The Pastor Speaks ….. The Narrow path Our Lord wants to follow ó Way of the Cross, Via Croce Ö Walk through the narrow path is the invitation Our Lord Jesus gives us, we who are his disciples. As part of our Lenten journey we must look at and reflect on this teaching of the Lord.
To understand and follow Jesusí Path: Following the Lord as his disciples necessarily involves our decision to walk ìthe talkî of the Lord. The narrow path should mean order and discipline in oneís life, motivated and guided by set of goals that one wants to reach or achieve. In the case of our discipleship the narrow path is the single minded commitment and dedication to all those things that Our Lord and Master is calling us to follow in order to be the kind of human beings He wants us to be. In this process of being and becoming the person Our Lord Jesus wants, two things are required: 1) One sees the meaningfulness and value of what is being said or taught by the Lord; 2) one has to fall in love with Him and love His teachings as the most desirable or the only desirable for oneís life. In the case of our discipleship, it is actually ìfalling in loveî with the Lord who is teaching us. We have to fall in love with Him and be attracted towards Him. Because of this love and attraction one is drawn towards Him. Consequently, one begins to strive to be and to do following Him and His way. The wide range of paths before the disciple is narrowed down to a single path and single set of Jesusí values which are embodied in his teachings. The disciple has to go through the gradual process of growing in his conviction about his love for the Lord. Out of that love in oneís heart one keeps ordering oneís life only one way, that is, the way that is being taught by the Lord and Master Jesus Christ. In our Lenten journey we need to see if we are disciples who have fallen in love with the Lord and who are living that love.
What happens to our individual nature and personality? In simple words, the answer is ìJohn does not become Peter!î We are unique, each one of us! Created in the image and likeness of God, our Creator, no two persons among us are the same or not even similar in all the ways. But, all of us are the loving children of God and have to live as children of God with all the uniqueness and difference. We all can
be children of God not because we are the same in every way but in spite of being unique and different we can be and should be the loving children of one and the same God. It is the common path that is laid before us in Jesus Christ and His Good News of the Kingdom that unites us. This is the cause of our joy as the followers of Christ and as members of the Church and sometimes this is also the cause for the struggle among us. As there is uniqueness at the individual level, there is also the uniqueness of common identities based on common language, culture, ethnicity, caste, nationality, etc. This is making even more difficult for us to be the loving children of one God whom we believe created all of us. Both, at the individual level and at the level of groups based on different pre-determined unique identities due to language, culture, caste, nationality, ethnicity, etc have to be dissolved in what we have in common, ìthe discipleship of Jesus Christ.î We are all are called to be His disciples. We see here that our discipleship of Jesus Christ is the answer. As we fall in love with the Lord and we have to fall in love with one another. Only when one falls in love with the Lord and His Good News of the Kingdom that one can hope to transcend the problem of struggling with other uniquely different human beings and different human communities. It is not a great surprise that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Master, frequently challenges us, saying, ëLove God and Love One Another.í He reduces the whole of Law and Prophets to this twin commandment. This is this challenging and rather demanding path that we have to follow!
The Lord tells that his narrow path is hard to follow: The Sermon on the Mount is addressed to the disciples who have to be different from others who are not his disciples and followers. Starting with the beatitudes, Our Lord places before all the prospective future disciples and followers a charter of values, principles, and guidelines as it were. Those who embrace and follow them will be uniquely different from others among whom the disciples live. The Lord was aware that it is not easy to follow his teachings; they are difficult and demanding a lot of sacrifice. The world and the people in the world, ìthe others,î will also add to the difficulties of the disciples of Jesus: ìBlessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my accountî (Mt 5:11). All the three chapters, Mathew 5, 6, and 7, contain the unique teachings of Jesus Christ. The choice before the disciples is either you follow or you donít. There is
mid way! It is here, we who are making the Lenten journey should sit back and see the path Christ lays down before us and the path we are we actually following: ìEnter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find itî(Mt 7: 13-14). As it is difficult and challenging demanding sacrifice, and impelling us to set right oneís priorities. There is every chance for compromise and chance for giving up. That is why, this season of ëgraceí and blessings is given to us: We should come to know the path we are treading and the good or bad consequences we experience in our life, in our family, in the work places, in business, etc. We should be renewed and strengthened in our resolve to tread the narrow path that the Lord is reminding us about. Though difficult to follow it will be rewarding, if we persevere!
