Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Media-BPO/Call Centers: Issues and Challenges - Signis India Statement

Signis-India Statement

At the conclusion of the Seminar on

‘Media-BPO/Call Centers: Issues and Challenges’

Bangalore, 16-18 March 2007

Concerned with the growing number of BPO/Call Centers in major metros around the country, employing more than twelve lakhs young people and the changes being brought about in their economic, social, cultural and ethical lives, Signis-India, in collaboration with Signis-Karnataka organized a three day seminar on, ‘Media-BPO/Call Centers: Issues and Challenges’ from 16-18 March 2007 at NBCLC, Bangalore in which 80 persons participated.

The resource persons hailing from the BPO/Call center industries and health sector, while highlighting the tremendous economic potential such centers bring with them for the country, also hastened to caution about some of the negative side-effects these have on the youth, families and on the society as a whole.

The youth invited from the BPOs shared how they developed their self-confidence and leadership qualities, team work and a degree of independence. They also expressed how long working hours and ‘graveyard shifts’, when night becomes day and vice-versa, and having to act as Americans or Britons, alters their personalities. This affects their mental, physical and spiritual health impacting their value systems and their family relationships drastically.

The participants grappled with issues, opportunities, challenges that globalization has brought about in the working conditions of the youth, their culture and life style and committed themselves to journey together with and reach out to the affected youth. After much deliberation the members made the following key suggestions:
  • Develop support groups in parishes and institutions with the basic attitude of being non-judgmental but accepting and caring.

  • Create critical awareness programmes for youth, parents, educators, media personnel, priests and religious on BPO related problems.

  • Conduct surveys in parishes to identify the affected.

  • Network through SMS, emails, Blogs, websites, podcasting and other technologies.

  • Approach BPO employees’ parents, relatives and friends to reach out to them.

  • Engage in advocacy at various levels, together with like-minded groups, to bring about policy changes on the issues, such as labour laws, to promote more conducive working conditions.

  • Collaborate with other professionals (psychiatrists, social workers, doctors, media people, BPO/CC managers, role-model youth) and organizations such as rehabilitation centres, schools, colleges and NGOs.

  • Devise appropriate strategies at the parish level, including special timings in parish schedules for their spiritual needs.

  • Organize events such as workshops, entertainment programmes to sustain their personal, social and spiritual development.

  • Assist migrant workers in finding places to stay and other support systems.
    Create help-lines in parishes, companies and institutions.

  • Use media education to awaken the youth about the sweeping wave of consumerist culture.
Signis-India members committed themselves to assist the youth, Church hierarchy and the related CBCI-CCBI Commissions in collaboration with ICYM, Jesus Youth, CBCI Youth Commission for further action and implementation.

Monday, March 19, 2007

KUWAIT Cathedral: English & Konkani Retreats - March 2007

English and Konkani Lenten Retreats at Kuwait Cathedral - March 2007

The schedule for the Lenten English and Konkani retreats in Kuwait Cathedral is as follows:

English Retreat

Dates: March 19-21, 2007
Time: 6.30pm
Venue: Holy Family Cathedral (Sacred Heart Hall)

The themes for the three days will be:

Day 1: Love Of God.
Day 2: Love one another.
Day 3: Suffering.

Konkani Retreat

Dates: March 27-29, 2007
Time: 6.30pm
Venue: Holy Family Cathedral (Sacred Heart Hall)

The retreats will be preached by Rev Fr Rudolp D'souza OCD

Posted by Hazel D'Souza

Sunday, March 18, 2007

VIDEO: Oh No, You Never Go - Youth Night Vigil

5th Saturday Youth Night Vigil Celebration, Bangalore

VIDEO: Oh No, You Never Let Go (Even Though I Walk)

Saturday 17th March 2007
Renewal Retreat Centre, Bangalore
Note: Due to insufficient light, the video capture quality may not be upto the mark.

WORDS: You Never Let Go (Even Though I Walk)

Verse 1:
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
Your perfect love is casting out fear.
And even when I'm caught
in the middle of the storms of this life,
I won't turn back, I know You are near.

And I will fear no ev - il,
For my God is wi - th me.
And if my God is wi - th me,
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go,
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go,
In every high and every low
O no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me.
(2nd ending)
You keep on running and you never let go
Singing Lord You never let go of me

Verse 2:
And I can see a light
that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare.
And there will be an end
to these troubles, But until that day comes,
We'll live to know You here on the earth.

