Issues Vol. 169‎ > ‎

Vol. 169 No. 05 • FEB 03 - 09, 2018

01 Cover

posted Feb 1, 2018, 9:07 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2018, 9:07 AM ]


03 Index

posted Feb 1, 2018, 9:05 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2018, 9:05 AM ]


04 Engagements

posted Feb 1, 2018, 9:02 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2018, 9:02 AM ]


05 Editorial - Priorities of the Catholic Press - Fr. Anthony Charanghat

posted Feb 1, 2018, 9:00 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2018, 9:00 AM ]

This year, the Catholic Press Month comes at a particularly critical moment. Our bishops have made clear their concern with the recent apathy of the ruling dispensation towards hostile and violent divisive activities of their fringe elements that pose threats to the freedom of the Press, creative expression and right to practise one’s faith. It is during challenging times like these that we can best recognise the great blessing that is the Catholic Press.

It is critical that Catholics not only have access to sound news coverage and commentary, but that they hear directly from their leaders on the issues of the day, and have the resources to see their world through the eyes of faith. Only the Catholic Press gives Catholic leaders a voice with which to be heard by their people — unmuted, uncensored and independent of the preconceptions and prejudices of too many secular media outlets.

Surprisingly the Catholic media, however, seems in despondence and retreat, at a time when it is needed more than ever. According to figures released by the Catholic Press Association, its newspaper members have declined 17 per cent in the last ten years, and its magazine members by 25 per cent. Not all of this membership slippage reflects closures, but it is one gauge of the Catholic media’s general decline. The digital world has introduced a host of new competitors: blogs, news aggregator sites and various news feeds and social media also indicate this trend.

The irony,however is that polling data continues to show that Catholics trust their own media, and particularly rely on its print incarnations. A recent survey by the Centre for Applied Research in the Apostolate of self-identified Catholics found that 26 per cent of Catholics had read a diocesan print publication in the previous three months. Only 3 per cent reported reading an online version of a diocesan newspaper. The poll said 18 per cent of adult Catholics typically read a print copy at least once a month.

The Catholic media should be given its due priority. This means investing in quality. Ours is a media-savvy world that expects professional writing and good graphics. Catholic readers want their press to provide context and inspiration. Making Catholic media a priority means offering not just resources, but also grooming it in excellence. The diocesan media should be the first in breaking-news stories within the church so that the secular media might find it as a credible source.

Integration of all diocesan communications efforts is a must. Editors and the Communications coordinators must have access to the data available to the inner circle of the stake holders from which reports emanate. When editors are aware of the priorities and concerns of the Church’s leadership, they are much more likely to produce useful, informative and relevant publications. Whatever the outreach to the community—print, social media, websites, radio, television and other parish-linked communications efforts—there should be a collaborative and flexible strategy for disseminating authentic news.

Catholics ought to be challenged to read, listen and learn. Catholic media, specially their local Catholic media, needs to be promoted. The Church needs to foster the vocation of professional Catholic communicators who strive for the highest standards of quality and who are capable of engaging the issues and events of the day as well as the teachings of the Church in a context that is thoroughly Catholic.

This February we do well to mark Catholic Press Month by acknowledging with appreciation the irreplaceable value of a dynamic Catholic Press, well integrated with the new media technology. Only then will the Catholic media fulfil its defining role of being an indispensable pillar of our democracy and an instrument for communicating the good news.

(A reflection on a recent survey on the Catholic Media by the International Catholic Press Association)

06 Promoting the Catholic Print Media - Fr. Alfonso Elengikal, SSP

posted Feb 1, 2018, 8:58 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2018, 8:58 AM ]

The century that we live in has rightly been called the Century of the Internet and Social Media. If so, the previous century (the 20th century) can well be called the century of the Print and Electronic Media. During its first half, the print media considerably influenced the lives and thinking of the people. However, it was more the secular media that did this, and it often led people in the wrong direction: towards atheism and godlessness.

The Church had to intervene, and she did it, but could do so only in a small way. It is in this scenario that Catholic journalism was born, with dioceses starting diocesan periodicals with the aim of instructing people in the Faith, and informing them about what is happening in the Church, and helping them to look at what is happening around from the Church,s perspective.