This narrow path is also for our Children and Youth! Our children and youth in the Christian Communities are to be initiated into falling in love with Jesus, Our Lord and Master. Besides teaching of the basics of Christian faith and doctrine to prepare them for the Sacraments of initiation, Holy Communion and Confirmation, steps should be taken to help them see the person of Jesus Christ as he is manifested in the four gospels handed down by the four evangelists. A First hand reading of the Bible stories and knowing the life of Jesus Christ as it unfolds in the four Gospels should be able imitate and sustain children and youth. For this, we the elders and parents, priests and religious, and teachers, should take pains to help them know and love Jesus Christ. It is like helping them to answer the question, ìwho do you say the Jesus Christ is?î Our children and youth should know what the Bible says and what the Church teachings are. But, from there we should lead them to that level wherein they will be able to articulate their answer to the question, ìWho do you say, Jesus Christ is?.î In the question what is actually being asked, ìwho is Jesus Christ for you and for your life?î This personal awareness and experience who Jesus is in and for oneís life will alone lead the children and youth to know and to fall in love with Jesus. Falling in love will slowly help them ìto beî and ìto doî the way Jesus is prompting them to be and to do! Slowly, they too will realize that the path is narrow but following that path is meaningful and rewarding!
The way of the Cross we pray along with children and youth: It is heartening to see such large number of Catholics pray with great fervour and devotion the ìWay of the Crossî along with so many children and youth participating in this enriching and renewing devotional practice. The personal prayers offered at the end of every station is very involving. The pronoun used in each prayer is, ìIî and not ìwe.î We have to initiate our children and youth that they personalize these concluding prayers at each station. I am sure, they will slowly see what they are called as Baptized members of the Church and what they have to be and try to do. The beauty and significance of praying the ìWay of the Crossî is that though It is a community devotion and prayer when it is prayed in the Church or the village chapel, the focus is on the individual devotee. Each is invited to examine, to repent and to renew oneís life. Each one has to resolve to give up or sacrifice whatever is not congruent with oneís discipleship of Jesus Christ. Conclusion: ì Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber; but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.î I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. (St. John 10:1-5,9)
Ü Prakash Mallavarapu Archbishop of Visakhapatnam
LET US PRAY For Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intention Evangelization: Formation in Spiritual Discernment. That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.
ENGAGEMENTS March 2018 1st 3rd 4th 5th – 8th 10th 11th 12th 13th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 25th 28th 29th 30th 31st
VDSSS Program, Erukonda at 10.00 a.m. TCBC Commission for Education, Vijayawada. Eleswaram Parish, Holy Mass at 5.30 p.m. TCBC Meetings Peddaboddepalli Parish, Pakalapadu Padha Yatra at 10.30 a.m. Confirmations, Mangalapalem Parish at 8.30 a.m. Memorial Mass of Late Archbishop Emeritus K. Mariadas, St. Peter’s Cathedral, Gnanapuram at 6 p.m Peddaselagam, Salur-1, Blessing of Prayer Hall at 10.30 a.m. Confirmations, Arilova Parish, at 6.00p.m. Diocesan Youth – Penitential Walk at 2.30p.m, Mass at 4.00 p.m. Feast Day Mass, Waltair Parish, Confirmations at 7.00 a.m. Feast Day Mass, Bobbili Parish at 10.00a.m. Feast Day Mass, S. Kota Parish at 6.00 p.m. Visit to Eluru Jeevagiri Feast, Hamsavaram Parish, Mass at 10.00 a.m. Visit to Eluru Palm Sunday, St. Ann’s Church, Co- Cathedral at 8.00 a.m. Recollection Day - Chrism Mass, St. Peter’s Cathedral at 5.45 p.m. Maundy Thursday, Malkapuram at 5.30 p.m. Good Friday, Rakshna Giri, Gnanapuram at 6.00 a.m. The Lord’s Passion &Veneration of the Cross, Vadlapudi Parish at 3.00 p.m Holy Saturday, Night Vigil, St. Peter’s Cathedral, Mass at 10.30 p.m.