Yes, I can see a light that is coming
for the heart that holds on,
And there will be an end to these troubles,
but until that day comes,
Still I will praise You,
still I will praise You.

Friday, March 16, 2007

BANGALORE: Anniversary - Saturday Youth Night Vigil - March 2007

BANGALORE: Saturday Youth Night Vigil to Celebrate Anniversary on 17th March 2007

God says, "I have called you by name: you are Mine.
You are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you." (Is 43:1,4)

Saturday Youth Night Vigil Anniversary Celebrations at Renewal Retreat Centre (RRC), Bangalore - 17th March 2007

A special call to be with Jesus, before His Eucharistic Presence.
Come, let's love Him; let's experience His Love.

Don't miss it!
Bring all your friends

Remember that is starts at sharp 9.00 PM
Place : Renewal Retreat Center,
Behind Christ college
Bangalore - 29
Date : 17th March, 2007

God Bless you!
Night Vigil Team.

The Youth Night Vigil is successfully completing 5 yrs in its service towards the youth of this beautiful city of Bangalore. Working, studying, lay, religious all come together for a wonderful time of Praise, Worship, Fellowship and a time to listen to God's powerful Word. These 8 hrs have transformed thousands in the past and will continue to do so for many many youth who are willing to hear that call. God calls, forgives, transforms and blesses...Why miss out on so great a blessing that awaits us all. Come let us worship him as we together celebrate the 5th Night Vigil Anniversary.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Fr. Derek Fernandes - New Karwar Bishop

Fr. Derek Fernandes Named Karwar Bishop

Episcopal Ordination on April 20, 2007

Having accepted the resignation of Bishop William Leonard D' Mello upon having reached the age limit, the Holy Father has named Rev. Fr. Derek Fernandes, Chancellor of the diocese of Belgaum as the new Bishop of Karwar (India).

The official announcement in Italian came from the Vatican February 24, 2007.

Rev. Fr. Derek Fernandes was born on 14 May 1954 at Sirsi, then part of the Diocese of Belgaum. After having attended school there, he entered the Seminary at Belgaum, and went on to the St. Peter's Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore for the philosophical and theological studies.

After the ordination in May 1979 he carried out the following assignments:

1979-1983: Parochial Vicar and then Parish priest of Holy Cross Church, Dharwad; Parish priest of Our Lady of Holy Rosary Church, Tumarikop;

1983-1986: Parish priest of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Modage (Belgaum) and Director of the Orphanage of Nirmala Nagar;

1986-1990: Studies for the Doctorate at Urban University, Rome;

1991-2002: Chancellor and of the Diocese of Belgaum; Member of the executive board; Judicial Vicar; Consultor and Member of the Senate of the Priests; Secretary of the Pontifical Mission Aid Societies; Secretary of the Commision for the Laity; Administrative director of the St. Xavier's High School and P.U. College;

2004-2006: Diocesan administrator of Belgaum. Currently he is chancellor of the Belgaum Diocese

The Diocese of Karwar comprising the whole civil district of Uttara Kannada in Karnataka and spread over an area of 10,291 sq. km, was carved out of Belgaum diocese and erected by the Decree 'Christi Missum" of Pope Paul VI on 24 January 1976.

Bishop D'Mello was appointed its first Bishop and ruled the diocese of predominantly Konkani-speaking Catholics 30 years till his retirement this year.

The episcopal ordination of Bishop elect, Fr. Derek Fernandes who will succeed Bishop D'Mello as the second Bishop of Karwar will take place at 4.30 pm on April 20, 2007 at St. Joseph's High School grounds, Karwar. The Apostolic Nuncio in India, Most Rev. Pedro Lopez Quintana will be the principal consecrator. The Mass will be followed by a public reception at 7.00p.m.

Monday, March 05, 2007

BANGALORE: Priest Warns of Faith Dangers

Priest Warns Catholics of Dangers to the Faith

BANGALORE March 5, 2007 (KCNews.org): A Catholic Priest in the South Indian Archdiocese of Bangalore has warned Catholics about dangers threatening the Catholic faith in today's world.

"We need to locate ourselves realistically in the world that we live in", Fr. Adolf Washington told the 600 odd Catholics attending an audio-visual seminar on keeping the faith in today's world, Sunday evening at Good Shepherd auditorium in the city.

