Friday, August 15, 2008

Aug 15: Konkani Patriotic (India) Song

Ho Mhozo Desh

Konkani Patriotic Song by Wilfy Rebimbus

For Catholics in India August 15 happens to be a day of twin celebration - the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady as well as the day of India's Independence.

Here is a video of Catholics in Mangalore singing a patriotic song in their native Konkani language.

The song is composed by Wilfy Rebimbus (also seen in the video - extreme left) and was sung on the occassion of the 61st Indian Independence Day (August 15, 2008) during the flag hoisting ceremony after the solemn Assumption Mass at St. Joseph's Church, Jeppu, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fr. Franklin Named Karnataka Youth Director

Fr. Franklin D'Souza Named Karnataka Youth Director

August 1, 2008

Rev. Fr. Franklin Philip D'Souza has been named Secretary to the Karnataka Regional Catholic Bishops' Conference (KRCBC) Youth Commission. He succeeds Fr. Sunny Uppan to that post.

Currently serving as the Joint Secretary of the same commission, Fr. Franklin is also the Director of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM), Young Christian Students (YCS) and the Catholic Charismatic Services in the diocese of Shimoga, Karnataka.

The new appointment takes effect August 15, 2008.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cardinal Toppo and the WYD

Why Cardinal Toppo Came to the World Youth Day

by Austine J. Crasta

One of the essential parts of the World Youth Day (WYD) programs are the catechetical sessions conducted by Bishops from around the world. Some of the Indian Bishops too, took up the challenge to catechize the youth converged at Sydney this WYD. Among them were Bishop Isidore of Allahabad, Bishop Anil Couto of Jalandhar, Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi and I think I also saw Bishop Peter Machado of Belgaum and Bishop Alwyn Baretto of Sindhudurg.

Cardinal Toppo at the Catechesis at St. John's Parish Church, Campbelltown, July 16, 2008.

The 510 member Indian delegation to the WYD was put up on Campbelltown, one of the 500 suburbs of Sydney. And Catechesis was arranged for us right there at St. John's parish Church, Campbelltown on the mornings of 16th, 17th, and 18th along with Mass by the Catechising Bishop and an opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Reading from the text of Pope Benedict's Message for the World Youth Day.

The first of the three Catechesis for us was taken by our own Indian Cardinal Telesphore Toppo. It was a rare privilege to have a Catechising Cardinal when most other groups had only Bishops. But there he was this humble man, more conscious of his roots than of his heights which saw him made the first tribal Cardinal from India, perhaps from Asia, by the late Holy Father of venerable memory Pope John Paul II, the man who initiated the World Youth Day in 1984.

The Cardinal quoted also from the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church given to all WYD pilgrims. A catechetical moment.

Everyone listening in rapt attention.

And Cardinal Toppo had a story to share. Of why he came for the World Youth Day.

If you recall, Cardinal Toppo served two consecutive terms as the President of Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) between the years 2004-2007. Few months before the death of then Holy Father Pope John II who passed away on April 2, 2005, Cardinal Toppo, as President of the CBCI went to meet him. During their meeting, the Holy Father, frail in health and struggling with his speech, asked the Cardinal, "How many retired Bishops do you have [in India]"?

Cardinal Toppo taking questions from his listeners

For Cardinal Toppo, that came like a bolt of lightening. We normally only think of the well and the active but not of the sick and the old. But the Pope was thinking of and enquiring even about the retired Bishops in this country during his meeting with the Cardinal who was the then President of the Indian Bishops Conference. And that gesture touched our Cardinal very much.

On another occassion towards the end of 2004 the Cardinal met the same Pope. During their conversation, Pope asked Our Cardinal if he would be there for the upcoming 20th World Youth Day at Cologne, Germany (August 2005). As Cardinal Toppo recalled to us those intense moments of that encounter with the Pope he confessed that up to that point he wasn't thinking of attending the WYD at Cologne. But after the Pope asked him that question, he exclaimed to himself, 'Here is a Pope failing in health, but who is still thinking of his encounter with the youth eight months ahead of the World Youth Day (August 2005) not even knowing whether he would even be able to make it'. Touched by the Pope's concern for the youth, the Cardinal responded 'Yes', he would make it.

Celebrating the Holy Eucharist and delivering the Homily

Just a few months later, Pope John Paul II died. Four months ahead of the World Youth Day he was deeply thinking about. Inspired by that meeting with the 'Father of the World Youth Day', Cardinal Toppo took a resolution and declared to us that as long as he was alive and able, he would make it to every World Youth Day.

And that's why he came.

He deserves this little gesture of gratitude

He came and he stole our hearts with his simplicity, innocence and heart-warming sharings. It was a catechesis of life.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mangaloreans Follow WYD on EWTN

Catholic Television Helps Mangaloreans 'Participate' In WYD Programs

July 22, 2008
Joannes Rodrigues, MangaloreJoannes Rodrigues, Mangalore.
MANGALORE, India (UCAN) -- Joannes Rodrigues desperately wanted to attend the World Youth Day (WYD) in Australia, but could not raise the funds.

However, the 22-year-old Catholic from Mangalore, southern India, did "participate" in all major WYD events, thanks to Eternal World Television Network (EWTN), a Catholic television channel.

"I had a great desire to attend the World Youth Day in Sydney, but could not afford to go there. However, I compensated for it by watching the programs on EWTN," Rodrigues told UCA News on July 21, a day after the international Catholic event concluded.

Rodrigues, who wrote in an Internet log, or blogged, to publicize the channel locally, said many youngsters viewed the WYD programs on the U.S.-based Catholic broadcasting network.

The channel started beaming to Mangalore homes from Sept. 8, 2007, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which local Catholics celebrate as a harvest festival. Mangalore diocese paid local cable operators 385,000 rupees (US$8,860 then) for a year's subscription.