Besides this, there were also other initiatives taken by individuals and Institutions, in India and abroad, to counteract the above-mentioned trend. This is where dailies like Deepika, a Malayalam daily started by St Kuriakose Chavara in Kerala, and periodicals like The Examiner by the diocese of Bombay, The New Leader in Chennai, The Herald in Kolkata, etc, came to be founded, making the Church,s voice heard both within and outside the Church. There were also similar attempts made about the same time in Europe and the United States, and Religious Congregations like the Society of St Paul and the Daughters of St Paul were founded to respond positively to the prevailing situation - a specific need of the Church of the time.

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07 St Andrew’s College - Best College in Mumbai University - Dr. Marie Fernandes

posted Feb 1, 2018, 8:57 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2018, 8:57 AM ]

Andrew's College received the Best College Award for 2015-16, instituted by the University of Mumbai with a cheque for Rs 50,000/-. This is a prestigious award, as the University of Mumbai has over 700 affiliated colleges. The award was presented on January 26, 2018 by the Vice Chancellor to the Principal, Dr Marie Fernandes. She was accompanied by the Rector, Fr Magi Murzello and members of the teaching and non-teaching staff.

St Andrew's College is the only college of the Archdiocese of Bombay, and Cardinal Oswald Gracias is the Chairperson. Fr Caesar D'Mello is the Managing Trustee, Fr Magi Murzello is the Rector, Msgr Nereus Rodrigues and Adv. Joaquim Reis are the other Trustees who help greatly with their wisdom and experience. The college offers BA, B.Com, BMS, BMM, B.Com (Accounts and Finance), B.Com (Banking and Insurance), B.Sc. (IT), B.Sc. (Hospitality Studies), M.Com. and a Ph.D. centre in English. Most of the new self-financing courses were introduced during the tenure of Principal A.D. Mascarenhas.

The college has grown steadily and has been accredited by NAAC with an 'A' Grade for two consecutive terms; each term is of five years. The college has great infrastructure with well equipped classrooms, computer laboratories, conference halls to make the teaching-learning process exciting and engaging. Field trips and visits to the National Stock Exchange, industrial units and other places of interest, form part of the routine activities that departments organise.

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08 Awards for Excellence presented to Christian students

posted Feb 1, 2018, 8:54 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2018, 8:55 AM ]

On Friday, January 19, at St Andrew's Auditorium, CitizenCredit Co-operative Bank Ltd. applauded 295 students from across the Archdiocese of Bombay and Vasai. Awards for Academic Excellence were a token of appreciation to PhDs, MS, MDs, MBBS, BEs, BTechs; as well as those who scored as high as 97% at the SSC and HSC - an encouragement from a 'proud' Bank to the students of CitizenCredit's community to keep going further and reaching higher.

After the National Anthem and prayer, the Bank's MD & CEO, Mrs Geeta Andrades welcomed the students and their parents, introducing the Guests of Honour and the Chief Guest - His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Major Gen. Ian Cardozo (retd), Michael Pinto IAS (retd) and Royston Braganza, who were all keynote speakers. The Chairman, Anthony D'Souza and Vice Chairman, Donald Creado introduced the speakers.

Mr Royston Braganza, CEO of Grameen Capital, talked about the importance of being a job creator, rather than just a job seeker. Capturing his audience's attention with a provoking anecdote, Mr Braganza's simple but effective advice to the students centered around having SWAG--being alert to the Signs of the times, making the World their oyster, maintaining a positive Attitude, being Authentic and Adaptable, and above all, being a Good person and putting God first. He encouraged the students to be constantly aware of the people around them, to not just move forward, but help their communities as well. He also highlighted the importance of creating an ecosystem that encouraged and helped young people.

Mr Roger C B Pereira, director of the Bank, followed, highlighting the challenges the students will face, and the Bank's role in helping them surmount these, especially with the loans and services offered to students. Mr Pereira also spoke about the 'Take Charge Initiatives', which provide students with experienced mentors to help them choose career paths best suited for them and assists those who plan on joining the Civil Services and Armed Forces.

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09 65th World Leprosy Day 2018 - Cardinal Peter K A Turkson

posted Feb 1, 2018, 8:53 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2018, 8:53 AM ]

It is troubling that, despite the enormous progress made by humanity in recent times, it is still not possible to eradicate definitively an "old" disease such as leprosy, which continues to spread to thousands of people all over the world. Indeed, even today, every two minutes a person is infected with Hansen's disease. Leprosy continues to be a major health problem in places where precarious socio-economic conditions exist, which favour transmission. As Pope Francis has stated, this is a disease that "although in decline, is still among the most feared, and afflicts the poorest and most marginalized."

