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Vol. 167 No. 44 - October 29 - November 04, 2016

01 Cover

posted Oct 27, 2016, 11:13 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 27, 2016, 11:14 AM ]

03 Index

posted Oct 27, 2016, 11:12 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 27, 2016, 11:13 AM ]

04 Engagements

posted Oct 27, 2016, 11:11 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 27, 2016, 11:11 AM ]

05 Editorial - Harvest of Holiness - Fr Anthony Charanghat

posted Oct 27, 2016, 11:07 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 27, 2016, 11:07 AM ]

In this season all over the world, when fruits of the harvest are gathered, the Church celebrates the Feast of the gathering of All Saints, reminding us of the fruits of another harvest of holiness. This event represents the honouring of the saints who have gone before us, and the call to emulate them. It is a harvest of the fruits of the people of God that have sprung from the presence of the love and the grace of the Lord among Christians, who have remained faithful over the centuries.

The Feast of All Saints is not just about venerating saints in heaven. It is about the way we are called to live like them today. The Beatitudes do not encourage us to sit back and do nothing. Being a Christian means belonging to a communion; one cannot be an isolated Christian, just caring for and thinking about yourself, but one must reach out to others as Christ taught us.

The Beatitudes, which Jesus gave us as a blueprint of holiness, are not an abstract code of behaviour. It is a call to follow the example of Jesus, who is concretely the one who is poor in spirit, the meek, the humble of heart, persecuted, and the peacemaker. Jesus Himself is the new ‘code of holiness’ that must be imprinted on hearts and lived through the action of the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to reproduce Christ's Passion and Death, the crowning of holiness.

Holiness is a way of life that involves commitment and activity. It is not a passive endeavour, but rather a continuous choice to deepen one’s relationship with God, and then to allow this relationship to guide all of one’s actions in the world. Holiness requires a radical change in attitude and mindset. The acceptance of the call to holiness places God as our final goal in every aspect of our lives.

The Church is an institution, but it is also the community of those who make up the living and real body of Christ. Having magnificent churches and being the largest religious group of people in the world is worth little, if these are not accompanied by the concrete works of Christian charity, of transmitting from generation to generation what it means to do good and to avoid sin, to be truly loving people and to build up a believing community that is caring and merciful.

The same can be said of our own lives: our lives come to fulfilment only when they are open to the path of life reflected in the Gospel of the Beatitudes. The logic of the Beatitudes is different from the logic of the world, where personal success, celebrity and wealth are so often looked on as the face of achievement. We all know that personal success is important and satisfying, but we also know that to attain the sanctity we are called to, we need to be helped and supported by the Saints.

The Saints and Blesseds are travel companions along our journey, in our joy and in our suffering. They are men and women who turned a new page in their own lives and in the lives of so many people. This was the core message of Saint John Paul II in canonising so many saints during the tenure of his papacy. We can all aspire to it, because with the gift of grace, it is a goal within our capacity – as articulated by Vatican II’s call to universal holiness (cf. Lumen Gentium).

The Communion of Saints is about the link with those who have gone before us, to intercede for us and to show us the way. But the doctrine of the Communion of the Saints also demands that we look towards those who are beside us. It demands that we become saints to those around us – our children, our spouses, our community, our society – showing what it means to be the Church, what it means to witness to the love and the mercy of God revealed in Jesus Christ.

06 Last and final awakening to God - Fr Randy Sly

posted Oct 27, 2016, 11:03 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 27, 2016, 11:05 AM ]

While it is good to remember the departed faithful as they were in this life during the Feast of All Souls, we must be sure that our main focus remains on our preparation for heaven in purgatory. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misunderstanding concerning this doctrine, and what it means for us as Christians.

Some have thought that we "go" to purgatory, and then we are judged whether we go to heaven or hell. Others see this as a mini-hell for those who did not quite make it all the way into heaven. Still others see purgatory as a second chance after death. Along with other misinterpretations, these have been used by some Christian groups and others over the years as a reason to wonder about those of us who are Catholic.

To begin with, let's look at the word 'purgatory'. This comes from the old Latin word purgare, which means "to cleanse" or "to purge." So you can think of purgatory as a time of cleansing or final purification in preparation to spend eternity in the presence of God. In Purgatory, as the Catechism explains, the faithful - that's right, those who are destined for heaven - "achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven." (CCC 1030)

The Catechism goes on to say: "The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire." (CCC 1032)

In a homily based on this Scripture, St John Chrysostom wrote, "As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgement, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age, nor in the age to come. From this sentence, we understand that certain offences can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come." In his book on Eschatology, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) further clarified the Church's teaching in this area: "Purgatory is not, as Tertullian thought, some kind of supra-worldly concentration camp, where one is forced to undergo punishments in a more or less arbitrary fashion.