Mangalore, a port town and a Catholic stronghold, lies 2,290 kilometers southwest of New Delhi.

Father Victor Vijay Lobo, who brought EWTN to Mangalore, told UCA News on July 22 that the diocese offered the channel to local Christians as a gift. It is "one of the largest Catholic media networks in the world, transmitting programs 24 hours a day, reaching 123 million homes in 140 countries," he said.

The priest noted WYD's top viewers in Mangalore were youths and retired people. In some families women watched the program before their children returned from school in the afternoon. However, most families watched the WYD programs together, he added.

Christiana Lobo, 20, said she watched the vigil with the pope, the Stations of the Cross and the concluding Mass in Sydney. She added that many local youths knew about the live telecast and closely watched the Sydney crowd for a glimpse of their Mangalorean friends on the TV screen. "We could not see them but got a faded view of Indian flags and one or two Indian faces," Lobo said.

The 510-member Indian delegation that left for the July 15-20 international Catholic gathering included seven from Mangalore. Hundreds of thousands of youths flocked to Sydney for WYD events.

Another ardent WYD watcher back home was Lenus Sequeira, 21. He told UCA News he could get into the "mood of the event" by being with the crowd through EWTN. "I missed a chance to go there but I compensated for it through the channel," he said.

Sequeira also said he was thrilled to hear the pope call on youths around the world to unite and give witness to Christ. "I was especially touched by his humility to apologize for the sexual assault on children by some Catholic priests," he added.

Rodrigues, a local member of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement, said he skipped all other programs to stay home to watch "almost all major WYD events" in Sydney. He found the Way of the Cross through the Sydney streets "a very prayerful experience" and said he recorded many events for his friends who missed them.

Reproduced with permission from UCA News (

Saturday, July 12, 2008

WYD Video: Tantum Ergo

Tantum Ergo

Bathurst: Days in the Diocese (July 9-14, 2008)

The beautiful adoration hymn, "Tantum Ergo" (Down in Adoration Falling / Let us bow in Adoration) sung at the benediction of the evening prayers during the "Days in the Diocese" of Bathurst Diocese in Australia prior to the World Youth Day (WYD) at Sydney (July 15-20, 2008) to the accompaniment of the organ.

The words:

Latin text
Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
Laus et jubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.

WYD, Bathurst: Australian Aborigines

Here at the "Days in the Diocese" (July 9-14, 2008) in Bathurst Diocese, Australia, we had an opportunity to get to know something about the problem of the Australian Aboringines meaning "first or earliest known, indigenous" (Latin Aborigines, from ab: from, and origo: origin, beginning), the indigenous race that is said to have inhabited the Australian continent since about 60,000 years ago!

These people who regarded themselves as caretakers (not possessors) of the land, were generally nomads, who settled near rivers and moved around according to the convenience of the seasons. They spoke over 500 different languages and had their own beliefs, art, music and culture.

However, today, they face many issues related to Stolen Generations, Health, Education, Crime, Unemployment and housing, Substance abuse and Political representation.

In 1971 by Harold Thomas, an Aboriginal artist designed the Australian Aboriginal flag as a protest flag for the land rights movement of Indigenous Australians. Since then it has become a symbol of the Aboriginal people of Australia. The flag is a yellow circle on a horizontally divided field of black and red.

When the Holy Father comes to Australia next week, a country he previously described as the most secularized of all nations, he will address the problems of the rights of the Austrlian Aborigines.

More Photos Here

Here's the ZENIT story:

Pope's Australia Trip to Address Aborigine Rights

Spokesman Says Journey Is Organizationally Complex

VATICAN CITY, JULY 10, 2008 ( A Vatican spokesman says the rights of indigenous Australians -- "trampled for centuries" -- will be a key topic during Benedict XVI's trip Down Under for World Youth Day.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, told journalists Wednesday about some of the details of the Pope's July 12-21 trip, his ninth apostolic journey.

The Holy Father will be accompanied by Cardinals Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals; Tarcisio Bertone, his secretary of state; and Agostino Vallini, newly appointed vicar for the Diocese of Rome.

Father Lombardi himself will be a member of the papal entourage.

The Jesuit told Vatican Radio that it is "a complex trip from the organizational point of view."

On Saturday, the Pope will leave Castel Gandolfo by helicopter and go to Fiumicino airport, to begin his trip to Sydney in a B777 Alitalia plane. The flight will last 21 hours, including a one and a half hour technical stop in Darwin, Australia.

Upon arriving Sunday, the Pontiff will rest for a few days in a private retreat center run by Opus Dei.

Cardinal Pell, archbishop of Sydney, will open the WYD celebrations on Tuesday. The following day, the Pope will be received by Governor General Michael Jeffrey and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

He will then go to the Mary MacKillop Memorial and continue on to Rose Bay, where he will be welcomed by a group of young Aborigines before embarking on the "Sydney 2000" vessel for his trip to Barangaroo and his official arrival to the Youth Day celebrations.

Father Lombardi said that "the topic of the aborigines and their rights trampled for centuries will be very present in this trip, both in the Pope's words as well as in the addresses of civil authorities."

Among the various meetings planned, the spokesman highlighted two on Friday, July 18, in St. Mary's Cathedral with representatives of other religions, increasingly present in the country due to Asian immigration, and with members of non-Catholic Christian communities.

"It should be noted that Catholics already outnumber Anglicans in Australia," he said, before reviewing with journalists the rest of the meetings, especially the Vigil and Mass at Randwick Racecourse.

Prior to his departure, the Holy Father will meet with benefactors and volunteers of WYD, Father Lombardi added, inviting them to "'go into the deep' to proclaim the Good News to the whole world."

