Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bangalore: Saturday Night Vigil Fourth Anniversary Celebration

Saturday Youth Night Vigil at Renewal Retreat Centre (RRC) Bangalore celebrates fourth anniversary

Saturday Youth Night Vigil at Renewal Retreat Centre (RRC) Bangalore, completes four years, celebrates

Dear friends,

It is big time for celebration as we come together to thank the Lord for the four years of abundand blessings on the Saturday night vigil.

Over the years, thousands have passed through the vigil and have been blessed beyond measure. The Saturday Night Vigil has been instrumental in kindling the love for Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament in many hearts and totally transforming lives, as attested to by countless testimonies.

For the anniversary, there will be a special time of Praise and Worship, followed by the Word of God by Br. Fritz from ICPE, Holy Mass celebrated by our beloved priests who have assisted for the vigil in the past years, healing and a time of intercession. Confession will also be available during the time. And needless to say, there will be cake cutting and special gifts too.

The fourth anniversary celebrations also mark a turning point for the Night vigil. The Night Vigil team has always been attentive to the voice of the Spirit. A new structure for the vigils which came into being after hours of prayer and discernment will come into effect from the week following the anniversary.

The night hours of Saturday, 4th of March is going to be an amazing time of grace. We invite you to be with us at this time and also request you to pass the message on to your friends.

Finally, keep the anniversary specially in prayers.

May the blessings of the good Lord be with you.

Night Vigil Team.

Posted by Rohit D'Souza


Thailand: Revival '06 - Youth Retreat

REVIVAL '06: Youth Retreat by Jesus Youth Thailand

With the initiative of Jesus Youth Thailand, a youth retreat - REVIVAL '06 - is scheduled to take place at Bangkok in Thailand on March 18 & 19 this year.

Reival '06 - Youth Retreat at Bangkok, Thailand on March 18 & 19

Venue: Franciscan Fathers Retreat Centre
43 Moo 7, Lamsai, Lamkukha, Prathumthani, Bangkok, Thailand.

Registration Fee: 350 baht.

Trackback: http://jythai.blogspot.com/2006/02/retreat.html

Monday, February 27, 2006

Sortable KC Member List Online

KonkaniCatholics: Up-to-date Sortable Member List Now Online

Here's great news for KC members looking to see "Who's on Konkani Catholics?"

A completely sortable member list with the following information - First Name, Last Name, Religious State, Sex, Location and Joining Date - has been setup online in the Database section of the KonkaniCatholics egroup.

All members may login to view it at:
under the "Member List" section.

Now getting member information is just a click away. Say you want to find out how many Priests are in the group; a click on "Religious State" will show you that there are currently 11 Priests with us. Or say, you'd like to see if there's anyone in Australia. Click on location, and you will be able to get the complete list of KC members in Australia.

The KC community thanks group member Richard Mascarenhas for volunteering to setup the list.


Buxar Bishop Episcopal Ordination

Episcopal Ordination of New Buxar Bishop on 25th March

The Episcopal Ordination of the first Bishop of Buxar Diocese in India, Rev. Dr. William D'Souza, will be held at Cathedral of Mary Mother of Perpetual Help (Buxar) on 25th March 2006, the feast of the Annunciation.

The new bishop of the recently created Indian diocese of Buxar in Bihar, bishop-elect William D'Souza, is a Jesuit of the Province of Patna. He was born in 1946 and ordained priest in 1976 after completing Philosophy in Shembanagur in Tamil Nadu and theology in Jnana Deepa Vidyapeet in Pune.

The announcement of the creation of the diocese was made earlier, on Monday, 12th December 2005 at noon local time in Rome, corresponding to 16.30 hours in India. The new diocese spans four districts - Buxar, Bhojpur, Bhabua and Rohtas. Bifurcated from the western part of Patna Archdiocese, it has a ground area of 11,311 sq. kms.

The 13 parishes/mission stations diocese has a strength of 15,745 Catholics and is served by 8 diocesan priests, 14 religious priests, 9 religious brothers and 63 religious sisters.

For the "100% Dalit" Diocese the Bishop-elect chose as his diocese's motto "Not to Be Served, But to Serve", in order to embody the spirit of devotion to the Dalit community.

