Issues Vol. 169‎ > ‎

Vol. 169 No. 29 • JUL 21 - 27, 2018

01 Cover

posted Jul 18, 2018, 11:06 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 19, 2018, 6:07 PM ]


03 Index

posted Jul 18, 2018, 11:05 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 18, 2018, 11:06 AM ]


04 Engagements

posted Jul 18, 2018, 11:04 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 18, 2018, 11:04 AM ]


05 Editorial - A Return Gift to Parents

posted Jul 18, 2018, 11:01 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 19, 2018, 6:07 PM ]

What is the best return gift that young people can give their parents? As long as you, my dear young friends, are in school or college, your studies must be your main priority, and you need to focus your time and energies on them. When your parents see that you are striving to do, and give of, your best, focusing sincerely on your studies, when you treat them with love and respect, and are open to listening to them and communicating freely with them, you bring joy into their lives, add meaning to their years, and make them feel that all the sacrifices they are making for you are worthwhile.

One of the major concerns of parents today is the lack of interest and effort they see in their children’s attitude towards their studies. Because of the tough competitive world in which you live today, their concerns are understandable. If you are to succeed in your life, you need to focus on your studies. Remember that the sure secret to success is that magic formula: SUCCESS = AVERAGE INTELLIGENCE + HARD WORK + DETERMINATION + PERSEVERANCE.

Research indicates that even people with average intelligence can do very well in life, provided they combine it with Hard Work, Determination and Perseverance. Any and everybody can work hard, and there is no substitute for hard work. Determination is “the Will to Win”. No one can help you unless you want to come out a winner yourself. Perseverance means “Never give up”; the big problem with young people today is that you often give up too soon and too easily. But remember, “Quitters never win, and Winners never quit.”

Remember the Magic Mantra, “I CAN, I WILL, I MUST BE A WINNER”; keep saying this often to yourself. ‘I CAN’ - Believe in your strengths and capacities, believe you can do it. ‘I WILL’ signifies Determination, and ‘I MUST’ expresses Perseverance. Belief in oneself, coupled with the determination to succeed and the strength to persevere, will surely enable you to come out a winner.

Another important concern of many parents today is the time you spend on your smartphones, on television, gaming with friends and on social media like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and now Instagram. These encroach upon your studying time, and when you refuse to listen to your parents’ repeated requests and reminders, it needlessly leads to a break down in inter-personal relationships. If engaged in moderation, these pastimes are good; it is when we become addicted to them and have no control over them, that they eat into our time without our realising it.

In your relationships with your Mum and Dad, try to be cordial and respectful. Remember that they love you and care for you, and that what you might see as unnecessary concern and interference is prompted really by their love for you. Try to communicate with them in a pleasant and respectful manner. (There is no doubt that parents too must strive to do the same.) If you disagree with their opinions or suggestions, do so without being rude or mean. You can express how you feel, but always do so without being hurtful.

My dear young people, better than all the cards, flowers and presents you can give your Mum and Dad on Parents Day this year, the best return gift you can give them is your love, appreciation and gratitude which need to be expressed, keeping the channels of communication with them open, and your striving to do and give of your best in your studies and in all your endeavours… a gift that will touch their hearts, add life to their years and make it easier for them to bring you up in today’s tough, challenging world. God bless you all!!

Dr (Mrs) Elaine Ann Charles is the ex-Principal of St Xavier’s Institute of Education, Mumbai, and an experienced educationist.

07 Towards an integral ecology - Pope Francis

posted Jul 18, 2018, 10:58 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 18, 2018, 10:58 AM ]

Address of Pope Francis to participants at the International Conference marking the third Anniversary of the encyclical Laudato Si’

Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I welcome all of you assembled for this International Conference marking the third anniversary of the encyclical Letter Laudato Si' on care for our common home. In a special way, I would like to greet His Eminence Archbishop Zizioulas, because he and Cardinal Turkson together presented the encyclical three years ago. I thank all of you for coming together to "hear with your hearts" the increasingly desperate cries of the Earth and its poor, who look for our help and concern. You have also gathered to testify to the urgent need to respond to the encyclical's call for change, for an ecological conversion. Your presence here is the sign of your commitment to take concrete steps to save the planet and the life it sustains, inspired by the encyclical's assumption that "everything is connected". That principle lies at the heart of an integral ecology.

Here we can think back on the call that Francis of Assisi received from the Lord in the little church of San Damiano: "Go and repair my house, which, as you can see, lies in ruins." Today, the "common home" of our planet also needs urgently to be repaired and secured for a sustainable future.

In recent decades, the scientific community has developed increasingly accurate assessments in this regard. Indeed, "the pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has so stretched the planet's capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes, such as those which even now periodically occur in different areas of the world" (Laudato Si', 161). There is a real danger that we will leave future generations only rubble, deserts and refuse.

So I express my hope that concern for the state of our common home will translate into systematic and concerted efforts aimed at an integral ecology. For "the effects of the present imbalance can only be reduced by our decisive action, here and now" (ibid.). Humanity has the knowledge and the means to cooperate in responsibly "cultivating and protecting" the earth. Significantly, your discussions have addressed some of this year's important steps in this direction.