ZENIT link:

WYD Video: Praise to the Lord

BATHURST: "Praise to the Lord" Sung to Organ Accompaniment

Just last week, Pope Benedict XVI was saying how the organ has an evangelising role and how it, in its own way it announces the Gospel:

"I have an indelible memory of how -- in the harmony of that wonderful organ, of the choir conducted by Kohlhaufel, and the luminous beauty of the church -- we experienced the joy that comes from God. Not just the 'spark of the gods' of which Schiller speaks, but truly the flame of the Holy Spirit that brought us to feel in our innermost being what we also know from the Gospel of St. John: That he himself is joy. And this joy was communicated to us."

The Pope added how pleased he was that this organ "continues to play and to help people perceive something of the splendor of our faith -- a splendor kindled by the Holy Spirit himself. With it, the organ carries out an evangelizing function, proclaims the Gospel in its own way."

I'm here at the "Days in the Diocese" (9th-14th July, 2008) at Bathurst in Australia, a little over 200 km NW of Sydney, the WYD city. During the morning and evening prayers, I am being treated to the beautiful sound of the Church organ in the Cathedral Church.

I can't wait to share this with all my readers, especially in India, desirous of hearing some organ music.

As Vatican II's constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (no. 120) says, "In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church's ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man's mind to God and to higher things."

Here's the video:

The organ used here is not a pipe organ. Nevertheless, it is an organ and my Indian readers, most of whose churches do not have an organ, will be delighted to hear singing accompanied to its sound.

Also check out the video of the Tantum Ergo sung to organ accompaniment.

Young Indian Vincentians for WYD 2008

Young Vincentions for WYD 2008

by Jesuvera from Bathurst (Australia)

Accompanying me on my WYD trip from Mumbai to Sydney (via Singapore, Perth) were a group of 10 excited Vincentians from India. Thanks to them I had company all the way till Bathurst.

At Bathurst we parted ways. They went over to Vincentian Family Celebration (FAMVIN WYD) organized by FAMVIN Australia at St Stanislaus College, 9 to 13 July 2008. I came over to the "Days in the Diocese", the diocesan cultural exchange program preceeding the WYD at Sydney during the same days as FAMVIN.

The 10 vincentians from India are part of more than 300 vincentian family members (representatives from the Congregation of the Mission, The Daughters of Charity and the St Vincent de Paul Society) coming from 33 countries - Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, United States, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

More Pictures Here

Some details here.

WYD: 2 Indians to Serve Pope's Mass

Chance To Meet Pope, Make New Friends Excites Indian WYD Participants

By Dini Philip

July 10, 2008

NEW DELHI (UCAN) -- Northern Indian delegates to World Youth Day (WYD) 2008 say the high point of their Australian pilgrimage will be meeting the pope.

"We are anxiously waiting to meet the Holy Father," Robin Masih said on July 6, the eve of his departure to the July 15-20 celebration in Sydney, Australia. He told UCA News he was anxious about his first airplane trip.

The 21-year-old delegate from Jalandhar diocese in Punjab state, northern India, expects to learn from the other people going to the WYD celebration from around the world. "I want to know how their life is different from ours," he said. He was taking traditional Punjabi dress with him to perform bhangra, a local dance.

The Indian Church is sending 510 delegates to the event, its largest contingent ever for any overseas Church program, according to Church officials. Masih traveled to Australia with 39 others from various states in northern India. They left from New Delhi. Similar teams left from Chennai in the south, Kolkata in the east and Mumbai in the west.

Preeti, another first-time overseas traveler, said her parents were initially afraid to send her, but later agreed and borrowed money from relatives for the trip. The 19-year-old is one of eight female members of the delegation's Punjabi contingent. She recounted that her parents and relatives all went to the railway station to see her off and cried when she departed for New Delhi. "For us, going abroad is a big thing," she told UCA News.

Like Masih, she looks forward to meeting the pope. "We feel very lucky and privileged to meet the Holy Father and other young people from all over the world," she said, adding that she too would join in the bhangra performance.

Preeti noted that she wanted to bring along some homemade food but the guidelines clearly prohibit this. However, she did bring along photographs of her parents, brothers and sisters to show to her host family in Australia.

The Indian delegates will stay with families in 15 parishes in New Zealand's Auckland diocese and Australia's Bathurst diocese before leaving for Sydney on July 14.

They will interact with local people and participate in activities the hosts organize such as visiting nursing homes, planting trees and learning about local aboriginal cultures. On July 12, they will celebrate a family day that will include sports events and exchanging life experiences with their hosts.

Deepti Kujur, another delegate, is especially happy the pope is to join the youths on July 17, her birthday. "This would be a lifetime gift for me," said the 22 year-old from Bhopal archdiocese in Madhya Pradesh state, central India. She said she wants to make friends from various nations while in Australia, and expects the pilgrimage will help "build leadership quality in us and motivate us to do more for the Church and society."

The only member from another religion in the group that left from New Delhi was Jashleen Kaur. The 27-year-old Sikh works as an office assistant at the Indian bishops' youth commission. What excites her most about the trip is the chance to stay with Catholic families.

The Sikh woman told UCA News her parents are "happy and proud" she is attending "such a great event." She added that she is "very fond" of Christianity and goes to church more often than to a gurudwara, or Sikh temple.

Kaur said the Indian delegates would attend the program in the traditional local dress of their respective regions and carry the national flag.

Another excited member in the group was Sapna Robert, one of two Indians selected to serve at the papal Mass. "It is the best I could get, to be near the pope while he celebrates Mass," said the 25-year-old general secretary of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement. The other Indian scheduled to serve at that Mass is Sajish Jose, the movement's president.

