of the Church, diffused throughout the earth," Pope Francis said.

The five new cardinals are:

• Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chávez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador in El Salvador;
• Archbishop Jean Zerbo, of Bamako, Mali;
• Bishop Anders Arborelius, of Stockholm, Sweden;
• Archbishop Juan José Omella of Barcelona, Spain;
•Bishop Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun Apostolic Administrator of Vientiane, Laos.

In keeping with his passion for the peripheries, four of the five men Pope Francis named represent countries that have never before had a cardinal: Mali, Sweden, El Salvador and Laos.

In what has become a trademark of his pontificate, Pope Francis blindsided long-time Vatican watchers and even most of his closest collaborators alike, when he announced the names of his new cardinals. He did so at the end of his Sunday Regina Coeli prayer (which during the Easter season replaces the traditional Angelus).

"We entrust the new cardinals to the protection of St Peter and Paul," Pope Francis said, "so that with the intercession of the prince of the apostles, they are authentic servers of the ecclesial communion, and so that with the apostle of the peoples, they are joyful announcers of the Gospel, and that with their witness and counsel, they sustain me more intensely in my service as bishops of Rome, shepherd of the Universal Church."

All of the new cardinals are under 80, and therefore eligible to vote for the next Pope.

Of the five cardinal-elects, two were appointed to their dioceses by Pope Francis: Omella, who has been in Barcelona since 2015, and Mangkhanekhoun, who took over in Vientiane in February 2017. The rest were appointed by Pope John Paul II.

On choosing Rosa Chávez from El Salvador, the Pope bypassed the titular archbishop of the diocese, José Luis Escobar y Alas, once again making the point that when he gives red hats, he's more than willing to go beyond the traditional "cardinal sees," something he's done in the previous three consistories he's celebrated.


12 Cross Feast at Mt Mary’s - Bosco Pereira

posted Jun 14, 2017, 9:45 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 14, 2017, 9:46 AM ]

The Rosary Celebrations at the Cross in front of Mount Mary's Basilica, Bandra concluded on the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, marking the end of the Marian month. Mary's Clan conducted the Rosary every evening at 8:30 pm, which began with a brief Praise and Worship, recitation of the Rosary, litany and singing of hymns, with musicians - the organ, violin, guitar and tambourine gives a lot of liveliness to the Rosary.

Calling it the 'Cross Feast', Bishop John Rodrigues, Rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount at Bandra (Mumbai), prayed the Rosary on May 31 (the last day of the celebrations) along with more than 500 people, which included a large number of children, youth and many non-Christian devotees of Mary.

The Rosary was conducted by Mary's Clan, a home for reformed Destitute Alcoholics, which helps people with an alcohol dependency reintegrate into society. The large participation of people was an opportunity to worship, glorify, pray and thank God in public as a community.

For Mary's Clan, it is a special grace to conduct the Rosary in the public square for the entire month of May for the past three decades, besides the active involvement of the stall owners around the Basilica, who enthusiastically did the floral arrangements every day. It was a huge witness to the pilgrims.

Peoples of all faiths attend the Rosary devotion in May. They come with enthusiasm, reverence and faith. Many of them came with requests for the Mother, and some came bearing thanksgiving gifts for favours received. This way, they thank the Virgin for her intercession with her Son Jesus.

Mary leaves no one indifferent; Mary brings out everyone's hidden talents and virtues, especially those who are on the margins of society. The same goes for our alcoholics, who took part in the Marian devotion with total joy.

The children, with their purity and innocence, lend a lot of holiness to the Rosary, bringing in a new dimension. Full of love and filled with joyful energy, the children concluded the Rosary singing the final hymn, 'Great and Mighty' soulfully and with great zeal, and evolved in their learning to sing other hymns too... their singing in unison was so wonderful, overshadowing the elders singing.


13 Holistic Education - Ninette D'Souza

posted Jun 14, 2017, 9:44 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 14, 2017, 9:45 AM ]

“Education is not preparation for life, Education is life itself” – John Dewey

'Holistic Education' - a term bandied about frequently, necessitates a paradigm shift in understanding that Education today is not meant to advise, but to enlighten, not meant to push problems aside, because they are not related to our syllabi, but to work towards a solution, to realise that every naughty child is a story untold.

It has been years since American developmental Psychologist, Howard Earl Gardner, spoke of Multiple Intelligences. It is a given fact that education is chiefly concerned with equipping learners to become informed world citizens, and even better individuals. In the 21st century, this would be best achieved through a pedagogy that provides them with unique learning experiences that keep pace with the fast changing social structure and technological developments, one that is sensitive to the wellbeing and feelings of students at every level, one which strives to motivate them to respond to new situations in a flexible creative manner. "I never teach my pupils; I only provide the conditions in which they can learn" affirmed the eccentric yet honest Albert Einstein.

The field of education all over the world is being swept by a new awakening in the teaching and learning process. The onus is now on the Learner, and the Teacher is looked upon as a Facilitator. The demography of our classrooms has changed drastically, ensuring that a wide spectrum of students can now avail of an education, hitherto dreamed of. Our classrooms are increasingly becoming learning laboratories, and we, as educators, are called to move beyond our traditional roles and become social scientists or researchers, so to speak. Qualitative changes in education will only work to achieve what John F. Kennedy believed in, "Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in Education." In this day of high-end technology and student-friendly education, the single most important factor in any classroom continues to be 'The Teacher'. It is a humbling fact that we impact society by nurturing numerous students who pass through our hands. We mould lives, and leave indelible imprints upon them. In a world where young minds oscillate between conflicting values, this truth assumes greater proportions. As educators today, we need to train our children to learn the all important lesson that 'to challenge is to live a fulfilling winning life'.


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