April 2018 1st
Easter Sunday, St Anthony’s Church, Maharanipeta at 7.00 a.m Easter Sunday, Draksharama Parish at 5.30 p.m. th 5 Blessing of New Parish Church, Kothakota Parish at 10.30 a.m. 11th Ordinations - Diocesan Deacons, Gnanapuram at 5.30 p.m. 18th Final Profession, Venkojipalem, Sithammadhara Parish at 10.00 a.m. 21st Blessing of New Provincialate, Sisters of St. Ann, Luzern at 10.00 a.m. 26th Vocation Camp at Pastoral Centre, Mass at 9.00 a.m. 29th Blessing of New Church, China Waltair Parish at 5.30 a.m. th st Visit to Jadi 30 -1 May nd th CBCI Standing Committee, Bangalore. 2 – 4 May
COMMUNICATIONS 1. We all are fresh with our memories of the funeral Mass for our beloved late Archbishop, Most Rev. Kagithapu Mariadasgaru on Wednesday, 28th February, 2018. It was prayerful and orderly celebration and it was also a fitting farewell to our prelate who served the Archdiocese of Visakhapatnam for nearly three decades. May his soul rest in peace! From the time, he breathed his last on 26th February at about 2.30 p.m. and funeral rites on 28th February, so many priests and religious, lay faithful extended their helping hand. I sincerely thank every one of them, more specially, Fr. Jakkana Balaswhoury, Fr. Ratna Kumar and Fr. Raja Kumar, and every one who assisted them both for taking care of all the arrangements for the funeral Mass and funeral rites. I take this opportunity to thank Rev. Chinnappa Reddy MSFS and the community of Stella Maris, the provincialate, for their help and cooperation in taking care of the bishops and also for offering special prayers on 26th night keeping the body in the chapel at the provincialate. I also want to appreciate Fr. Yugal Kumar, parish priest, St. AnthonyĂs Church, Maharanipeta for all the arrangements for keeping the mortal remains of our late beloved Archbishop on 27th . I am glad that all the bishops of TCBC except Archbishop Tumma Bala of Hyderabad, Archbishop of Nagpur, Bishop of Jagadalpur, many Vicar Generals, many provincials of men and women Religious Congregations were present on the occasion. 2. Recollection for the clergy in the month of March will be on 28th March the day for Chrism Mass. This recollection day is the opportunity for the immediate renewal of priestly promises during the Chrism besides the renewal of the joy of being priests in the Church sharing in the ministerial priesthood of Christ. All the priests, pastoral clergy in particular should attend the recollection and concelebrate in the Holy Eucharist. 3. People of God should be informed about the Chrism Mass on 28th March and encourage the laity to participate in the Chrism
Mass. In all the parishes in the city deanery evening Masses should be cancelled, facilitating the priests, religious and laity to attend the Chrism Mass. This is a good occasion as the entire People of God we thank and praise for the gift of priesthood in the Church and for all pastoral care available for the sanctification of the faithful. Please encourage the laity and religious to come and pray for priests and for the Church. 4. Seminarians will be available for ministry in the parishes probably from the first week of April. Those priests who want to avail the services of the seminarians may approach Fr. Joseph Prabhakar well in advance. 5. All our children and youth are appearing for the final examinations at various levels. May all the parishes and religious communities offer special prayers for them, where needed and possible some special assistance can also be given to help the children and youth to prepare and do well in the examinations, especially those who are appearing for Tenth and Intermediate Exams!. Intermediate examinations are already started and Tenth Exams will be from on15 March.
U This year we have five deacons to be ordained for the Archdiocese of Visakhapatnam on Wednesday, 11th April, 2018:
Bro. Harry Philips, Bro. K. Anand, Bro. B. Balaraju, Bro. B. Sunil and Bro. M. Peter at St. Peter's Cathedral, Gnanapuram Parish. Let us all pray for them during the days of their preparation.
NEWS FROM PASTORAL CENTRE Fasting and Prayer for Health Personnel A day of Fasting and prayer for all the Health personnel is arranged at Pastoral centre on 13th March 2018 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please encourage the Catholic Doctors, Staff nurses, Students and Para- Medicals to attend the prayer service in preparation for the celebration of Easter.
Padayathra to Rakshanagiri As we are in the season of Lent, Penitential walk (Pachatapa Padayatra) will be organized by urban city youth on 17th March 2018 from St. Anthonyís Church to Rakshanagiri Shrine, Gnanapuram, from 2pm onwards, but we have adoration and talk in the St. Anthonyís Church from 10:30am. As we reach Rakshanagiri, way of the cross will be conducted followed by concelebrated holy mass by His Grace Mallavarapu Prakash May I request all the priests in the urban deanery to announce and encourage faithful to participate.
Catechism and Moral Books Moral Science Books for English Medium Children are available at pastoral centre for class 1to 10th, published by St. Paulís, Mumbai. Those of you like to have for your school children can contact me. Catechism Books for both media are also available at Pastoral Centre office for class 1to 10th.
Jyothirmai Results Jyothirmai results of the year 2017 will be announced on Chrism mass day on 28th march 2018, among all the priests and certificates will be issued along with the prize money.
VOCATION CAMP Vocation Camp in our archdiocese will be on 25th and 26th April 2018. The religious congregation fathers and sisters, those who like to come for the camp please inform early of your coming. Fr. Ch. Mariadas, Pastoral Centre
DIOCESAN NEWS Golden Jubilee of Christ the King Church Scindia, Malkapuram Recalling the blessings of God Almighty with much joy and happiness the faithful at Scindia and Malkapuram celebrated the golden jubilee of the Church dedicated to Christ the King, The Church traces back the history of its origin to 1967August responding to the spiritual needs of the migrated Catholics from other places, which in turn stands as a solid faith forming unit of the area.
