Issues Vol. 169‎ > ‎

Vol. 169 No. 47 • NOV 24 - 30, 2018

01 Cover

posted Nov 20, 2018, 7:46 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 22, 2018, 5:00 PM ]


03 Index

posted Nov 20, 2018, 7:46 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 20, 2018, 7:46 AM ]


04 Official

posted Nov 20, 2018, 7:43 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 20, 2018, 7:44 AM ]


05 Engagements

posted Nov 20, 2018, 7:42 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 20, 2018, 7:43 AM ]


07 Editorial - Cozy or Cosmic? - Fr Anthony Charanghat

posted Nov 20, 2018, 7:35 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 22, 2018, 5:01 PM ]

Is the Kingship of Christ Cozy or Cosmic? That is the large and exciting question that challenges us on this last Sunday of the liturgical year as we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King. It is the celebration of the climax of this year’s liturgical celebration of grace and also the Alpha, Omega point of the mystery toward which we orient our entire lives and all creation, in this world and beyond. No one and nothing is greater than Christ our King. His kingship cannot be restricted to any cosy comfort zone of our lives. He is the Lord of every cosmic race.

As Vatican II document Church in the Modern world teaches: The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the longings of history and civilisation, the center of the human race, the joy of every heart, and the answer to all its yearnings. But looking at the news in recent times, we wonder how many people understand that? How many really believe that?

How many Christians really believe that? Read the headlines. Scan social media. Check the comments on Facebook or Twitter. Listen to our politicians. The overwhelming sense you get is that many today are not ruled by Christ the King. They are ruled by something else, by fear, by mistrust. Some are even ruled by hate.

The current debate is about refugees. Right now, there is a loud chorus of people who believe we need to wall off the world. Advanced countries turn away refugees specially those who are fleeing violence and terror. Still worse is to only admit people to one's country based on religion and only give shelter to those who are identical to one's culture and social mores.

If we truly affirm Christ is our King this needs to be said: This is not who we are. We are Catholic Christians, who stand for compassion. We stand for mercy. We stand for human dignity. Regardless of race or religion. We stand, in short, for the sacredness of life. This is the time for us to profess our allegiance to Christ and allegiance to fear or exclusion or mistrust or hate. Those cannot rule us. We already have another ruler. The world must know: We are Christians and our King is Christ.

How do we reflect that? First, we believe the truth of what our King taught. We follow his greatest commandment: “Love one another.” Unconditionally, we honour his teaching: “When you welcomed a stranger, you welcomed me.” And we take courage and consolation from four words He repeated again and again—the words that banished all fear and helped turn a small movement of frightened apostles into a worldwide phenomenon that even now is driving out doubt and affirming hope. Those four words are, “Do not be afraid.” We are not afraid for Christ is our King.

We believe that His Kingship has universal, eternal, and cosmic authority because it is the power of redeeming love that consecrates the community in the offering of glory and praise for the salvation of creation in Jesus Christ. God who reveals Himself in Christ as the ‘I AM’ who is not the cosy God but the dynamic, transforming and cosmic God. His mystery shows us a new way of love, that can reach out to traditions other than Christian, enabling them to make contact with His spiritual and real presence abiding in the aspirations of their heart.

On this feast, we not only acclaim that, but also resolve to give witness to it every day with how we live and with how we love. We stand beside the weak and the helpless, the persecuted and forgotten, regardless of race or religion simply because Christ is our King.

08 Christ my ' Kin' - Fr (Dr) John Rose, SJ

posted Nov 20, 2018, 7:33 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 20, 2018, 7:34 AM ]

My embarrassment with the title, 'Feast of Christ the King', faded away, when I decided to drop the 'g' from 'king' and be left with 'kin', and so 'Christ my kin' was totally satisfying. When I mentioned this to a priest friend of mine, he immediately shot back saying, 'Yes' that 'g' is for 'greed!' implying, I guess, that royals are inclined to grabbing. This may be farfetched, but it is undeniable that qualifying Christ as my kin is in keeping with what 'incarnation' means. By taking on the same substance and dimensions and qualities of any human being, Christ becomes both physically and otherwise related to me. He has His brothers and sisters and parents in Nazareth as a well-known fact, and on one occasion, the close relatedness to Him and any human being is made when Jesus is made to say: "For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother." (Mk 3:35)