He mentioned some of the recent controversies - the "Da Vinci Code", James Cameron's "The Tomb of Jesus", Brothers of Jesus, and claims of finding Mary's remains at ephesus or the skull of infant Jesus "somewhere in Europe" - as posing a challenge to the faith .

However, "on the positive side", the Vice-President of the Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA) and editor of SAR News said, "no person in human history has been the centre of so much of attraction, so much of intrigue, so much of interest and debated so much like that of Jesus Christ."

These controversies don't disturb those who are not serious about their faith but a serious person expresses concern "not only about my faith" but also "about the faith of my children and my grandchildren, about all those whom I love and the thousands of Catholics who may go astray by such kind of controversies," Fr. Adolf noted. Such a person prepares to resist the false "waves of intellectualism and scientific discoveries" by a deeper study of the Scriptures and of the faith.

In a world where "time has become the most important commodity" and is equated to money, a 24 hour schedule does not seem to be enough, the Priest said. Recalling what his grandma told him about marriage preparation courses lasting 15 days or a month in her day, today Catholics, he contrasted, are asking that even a 3 day course be made shorter.

"There are a lot of us... who look at our watch the moment the Priest begins his homily but we can sit for three hours in a cinema hall without even having a watch on our hands, " Fr. Washington told an amused audience adding, "we must laugh at ourselves. We must laugh at how we look at life."

He also pointed out the case of some parents who neglect to send their children for regular Sunday Catechism, and who, when the bishop comes to administer the sacraments, ask for a one-week "crash course in catechism." "We're living in a world of crash courses... and so we're coming to a crashing point even in the Church". "The struggle for survival can take more time than our desire for worship," he cautioned, adding that it is going to be "something dangerous for our children" if in a world of commercialisation we're going to forget our religious life.

The Priest also warned about the danger of the new age religious movements which he "crudely" defined as "a masala or a mixture we eat; [a] little of every religion, some theology some philosophies from here and there, pick them up, put them together, and give it." These movements, he said, are coming up "because, firstly people are not convinced completely of their own beliefs and secondly because everybody wants to try something new; because that is the kind of world we are living in; everyday there is somethign new." Those looking to try something new, he said, are "heading dangerously for new age religious movements where even the Christian can sometimes fall prey to choosing", a reason why "many of us are skipping from faith to faith, belief to belief, philosophy to philosophy" he said.

In a world of changing times, says Fr. Washington, the joint family system has given way to the nuclear family "to that extent, even vocations are suffering in the church". "We're going to something more dangerous", the Priest said pointing to the work of genetic engineering where parents in future will be able to "decide and choose" the baby they want. "The world", he said, "will offer us that" but "the Church will prevent us; and there's where the crisis of faith will come." "We'll be looking at people, not as people but as subject and objects" with those involved in this trying to "play the role of God."

Highlighting the dangers of changing work patterns, "the body time clock itself has been readjusted", the Priest said citing the example of the call centers and BPO work culture. This can result in very high stress levels affecting interpersonal relationships and resulting in "isolation and silence in the house".

When work patterns do not match Church timings, we try "to adjust the Church to the world" instead of adjusting our own lives in such a way as to make God "more important than anything else" the Priest said.

In order to keep the faith in today's world, it is necessary first of all to desire to keep it, Fr. Adolf stressed. "You can't keep the faith in today's work if you don't want to keep it" he explained. Those who "always play the blame game" and make excuses about their Priest keeping them in ignorance, cannot keep the faith in today's world. One can find a lot of information through "catholic websites, [the] vatican website, liturgical websites", through books, discussions and even with the help of "elderly catholics who are well-formed in the faith," he pointed out.

One must also be serious about his prayer life, Fr. Adolf said explaining that prayer ought to have the four elements of adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.

One also ought to love and accept the Church even with its frailties, Fr. Washington said, pointing out that the "easiest thing is to criticize is the church and the church leaders and the most difficult things to criticize in the face is the boss who gives you your salary."

Further, growing in the knowledge of Scriptures is indispensible to keeping the faith, he said.

Finally Fr. Adolf said, we must grow in the faith within the family without leaving everything to the Catechism teachers, the Priests and the Nuns. That, he said, would be like treating the "Church as a creche".

Among the dignitaries present on the occassion were Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore and Dr. K. Kasturirangan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), who was recently nominated by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as a member of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Archbishop Moras later released the inaugural issue of the new Archdiocesan magazine, Tabor.