Posted by Charan Colaco


Belgaum Bishop Episcopal Ordination

Episcopal Ordination of New Belgaum Bishop on 30th March

The Episcopal Ordination of the new Catholic Bishop of Belgaum Diocese, Rev. Dr Peter Machado, will be held at Cathedral of Our Lady of Fatima (Belgaum) on 30th March 2006.

Fr. Peter Machado from Karwar was appointed as the Catholic Bishop of Belgaum by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI on February 2nd this year.

Posted by Charan Colaco

Also Read:

Friday, February 24, 2006

Bangalore: "Go Forth" by Jesus Youth Professionals' Ministry

Bangalore Jesus Youth Professionals' Ministry to organize "Go Forth"

Go Forth - a "day of celebration" for the working youth of Bangalore is scheduled to take place on Sunday the 26th February.

Besides vibrant music, an interactive workshop, presentations, worship and celebration of the Eucharist, there will be a "powerful session on sharing the love of Christ with our neighbors", informs the post on the Jesus Youth Bangalore blog.

Programme Details:

Date: Sunday, 26the February 2006.
Time: 9:30am - 4:30pm
Place: St. Joseph's College of Arts and Science, 36 Langford Road, Bangalore - 560027. (Near the Richmond Circle Flyover)

Organizers: Jesus Youth Bangalore Professionals' Ministry.
Email: jesusyouthprof@gmail.com
Cell: 98457-75334

For more information, see poster below:

GO FORTH! A Bangalore Jesus Youth Professionals' Ministry Initiative!

Posted by Rohit D'Souza

Trackback Link: http://jybangalore.blogspot.com/2006/02/go-forth.html

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Kuwait: Family Talks in Holy Family Cathedral

Kuwait Young Adults in Christ Fellowship to conduct series of talks on the family

The Young Adults in Christ Fellowship will be conducting a series of talks on the family during the Fridays of March and April, 2006 at 7.00 P.M. in the Holy Family Cathedral premises. The talks will cover various aspects of family life such as choosing a partner, role of husband and wife in marriage, parent-children relationship, the importance of the Bible and Eucharist in the family, etc. The talks will be in English.

Kuwait Young Adults in Christ Fellowship to conduct series of talks on the family at Holy Family Cathedral Kuwait City

"Family Talks" - Details

Date: All Fridays from 3rd March to 28th April 2006, except Good Friday (14, April 2006).
Venue: Room No 9 (Ist Flr), Holy Family Cathedral Premises, Kuwait City.
Time: 7-8 pm.

Contact Person: Dominic D'Souza (Core Leader)
Telephone: 5647704(res)
Mobile: 6265749
Email: cooldjd@yahoo.com OR cooldjd@hotmail.com
Posted by Hazel D'Souza
Also Read:

Monday, February 20, 2006

Dubai: World Marriage Day (Announcement)

Announcement: World Marriage Day to be celebrated in Dubai

WORLD MARRIAGE DAY will be celebrated at a special Eucharistic celebration in St. Mary's Parish Dubai (UAE), at 8 pm on Monday, 20th February 2006. All married couples are invited to be present at this celebration of love. Couples married for 25 years and above are invited to participate in an entrance procession.

Marriage Encounter Team
Posted by Cynthia Fernandes


Friday, February 17, 2006

Thursday, February 16, 2006

BANGALORE: CBCI GBM 2006 - Final Statement


St. Peter’s Seminary, Bangalore

Catholic Education
the Church’s Concern to the Marginalized

We, 160 Bishops of India, gathered at St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore, for the 27th General Assembly of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), from 8th - 15th February 2006, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, spent three days of our meeting in prayer, reflection and discussion on the theme: Catholic Education and the Church’s Concern for the Marginalized”. We were very ably assisted by the Conference of Religious of India (CRI). Besides, the Catholic Council of India (CCI) had also discussed this theme during its Plenary Assembly, and shared with us its recommendations. At the end of our deliberations, we address this Message to our faithful and to all people of goodwill.

1. Education has always been an important part of the Church’s mission. The Vatican Council Document on Education states: “The Church as a mother is under an obligation to provide for her children an education by virtue of which their whole lives may be inspired by the Spirit of Christ. At the same time, she will offer its assistance to all peoples for the promotion of a well-balanced perfection of the human personality, for the good of society in this world and for the development of a world more worthy of man” (Gravissimum Educationis, 3).