The close bonding of Christ and human beings is essential for the Letter to the Hebrews on the Priesthood of Christ, where He, Christ, is both the sacrificer and the sacrificed. We can accept that, according to Hebrews 2—summarised in this paragraph almost verbatim— we are made less than the angels, and it is therefore surprising that God is mindful and caring of us. But Christ too was made lower than the angels, and because of His suffering and death, was crowned with glory far above theirs. Having become like us in every way, with flesh and blood like all of us, He tasted death for every one; because He was like His brothers and sisters, 'brethren' in every respect, He became a high priest able to make expiation for all His people; since He was as everyone else, He was able to help people who, like Him, were tempted or tested. For God's plan to make Christ the "pioneer of salvation" for people's salvation, "He had to be made like His brothers and sisters, 'brethren' in every respect", a truth stated plainly in the same letter: "We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin." (Heb 4:15)

The earliest Christian heresy, one which seems to be still held by some sincere Christians, without them being conscious about it, is docetism, that had to be encountered even before the writing of John's Gospel. It held that Jesus was only divine, merely appearing as if he were a man, to deceive Satanic spirits that, according to the Gnostic myths of that time, ruled the universe, and prevented human beings from recovering the original divine spark they were born with before the Fall. But "he was in the beginning with God… and the Word became flesh and lived among us" (Jn 1:1-14), an idea also stressed in the most famous Christological hymn: "though he was in the form of God…emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form [i.e. in the very human substance], he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross (Phil 2:6.-8)." This scriptural text alone is sufficient to justify the importance of Christ's humanity: "By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God." (1 Jn 4:2-3) Our human kinship with Christ is established. It is there even before time began for God "chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world." (Eph 1:4)

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09 Blessed James Alberione Giving Jesus Through Media - Ladislaus L D’Souza

posted Nov 20, 2018, 7:32 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 20, 2018, 7:32 AM ]

It is significant that the feast of Blessed James Alberione, the Founder of what has come to be known as the Pauline Family, falls in November, a month annually observed as Communications Month by the Catholic Church. And here's why! It was on November 26, 1971 that Alberione went to his reward, and on April 27, 2003 was beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II who called him the 'First Apostle of the New Evangelization'!

The use and abuse of the media is an age-old phenomenon, the wind of criticism raging across the centuries, the situation during Alberione's time apparently being no different. But of him, it can be said that he did something very concrete to set matters right!

Born on April 4, 1884 at Lorenzo di Fossano in Alba, Italy, James Alberione was physically weak since childhood. His main task in the family's farming work was therefore to show the glow of the oil lamp in the early morning darkness - a task that was to eventually prove prophetic, for he went on to show the light of the media's significance to a world ignorant of the true potential of the media! So convinced was he of the power of the media to influence minds and hearts, that he dedicated himself to the use of modern technology to further the Gospel message. He did this by founding the Society of Saint Paul (SSP in 1914), and the Daughters of Saint Paul (DSP in 1915), the first ever media-related religious congregations for priests, brothers and sisters; the fact that several others have got on to the bandwagon in recent times being an entirely different matter! 

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11 Communio India Sunday - Eddy D'Sa

posted Nov 20, 2018, 7:30 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 20, 2018, 7:31 AM ]

“Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34)

To All Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Religious, Catechists and Lay Faithful of the Latin Catholic Church in India

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,

Today, we begin a new liturgical year with the season of Advent which offers us a sense of hope, joy and encouragement, as we continue our journey of faith to celebrate the Mystery of the Incarnation. Advent refers not only to the birth of our Lord at His First Coming, but also to our hope and expectation of Him at his Second Coming. This expectation demands from us fidelity to the Gospel by being constantly watchful like the wise virgins (cf. Mt 25: 1-13) or the ever faithful and wise servant (cf. Mt 24:45-51) for the Master's return.

Incarnation is an intimate expression of God's unconditional love for us: "God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." (Jn 3:16) Christ has taught and shown us that Love is the heart of the Gospel. To receive God's salvation is to be fully taken up in this infinite love of God for us in Jesus Christ.

During this Advent and Christmas season, we are called to share God's love with our fellow brothers and sisters, especially with the poor and the needy. Heeding the call of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we have to live our lives for others. This can happen through a conversion of heart that Jesus called us to, at the very beginning of his ministry. He invites us to make a new and determined effort to fulfil our responsibilities as disciples of Christ, in order to live fully the two great commandments, to love God with our whole heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbour as ourselves (cf. Mt 22:36-40).

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12 Youth Pages

posted Nov 20, 2018, 7:28 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 20, 2018, 7:28 AM ]

Vasai Diocesan Youth Convention

The X Vasai Diocesan Youth Convention took place from November 7-10, 2018 with the Journey of the Convention Cross and the Icon of Mother Mary from October 15 to November 6, which concluded at the host parish of Sandor. The inaugural Mass was celebrated by the Vicar General, Fr Joel D'Cunha on November 7, then the Cross and the Icon was brought to the Convention venue - Carmelite Convent School in a big procession led by Fr Kiran Lopes. The members of Yuvadarshan and the youth of Sandor joined in the procession, led by the band, and carried the Cross and Icon to the venue. An inaugural Mass, installation of the Convention Cross and the Icon on stage and the welcome programme marked the commencement of the Youth Convention.

