24 Letters

posted Oct 5, 2017, 10:13 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 5, 2017, 10:13 AM ]

Worst stampede in Mumbai

Sir, Mumbai has been hit by several terror attacks and other tragedies over the past 25 years, but never a crush of people one over another as on Sept. 29 at the foot overbridge (FOB) at Elphinstone Road station. The FOB had limited capacity to accommodate teeming crowds; it was built in the British era and had passed its utility.

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Catholic Art and Medicine

Sir, "Catholic Art has a checkered history of demonstrating the 'beauty of the human person', both in health and in disease. This intersection of art, medicine and faith in the Catholic tradition has a lot to teach today, especially if one is a doctor," revealed Dr Thomas Heyne, M.D. and head of Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Denver, Colorado, USA, who spoke to EWTN News on Sept. 19, 2017.

Citing several studies, Dr Heyne said, "Medical examination through art can help make physicians better equipped through honing their observation skills, awakening mindfulness, gaining communication abilities, and showing empathy. This is an appealing instrument for the new evangelisation." 

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Magnificat in Konkani

Sir, It is indeed a great honour and a matter of pride for the Church in Goa to find a place for the Magnificat in Konkani language to be installed (among other world languages) in the Church of the Visitation in Jerusalem. It is another matter as to how many of our Goans can read and understand Konkani script. Nevertheless, there are several lessons to be learnt from Luke's Magnificat, in which Mary is presented to represent women and the poor, who are socially and economically oppressed in society. >>>

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Green Diwali

Sir, Although Diwali is a festival of lights, symbolising the triumph of good over evil, today (like many other festivals), Diwali has become a festival of noise and pollution.

The real meaning of bursting firecrackers seems to have been lost to a great extent; grand fireworks have become a status symbol for the vulgar display of ill-gotten wealth by the rich; others are either cowed down by their sheer money and muscle power and blindly follow them. It has become fashionable to use fireworks in a manner that causes maximum distress and annoyance to people, with scant disregard for the impact it has on the environment. With pollution levels in most of our cities already in the danger zone, little do people realise that fireworks release toxic substances into the atmosphere which are harmful to the health of all living beings.

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Adieu, 'Brother Vincent'

Sir, Even though Fr Vincent Gonsalves became Monsignor long ago, he was fondly remembered in Vasai as 'Brother Vincent', because he served at Nandakhal as a regent in the early 50s of the last century. It was a custom then to send seminarians from Bombay to some of the distinguished parishes of Vasai blessed with Marathi medium schools. These young seminarians were sent to the parishes of Nandakhal, Sandor, Papdy - either to learn Marathi or to brush-up their knowledge of Marathi. These seminarians used to learn Marathi either by taking special classes from some expert teachers in the school, or by just mingling and interacting with the students. At times, they attempted to take religion classes in the school to gain confidence in speaking Marathi by way of preparation for their preaching. 

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Community hall in parishes

Sir, Last week, I attended a month's mind Mass of a close relative at Holy Family Church, Chakala, Andheri East. After the Mass, people offered condolences to the bereaved family, and after visiting the grave, a prayer service is conducted in remembrance of the deceased followed by serving of snacks or a meal.

On the same day, there were three month's minds offered for the departed souls. People had gathered in the open compound area, where no place was available for conducting a meaningful prayer service. I could see people gathered for two of the services just next to each other. In one group, snack boxes were served, while the other bereaved family arranged for a boxed meal. People immediately dispersed on receiving the boxes, as it was uncomfortable to stand and eat.

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Stop using plastic

Sir, Plastic is extremely bad for the environment. It is one of man's worst inventions. Plastic is non-biodegradable. This means that waste plastic cannot be turned into any other substance that is eco-friendly. Although tonnes and tonnes of plastic are burned down in the most advanced incinerators, all that remains is plastic. It doesn't change into anything else, as many other materials do. Hence plastic waste is dangerous to the environment.

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