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07 Press Release on the recent developments at Nirmal Hriday, Missionaries of Charity Home, Ranchi

posted Jul 18, 2018, 10:56 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 18, 2018, 10:57 AM ]

Sr. M. Prema MC

We are deeply saddened and grieved by the recent developments at Missionaries of Charity Home - Nirmal Hriday - at East Jail Road, Ranchi. Even while we place our full trust in the judicial process that is underway, we wish to express regret and sorrow for what happened, and desire to express in unequivocal terms our condemnation of individual actions which have nothing to do with the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity. We are fully cooperating with the investigations, and are open to any free, fair and just inquiry. In this context, especially in view of many myths being spread, information distorted and false news being diffused, and baseless innuendos being thrown about regarding the 'Mother Teresa Sisters', it is expedient to lay down the turn of events as they actually transpired.

Sr Concelia MC was appointed as the sister-in-charge of the 'unwed mothers' section at Nirmal Hriday, East Jail Road, Ranchi on June 6, 2017. She was responsible for admission, hospitalisation, counselling, record keeping, accompanying mothers and babies to CWC, when necessary, and for discharge of the unwed mothers from the Home.

Mrs Anima Indwar began working at Nirmal Hriday from January 2012. Initially, she worked as a ward helper, and then as a staff member to care for the unwed mothers. She learnt the work very well and ably assisted Sr Concelia MC. Mrs Anima Indwar thus came to enjoy the trust of the Sisters at Nirmal Hriday. As and when Sr Concelia MC got engaged in pressing responsibilities, Mrs Anima Indwar would escort the unwed mothers, their babies and their guardians to Sadar Hospital, RIMS and CWC office as was required, by herself.

On June 29, 2018, at around 12:30 pm, the Child Protection Officer, Ms Seema and other Social Welfare officers, about five of them, came to Nirmal Hriday. They called for the admission and attendance registers containing information about the inmates at the Home. They seized the registers and records maintained by Nirmal Hriday, without providing the receipt for such seizure to the Home.

From the records maintained for 'unwed mothers', the said officials particularly enquired about Ms Karishma Toppo and her baby. Ms Karishma Toppo had taken admission in Nirmal Hriday on March 19, 2018 and had delivered her baby on May 1, 2018. After her delivery, Ms Karishma Toppo had declared in the Home's register that she would surrender her child to CWC. Mrs Anima Indwar, Ms Karishma Toppo and her guardian thus took the baby from Nirmal Hriday to surrender the child. Neither Nirmal Hriday nor the Sisters had any way to ascertain whether the child was actually surrendered to CWC. This is so because CWC, as a matter of practice, did not give any acknowledgement to the Home after obtaining custody of a child from an unwed mother. 

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09 Saints Joachim and Anne

posted Jul 18, 2018, 10:54 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 18, 2018, 10:55 AM ]

Christian tradition enlightens the faithful about the parentage of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The identity of Sts. Joachim and Anne are known to us from the extra-biblical Protoevangelium of St. James. They are not mentioned in the Bible at all.

Given the preeminent holiness of the Virgin Mother of God, it follows that her parents are apportioned a special role in salvation history. It is said that St. Joachim was just as generous as he was wealthy — well-known for his charity and love of God. St. Anne's name reflects the role she and her husband played in salvation history in a connection to their most blessed daughter, upon whom was bestowed the dignity of being chosen to bear God into the world. Anne's name comes from the Hebrew "Hannah," which means "favor" or "grace." This speaks to the dignity of her blessed daughter, who is later addressed by the Archangel Gabriel as "full of grace" (Lk 1:28).

Both saintly grandparents of Jesus are believed to have descended from King David. Tradition says that the temple priest in Jerusalem — where Mary's family is said to have resettled in her childhood — rejected the pious St. Joachim's sacrifice because the barrenness of him and his wife, St. Anne, was thought a sign of God's displeasure with them. For 40 days and nights, St. Joachim retreated to the desert where he lamented by atoning through fasting and prayer. An angel ended the experience by bringing news that the holy couple would conceive a child. St. Anne also had received this word from an angel. At once they each set out to find each other and share the joy of their heavenly news. St. Joachim met his saintly wife at Jerusalem's city gate upon his return, a scene often depicted in art with a kiss.

There is the biblical tradition that the children born of elderly women who had given up the hope of offspring are destined for greatness. In conceiving the Virgin Mary, Sts. Joachim and Anne join the likes of Abraham and Sarah.

The great faith of Sts. Joachim and Anne is seen when, in gratitude for God's goodness in giving them a daughter, and in recognition of their daughter's destiny for greatness, they brought the Blessed Virgin Mary to the Temple in Jerusalem to consecrate her to God.

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10 FAMILY - a school of memories to treasure - Sr. Grace Rodrigues

posted Jul 18, 2018, 10:53 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 18, 2018, 10:53 AM ]

"God calls men and women to be parents who believe in love, who believe in its beauty," says Pope Francis. To be a father and a mother is a call from God, and the special love they share between them is not simply limited to feelings of passion or an initial enthusiasm that might pass, but rather founded on the beauty of love, and it needs to be discovered every day.