08 Feast of Lights that never go out - Anantanand Rambachan

posted Oct 27, 2016, 11:02 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 27, 2016, 11:02 AM ]

The word "Diwali" means a row of lamps of diverse lights that never go out. Traditionally, Diwali is celebrated on the darkest night of the year when the necessity and the beauty of lights can be truly appreciated. Light is a symbol in the world's religions for God, truth and wisdom.

Given the antiquity of India, the diversity of its religious traditions and the interaction among these, it should not surprise us to know that many religious communities celebrate Diwali. Each one offers a distinctive reason for the celebration that enriches its meaning. For every community, however, Diwali celebrates and affirms hope, and the triumph of goodness and justice over evil and injustice. These values define the meaning of Diwali.

For the Jains, Diwali is celebrated as the joyous day on which Mahavir, the great Jain teacher, attained the eternal joy of liberation or nirvana. It is an occasion for rejoicing and gratitude for a life spent in rigorous religious search, realisation and teaching centred on non-violence.

For the Sikhs, Diwali is a "day of freedom," when the Mughal Emperor, Jehangir, freed the sixth Sikh Guru, Hargobind, from prison. Guru Hargobind refused to accept his freedom, unless the emperor released detained Hindu leaders. Guru Hargobind is celebrated as seeing his own religious freedom as inseparable from the freedom of others.


09 Mumbai Seminarians' Mahad Mission Experience - Orients’ Batch 2016-17

posted Oct 27, 2016, 11:01 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 27, 2016, 11:01 AM ]

The Orientationists (Orients), the First Year Seminarians, eagerly looked forward to October 15, 2016. For it was this day, the eve of Mission Sunday, that this group was embarking on their one-week Mission Experience. As a lead-up to this programme, the group was prepared by the sharing of Confirmation Animators, St Blaise Church, Amboli, who had a few weeks earlier taken their students for a mission experience. All through the preparations, the group kept hearing one name, Fr Carlton, and they wondered who this priest was.

Fr Carlton Kinny, along with other priests and religious, had pioneered the mission of the Catholic Church in the district of Raigad, through selfless service to the poorest of the poor which started more than 27 years ago, when he was ordained. Over the years, Fr Carlton Kinny has worked selflessly, unceasingly, tirelessly, withstanding the challenges thrown at him. He marches forward in Christ, working for the tribals, more prominently the Katkari tribe of the Adivasis today, who aren't even aware of their basic common rights. In this mission, he is ably assisted by Fr Elias D’Cunha, the sisters of the Daughters of the Cross and other religious congregations.


14 Don Bosco lives on ... Don Bosco High School, Matunga celebrates 75 year - Fr Bernard Fernandes sdb

posted Oct 27, 2016, 10:56 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 27, 2016, 10:56 AM ]

Don Bosco High School, Matunga completes its 75th year this scholastic year, and it is with pride and nostalgia that we reminisce the magic and the events unfolding thereafter that fashioned a dream school for youngsters in Mumbai. The school is not only the first Don Bosco institution in the city of Mumbai, but it is also the cradle of the Mumbai Salesian Province. At this significant milestone in history of the Salesian Mumbai Province, it is inevitable that we turn the clock back to reinvent the fragrance of the 75 long – and at times, forgotten – years.

On May 16, 1928, four Salesians - Fr Joseph Hauber, Fr Austin Dehlert, Brother William Haughley and Brother Michael Devalle took over the management of the Educational Institution of the Immaculate Conception from Fr JS Freitas SJ. The school was housed in a rented building called Tardeo Castle. When the new school commenced on June 6, 1928, there was a complete change of staff and servants. There were 189 day scholars and four lady teachers. Roch Thomas was the official headmaster from July 1, 1928. Two years later, in June 1930, the institution changed its name to “Don Bosco High School.” In 1932, Fr Adolf Tornquist succeeded Fr Hauber, staying in office until his departure for Argentina in May 1936. The school then remained without a superior for nine months.