2. Keeping in mind the words of Jesus that He has come to give life and life in abundance (John 10/10), education, from the standpoint of Christian faith, aims at the all-round formation of the human person with a view to empowering the person to create a society inspired by the Gospel values of service in love, peace rooted in justice and fellowship based on equality. This education is meant to lead a person to an ever-greater openness to the transcendent – for us Christians to God become one-of-us in Jesus Christ. Hence, one of the important aims of Catholic education is faith-formation, deepening the Christian’s commitment to Jesus in His Church.

3. The Church in India has been striving to impart this all-round formation in various ways and various fora. In a special way, the Church is doing so through her network of educational institutions. At present, the Church conducts 20,370 educational institutions in India. According to statistics available to us from a recent survey conducted in preparation for the CBCI Meeting, 58.5% of these institutions are in the rural areas and 54.4% of students in our institutions are girls. It is significant that the vast majority of our students are children of other faiths. By imparting a sound character formation and by striving to promote harmony, understanding and a quest for excellence through our educational institutions, the Church renders a service not only to Christians, but also to the nation as a whole.

4. Along with our educational institutions, our Diocesan Social Service societies are doing much work in the field of non-formal education. Several Christian NGOs are involved in educating the physically handicapped and others who need special attention.

5. While the Church in India has reason to be grateful to God for its achievements in the field of education, we felt the need of a greater focusing of the Church’s educational efforts in view of the situation prevailing in the country wherein millions of people are getting increasingly marginalized.

6. By ‘marginalized’ we refer specially to dalits, tribals and economically weaker sections of society, the migrants and displaced, the girl-child, slow learners and differently-abled people. Marginalization has been a phenomenon in our country from very early days, especially as a result of the caste-system. Caste discrimination still continues in our country, and sadly has its repercussions on the Church. As bishops, we re-iterate our strong condemnation of this as sinful. Marginalization has been further increased by various factors, the latest being globalization as a result of which millions of people are rendered poor and deprived of the basic necessities of life.

7. Education is the key to empowering the marginalized so that they can enjoy their God-given dignity. The government’s educational effort should, in a special way, be concentrated on the weaker sector of the people. Hence, we strongly urge that government funding in this area be greatly enhanced, and that government make available to the underprivileged facilities to get the benefits of a quality education. The Church, on her part, as always, will fully cooperate with the Government in this effort.

8. As Church, in imitation of Jesus who made a preferential option for the poor, we commit ourselves to focus particularly on the marginalized to enable them to take their rightful place in the life of the country and make their contribution to the progress of the nation. Hence, as a body, the CBCI has decided:

Ø 1. to ensure that every Catholic child has a place in our educational institutions. No Catholic child, dalit/tribal or otherwise, should be deprived of quality education because of a lack of means. We keep in mind that a Catholic School has a special obligation to cater to Catholic children.

Ø 2. to establish more hostels/boarding houses, especially in rural areas, since these have proved very effective in imparting a sound education to the marginalized.

Ø 3. to ensure that every Catholic educational institution has a special concern for the marginalized, especially the girl-child. If necessary for this, modification will be made in our admission policy. Those disadvantaged, socially, physically or intellectually, will be specially assisted so that they can be integrated into the educational system. We make this preferential option, even if in this process academic results suffer. All Catholic schools whether run by our dioceses, the religious, corporate bodies or individuals, are expected to participate in this project. We deplore all attempts to commercialize education. In particular, we will not accept capitation fees. We urge Government to lay down a just fee structure so as to obviate the need of taking capitation fees and other donations.

4. to identify talented children from the marginalized communities with a view to preparing them for higher and professional education. Among them, we hope to train a select group for social and political leadership.

5. to make this possible, dioceses and religious congregations will set aside funds. Well-established schools should support economically weaker ones.

9. All our institutions will immediately start implementing these proposals. Further, with a view to giving our educational apostolate a decided thrust towards the marginalized, this General Assembly of the CBCI lays down that within a year, a National Education Policy for the Church be drawn up, taking into account the deliberations at this Meeting. The CBCI Commission for Education and Culture is hereby entrusted with this task. In the preparation of this Policy, it will take the help of SC/ST/BC Commission and the Justice, Peace and Development Commission as well as the CRI and others engaged in education. Once this Policy is approved, all the educational institutions are expected to implement it. The Policy will contain a Monitoring System to ensure its implementation.