Reproduced with permission from UCA News (

WYD: Interview with Rakesh Singh, India

WYD Delegation Leader Promotes Young Catholic Villagers

July 9, 2008

Rakesh Singh leading the 500 odd youth delegation from India to World Youth Day (WYD) 2008 at Sydney, AustraliaRakesh Singh, India

NEW DELHI (UCAN) -- The young tribal man who is leading India's 510-member delegation to the World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, says village youth should have opportunities to develop themselves.

Rakesh Singh, 27, comes from Krishnachandrapur, a village in Orissa state's Mayurbhanj district, about 1,500 kilometers southeast of New Delhi. In 1999, Hindu extremists brutally murdered Graham Stuart Staines, an Australian missioner who ran a leprosy hospital in the district, and his two minor sons.

Singh, who belongs to the Bhumij tribal group, says those murders became "a litmus test" for his leadership skills in a predominantly Hindu milieu. Later, he was elected to head the Indian Catholic Youth Movement, under the Indian bishops' conference, and began to notice "a big gap in opportunities" between village and city residents.

After his two-year term, the bishops entrusted him the job of coordinating preparations for Indian youth to attend the World Youth Day 2008 celebration. His efforts in the past year have ensured that India could send its largest contingent to the international event the Church organizes every two or three years. According to Singh, a majority of the Indian delegates are from rural areas.

The youth leader spoke with UCA News on July 1, as he was getting ready to travel to Sydney to attend the July 15-20 event. The interview follows:

UCA NEWS: What is the significance of this World Youth Day for you?

RAKESH SINGH: I attended the earlier World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, in 2005. Only 250 people from India attended that event. This time, 510 Indians, some 400 of them young people, are attending.
The event is very important for the whole Indian Church. We want to gain experience to conduct similar programs in our country. Who knows, India may hold the World Youth Day after 20 years? We will then have some people who have attended the international event.

For this World Youth Day, we started preparation a year ago. We wanted to reach out to all 160 dioceses in the country.

We launched the preparation on Palm Sunday in 2007. While launching it, we asked young people to do something for society. We also asked young people to undertake something in their parishes such as educating parishioners about the need to eradicate poverty. We held a number of conferences, road shows and T-shirt campaigns, so things were clear from the beginning. We got a good response. We have been able to reach out to people where opportunities are comparatively less.

UCA NEWS: How will the World Youth Day help the Indian youth?

RAKESH SINGH: It will expose our youth, most of them village-based, to the big world. They will mingle with youths from other countries. One of the days in our program in Australia is assigned for social work, when people will be working in the streets, planting trees, cleaning a garden or a cemetery. They may also go to institutions like old-age homes, and spend time with local people. This will broaden their mind. I hope they will understand the dignity of labor, which most developed nations respect. In India, we look down on menial jobs. Sharing of expectations by our participants has convinced us that the exposure is the kind of program they really need.

UCA NEWS: How many delegates are from villages?

RAKESH SINGH: We have about 60 percent from villages. The intentions are different. Rich people want to go overseas on holiday, but only a few are ready to go on a pilgrimage. Young villagers if given opportunities will prove themselves. Many a time the Church officials look for only experienced hands to work and solve problems. But I feel not only experience but our outlook and relations with others also matter in solving problems. People with experience will not be able to solve problem if they lack good relations and clear thinking. So there are a lot of young people who think clearly and are willing to take up responsibility. I am not saying the Church has to dump all responsibilities on young people. But the Church has to realize their capacity and believe in them.

UCA NEWS: Has your own background played any role in this focus on rural areas?

RAKESH SINGH: I was born and bought up in a small village in Orissa. The school was 16 kilometers away. My mother, a teacher who studied in Kolkata, knew Blessed Mother Teresa (of Kolkata). So my mother wanted me to take up social work. It's because of God's grace that I got these opportunities. But there are lots of people who do not have the platform and opportunities. There are lots of facilities and opportunities in cities, which I never knew when I was in my village. So if such facilities are made available to village people, they will also grow. There is a big gap of opportunities between village and city people.

UCA NEWS: With your village background, how did you become a leader at the national level?

Even during school days, I wanted to become a leader. During my university days, I stood for college president. I was the only Christian student among the college's some 5,000 students, who came from different religions. The election was also a litmus test of my acceptance as a Christian, as that was the time when Graham Staines was killed.

A year later, I lost my father and I went through a lot of problems. Then I asked my mom's permission to volunteer at the national youth office in New Delhi. I was the eldest of three sons. She told me that she would love that. None of her sons has become a priest, so she would love me working for the Church as a lay volunteer.

I was more involved in activism during 2001-2003. In 2004, I came to the Indian Catholic Youth Movement as a representative from Orissa region. There I was elected the national president.

The work in New Delhi gave me a lot of opportunities to learn. During 2004-2006, I was elected the Asian president of the food sovereignty commission of the international Catholic organization working for rural youth. I was also involved in the Catholic students' movements in India.

UCA NEWS: Can you tell us more about your village?

RAKESH SINGH: Our Krishnachandrapur parish in Mayurbhanj district has some 350 Catholic families. It is the same district where Graham Staines cared for leprosy patients. Father Arul Doss of Balasore diocese was also killed in the same district that year. [Editor's note: Staines was killed in neighboring Keonjhar district.] Our state has witnessed many atrocities against Christians.

The killings of Staines and others saddened me because such things should not have happened in a secular nation. On the other hand, Christians also should be blamed. We are not able to express our faith well, especially to those who suspect us. We have not helped people understand our work. There is a communication gap among various religions. There is a lack of dialogue. My experience is that how we relate with others matters a lot.

Christians in India are a closed community. We should come out and express ourselves. We should have friends from other religions. We should also accept others.

Reproduced with permission from UCA News (

Monday, July 07, 2008

WYD 2008 Anthem: Receive the Power

World Youth Day (WYD) 2008: Official Anthem

Receive the Power - Video & Lyrics

Lyrics - Receive the Power

Verse 1
Every nation, every tribe,
come together to worship You.
In Your presence we delight,
we will follow to the ends of the earth.