In 1937, Fr Aurelius Maschio was appointed Rector. Gifted with rare foresight, dynamism and a drive to convert his dreams into reality, Fr Maschio made an assessment of the existing situation, laid out his plans and launched out on a massive fund-raising campaign. Since many difficulties were being presented by the landlord at Tardeo, he looked for land elsewhere. He found a spacious plot at insignificant Matunga in flourishing Bombay – a landscape of marsh, water-filled pits and slime – which he proposed to buy. In the meantime, Fr Berutti and Fr Candela of the Superior Chapter, during their brief stop in Bombay on their way back to Turin from the East, visited the proposed Matunga plot, and gave their approval of its purchase


12 Youth Pages

posted Oct 27, 2016, 10:54 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 27, 2016, 10:59 AM ]

S Mumbai Youth Day

On October 2, the South Mumbai Deanery Youth Day was held at the Holy Name School Hall, and well attended by over 100 youth from South Mumbai. It was the efforts of a handful of youth from 8 out of the 13 parishes in South Mumbai, along with the guidance of Mrs Michelle D'Costa, Youth Animator from the Church of Our Lady of Health, Cavel, who took the initiative and responsibility to see this day through. Fr Avin, the Youth Director for South Mumbai, who had initiated the plans for this great evening, was down with dengue.

The Deanery Day is held with the idea of getting all the youth of the deanery together under one roof, in fellowship and bonding. This day was fun-filled and exquisite. We all came together for the "Big Bond Theory" which was the Theme.

It started off with all the participants getting name tags with their respective team names on the back (patience, tolerance, forgiveness, acceptance, peace, love, joy, understanding, empathy and humility). The participants included youth as well as a few brothers who had joined us from the Seminary.

The youth from Our Lady of Dolours, Sonapur began by conducting the prayer service. Ice-breakers which everyone seemed to enjoy, was the brain child of the Holy Name Youth. Thanks to the Rosary Parish Youth for the sumptuous box of delicious goodies.


St Teresa of Kolkata

Our little Bandra village by the sea, the parish of St Andrew, also featured among the youth celebrations of the canonisation of Mother Teresa. A girl dressed as Mother Teresa led the procession of little Sunday school children, all smiles, down the aisle,in their whites, that Sunday morning for a special mass celebrated by Bishop John Rodrigues. The confirmandi lent their voices to the children's mass choir, and the highlight of the singing that day was the beautiful song 'Angel of Mercy' by Karen Vaswani, composed by Odil Medeira especially for the canonisation. The mass began with a short audio-visual presentation on the life of Mother Teresa and her journey from being a 'saint of the gutters' to being a Saint of the Church. Bishop John Rodrigues, in his homily, dwelt on the importance of prayer in our lives, and how the power of prayer is so strong that it can move mountains. The pointed message was that we should be able to serve people of all faiths and cultures, and not let walls come in our way of reaching out to those less fortunate than us with humility and love.

After the mass, bunches of blue and white balloons—the colours signifying Mother Teresa's congregation, the Missionaries of Charity — greeted everyone in the church compound. Each one was given a balloon, giving a festive air to the celebration. Fr Magi Murzello introduced us to a very entertaining firework display. On the count of three, along with our Bishop John,with cheers and great excitement balloons were released into the air. This was accompanied by the ringing of the church bells. It was a moment of great pride, joy and a renewal of faith for all of us present, to celebrate the sainthood of a simple, humble, frail woman who lived in the lifetime of our parents and grandparents.


Navi Mumbai Youth Day

The Youth from 12 parishes in Navi Mumbai geared up to participate actively in Deanery Youth Day 2016 at Christ Academy, Koperkhairane.

Fr Baptist Viegas celebrated the Eucharist with an inspirational homily on the theme 'COM-PASSION-ATE' by Deacon Ivan Fernandes. The hosts, Selwyn and Anish, declared the string of events in store for the youth.

Every parish presented a musical skit, dance or band performance which conveyed an 'Act of Mercy' being the Jubilee Year of Mercy, or a 'Passion' close to their hearts.

During the intervals, there were hilarious gags and filler acts performed by the hosts to entertain a crowd of more than 300 youth. It also included fun-filled activities with spot prizes for the winners. A sumptuous buffet lunch was catered to. The energetic day concluded with an equally energetic DJ session of Jive numbers, Bollywood songs, etc.


Mizu Mania 2016

Mizu Mania 2016 was the Parish youth event of IC Church, Borivli (W). The theme this year was 'International Culture', and the members of the NYGs had to form teams of 10 participants each, and choose a country they'd like to represent.