The celebration began with Tridium, on 18-01-2018 Rev. Fr Thomas Choorckal was the celebrant, and he hoisted the flag after which the faithful were lead in procession to the Church. The theme was the song of Moses and the salvation of Israel. On 19-01-2018 Rev. Fr. D. Balashowri celebrated the Holy Eucharist and preached on the Song of Solomon and the Temple of Jerusalem. On 20- 01-2018 Rev. Fr. V. Francis was the celebrant and preached on Magnificat of Mary and second coming of Christ as King. The culmination of these celebrations was the solemn Eucharist; officiated by his Grace Most Rev. Dr. Prakash Mallavarapu and he gave a meaningful message on thanking and praising God for His wonderful deeds about the kingship of Christ and our submissiveness to Him. It was concelebrated wtih about 40 priests from Visakhapatnam Archdiocease
and Srikakulam diocese. The parishioners too anticipated the birthday of the Archbishop and a small felicitation was done for the entire priest and religious who were the instrumental for the existence of the Church for the past fifty-years.The celebration came to an end with a sumptuous meal for the entire gathering. Rev. Fr. Elias, the parish priest, sisters and the leaders of the Church at Scindia made the jubilee celebration a memorable event and God experience for the gathering. May Christ our king be glorified in all that is done!
MARRIAGE PREPARATIONS COURSE (MPC) on 10-2-2018 The marriage preparations course was held on 10th of February 2018(Second Saturday) at MSFS-DHAYANASHRAM (White House), Chinna Waltair, Vizag. The program started at 9.45 am with a prayer song by the SFS church choir members, followed by an opening prayer, scripture reading and lighting of the lamp by Most Rev. Dr. Mallavarapu Prakash, the Arch Bishop of Visakhapatnam. All together there were eight sessions and 44 candidates participated in the marriage preparation course.
In the first session, His Grace spoke about the institution of marriage in general and its changing and challenging ĂŹsituationsĂŽ in the present day society. He emphasized that this institution is the creative plan of God, it is permanent, and therefore we need to co-operate with the designs of the divine. On the second session, very Rev. Dr. Thumma Mrriadas Reddy MSFS, Asst. Superior General, Rome Spoke in detail about the importance of marriage and its valuable implications in the church and in the society at large. In the third
session, Rev. Dr. Velangini Rao MSFS, Director, Ross Hill, spoke about the biblical perspective and the sacramental nature of marriage followed by tea-break. In the fourth session Rev. Fr. Yugal Kumar, the parish priest of St. Anthonyís church, enlightened them according to canon law and marriage and its significance in their marital bond. At 1:30p.m, we had lunch-break and a short recreation followed by the fifth session in which advocate I.M. Ahmad spoke about the civil laws and marriage and enlightened the candidates about its advantages and disadvantages and so greater awareness is created. In the sixth session, Rev. Sr. Cicilia spoke about the personality development and the need of possessing a strong will power and positive regard for one another as couple. In the seventh session, Fr. Francis Stephen spoke about the parenting skills based on 4 Tís: trust, talk, time and touch and how these simple tips help towards better parentingÖ and the last session is all about the sharing of the marital experiences by the senior couple. Mr. & Mrs. Albert & Jhansi, 28 years of married life is beautifully shared, which truly motivated and inspires them to be good couples. Father Francis Stephen proposed the vote of thanks. He thanked our beloved Arch Bishop for his presence, prayer, blessing and beautiful massage. Thanks to very Rev.Fr. T. Mariadas Reddy (ASG) and very Rev. Fr. Chinnappa Reddy (Provincial Superior) and all other resource persons. Besides thanks to all the parish priests, the Bishsopís Secretary, the catering persons, the domestic staff, parents and everyone who co-operated for the success of the programme. Special thanks to new couple Shanice & Dominic for helping in registration and preparation of the certificates etc. Then we had the tea-break followed by the photo- session. The programme was concluded at 5 P.M. FR. Francis Stephen, MSFS 98488184841
FORTY NEW HOUSES BUILT IN PEDDASELAGAM Tribal Hamlet Under, Saluru-1 Parish Village Reconstruction Organization (VRO) is very happy to proclaim the good news that by the countless mercy of God and unending support of His Grace. Rev. Dr. Mallavarapu Prakash, Bishop of
Vishakhapatnam we are able to construct 40 houses to the Catholic Tribal community who are clustered between deep valleys and hills far away from the main stream of life. We laid foundation stone on 14/11/2016 and it was blessed by our beloved Bishop and the whole construction was over within 15 months and it was inaugurated on 22nd of February 2018 in the presence of Local Minister, IAS, IPS officers, Priests, Nuns, and Various other government officials. We as a Jesuit organization felt that the care and concern that Bishop and Parish Priest of Sluru-1 Rev. Fr. Anthayya had shown to us is enormous and we like to thank them. We are also happy to inform you that a beautiful chapel also is constructed in the same premises by the financial help of His grace and completed within no time and it will be blessed by our beloved Bishop on 13th of February 2018. Fr. Velangani Raju, SJ Associate Director, VRO