The data published by the World Health Organization in 2017 on the situation of leprosy worldwide confirm the high concentration of the disease in 14 countries which alone represent 95% of new cases. At the top of the list is India, with 135,485 cases, followed by Brazil with 25,218 cases and Indonesia with 16,826 cases. Even in Europe, there were 32 new cases of contagion in 2016. In addition, in many countries, the number of cases of leprosy, while not considerable, represents a high percentage with regard to the total population. In the countries in which the disease is endemic, it can be seen that, among those afflicted, there are many minors. Indeed, of every 100 people afflicted by Hansen's disease worldwide, 9 were younger than 15 years of age.

To combat Hansen's disease effectively and incisively, the World Health Organization has drawn up a Global Strategy against Leprosy (2016-2020), in which an important role is attributed to the defence of fundamental human rights, the reduction of the stigma and consequent promotion of integration and social inclusion, the restoration of the dignity of those afflicted by the disease, and access to care. It is therefore extremely urgent to abrogate, where present, discriminatory laws which obstruct fundamental human rights. It is no longer possible to delay this further.

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10 Remembering our Champion of Non-Violence - Dr Jeanette Pinto

posted Feb 1, 2018, 8:52 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2018, 8:52 AM ]

Martyrs' Day in India is observed on January 30, the anniversary of the assassination of Mohandas K. Gandhi in 1948. For a man who forged non-violence into a weapon of change, of revolution, of peace, he was merely a human being who lived by truth, love, peace and non-violence. The great religions were founded on the basis of these very values. Gandhi, fondly known as Bapu, and the Champion of non-violence said, "Non-violence succeeds only when we have a living faith in God…Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed – they were all warriors of peace in their own style. We have to enrich the heritage left by these world teachers." (Harijan: Jan 28, 1939)

Non-violence! Does the common man really know the meaning of non-violence? Most people think that non-violence is a philosophy, and one must have an activist approach to achieve political and social change. Mahatma Gandhi led a decades-long non-violent struggle against British rule in India, which eventually helped India win its independence in 1947. Martin Luther King adopted Gandhi's non-violent methods in the struggle to win the Civil rights for African Americans. All this seems a long time ago. Is non-violence today merely a thing of the past?

Today, we live in a world with conflicts: terrorism, war, torture, ethno-cultural rivalries, religious fanaticism and all kinds of violence. All this is anti-life, and gradually but surely leads to a Culture of Death. Some of the Government policies too are anti-life. Take for example, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act which is responsible for killing thousands of babies through aggression of the mother's womb. Is this not violence? What about child abuse, human trafficking, sexual molestation and rape, rage killings, dowry deaths and violence against women? All we see is the loss of 'dignity of the human being', and of precious lives. It appears that we as a nation have lost the value for human life.

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12 Congress on Vocation Ministry and Consecrated Life: A Report - Dr. Adelaide Vaz

posted Feb 1, 2018, 8:50 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 1, 2018, 8:51 AM ]

I was blessed to have the opportunity to participate in the Congress on 'Vocation Ministry and Consecrated Life', convened by the Vatican Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, in Rome from December 1-3, 2017.

The theme of the Congress was "Vocation Ministry and Consecrated Life: Horizons and Hopes". There were approximately 800 participants from all over the world gathered at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum.

The Inaugural session on Day One was presided over by H.E. Joao Braz Card. De Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation, who also delivered the keynote address. "Where do you live? Come and See" is the beginning and the conclusion of the vocation call. He emphasised that the vocational ministry has its relation to the Youth ministry. He outlined the challenges faced in promoting vocations among the youth. He said the Vocation Promoter must enter the life of the young people to understand them and to give meaning to their life. It is necessary to accompany them, to listen, to correctly interpret their challenges, so that they respond in a free way. Institutes need to create a 'vocation culture'; Promoters need to be awake to awakening the young. The Institutes need to have a team and have clear plans as to how they will promote vocations, just as plans are made in organisations, educational institutes, and even in companies. Vocation promoters have to be persevering, dynamic and trusting in the Lord. There is no magic formula to promote vocations. We have to transmit the joy of following Jesus Christ. Prayer and a true pastoral outlook with dynamism and joy of following Christ will bring in the youth a desire for God and His service.

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