10. On the occasion of this General Assembly, the bishops would like to address some specific groups:

o 1. To the parents: you are the first educators of your children. Our institutions exist to assist you in fulfilling your God-given responsibility and need your whole-hearted cooperation. We urge you to use all the facilities we offer to carry on your mission.

o 2. To our priests, religious and lay faithful involved in the management of our educational institutions; to the principals and teachers: we are deeply appreciative of your dedicated efforts to bring the best out of our children, especially those who need more assistance. We encourage you to continue your dedicated service despite obstacles.

o 3. To all our students: you are the hope of society and the future of the nation. Make full use of the opportunities offered by our institutions to help you grow, live a fuller life and build a better tomorrow for all including those less fortunate than you.

o 4. To our lay faithful who in various ways aid our people, financially and otherwise, in the process of education, we express our sincere gratitude. Continue to be involved in this process for the service of our people.

o 5. To all people of goodwill: we invite you to join hands with us in the building up of our nation. India has great potential. Together we can make it happen.

6. A special word to those who suffer any form of discrimination: Deeply pained by the unjust situation in which you are, the Church commits herself to make concerted efforts, together with you, to combat this injustice and create a brighter tomorrow for all of us.
Building a New India, where every child is educated, where the marginalized are empowered, where the educational system seeks to transform society, is our dream. We are confident that with the help of God, the dedicated service of our priests, religious and lay faithful, and the collaboration of all, this dream will become a reality. May Mary, Seat of Wisdom, help us in this endeavour.

Bangalore, 15th February 2006

Also See:

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Poem: Hope

HOPE by Christine Pinto

We all hope for our success
We all hope for bright future
We all hope for good career
We all hope for good partner

We hope and hope for the best
We hope to the next and next
A list of hopes we submit
Never ending hopes list we create

Hope for positive aspect
Hope for everything greener
Hoping is always better
Provided by the Redeemer

We survive on hopes
We count on hopes
We target on hopes
However, don’t give up hopes

Posted by Christine Pinto

Monday, February 06, 2006

Konkani Catholics Gallery

Konkani Catholics Gets a Photo and Image Gallery

After egroup, website and blog, Konkani Catholics now sets up its own photo gallery at http://konkanicatholics.fotopic.net.

This is to help members share their photos or image collection with the rest of the world within and beyond Konkani Catholics.

The first collection has been provided to us by Richard Mascarenhas by courtesy of Mr. Abdul Ghani and his son Abdul Aaji who took the pains to bring back memories of their visit to the 'Said Niai' village in Syria. Quite a few of the photos are of the Church of Our Lady of Said Niai. Visit it here.

Tags: Photos

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Bangalore: Retreat by Fr. Augustine Vallooran

Retreat by Fr. Augustine Vallooran & Team at Sacred Heart Church, Bangalore

Rev. (Dr.) Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC and team, will be conducting a charismatic retreat from 10th (Friday) to 12th (Sunday) February, 2006 at Sacred Heart Church, Bangalore, from 9 to 5.30pm (except Sunday).

The retreat is expected to get over by 1pm on Sunday the 12th, as at 4pm on the same day, there will be the CBCI's Public Mass and Civic Reception on St. Joseph's Indian High School grounds, Bangalore, which will be attended by over 155 Bishops and Cardinals of India, the Papal Nuncio from Delhi, the Papal Delegate for Education from Rome, the Governor, the Chief Minister and Education Minister of Karnataka.

Fr. Augustine Vallooran is the Director of the world famous Divine Retreat Centre at Muringoor, Chalakudy, Kerala.

Retreat Venue Details:
Sacred Heart Church
62, Richmond Road
Genaral Thimmiah Road
Tel: 25511955 / 985321428

Directions: From Brigade Road take the left towards Richmond Road.

Posted by Rohit D'Souza
Also See:

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Indulgences: World Day of the Sick

Indulgences for the World Day of the Sick, February 11, 2006

VATICAN CITY, FEB 3, 2006 (VIS) - The Apostolic Penitentiary today published a decree announcing the concession of indulgences to the faithful for the fifteenth World Day of the Sick, which is celebrated every year on February 11, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. This year, the Day will be celebrated in Adelaide, Australia, culminating with a Eucharistic celebration in the cathedral of St. Francis Xavier in that city.