LET US REMEMBER OUR BELOVED MOST REV. DR. KAGITHAPU MARIADAS EMERITUS, MSFS. D.D., J.U.D., Most Rev. Dr. Kagithapu Mariadas was born on 7-9-1936 at Gnanapuram, Visakhapatnam. He was baptized on 15th September on the feast of Our Lady of Dolors and given the name of Mariadas means servant of Mary. He is the only child of his parents and his father died when he was 3 years old, so he was brought up by his pious mother and maternal grandmother. He had his primary school studies in his own parish at Gnanapuram in St. Peterís School. As he was very clever in his studies, he was sent to St. Paulís High School, Phirangipuram, in the district of Guntur for further studies in 1948 by Fr. R. Joseph then Parish Priest. When he passed SSLC.. He expressed his desire to join the Seminary. Although the only child, his generous mother Annamma readily gave her consent and thus young Mariadas was sent to St. Josephís Mission Home at Palai in Kerala in June 1952 for the Minor Seminary studies. This departure pained the Mother and the Son. After two years of Minor Seminary course, he was sent to Sacred Heartís Seminary, Poonamalle, Madras, for the study of philosophy under the Salesian Fathers. He spent 3 years there. After Philosophy he did his novitiate at Poona, and joined the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales on 5th June 1958, taking the Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. Then he did his Theology studies in Papal Athenaeum at Poona under the Jesuit Fathers. On 10th June 1961 he was ordained a Priest by Bishop Ignatius Mummadi of Guntur at Gnanapuram. He is the first Priest from the Parish of Gnanapuram and it was a grand day not only for the new Priest but also for the whole village. He
went back to the Seminary and completed his studies of Theology at Poona taking M. Th. (Masters Degree in Theology) in March 1962 with ëMagna cum Laudeí In the same year after staying at the Bishopís house, Visakhapatnam for 4 months helping the Procurator, he was sent to Europe. 1962- 63 He stayed in Paris and did a course in Pastoral Theology taking a diploma. 1962-71 He was in Rome, taking a licentiate in Pastoral Theology, studying Canon and Civil Law taking J.U.D., (Doctorate in Civil and Canon Law) with ëSumma Cum Laude.í Besides, he got a diploma specializing in law regarding the Religious at the Sacred Congregation for Religious. During this period from 1962 to 1971, he did pastoral work in France, Germany, and U.S.A., for a few months each every year during the holidays. In 1965 and in 1968 he attended the General Chapter of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales at Geneva, Switzerland, as delegate of the M.S.F.S., Province of Visakhapatnam. After his return to India in 1972, he worked as Parish Priest of Bobbili, the biggest Parish in the Diocese of Visakhapatnam. From 1973ñ1977 He was Professor in St. Peterís Seminary Bangalore. 1974ñ1977 Rector of M.S.F.S., Scholasticate, ëVinayalayaí at Bangalore. In 1975, He was elected as one of the four Assistants General of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales. From 1976 onwards, he was a Professor in the Faculty of St. Peterís Theological Institute, Bangalore. On 19-12-1974, He was appointed by His Holiness Pope Paul VI as the fourth Bishop of Guntur by Papal Bull ìCum Haud Multo.î On 24-2-1977, the news of his appointment as the Bishop of Guntur was announced.
On 5-5-1977 took place the Episcopal Ordination at Gnanapuram at a most spectacular and impressive function, Visakhapatnam ever witnessed On 31-7-1977 took place his Installation as the fourth Bishop of Guntur at Phirangipuram. On 10-9-1982 Bishop K. Mariadas was appointed by His Holiness John Paul II as the Bishop of Visakhapatnam by his Bull ĂŹStudiosi Dominum Jesum.ĂŽ On 24-9-1982, the news of his appointment as the Bishop of Visakhapatnam was announced.On 26-1-1983, Bishop Kagitapu Mariadas took charge of the Diocese of Visakhapatnam as its Seventh Pastor. He learned many Languages which he could speak fluently. He was good pastor and zealous missionary and he invited many religious congregations and missionaries to the Diocese for the enrichment of the mission in the Local Church. He was very simple and friend of all. With his pleasant smile, he used to make people feel at home.
When Visakhapatnam was made Metropolitan Archdiocese on Oct. 16, 2001, he was appointed as the Archbishop. During his Episcopal reign of 35 years, many Churches, Institutions and
village chapels were built. He has encouraged many spiritual programs in the parishes conducted for the good the faithful in the Diocese. Upon reaching, the age of retirement he offered resignation and Pope Benedict XVI accepted his resignation on July 3, 2012. Archbishop Mariadas was residing at Jubilee Home for the last five years. On December 25th night, that is, Christmas day night, he fell down in the room and had head injury with internal bleeding. Last two months he was undergoing treatment in St. JosephĂs hospital, Visakhapatnam. When there were all the signs of good recovery, this unexpected turn of events took place. There was deterioration of pulse rate and fluctuating oxygen levels and at about 2.30 p.m. he passed away, rather peacefully. Let us pray that his soul may rest in peace. His mortal remains were kept in three places, Stella Maris, Maharanipeta and Gnanapuram parishes, where hundreds of people came to pay respects and offer prayers for his eternal repose. A good number of bishops of TCBC, Archbishop of Nagpur, bishop of Jagadalpur, Vicar General of Archdiocese of Hyderabad, Generals, Provincials and superiors from many Congregations, and a large number of priests from within and outside the Diocese concelebrated Funeral Mass. A Big number of sisters and brothers from many Congregations were present at St. PeterĂs Cathedral for the Funeral Mass. May the almighty God welcome him into his eternal abode!
