Issues Vol. 169‎ > ‎

Vol. 169 No. 23 • JUN 09 - 15, 2018

01 Cover

posted Jun 6, 2018, 10:19 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 7, 2018, 2:14 PM ]


03 Index

posted Jun 6, 2018, 10:18 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 10:19 AM ]


04 Engagements

posted Jun 6, 2018, 10:16 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 10:17 AM ]


05 Editorial - Catholic Education: A New Future in 2019?

posted Jun 6, 2018, 10:15 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 7, 2018, 2:15 PM ]

Have the Management, Principal and Staff prepared themselves for the many, many demanding questions that will definitely arise during the education process in the classroom? Answers to these questions will certainly impact the lives of future generations.

To name a few: the possibility of an educational system that can alter the face of the Nation; the induction of thought processes into the curriculum, processes that are in keeping with the cultural DNA of the powers of the day; the crying need for gender sensitivity, respect and equality; the countering of the slavery of persons to the mobile; the temptations in and of the internet; modalities for countering fake news, the plastic destruction of Mother Earth and the continuing plundering of the environment. Is this not a thought-provoking list?

Will the students who pass out from our Catholic Schools sit on the fence when issues of national interest, gender and social justice crop up? Will their driving force in the Institution be only graduation from the Board Examinations? Will schools turn a blind eye to the exploitation of Planet Earth? Will anything be done at all in Moral/Value Education classes to infuse into our students the fact that life is precious and full of dignity, and that girls as well as boys are created equal in the image of the one God? Do schools have a database from which resource persons can be tapped for conducting seminars or whatever?

The undeniable situation in which Catholic Schools find themselves is the tug-of-war between the demands of the Church, the innumerable orders and suggestions from the Education Department – Centre and State, and the agonising exigencies of modern-day living.

Parents and teachers, the whole academic community must be prepared for the arduous task of enabling present and future generations not just for passing Examinations, but also for being able to face LIFE, as it is being played on various platforms on the local, national and international levels. Our schools must have teachers, dedicated and au courant with the latest teaching methodologies, as well as the aids to the classroom provided by computers and the Net.

More importantly, it goes without saying that our Catholic Schools have to constantly study and determine the best ways by which the wards entrusted to their care develop a well-seasoned Faith that will empower young women and men to be the personification of the Jesus values to the world of today. The Catholic School is not just a mechanism for preparing students for the Board Exams. Its Mission and Vision must be the development of human beings who are fully alive and capable of meeting the many societal demands of the day.

One of the great challenges that faces our Catholic Education System is to prepare students, Catholic students, to be a sign of love in the classroom and in the community, nay, to be love in a world torn apart by division and hatred. How does the Catholic School nurture this awe-inspiring vocation to be love, to be reconcilers, to be unifiers in the classroom, in the Church and Society? In cultivating this great calling, our schools will help fulfil the prayer of Our Lord: “May they be one as you, Father, and I are one.”

Our students, our future generation, will, by their shining example, help others to ‘be the change’ that will make certain the existence of a strong, harmonious Nation dedicated to the conviction that all are equal and endowed with the inalienable right to be fully women and men with the freedom to participate in decision-making in the body politic.

We trust that efforts will be made to rise up and meet with determination and preparedness the many concerns of what can turn out to be a most decisive 2019.

Noel D’Silva was the former President of the Catholic Teachers Guild and founder of a special programme for the poor in Open School.

05 Our Lady, Queen of Peace - Dr. Celcio Dias

posted Jun 6, 2018, 10:10 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 10:11 AM ]

Pope Benedict XV called the First World War the 'suicide' of Europe. After diplomatic efforts were exhausted, he called on the children of the world, and especially of the warring nations, to unite in prayer and to receive Holy Communion on July 30, which was the second anniversary of the declaration of war; in reparation for the crimes of men and in supplication for peace. In a letter dated May 5, 1917, he ordered the invocation: 'Queen of Peace, pray for us!' to be inserted universally into the Litany of Loreto. Just eight days later, the Most Holy Virgin, Queen of Peace, appeared to the three shepherd children in Fatima to help save the world from terrible wars and persecutions wrought by mankind's sinfulness.

Peace is a blessing of Christ and does not come from the world, to pursue peace entails suffering and persecution (Matthew 10:34-39). Mary brought forth the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:5). It is peace of heart that puts anxiety and fear to flight, since it is the fruit of the complete teaching brought us by the Holy Spirit and partakes of the joy of heavenly hope (John 14:26-28).

Pope Pius XII, in 1954, instituted the liturgical Feast of Queenship of Mary, and issued the encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam (To the Queen of Heaven): The Blessed Virgin Mary should be called Queen, not only because of Her Divine Motherhood, but also because God has willed Her to have an exceptional role in the work of our eternal salvation. The royalty of Mary is a participation in the royal dignity of Jesus Christ, but in a limited and analogical way. It includes: (1) A pre-eminence, of primary excellence, because the Blessed Virgin "surpasses in dignity all Creation," according to the words of St Germanus (d. 733). (2) A royal power, which authorises Her to distribute the fruits of the Redemption. (3) An inexhaustible efficacy of intercession with Her Son and the Father: She pleads strongly for us with a Mother's prayers, and what She seeks She finds, nor can She ask in vain.