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Receive the Power, from the Holy Spirit!
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Receive the Power to be a light unto the world!

Verse 2
As Your Spirit calls to rise
we will answer and do Your Will.
We'll forever testify
of Your mercy and unfailing love.

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Receive the Power, from the Holy Spirit!
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Receive the Power to be a light unto the world!

Lamb of God, we worship You,
Holy One, we worship You,
Bread of Life, we worship You,
Emmanuel, we worship You.
Lamb of God, we worship You,
Holy One, we worship You,
Bread of Life, we worship You,
Emmanuel, we will sing forever.

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Receive the Power, from the Holy Spirit!
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Receive the Power to be a light unto the world

VIDEO: WYD 2008 Promo

World Youth Day (WYD) 2008, Sydney, Australia

Promo Videos - Parts I & II

Part - I

Part - II

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

VATICAN: Oswald Gracias Made Cardinal

Cardinals From 14 Countries, Including India, Receive Red Hat From Pope

By Gerard O'Connell, Special Correspondent in Rome

Archbishop Oswald Gracias Receiving the Cardinal's biretta (hat) from the Holy Father Benedict XVI
(Archbishop Oswald Gracias Receiving the Cardinal's biretta (hat) from the Holy Father Benedict XVI)

VATICAN CITY, November 26, 2007 (UCAN): Pope Benedict XVI placed the red beretta on the head of Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, in St. Peter's Basilica just before midday on Saturday November 24, making him the 10th Indian cardinal in history.

In all, the 80-year-old pope created 23 cardinals from 14 countries in his second consistory: 13 from Europe, four from Latin America, two from Africa, two from Asia (India and Iraq) and two from North America (excluding Mexico). But only 18 of the 23 are cardinal-electors, under the age of 80, with the right to vote in a papal election.

In his homily, after the liturgy of the word and before conferring the red hats, the theologian-pope said the composition of the College of Cardinals, which now has 201 members from 70 countries, "reflects well the universality, the catholicity of the Church." The new cardinals had served the Church faithfully over many years, and were now "called to even greater responsibility, in the closest communion with the bishop of Rome," he added.

Pope Benedict observed that the communities the new cardinals represent face various trials and challenges. He made particular mention of looking "with apprehension and affection" to the Christian communities in Iraq, which are "experiencing in their own flesh the dramatic consequences of an ongoing war" and living in "a very fragile and delicate political situation."

The pope said he wanted "to express in a concrete way my spiritual closeness and my affect for those populations" by making Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly of the Chaldean Church, who heads the largest Christian community in Iraq, a cardinal.

His words provoked thunderous applause in St. Peter's Basilica. Everyone clapped again, and someone waved an Iraqi flag, when he placed the specially designed round, black hat with a broad red band on the head of the 80-year-old patriarch instead of the red beretta.

This came after the homily, and after the new cardinals made a profession of faith and took the oath of loyalty and obedience to the pope and his successors. They then went up to the pope, one by one, and knelt before him as he placed the hat signifying the office and dignity of cardinal on the head of each.

The congregation of 9,000 in the brightly lit basilica included more than 1,000 Asians, several hundred of them Indians. They applauded loudly when Pope Benedict gave the red beretta to Cardinal Gracias making him a member of the select group of 120 cardinal-electors.

Many had come from India especially for the occasion, mostly relatives and friends of the new cardinal, but the vast majority of Indians present were clergy, Religious, novices and seminarians working or studying in Rome.

Two other Indian cardinals -- Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, were seated among the 143 scarlet-robed cardinals from 70 countries in front of the basilica's high altar. Other Asian cardinals were present from China (Hong Kong), Japan, Korea the Philippines and Vietnam. About 50 cardinals did not attend for reasons of health or advanced age.

Cardinal Gracias, smiling broadly, briefly thanked the pope for this great honor and responsibility.

The pope, as bishop of Rome, traditionally assigns a titular church in his diocese to each new cardinal. He gave Cardinal Gracias the Church of San Paolo della Croce a "Corviale."

That same afternoon, following another old tradition, many thousands went to the Vatican to greet the new cardinals individually. The Indians and many others greeted Cardinal Gracias in the Hall of Blessings.

The following day, Sunday Nov. 25, Pope Benedict led Mass in St Peter's Basilica with the new cardinals as concelebrants and gave each the cardinal's ring, described by the Vatican as "the sign of dignity, pastoral care and the most solid communion with the See of Peter."

After urging them to proclaim Christ "with humility and without arrogance or pride" to all humanity, he reminded them that their "first and principal mission" is to "pray for peace and unity" so the Church may be "solid and compact" and "a sign and instrument of unity for the whole human race."
Reproduced by Konkani Catholics with permission from UCA News (

Monday, October 22, 2007

Basic Catholic Konkani Prayers

Basic Catholic Konkani Prayers

Notes for Pronunciation

O-------> o ------> otmo, ojeap, sot, mon, dhon.
A-------> a --------> amchea, asa, rat, tan, kan.
X ------> sh -------> xit, xikxa, odheokx, dikxa, xok.
T-------> t --------> ton, toddov, taka, vat, nontor.
TH -----> th -------> thor, orth, thir, svarth, thoravoll.
TT------> tt -------> vatt, dixtt, petto, grotto, vantto.
TTH ----> tth ------> tthokki, tthev, patth, goxtth, duxtthi.
T’T ----> t’t ------> pot’to, ut’tim, bat’tis, ut’tor, at’tam.
D-------> d --------> gado,duddu, doial, dudh, desvat.
DH -----> dh -------> dhikkar, dhoxi, dhoni, dhinvas, budhvont.
DD------> dd -------> guddo, paddo, kudd, nadd, divodd.
DDH ----> ddh ------> donddhovnni, ddhokhai,
D’D ----> d’d ------> ud’dhar, chod’dor, god’dar,
L ------> l --------> palo, ulo, khelo, kholo, melo.
LL ----> ll -------> pollo, dollo, bhollo, mollem, dhallo.
L’L ----> l’l ------> il’lem, mellul’lem, sangul’lem, uloil’lem, kolloil’lem.
NN -----> nn -------> khann, jevonn, makhnni, dekhnni, vakhann’nni.
IO -----> io (yo)---> iogi, iogdan, kariokrom, ioxodham, iojon.
IA -----> ia (ya) --> toiari, iazok, vidiarthi, doia, monniari, Somia.
IE -----> ie (ye)---> doien, nitollkaien, sosaien, korunnaien, i
IU -----> iu (yu)---> iug, koli-iug, iuvok, iuvozonn, iugantor.