May his soul rest in peace!
POINTS: WORTH PONDERING DURING LENT The Seven Words of Jesus on The Cross 1. ìFather, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.î Luke 23:34 2. ìTruly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.î Luke 23:43 3. ìJesus said to his mother: ìWoman, this is your son.î Then he said to the disciple: ìThis is your mother.î John 19:26-27 4. ìMy God, my God, why have you forsaken me?î Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 5. ìI thirst.î John 19:28 6. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ìIt is finished;î and he bowed his head and handed over the spirit. John 19:30 7. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ìFather, into your hands I commend my spirit.î Luke 23:46
Seven Occasions When Jesus Shed Blood 1. When he was circumcised. 2. When Jesus was in agony in the garden of Gethsemane 3. When Jesus was scourged at the pillar 4. When Jesus was crowned with thorns. 5. When he carried the Cross to Calvary. 6. When he was crucified. 7. When a soldier pierced his heart with Lance Seven Words to Jesus on the Cross 1. Come, thou who would destroy the temple: and rebuild in three days; come down from the cross if you are the son of god. Mt. 27; 39-40. 2. Lord, remember me when you are in your kingdom. Lk.23:42. 3. Save thyself and us if thou art Christ. Lk.23:39. 4. He saves others, but he cannot save himself. If he is king of the Jews, let him come down now, and we will believe in him. Mk.15: 31-32. 5. ìEli, Eli, Lama Sabaktaniî, he is calling Elias. Let us see if Elias will come to save him Mk 15:35-36. 6. If thou art king of the Jews, save thyself. Lk.23: 37. 7. He really was the son of God. Mk.15:39.
Prayer and Reflection For the Celebration of International Womenís Day March 8, 2018, Theme: Press for Progress Introduction We are all Godís works of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning God meant us to live it. In the name of Jesus, men and women are called to collaborate as equal partners in home and in society. As we observe International Womenís Day today in our parish, may we commit to fostering a culture centred on love, mutual respect and justice Scripture Readings (4th Sunday of Lent) 2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23
Eph 2:4-10, Jn 3:14-21 OR
Rom: 8: 31-34
St. Luke: 1:46-56
Prayer of the Faithful Celebrant: Sisters and brothers let us ask God to grant our petitions, which we make in faith and humility. Our response is: God of love, hear our prayer That Pope Francis, bishops, priests and religious, may use every resource to encourage and support a gender-just way of life for all peoples, we pray to the Lord... That the leaders of our country may work towards creating an environment in which women and children can access all opportunities for their self-development without fear of oppression, we pray to the Lord... That women who have been abused physically, sexually, emotionally and financially, may experience the strengthening light of Christ in their darkest moments, we pray to the Lord... That men and women in our parish community may work together with a spirit of mutual respect and the willingness to encourage growth and well-being, we pray to the Lord...
That this season of Lent may teach us to recognize that every person is created in the image and likeness of the Creator, we pray to the Lord... In the silence or our hearts, let us pray for our personal needs (pause), we pray to the Lord... Celebrant: God of love and justice, we thank you for the generosity of your love and mercy as you listen to our prayers and touch our hearts to make us sensitive to the dignity of every individual, we make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Homily Hints On this fourth†Sunday†of Lent, we are invited to meditate on our own response to Godís love and presence in our lives. The people of Israel recognized Godís hand through Cyrus, king of Persia whose edict of rebuilding the Temple encouraged their hope in the midst darkness, despair and destruction. Our Lord Jesus speaking to Nicodemus speaks of darkness and evil in the world and the need to shine forth with the light of truth. On the occasion of International Womenís Day, we are invited to rebuild and repair the relationship shared with women, destroyed by gender bias, disrespect and abuse and to let the redeeming light of Jesus to shine through us in a world of darkness and despair as we hear alarm bells in the findings of the World Economic Forum Global Gap Gender Report 2017: The report says that countries are not doing enough and the gap is widening. At current trends it will take 100 years [last year it was 83 years] to close the gender gap overall, and economically it will take 217 years to do so. To push the pace of progress, the Forum has called governments and individuals ìto become deeply conscious of the choices we make every day that impact gender equalityî. Overall, India ranks 108 on the Global Gender Gap Index out of 144 countries assessed. In fact our ranking has dropped from 98 in 2006. In the area of health and survival of women and girls our rank is 141 because of the poor sex ratio at birth which indicates a preference for sons.