The text of today's document explains how, during an audience granted on January 2 to Cardinal James Francis Stafford, major penitentiary, the Benedict XVI stipulated the concession of special indulgences for the sick. The Pope, the document says, was "motivated by the ardent wish that the illnesses and pains of mankind, borne with resignation and offered to the Eternal Father, ... may bring abundant spiritual fruits. Above all, he was sustained by the hope that activities and initiatives of Christian piety and social solidarity may be promoted in favor of the sick, especially those who, afflicted by mental problems, are marginalized by society and by their own families."

For this reason, Plenary Indulgence will be granted "to the faithful who, under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Holy Father), and with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin, participate on February 11 at the cathedral of Adelaide, or at any other place decided by the ecclesiastical authorities, in a sacred ceremony held to beseech God to grant the goals of the World Day of the Sick."

The decree continues: "The faithful who, in public hospitals or in private houses, like 'Good Samaritans' charitably assist the sick - especially those with mental problems who require greater patience, care and attention - and who, because of the service they provide, cannot participate in the aforementioned ceremony, will obtain the same gift of Plenary Indulgence if on that day they generously provide, at least for a few hours, their charitable assistance to the sick as if they were tending to Christ the Lord Himself, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin, and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the conditions required for obtaining the Plenary Indulgence."

The faithful who, "through sickness, old age or similar reason, are prevented from participating in the aforementioned ceremony, may obtain the Plenary Indulgence if, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the conditions required, they spiritually participate together with the Holy Father in the aforesaid ceremony, pray devotedly for the sick, and offer - through the Virgin Mary 'Health of the Sick' - their physical and spiritual sufferings to God."

Partial Indulgence, the text of the decree concludes, will be conceded to "all the faithful whenever, between February 9 and 11, with a contrite heart they raise devout prayers to the merciful Lord calling for these aspirations to be met in order to help the sick."


Friday, February 03, 2006

Profile: Fr. Peter Machado Bishop-Designate

Fr. Loiola Pereira introduces Fr. Peter Machado, the new Bishop of Belgaum

Fr. J. Loiola Pereira, Archbishop's secretary and director of social communications, Goa, introduces to us his erstwhile companion at the Pune Papal seminary, the newly appointed Bishop of Belgaum, Fr. Peter Machado. Sharing from his close experience with him, he goes on to reveal the "down-to-earth" person in Dr. Peter Machado, who is now the third from a close circle of Priest-friends to be appointed a Bishop.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed Fr. Peter Machado, a priest of the diocese of Karwar, as the new Bishop of Belgaum. The official announcement was made simultaneously at the Vatican, at Belgaum and at Karwar at 4.30 p.m. of the 2nd of February, 2006.

The Bishop-Designate is not a stranger to Belgaum. He was born in Honavar in 1954, at a time when Honavar was part of the diocese of Belgaum. He joined the seminary for the diocese of Belgaum and I had the pleasure of meeting him as a young seminarian in the early seventies, when I was doing my college studies in that city. In a few years' time, I met him again, now as a colleague, studying at the Papal Seminary, Pune. Two years before Peter could be ordained a priest, Pope Paul VI created the Diocese of Karwar and Peter automatically came to belong to the new diocese. In 1978, therefore, he was ordained for the diocese of Karwar.

Father Peter was sent to Rome, where he completed his doctoral studies in Canon Law. But he never, never lost the simplicity, the accessibility and the 'down-to-earth'-ness that always characterized him. At least I don't remember him signing as Dr. Peter Machado. A great soul in a small body, indeed!

His election to the episcopate brings joy to the parish of Honavar, to the diocese of Karwar and, obviously, to the diocese of Belgaum, which was vacant since its former Shepherd, Bishop Bernard Moras, was transferred to the Archiepiscopal See of Bangalore. It also brings joy to the whole of the Konkan, as Bishop-Designate Peter Machado is the latest Konkani Catholic priest to be appointed bishop. He is immediately preceded by Bishop Alwyn Barreto, who was ordained Bishop of the newly created diocese of Sindhudurg (to the North of Goa) on 5th October, 2005.