Parents are the foundation and fountain of our life. It is they who inculcate the values and virtues of life and teach us to pray and play. It is they who instil in us self-confidence and trust in God, and make our world a beautiful place to live in. Children are a treasure for parents. In a recent report in the Times of India dated July 2, 2018, a minor child torn between her mother and the foster family was sent to a safe home. In this case, the mother had abandoned her daughter when she was two months old; the child was given in the custody of a foster family to take care of the child; but now the mother has returned to claim her daughter who was being raised by the neighbour. This shows the love bond between the mother and the child. It is well said that there are no perfect parents in the world, but the love of the parents will always be perfect in the given situation.

We have the recent case of Roland who ran away from Goa without the knowledge of his parents; he came to Mumbai to see film stars. What a desperate situation for his parents; the same plight as Mary and Joseph who went in search of Jesus when He was lost in the Temple. So desperate and tensed were Roland's parents that tears of anguish and loss were simply rolling down their cheeks. And when they received a call from the police that they had found Roland and he was in safe custody, they were filled with joy and happiness. They immediately rushed to Mumbai to take custody of their son.

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11 The Power of Parenting - Dr. Jeanette Pinto

posted Jul 18, 2018, 10:52 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 18, 2018, 10:52 AM ]

The greatest joy that parents can get in life is to see their children turn into beautiful caring and loving persons. All parents strive for this. There is no perfect formula, but parents have the power to influence their children, although it is a herculean task. A child's very first contact with humankind is its parents who help it to grow and discover himself/herself. The power of parenting goes far beyond the basic survival needs of the child.

Parenting decisions affect how children turn out physically, socially and emotionally, but that does not mean there is a pattern to follow to have a well-adjusted child. In the initial years, meeting your child's needs, soothing him with your voice, your touch, reading a book, cuddling, or any activity that involves nurturing will enhance your child's emotional wellbeing. It will also add to temperament, personality, and ability to cope with stress, and reach his overall potential. Model for your children how to smile at someone, respond to a greeting, how to interact with others, how to comfort someone who is crying.

In the growing years, it is important for parents to constantly support them. Walk your child to school, watch TV as a family, play board games, dine together - all this offers the opportunity to bond. This fosters confidence and growth in many areas, and can impact emotional development; it also exposes children to understand the emotions of others.

Parents, be aware of how your own emotions and parenting styles affect the emotional outcomes of your children. Marital conflicts and indifferent parenting contribute to problems resulting in negative behaviour and parent-child relationships. When the child hears the parents shouting, fighting or name calling, it affects the child, and there is what is called 'background anger' in the child's environment. It confuses the child and affects its emotional security. Parents should provide a supportive environment, model healthy behaviour and practise values like respect, kindness, patience and understanding which will go a long way to make children emotionally developed.

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12 Missionaries of Charity falsely accused of ‘trafficking’ - Dr. Abraham Mathai

posted Jul 18, 2018, 10:49 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 18, 2018, 10:51 AM ]

No criminal intention is made out, hence the FIR appears motivated. A Judicial enquiry is required for a fair investigation. The case in question - the ridiculous taunt by the media of 'trafficking' - is about a childless couple from UP having paid Rs 1.20 Lakh for the child. The facts emerging from the investigation so far is that the maid working for the Missionaries of Charity pocketed Rs.20000, the watchman Rs 10000 and the unwed biological mother of the child Rs 90000 to pursue her studies! Where is the criminality and the criminal intentions of the nuns of the Missionaries of Charity in all this? The worst maximum charge against them is that they should be reprimanded for administrative lapse, for not being vigilant enough.

Does the media know that the Government of India permits the charging of Rs 40,000 as fee for an adoption in India, and 5000 US Dollars for a foreign adoption? Despite these rules permitting them to charge, the Missionaries of Charity have not charged a rupee from any one at any of their adoption centres in the country so far, as it goes against their very values and ethos. In the Mumbai Centre alone, they have given over 7500 children for adoption in the last few decades, but not a single rupee has been collected. And now for the past ten days, they have been falsely accused of "child trafficking". Additionally, the word trafficking does not fit into this context, since the children have not been sold for exploitation in any way, but only as a facilitation for adoption by the Missionaries of Charity. At the most, the sisters are probably guilty of naivety and for over-trusting the people they employed, and nothing more, neither in criminal law or otherwise. Hence, it is absolutely ridiculous and shameful to falsely charge the nuns of the Missionaries of Charity in Jharkhand with child trafficking - an act which negates their raison d'être.

It is a settled rule of criminal law that no statement given to a police officer can be used in a court of law, except when such statements are given in the presence of a magistrate. In the present instance, all efforts seem to be only to garner media attention and create an atmosphere of hatred, and even releasing confessions made in police custody to select TV channels. It is ironic that in today's media driven world, confessions that have no sanctity of law are being aired on media channels. It is no secret that in the case involving a high profile school in Gurgaon, where a student was murdered, the driver was arrested, and his statement in police custody was used to brand him guilty of murder, only for the police to eat humble pie later. In the present circumstances, however, any prudent person will see that a judicial probe is needed in the present case to further the cause of justice.

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