Challis Konknni Magnnim
(40 Konkani Prayers)

(Mangalorean Konkani Prayers in Roman Script)

Transliterated by Ancy Salvadore D'Souza (Ancy Paladka)
Verified by Fr. Ronald Serrao

1. Khursacho Ghurt

Bapache, + ani Putache, ani Povitr Otmeache Nanvim. Amen.

2. Santa Khursachi Kuru

Santa Khursache + khurven, nivar amkam + amchea Deva, amchea + dusmanantlem. Bapache, + ani Putache, ani Povitr Otmeache Nanvim. Amen.

3. Onond Bapak

Onond Bapak, ani Putak, ani Povitr Otmeak; zoso adim, tosoch atam, ani sodam sorvotam. Amen.

4. Somiachem Magnnem

Amchea Bapa, sorgincha, Tujem Nanv povitr zanv, Tujem raz amkam ienv, Tuji khuxi sorgar zata, toxi sonvsarant zanv.
Amcho dispotto gras aiz amkam di, ani ami amcher chukleleank bhogsitanv, toxem amchim patkam bhogos. Ani amkam tallnnet poddonk dinv naka, punn vaittantlim amkam nivar. Amen.

5. Bhoddveacho Noman

Noman Morie, kurpen bhorul’le, Somi tuje sangata, striiam bhitor tum sodenv, ani sodenvi foll, tuje kuxichem, Jezu.
Santa Morie, Devache Maie, ama papiiam khatir vinoti kor, atam ani amchea mornache kallim. Amen.

6. Apostolanchim Sotman'tam

Sotman’tam Devak, Sorv-podvedara Bapak, sorga ani prithumichea Rochnarak; ani Jezu Kristak, Tacha ekleach Putak, amchea Somiak. To Povitr Otmea vorvim gorbhim sombhovlo, Anvkvar Morie thavn zolmalo. Pons Pilata khal Tannem koxtt sosle, Taka Khursar zoddlo, To melo, ani Taka nikepilo. To mel’leam modhem denvlo, Tisrea disa mel'leantlo jivont zalo. Sorgar choddlo, Sorv- podvedar Deva Bapachea ujveak bosla. Thoim thavn jiveam ani mel’leanchi mun’subi korunk ietolo. Sotman’tam Povitr Otmeak, Katholik Povitr Sobhek, bhoktancho ektar, patkanchem bhogsonnem, kuddichem jivontponn, sasnnachem jivit. Amen.

7. Bhavarthachem Vidhan

Eh mhojea Deva, Tum sorv Sotevont, Tujean fottounk nozo; Tum sorv Zannar, Tujean fottvon poddonk nozo. Dekun, Bhagevont Igorzmate marifat, Tunvem xikounchim sorv sotam, hanv thir sotman’tam.

8. Bhorvonseachem Vidhan

Eh mhojea Deva, Tum sorv Podvedar ani Kakulldar, ani Tujem Utor Tum palltai. Dekun, hea sonvsarant, mhojea patkanchem bogsannem, bori jinni jiieunk Tuji Kurpa, ani melea uprant sorginchem sukh, Tum mhaka ditoloi mhonn, Tujer hanv thir bhorvonso dovortam.

9. Mogachem Vidhan

Eh mhojea Deva, Tum sorv boro, ani sorv mog Tuka favo. Dekun, sogllea mhojea kallzan, ani somestim vostum pras chodd, hanv Tuzo mog kortam. Tujea moga pasot, mhozo hanvem kel’lea bori, peleacho-i hanv mog kortam, ani mhaka dukhoil’leank bhogsitam.

10. Dukhichem Vidhan

Eh mhojea Deva, hanvem vaitt adharun ani borem soddun kel’lim, sorv mhojim patkam hanv roddtam, ani tanchem bhogsannem magtam. Kiteak tanche vorvim, Tuji kotthinn xikxa mhaka favo zali, ani mhojea mogalla, Soddvonndarak, Jezu Kristak, hanvem Khursar marlo, ani bhov korun, Tuka, itlea borea, ani sorv mog favo zal’lea Devak, hanvem okman kelo.

Tuje Kurpen, ani mukhar patok korina mhonn, mhojea patkam khatir prachit kortolom mhonn, ani patkanche somoie chukoitam mhonn, khonddit nichev monant dhortam. Amchea Somia Jezu Kristacha, koxttam ani mornachea puneam vorvim, Sorvespora mhoji kakut kor.

11. Avmori

Eklo: Somiachea bhoddvean Moriek izbi haddli,
Sorv: Ani Povitr Otmea vorvim ti gorbhest zali.
Noman Morie...

Eklo: Obhlle! Somiachi chakorn,
Sorv: Tujea Sobda pormannem, mhoje thoim zanv.
Noman Morie...

Eklo: Ani Devacho Put monis zalo,
Sorv: Ani amche modhem jielo.
Noman Morie...