The preliminary online contests on Facebook kick-started the excitement a few days prior to the event. It comprised of three contests, the first being 'Like-O-Mania'. The teams had to try and get the most number of likes on the picture that represented their respective countries. This contest got all the teams involved even before the actual event. Team Switzerland won the contest with 750 likes. Contest 2 was called 'Question-O-Mania'. This required the contestant to answer questions based on interesting facts about various countries. Team Jamaica won the contest with 400 correct comments. Contest 3 named 'Video-Mania' brought out the creative side of the teams by asking them to shoot a video depicting their country's culture in less than a minute. Seven teams participated in this contest and the Israelites were the favourites. It was a great way to get the teams engaged together lifting the level of team spirit. The Israelites (IC 3) and Jamaicans (NLR 5&6) were the most liked, fastest and creative of the lot, making them winners of the online contests.


16 Notes & Comments

posted Oct 27, 2016, 10:53 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 27, 2016, 10:53 AM ]

Catholic Church Statistics 2016

As every year, in view of World Mission Day, which this year celebrates its 90th anniversary on Sunday, October 23, Fides News Service offers some statistics chosen to give a panorama of the missionary Church all over the world. The tables are taken from the latest edition of the Church's Book of Statistics (updated to December 31, 2014) regarding members of the Church, Church structures, healthcare, welfare and education. Please note that variations, increase or decrease, emerging from our own comparison with last year's figures, are marked increase (+) or decrease (–).

World population

To December 31, 2014, the world population was 7,160,739,000 with an increase of 66,941,000 units compared to the previous year. Population growth was registered on every continent, except Europe; increases were registered above all in Asia (+37,349,000) and Africa (+23,000,000), followed by America (+8,657,000) and Oceania (+649,000). Decrease in Europe (-2,714,000).


On the same date, Catholics in the world numbered 1,272,281,000 units with an overall increase of 18,355,000 more than the previous year. The increase affects all continents, except Europe. Increases were registered above all in Africa (+8,535,000) and in America (+6,642,000) followed by Asia (+3,027,000) and Oceania (+208,000). Decrease in Europe (-57,000).


N-E Church growing in terms of members and vocations

Msgr Thomas Menamparampil,

Msgr Thomas Menamparampil draws a picture of 120 years of the Mission. In the Northeast, the "young Catholic community" has almost two million members. Christians across the country are 27.8 million, 2.3 per cent of the population. The Church leadership "has moved from foreign hands to Indian hands, from Indian hands to indigenous hands." Catholics "are proud of their faith, and are not ashamed to share it with others."

This part of ​​the country has been marked by harsh conflicts between tribal people and the army. He is a major supporter of talks between the region's warring factions, and has worked behind the scene to restore peace.

"It is becoming more and more evident that the Church of Northeast India is fast emerging as a major force among the Christian believers in the country," says Msgr Thomas Menamparampil, Archbishop emeritus of Guwahati (Assam) and former apostolic administrator to Jowai (Meghalaya).


Pilgrimage in the Year of Mercy

Oliver Dias

"The practice of pilgrimage has a special place in the Holy Year, because it represents the journey each of us makes in this life. Life itself is a pilgrimage, and the human being is a pilgrim travelling along the road, making his way to the desired destination. Similarly, to reach the Holy Door in Rome or in any other place in the world, everyone, each according to his or her ability, will have to make a pilgrimage. This will be a sign that mercy is also a goal to reach, and requires dedication and sacrifice. May pilgrimage be an impetus to conversion; by crossing the threshold of the Holy Door, we will find the strength to embrace God's mercy, and dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us." (Misericordiae Vultus 14)

In keeping with the exhortation from the Bull of Indiction for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, declared by Pope Francis, 200 parishioners of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church, Borivli, under the leadership of Fr Barthol Barretto, undertook an all-night walking pilgrimage from Borivli to the Door of Mercy at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, Bandra.

The participating parishioners assembled on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 9:00 p.m. in the church for instructions and the recitation of the Year of Mercy prayer before setting out on the walking pilgrimage with the statue of Mother Mary placed in the middle of the procession. Neither the length of the journey (roughly 26 km) nor its duration could deter the pilgrims. "Would I be able to walk the entire journey or give up halfway, get a rickshaw and come back home?" were some of the questions I asked myself as the pilgrimage started. Three scheduled halts along the way helped regain our energy.


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