On economic participation and opportunities for women and girls the ranking is 139. Women earn less than one-fourth of menís salary; however womenís share of unpaid work (household chores) is 65% while for men it is only 11%. Every day atrocities are committed against women aged 0-100. Surveys reveal that in India there is not one woman who can say she has not experienced unwelcome and debasing acts by men, some strangers and many known. Although girls are enrolled in school, higher education is denied to many. Some are not allowed to progress to high school. Even in Catholic families, girls are told, ëdonít study so much, you wonít find a boy to marry youí. And if they marry a boy less qualified they are forced to underplay their talents to keep the peace, though the reverse does not hold. Though women hold jobs, many have to turn over their entire salary to the husband who doles out an allowance to her, while she is unaware of his earnings nor has any say in deciding expenditure of joint savings. This happens not only in rural areas, but in urban middle-class Catholic households too. Todayís gospel reading tells us, God sent Jesus into this world so that through him the world might be saved (John 3:17). How do we as Christians contribute to the saving mission of Christ? Jesus taught us by example to love every person, irrespective of age, gender, class or race. He exhorted us to treat everyone with equal respect for we are all made in the image and likeness of one God who created us all. As a community in the discipleship of equals, can we inspire change by standing up for what is right and just? As St Paul says in the second reading, we are Godís works of art, created in Jesus Christ to live the life ordained for us by God. Let us then live up to and propagate Jesusí vision of a gender just world by our faith, by the way we raise our children, by the way we treat all women everywhere; in fact by the way we live. On the occasion of International Womenís Day, let us encourage cooperation and collaboration as we ìpress for progressî and bridge the gender gap in every way possible.
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE THIRTY-THIRD WORLD YOUTH DAY2018 “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God” (Luke 1:30) Dear young people, World Youth Day 2018 represents another step in preparation for the international WYD due to take place in Panama in January 2019. This new stage of our pilgrimage falls in the same year that the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will meet on the theme: Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. This is a happy coincidence. The focus, prayer and reflection of the Church will turn to you young people, with the desire to receive and, above all, to embrace the precious gift that you are to God, to the Church and to the world. As you already know, we have chosen to be accompanied on this journey by the example and intercession of Mary, the young woman of Nazareth whom God chose as the Mother of his Son. She walks with us towards the Synod and towards the WYD in Panama. If last year we were guided by the words of her canticle of praise ñ ìThe Almighty has done great things for meî (Lk 1:49) ñ teaching us to remember the past, this year we seek, together with her, to listen to the voice of God who inspires courage and bestows the grace needed to respond to his call: ìDo not be afraid, Mary, because you have found favour with Godî (Lk 1:30). These are the words addressed by Godís messenger, the Archangel Gabriel, to Mary, an ordinary girl from a small village in Galilee.
1. Do not be afraid! As is understandable, the sudden appearance of the angel and his mysterious greeting: ìHail, full of grace, the Lord is with youî (Lk 1:28), strongly disturbed Mary, who was surprised by this first revelation of her identity and her vocation, as yet unknown to her. Mary, like others in the Sacred Scriptures, trembles before the mystery of Godís call, who in a moment places before her the
immensity of his own plan and makes her feel all her smallness as a humble creature. The angel, seeing the depths of her heart, says: ìDo not be afraidî! God also reads our inmost heart. He knows well the challenges we must confront in life, especially when we are faced with the fundamental choices on which depend who we will be and what we will do in this world. It is the ìshudderî that we feel when faced with decisions about our future, our state of life, our vocation. In these moments we are troubled and seized by so many fears. And you young people, what are your fears? What worries you most deeply? An ìunderlyingî fear that many of you have is that of not being loved, well-liked or accepted for who you are. Today, there are many young people who feel the need to be different from who they really are, in an attempt to adapt to an often artificial and unattainable standard. They continuously ìphoto-shopî their images, hiding behind masks and false identities, almost becoming fake selves. Many are obsessed by receiving as many ìlikesî as possible. Multiple fears and uncertainties emerge from this sense of inadequacy. Others fear that they will not be able to find an emotional security and that they will remain alone. Many, faced with the uncertainty of work, fear not being able to find a satisfactory professional position, or to fulfil their dreams. Today a large number of young people are full of fear, both believers and non-believers. Indeed, those who have accepted the gift of faith and seek their vocation seriously are not exempt from fears. Some think: perhaps God is asking or will ask too much of me; perhaps, by following the road he has marked out for me, I will not be truly happy, or I will not be able to do what he asks of me. Others think: if I follow the path that God shows me, who can guarantee that I will be able to follow it through? Will I become discouraged? Will I lose my enthusiasm? Will I be able to persevere for the whole of my life? In moments when doubts and fears flood our hearts, discernment becomes necessary. It allows us to bring order to the confusion of our thoughts and feelings, to act in a just and prudent way. In this process, the first step in overcoming fears is to identify them clearly, so as not to find yourself wasting time and energy by being gripped by empty and faceless ghosts. And so, I invite all of you to look within yourselves and to ìnameî your fears. Ask yourselves: what