Eklo: Bhagevonti Devache Maie, ama pasot vinoti kor,
Sorv: Kristachea bhasavnneank ami favo zaunche khatir.


Eh Somia, bhoddveache izbe vorvim Tujea Putan, Kristan, mon’xaponn ghetul’lem ami zannam zaleanv: Tacha koxttam ani Khursa vorvim, jivontponnachea onondak ami pavaxem, Tuji Kurpa amchea ontoskornamni vot mhonn, ami magtanv, teach Krista amchea Somia marifat. Amen.
Onond Bapak... (3)

12. Sorgache Rannie (Paskanchea kallar)

Eklo: Sorgache Rannie, ul’las pav, Sorvesporak zoi, zoi ! (Al'leluia)
Sorv: Kiteak zaka tum vavovnk favo zal’li-i, Sorvesporak zoi, zoi ! (Al'leluia)

Eklo: To Apnnem sangul’lea bori jivont zala, Sorvesporak zoi, zoi ! (Al'leluia)
Sorv: Ama pasot Deva lagim mag, Sorvesporak zoi, zoi ! (Al'leluia)

Eklo: Sontos ani ul’las pav, Anvkvari Morie, Sorvesporak zoi, zoi ! (Al'leluia)
Sorv: Kiteak Somi khoroch jivont zala, Sorvesporak zoi, zoi ! (Al'leluia)


Eh Deva, Tujea Puta amchea Somia Jezu Kristachea jivontponna vorvim, sonvsar sontosaunk Tunvem doia keli-I; Tache Maie, Anvkvar Morie marifat, sasnnache jinniecho sontos, amkam labhaso kor mhonn ami magtanv. Teach Krista, amcha Somia marifat. Amen.

13. Rakonn Bhoddveak Magnnem

Deva gelea bhoddvea, mhojea raknnea, sorginche doien mhaka dila tuje taben, mhoji mot uzvaddai, mhaka rak, samball ani choloi. Amen.

14. Sorul'lea Bhavartheam Pasot Magnnem

Sasnnacho vixev di tankam eh Somia, ani nirontor prokas tancher fankondi. Somadhanant te vixev ghevundit. Amen.

15.Mhojea Deva

Mhojea Deva, mhojea Saiba, hanv Tujea paiam’nk poddtam, hanv Tuka orgam ditam, ontoskornim nomoskar kortam, vhodd Tujo upkar man’tam, kiteak Tunvem mhaka rochloi mhonn, niz kristanv keloi mhonn; aiz porean samballoi mhonn, zoxi bori rat dili-i, toso boro dis di Saiba (zoso boro dis diloi, toxi bori rat di Saiba) mhozo otmo, mhoji kudd, Tujea hatant ditam. Mhojim chintam, mhoje sobd, mhoje aichea disache (ratiche) koxtt ani korneo, Tuka somorpitam, Tujea vhodda manak mhojea patkanchea farikponnak.

Mhojea Jezu, Tujea Khursachea, koxttancha, ani mornacha puneam pasot, bhogsi mhojim somest patkam, mhoji patkeachi kakut kor. Deva, Povitr Otmea, di Saiba, Tuji Kurpa, aichea disa (rati) patkant hanvem poddona zauncheak. Tuje upodes samballunk, mhoje kaide pallunk, mhoji patkeachi kakut kor, mhaka patkeak bhogsi.

16. Hanv Patki

Hanv patki, Sorv-podvedar Devak, ani tumkam bhavam-bhoinnimno, mhozo guneanv ucharun sangtam, monan chintun ani tonddan ucharun, vaitt adharun ani borem soddun, hanvem zaitim patkam keleant. (hordeak marun) Ho mhozo opradh, ho mhozo opradh, ho mhozo bhov vhodd opradh. Hea pasot Bhagevont sodanch-Anvkvar Moriek, soglleam Dev-dutank ani bhoktank, ani tumkam bhavam-bhoinnimno, mhoje khatir amchea Sorvespora Deva lagim, vonoti korat mhonn, prarthun magtam.

17. Noman Rannie

Noman Rannie, kakutiche Maie, noman amchea jiva, amruta ani bhorvonxa, tuka ami ulo martanv, ami pordexi Evechim ballkam. Hea dukhachea konddant astam, askar-huskar soddun, ami tuka rudan kortanv. Tor tum amche xekaie, te tuje kakutiche dolle amche voir porti. Ani hea pordexea uprant, tuje kuxichem sodemnvi foll Jezuk amkam dakhoi, eh doialli, eh mogalli, eh dulobi Anvkvari Morie.

Eklo: Bhagevonti Devache Maie, ama pasot vinoti kor,
Sorv: Kristachea bhasavnneank ami favo zaunche khatir.

18. Nimanneo Char Vostu

Morn, Zoddti, Iemkondd, ani Sorg.

19. Devache Upodes

Devache Upodes 10.
1-lo: Eka niza Devak man di.
2-ro: Devachem Nanv vearth kaddi naka.
3-ro: Aitar-sont bhagevontponnim samball.
4-to: Mai-bapak man di.
5-vo: Jivexim mari naka.
6-vo: Produvar kori naka.
7-vo: Chori naka.
8-vo: Fott-saks sanga naka.
9-vo: Peleache striiechi axa kori naka.
10-vo: Peleachea vostunchi axa kori naka.

20. Igorjeche Upodes

Igorjeche Upodes 5.
1-lo: Aitar-sonta mis aikonchem, ani vavr kori nastana ravunchem.
2-ro: Igorz-maten nomiarul’lea disamni jinzvar korcho, ani mas khainastana ravunchem.
3-ro: Vorsak ek pavttim punn-i kumsar zavunchem.
4-to: Paskanchea vellar punn-i Krist-Prosad ghevuncho.
5-vo: Igorjechea, ani tichea monniareanchea gorzank pavuchem.