On March 21, 1981, the Church gave us a new rite for crowning an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She deserves to be Queen because She is: (1) the Mother of the Son of God and the Messianic King; (2) the loving Associate of the Redeemer; (3) the perfect follower (or disciple) of Christ and (4) the most excellent member of the Church.

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07 Devotion to the Heart of Mary - Don Aguiar

posted Jun 6, 2018, 10:09 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 10:09 AM ]

On June 9 this year, we celebrate the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What are the scriptural, historical and theological foundations for devotion to the Heart of Mary? How is devotion to the Heart of Mary linked to devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Which magisterial documents and liturgical expressions provide support for devotion to the Heart of Mary?

The theme 'Devotion to the Heart of Mary: Theological Foundations' was chosen in light of the centennial of Mary's Apparitions in Fatima, Portugal, where Our Lady called for the consecration to her Immaculate Heart at the annual conference of the Mariological Society of America, held in May 2016 by eminent Marian scholars.

Several papers addressed the message of Fatima. Msgr Charles M. Mangan spoke on 'The Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as carried out by the Venerable Pius XII on October 31, 1942' - which eventually included the Consecration of Russia to Mary's Immaculate Heart by the Pope in union with the Bishops of the world.

Msgr Arthur B. Calkins, STD, offered a theological explanation on 'Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary'. A topic barely considered in modern theology, but strongly brought to the fore in the apparitions at Fatima and the subsequent apparitions to Sr Lúcia, the speaker showed that the devotion of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is practised in the Church, encouraged by mystics, and sanctioned by the Holy See.

Fr Dwight Campbell, STD focused on 'Theological Foundations for Eucharistic Reparation to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in the context of messages given to St Margaret Mary and at Fatima'. His paper examined the teachings of Popes Pius XI and of St John Paul II, as well as the writings of more recent authors who have treated the topic of reparation to the Two Hearts.

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08 St Anthony - Preacher and confessor - Fr. William Saunders

posted Jun 6, 2018, 10:07 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 10:07 AM ]

It is no easy task to sketch the character of Saint Anthony. There are so many facets to consider.

Preacher and confessor

We can certainly admit that Saint Anthony was, first of all, a tireless preacher and confessor. To get an idea of the intensity of his days, it is enough to quote one of his contemporaries: "Anthony would preach, teach and confess all day long, until sunset. Often, he would never eat all day long." Let us not forget, however, that the apostolic life of the itinerant preaching of Anthony was alternated with short or long periods of retreat in solitude.

Anthony's active life was an expression of his love for people, while the contemplative one showed his love for God. The two kinds of love are closely linked and interdependent, and can be considered as "twin" lives. For Anthony, the state of Christian perfection is not attained in action or in contemplation alone, but in the union of both.

Saint Anthony was a highly learned theologian. His writings, written in the form of sermons, reflect the doctrinal phase of the first manifestation of Franciscan theology. In Saint Anthony's work, Scripture had a fundamental importance because of the custom of the time that considered Scripture as the principal, if not the exclusive, theological teaching.

St Anthony was born in Lisbon in 1195, and was baptised 'Ferdinand'. His parents were of nobility. His parents were faithful and sought to hand their faith onto their son. He was privileged to receive his early education at the cathedral school of Lisbon. At the age of 15, Ferdinand joined the Canons Regular of St Augustine in Lisbon. Two years later, he transferred to the monastery in Coimbra to avoid the distractions from frequent visits of relatives and friends. During this time, he studied diligently, and being gifted with an excellent memory, he attained an excellent knowledge of theology, sacred Scripture and the Church Fathers.

In 1220, the five bodies of the first Franciscan Martyrs, who were martyred in Morocco at the hands of the Moslems, were returned to Portugal. They were brought to the Church of Santa Croce in Coimbra (where Ferdinand was stationed) for burial. Moved by their witness of faith in suffering martyrdom, Ferdinand also desired to preach the gospel to the Moslems, and even give his own life for our Lord. To pursue this desire, he left the Augustinians, and joined the Order of Friars Minor, the Franciscans, and took the name 'Anthony'.

Anthony set sail to go to Morocco in the spring of 1221. Almost as soon as he arrived, he was stricken with a severe illness, which, after several weeks, necessitated his to return to Portugal. On his return journey, a violent storm drove the ship off course, and eventually it docked in Messina, Sicily. He remained there until he regained his health.

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10 Mathematics - Ninette D'Souza

posted Jun 6, 2018, 10:05 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 10:05 AM ]

What can you do with them? A lot of surprising things actually.

You can split them into piles,
You can give them funny names,
You can make them into puzzles,
You can put them into games.
You can add onto them forever,
You can make them smaller than small.

In fact, with just one or two of them, you can do almost anything at all! Yes, I'm talking about numbers.