Fr. Peter's appointment to the Episcopal College brings special joy to a particular group of priests from Karwar, Goa and Sindhudurg who, from the time they parted company as they left the portals of Papal Seminary, Pune, continued to meet every year, now in Karwar, now in Goa, now in Sindhudurg, for the "Papalite Meet." This group of friends, of which I am proud to be part, had a bishop member for the last 12 years: Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, of Goa. He never missed the Papalite Meet, even after becoming a bishop and we would fix our date according to his convenience. But now that the 'episcopals' have become three (add Alwyn and Peter), we can clearly see difficult times ahead. Will it be easy to find a date convenient to all three??

Fr. J. Loiola Pereira (Goa).

Previous Posts:

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Pope Appoints Belgaum Bishop

Press Release confirms appointment of Fr. Peter Machado as Belgaum Bishop

Vatican Information Service (VIS), has announced that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Fr. Peter Machado of the clergy of Karwar, India, pastor at Kone, as the Catholic bishop of Belgaum (area 44,215, population 11,939,363, Catholics 29,525, priests 120, religious 426), India. The bishop-elect was born in Honavar, India in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1978.

Also See:

Fr. Peter Named Belgaum Bishop

Rev. Fr. Peter Machado of Karwar to take charge of Belgaum Diocese as Bishop

Feb 2. Rev. Fr. Peter Machado of Karwar Diocese has been named as the new Catholic Bishop of Belgaum diocese, a source informed this website. Further details awaited.

Belgaum diocese remained vacant from the time its former Shepherd, Bishop Bernard Moras, was transferred to the Archiepiscopal See of Bangalore

Also See:

Cardinal Ivan Dias on Recent Attacks

Indian Bishop and Priests Pelted at Ceremony

Statements made by Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Ivan Dias on the recent attacks on on the Bishop of Vasai and the priests accompanying him.

"We are deeply shocked to learn of the violent attack made yesterday by certain unruly elements on the Most Reverend Bishop Thomas Dabre of Vasai and the priests who were accompanying him on a very praiseworthy humanitarian mission,"

Such a barbaric and unwarranted outburst of violence is indeed a disgrace to our Indian culture of respect and tolerance, and it sadly reveals a serious lack of a sense of civilized democracy in the politico-religious groups which instigated it.

It is particularly painful that the incident occurred on the eve of the assassination anniversary of our beloved father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of 'ahimsa' [nonviolence], which was the weapon with which he fought and won independence for a secular India."

"I am confident that the authorities concerned will take prompt action against the perpetrators of the criminal deed and will adopt such corrective measures so as to dissuade the repetition of similar episodes which seriously endanger communal harmony and wreck the secular fabric of our dear motherland."

Statements released by:
Catholic Communication Center CCC
Archbishops House,

Also See:

Goa: Cross vandalised at Aldona

Cross Broken to pieces at Kursawaddo in Carona-Aldona

Jan 31. In yet another act of vandalism on a Catholic place of worship, the Herald reported the breaking into pieces of a roadside cross at Kursawaddo in Carona-Aldona on Monday night. This incident comes barely four days after the sacred tabernacle was pulled out from the Sts Cosmos and Damian Church at Bogmalo and flung on the nearby hillock. Read the full report here.

Additional Report:
Latest case of vandalism: Cross desecrated in Goa

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Goa: Tabernacle Stolen, Hosts Defiled

Tabernacle Stolen, Consecrated Hosts Defiled In Latest Goa Church Robbery

The Church in Goa reported theft problems for 13th time in the last 11 months.

The latest incident is reported to have occurred at Sts. Cosmas and Damian, a Catholic Church in Bogmalo, 30 kilometers south of Panaji, the state capital, on the night of Jan. 26-27. The heavy Church tabernacle was stolen and was later found abandoned on a nearby hillock with the consecrated hosts scattered on the ground. A gold plated ciborium and some 100 rupees was however reported to be missing.

Read the full story at UCANews


Tribute to Fr. Tommy (Thomas) Kuruvilla

Fr. Thomas Kuruvilla: Nov 6, 1948 – Jan 14, 2006

Friend, Community Organizer and Pastoral Animator

“Generous to a fault…. generous with his money, his time, talent and energy” that’s how people described him. “Generous in my physical proportions,” Tommy would jokingly describe himself, and added “but that’s only to protect my warm heart.” No one, not even his parishioners who disagreed with him, would deny that Tommy was very tenderhearted, a quality he acquired from his mother, along with her excellent culinary skills. From his father, a doctor, a man who was forever brimming with ideas, Tommy absorbed a penchant for trying out new, innovative ideas and his entire life can be encapsulated as striving to put into practice creative ideas, make them down-to-earth and implement them with compassion. Thus a happy combination of two qualities – the tenderness of his mother coupled with a restlessness to try out creative ideas - that was the blend that described Tommy’s personality.