Most Rev Aloysius Paul D'Souza
†Bishop of Managalore
10th August 2004
Feast of St Lawrence, Martyr and Deacon

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Oswald Gracias Named Cardinal

'Simple, Approachable' Prelate Gets Red Hat

Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Bombay Named Cardinal

MUMBAI, India, October 17, 2007 (UCAN) -- India's Archbishop Oswald Gracias, whom Pope Benedict appointed a cardinal on Oct. 17, has had a fast rise in Church ranks.

The 62-year-old cardinal-elect currently serves as archbishop of Bombay, the Indian Church territory with the largest number of Catholics.

The only Asian among the 23 newly appointed cardinals came to this archdiocese after its former archbishop, Cardinal Ivan Dias, moved to Rome last year to serve as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Bombay is the former name for Mumbai, India's commercial capital, 1,410 kilometers southwest of New Delhi.

Previously the cardinal-elect served six years as archbishop of Agra, the oldest diocese in northern India. He started his episcopate as auxiliary bishop of Bombay in 1997.

For several years now, the Church in India has banked on the prelate to solve many vexing problems. Church people say they find the newly appointed cardinal one of the "most simple and approachable" Church leaders in India.

In 2006, at the behest of the Vatican, Cardinal Gracias used his diplomatic skills to bring unity in a religious congregation based in Goa, western India, that had split into two groups in 1977.

Recently, he challenged the Indian government over its policy on Special Economic Zones. The prelate wanted the government to consult local people before implementing projects that affect them. He urged priests and laypeople to join public rallies and lobby with others to save the common man from the ill effects of such policies.

People who have worked with Cardinal-elect Gracias say he "never says no" to any request, even in difficult situations. They describe him as having a way with words and a manner of conveying them laced with affection that puts people at ease, even though their problem may not have been solved for whatever reasons. His admirers say his "bright face is always lit up with a smile."

Bernadine Jackson, the prelate's secretary when he was in Agra, told UCA News she found him "the most simple" to work with. "We wished he remained in our archdiocese for a long time, but that was not be," she remarked, adding that laypeople found him "very approachable."

He has shouldered several major responsibilities in the Indian Church.

Currently the cardinal-elect heads the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), the national body of the country's Latin-rite prelates.

Earlier he served as secretary general of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), the national body for prelates of all three rites -- two Oriental and the Latin --in the country. At present, he chairs the CBCI Commission for Social Communications and its National Institute of Social Communications, Research and Training. Meanwhile, he is ecclesiastical adviser to the Indian Catholic Press Association.

Cardinal-elect Gracias was president of the Canon Law Society of India twice, 1987-1991 and 1993-1997. He has served as consultor for the CBCI Doctrinal Committee and for the CCBI Commission for Interpretation of Legislative Texts (1992-1997).

Now, he is a consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts.

The CCBI plenary elected the prelate to attend the XII Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church," scheduled for October 2008 in Rome.

He teaches canon law at Pius X Seminary in Mumbai and at the pontifical seminary in Pune, and his book Conciliation Code offers useful advice to solve many problems the Church faces.

Cardinal-elect Gracias was born on Dec. 24, 1944, in Mahim, Mumbai. He completed his seminary training at St. Pius College in Goregaon, Mumbai, and was ordained a priest on Dec. 20, 1970. After a short stint as chancellor of Jamshedpur diocese and secretary to its bishop, he returned to Mumbai. From 1977 to 1981 he studied in Rome, earning a doctorate in canon law and a diploma in jurisprudence during this period.

On his return to Mumbai, he was appointed secretary to the archbishop. A year later, he was made the archdiocesan chancellor.

When appointed auxiliary bishop, he chose as his motto: "To Reconcile All Things in Christ." He became Agra archbishop just three years later and archbishop of Bombay on Oct. 14, 2006.

Bombay archdiocese has 509,286 Catholics spread over 98 parishes in three districts. Approximately 750 priests and 1,530 nuns serve in the archdiocese.

Bio Data

Date of Birth: December 24, 1944 at Mumbai
Parents: Jervis and Aduzinda Gracias
Ordained Priest: December 20, 1970
Ordained Bishop: September 16, 1997
Installed Abp of Agra: November 23, 2000
Appointed Abp of Bombay: October 14, 2006
Installed Abp of Bombay: December 14, 2006
Edu. Qualifications: B.A. at St Xavier's College, Ranchi
Doctor of Canon Law, Urban University, Rome
Diploma in Jurisprudence, Gregorian University, Rome


1971-1976 - Secretary & Chancellor, Diocese of Jamshedpur
1977-1981 - Rome, studies in Canon Law
1982-1986 - Secretary to Archbishop of Bombay
1982-1997 - Chancellor, Archdiocese of Bombay
1988-1998 - Judicial Vicar, Archdiocese of Bombay
1997, Jun 28 - Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay
1998-2000 - Vicar General, Archdiocese of Bombay
2000, Sep 07 - Appointed Archbishop of Agra
1998-2002 - Secretary General, C.B.C.I
2005-Present - President, Conference of Catholic Bishops of India

Other Assignments:

1987-1991 - President, Canon Law Society of India
1988-1998 - Consultor, C.C.B.I. Canon Law Commission
1990-1995 - Consultor, Doctrinal Commission, C.B.C.I.
1993-1997 - President, Canon Law Society of India
1996-Present - Consultor, Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Rome
1998-2005 - Chairman, C.C.B.I. Commission for Legislative Texts
2001-Present - Vice Chairman, Vox Clara Committee, Congregation of Sacraments, Rome
2002-Present - Chairman, C.B.C.I. Commission for Social Commun. & Chairman, NISCORT
2002-Present - Chairman, C.B.C.I. Commission for Law and Public litigation

Courtesy: UCAN News ( & Press Release