Thomas Carlyle, historian and mathematician, said, "It is a mathematical feat that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the Universe." Childhood to dotage, dawn to dusk, Mathematics, whether we are aware of it or not, forms an integral part of our day to day lives. Talk about a birth or a death - it's a number. Your bank account is operated via a number, as is your cell phone. You claim to be a proud parent of six children, not half a dozen, and you look forward to 50 years, after having celebrated 25 years of married bliss! While a cuckoo clock sweetly chimes 'It's 5 am', Mum's warning rings out loud, '11 pm, lights out.' From the profound to the mundane, from serious to funny, the crux of the matter is Mathematics.

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11 175th  birth anniversary of Mother Maria Clara, Foundress of FHIC - Sr. Maureen Fonseca, FHIC

posted Jun 6, 2018, 10:03 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 10:04 AM ]

Saints were born when the Church needed them most; to perpetuate the teachings of Christ, according to the need of the hour. Though their early life seemed dubious in many ways, starting with the Apostles, St Paul, St Francis of Assisi, St Ignatius of Loyola - to name a few, the power of the Holy Spirit always generated the desired effect through them. This gave rise to so many Congregations of men and women down the centuries, which through their spirituality, were able to preserve the lustre of the Catholic faith.

The world today is a battle field where immigration, globalisation and de-personalisation stifle the personal dignity of humanity. This has always been the problem down the centuries, but ever since the French Revolution, it has taken a greater toll.

To counter-attack this, coupled with the outbreak of the cholera and jaundice epidemics in Portugal, which left numerous children orphaned and homeless, Hospitality was the need of the hour. God, in His divine providence, prepared a soul from the social and cultural milieu of nobility related to the Marquises of Tavora and Fronteira.

It is my privilege today to give you a brief summary of this heroic soul, whose name was Libania, born on June 15, 1843 in the city of Amadora, a suburban zone of Lisbon. She was the third of seven children. The personality of Libania was chiselled by cruelly painful events. Because of the epidemics, she was left an orphan at the age of 14.

After she lost all her siblings, Libania was invited to stay with the Marchioness of Valada, a great family friend. But Libania, only 14 years old, still maintained her independent personality and applied for legal emancipation on July 23, 1862. She was loved and well cared for by the Marchioness who, five years later, joined the cloistered convent in Paris. So Libania went to the Boarding at St Patricio. Two years later, she moved to the ‘Recolhimento dos Capuchinhas’ and received the habit in 1869 with the name of Sr Maria Clara do Menino Jesus. Soon after, she was sent to Calais, France, along with three companions, to continue their formation among the Franciscan Missionaries of our Lady.

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13 DHLC in 2017-18 - Ninette Maria Lobo

posted Jun 6, 2018, 10:02 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 10:02 AM ]

In a tweet, Pope Francis said, "We are called to defend and safeguard human life, especially in the mother's womb, in infancy, old age and physical or mental disability."

The DHLC has been working tirelessly in the Pro-Life ministry. Programmes for school children as well as for couples, and marriage and family issues are dealt with. The members of the DHLC create awareness through their newsletter Jeevutsav, as well as articles in the Diocesan Weekly, The Examiner. The DHLC members collaborate with the Bio-Medical Ethics programmes as Resource persons.

I feel delighted to introduce the many works, activities and programmes organised by the DHLC in 2017-18:

1. Adult Education Programmes

April 10, 12, 19 / July 14, 19, 26, 27 / August 9, 12, 14, 23 of 2017

These were conducted at St Xavier's School, Ryan's School and St Lawrence School. The Resource person was Dr Jeanette Pinto.

2. Projects in Collaboration with the Diocesan Catechetical Centre

Numerous sessions on the 'Theology of the Body' were conducted for catechists by the DHLC. These sessions were attended by catechists of various parishes in large numbers. This year, the Diocesan Human Life Committee collaborated with the Catechetical Centre, and recommended the theme of 'Theology of the Body' for the year. Given the current trend of moral relativism, the floundering sanctity of marriage and the deteriorating perception of the value of human life, the urgent need was felt to foster in the children a sense of wonder of Creation and God's plan for each one in the state of life they would choose. This year, the Diocesan Human Life Committee undertook two projects for the Catechetical Centre, namely:

2a. Faith Celebration Projects for Grade 7 and 8 – May 2017

Each year, the students of Sunday school grades 7 and 8 are provided with lesson plans on existential catechesis. This year, the Diocesan Human Life Committee provided the concept and content for the Theology of the Body (TOB) based theme, 'Human Love in the Divine Plan'. The lesson plans were adapted from the book, 'Life is Beautiful', a handbook for remote marriage preparation published by the CCBI Family Commission. The projects endeavoured to prepare the children for their vocation in life. The DHLC team and some volunteers from the Catechetical Centre were trained by Allwyn Dantis. This culminated in the Faith Celebration Day on January 14, 2018, when the children gathered in their respective deaneries and presented their learning from the projects. DHLC appointed some moderators to be present at some of the deanery events. 

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