There was however a third (almost Trinitarian) quality which distinguished Tommy’s spirituality and made him a little different from the ordinary and that was his energetic spirit of commitment. Commitment was his mainstay and his riding crop. Tommy was a late vocation. As a young man, he worked as an accountant in several corporations and last of all in Caritas India, where he evaluated many of their projects in rural areas. It is from those early days that his vigorous spirit of commitment emerged and throughout his seminary days he burned with a passion and desire to work in the missions and rural areas.

No wonder that immediately after his ordination he volunteered to work with the Warlis of Talasari. Traveling around the ‘padas’ of Talasari , one constantly heard the endearing words “Tommy Father” which echoed only a tiny fraction of the vast affection and esteem with which the Warlis held him, young and old, men and women, Christian or non Christian. The extensive projects he initiated at Varkhanda: the rubber plantations, the farming experiments, canal irrigation, etc are witness to his indefatigable zeal for the welfare of the Warlis.

After several years in Talasari, Tommy was appointed parish priest in Dombivli. There he constructed a new and larger Church, a monument to his love for the parishioners of Dombivli. However, it is not just a building, but an “entire community” that has been fashioned around the church. One has to visit Infant Jesus parish and participate in the liturgy and its various social activities to experience the warmth, the hospitality and the vibrancy of the parish community. That was probably one of the first communities in the diocese of Bombay where tithing was initiated, not just for the building of the church, but for projects of community service. As one gazes at the beautiful church building and the ‘Sahaya’ Community Centre, one may not so easily fathom the hardships that were painstakingly endured during those early years – when Tommy and his associates endured extreme sacrifices to get the church and community up and going – years of living without running water or a prope!
r toilet, without kitchen or cook, bitten by mosquitoes, insects and protected by stray dogs.

More recently, Tommy was engaged in several other diocesan projects. In charge of diocesan estates and properties, his goal was to realize full and transparent accountability for all parishes, help sort out and “rectify” their legal and property issues.

Being the community person that he was, Tommy threw himself into building small Christian communities, both at St Michael’s and at Amboli, where he was currently parish priest. He strove might and main to get the movement to fan out “from the center to the periphery” of the parish boundaries. His latest and most recent dream was to build a “Center for Holistic Healing” that would combine spirituality with alternative and non-invasive methods of healing. Unfortunately this was a plan that was still be to be realized when fate dealt him an unkind blow and snuffed out his life when he had still so much to give to society.

Tommy was a good friend, loyal and true. He would give his heart and soul for friendship and fellowship. He was prepared to cook, clean, wash, drive, organize, and make all the arrangements so that people could come together for friendship and camaraderie. It is for this reason that he spent time developing the clergy home in Matheran so that members of the presbyterate could come together, relax and unwind.

A couple of years ago, when one of our priests was thrown into jail on “false charges”, Tommy was among the first to run to the police and get him out on bail, at the same time procuring a lawyer to defend him.

Tommy had great concern for people who were ill. If he was aware that anyone was sick or had to be operated upon, he would be the first to spend the night at the hospital, giving medication, bringing soup, taking on the roles of ward boy, nurse and doctor all rolled into one.

This obituary is not written with the intention to canonize Tommy. No doubt he did have his faults. He had a style of confrontation that pulled no punches. He believed in calling a spade a spade and telling it like it was. He was not afraid to confront anyone, whether bishop or layperson, king or beggar, politician or peasant. But beneath his brusque confrontative style, there burned within him a passion and fire to build up God’s kingdom on earth, an enterprise that he devoted most of his life to. Our tribute to him would be to simply continue that goal of his with the same three qualities that he exhibited: Commitment, Creativity and Compassion.

Frs. Salu Rodrigues, Allwyn D’Silva, Eddie D’Souza and John D’Mello

Source: Archdiocese of Bombay - News

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