The Youth Convention was attended by 600 participants and 127 volunteers. True to its theme, FAM-JAM (Faith and Morality through Jesus and Mary), the Convention was a celebration of our Catholic faith and youthful life in its true essence. Organised by the Youth for the Youth, the Convention proved to be a gala for each and every participant, with its informative and engaging sessions, energising action songs, games and skill-enhancing group activities. The participants were enlightened by an amazing line-up of speakers who graced the Convention with their presence, and gave the participants food for thought. On the first day, Deacon Ivan from the Diocesan Youth Centre of Bombay captivated the attention of the participants with his lively and youthful session on 'Youth and the Church', suggesting the role of youth in the Church and the Church's approach towards the youth.

The second day had two sessions: one by Fr Walter D'Souza, on the topic of the 'Need for God' and the second was by Dr Harish Shetty, a renowned psychiatrist who dealt with the topic of 'Youth and Psychology'. His session revolved around the increasing stresses and challenges faced by youth in today's world, ways to tackle them and the importance of mental health. Day three witnessed the sessions by Fr Dr Robert Pen, who dealt with the topic of 'Youth and Media' and enlightened us on ways to make proper and positive use of the media. Sr Sharmila D'Souza acquainted our youth with the topic of 'Discernment'; she instructed the youth on how they should let God take control of their lives, show faith in Him and let Him have His way in their lives. On the third day, a panel discussion was conducted by Fr Baptist Lopes, Sr Jeena, Mr Malcom Pereira of Kilbil Foundation and Mrs Veena from Giriz. Each of the panelists briefed the youth about their social work and had an informative discussion on the topic of Social Involvement. The last session evoked much enthusiasm and curiosity of the 'Youth and Morality' delivered by Fr Dr Ashley Miranda. He instructed the youth on the Church's take and teachings on various current issues. He responded to several questions that were problematic to them, guided and instructed them, and made them aware of the Church's merciful and accepting approach towards its members.

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14 Obituary

posted Nov 20, 2018, 7:23 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 20, 2018, 7:27 AM ]

Bro. Milton Lawrence cfc

Milton belonged to the Congregation of Christian Brothers, and we were introduced to him by one of the Brothers. When I first met him, I addressed him as 'Brother'. He wasn't entirely an unknown quantity, since we had been informed earlier about his being a trained EQ Therapist. Curious about this new and little known form of therapy, we sought to meet him and find out more about him and his work. A few minutes into the conversation, and I knew I was in the presence of someone special, unique and gifted. Within the hour, I would stop addressing him as 'brother' used as a title of address. I would call him 'brother' as a result of a 'relationship' that was born that morning. He was a man familiar with pain and suffering, and more importantly, had learned how to transform it. Three sentences and a look into each other's eyes were all it took for me to feel 'understood'. He was a man of few words.

It was a few months later, when he was invited to be the Resource person for our Day of Prayer, Reflection and Silent Meditation for the Christian Meditation Community, that the full impact of my initial insight began to dawn on me. He suggested that the programme be named 'The Spirituality of Imperfection'. Religion, instead of binding us to God, as is its original intent, often ends up binding us in chains. We needed to put the Spirit back into the ritual. Religion had to give way to spirituality. And like any sincere 'seeker', he looked to find his own identity. Having found it to a large extent in his work as a Christian Brother, working mainly in Ghana and the Gambia within their African province, he shared with us how it had somehow not brought with it a sense of 'belonging'. The pain of being 'anonymous' was something he constantly wrestled with. A green T-shirt he picked up in Africa was his only treasure and most significant possession. I learned that day that the way out of anonymity is learning to treasure one's own uniqueness; in his words, to relish being "original" and not play to the gallery by being a "copy". It is the complete antidote to, and definitely not, a projection of self.

While in Africa, he was sent to the Institute of St Anselm in Kent in the U.K. It is a Catholic Institute for the training of priests and nuns. He was to undergo a year's training in Spirituality. EQ therapy was one of the electives in the course, and as you can easily imagine, it was here that his 'giftedness' was discovered. While others trained to learn a technique, he was merely allowing the treasure he held within him to unfold. St Anselm's was not slow to set him apart to be a permanent member of their Staff in the coming years. He was to join them in mid-2016, when BREXIT put paid to all their plans, and his as well. Relocating to Rome, the Institute awaited his joining them there in a few months.

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