upsets me, what do I fear most in this specific moment of my life today? What blocks me and prevents me from moving forward? Why do I lack the courage to make the important choices I need to make? Do not be afraid to face your fears honestly, to recognize them for what they are and to come to terms with them. The Bible does not ignore the human experience of fear nor its many causes. Abraham was afraid (cf. Gen 12:10ff), Jacob was afraid (cf. Gen 31:31; 32:7), and so were Moses (cf. Ex 2:14; 17:4), Peter (cf. Mt 26:69ff) and the Apostles (cf. Mk 4:38-40; Mt 26:56). Jesus himself, albeit in an incomparable way, experienced fear and anguish (cf. Mt 26:37; Lk 22:44). ìWhy are you afraid? Have you no faith?î (Mk 4:40). In admonishing his disciples Jesus helps us to understand how the obstacle to faith is often not scepticism but fear. Thus understood, the work of discernment identifies our fears and can then help us to overcome them, opening us to life and helping us to calmly face the challenges that come our way. For us Christians in particular, fear must never have the last word but rather should be an occasion to make an act of faith in GodÖ and in life! This means believing in the fundamental goodness of the existence that God has given us and trusting that he will lead us to a good end, even through circumstances and vicissitudes which often bewilder us. Yet if we harbour fears, we will become inwardlooking and closed off to defend ourselves from everything and everyone, and we will remain paralyzed. We have to act! Never close yourself in! In the Sacred Scriptures the expression ìdo not be afraidî is repeated 365 times with different variations, as if to tell us that the Lord wants us to be free from fear, every day of the year. Discernment is indispensable when searching for oneís vocation in life. More often than not our vocation is not obvious or evident at first but rather something we come to understand gradually. Discernment, in this case, should not be seen as an individual effort at introspection, with the aim of better understanding our interior make-up so as to strengthen us and acquire some balance. In such instances the person can become stronger, but is still confined to the limited horizon of his or her possibilities and perspectives. Vocation, however, is a call from above, and discernment in this
context principally means opening ourselves to the Other who calls. Prayerful silence is therefore required in order to hear the voice of God that resounds within our conscience. God knocks at the door of our hearts, as he did with Mary; he longs to establish friendship with us through prayer, to speak with us through the Sacred Scriptures, to offer us mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and to be one with us in the Eucharist. It is also important to dialogue with and encounter others, our brothers and sisters in the faith who have more experience, for they help us to see better and to choose wisely from the various possibilities. When the young Samuel hears the voice of the Lord, he does not recognize it immediately. Three times he runs to Eli, the older priest, who in the end proposes the right response to give to the Lordís call: ìIf he calls you, you shall say: ëSpeak Lord, for your servant hears.íî (1 Sam 3:9). In your doubts know that you can rely on the Church. I know that there are very good priests, consecrated men and woman and lay faithful, many of whom are also young, who can support you like older brothers and sisters in the faith. Enlivened by the Holy Spirit, they will help you to make sense of your doubts and understand the plan of your own vocation. The other is not only a spiritual guide, but also the person who helps us open ourselves to the infinite riches of the life that God has given us. It is important to create spaces in our cities and communities to grow, to dream and to look at new horizons! Never lose the enthusiasm of enjoying othersí company and friendship, as well as the pleasure of dreaming together, of walking together. Authentic Christians are not afraid to open themselves to others and share with them their own important spaces, making them spaces of fraternity. Dear young people, do not allow the spark of youth to be extinguished in the darkness of a closed room in which the only window to the outside world is a computer and smartphone. Open wide the doors of your life! May your time and space be filled with meaningful relationships, real people, with whom to share your authentic and concrete experiences of daily life.
2. Mary! ìI have called you by nameî (Is 43:1). The first reason not to fear is the fact that God has called us by name. The angel, Godís messenger, called Mary by name. To God belongs the power to
give names. In the work of creation, he calls into existence every creature by name. There is an identity behind a name, that which is unique in every single thing, in every single person; that intimate essence that only God truly knows. This divine prerogative was shared with man when God invited him to name the animals, the birds and also his own offspring (Gen 2:19-21; 4:1). Many cultures share this profound biblical vision; they recognize in a name the revelation of the profound mystery of life and the meaning of existence. When God calls someone by name, he also reveals to the person his vocation, his plan of holiness and fulfilment, through which the person becomes a gift to others and is made unique. And when God wants to expand the horizons of life, he gives a new name to the person he is calling, as he did with Simon, whom he called ìPeterî. From here comes the custom of taking a new name when entering a religious congregation, to indicate a new identity and mission. Since the divine call is unique and personal, we need the courage to disentangle ourselves from the pressure of being shaped by conforming patterns, so that our life can truly become an authentic and irreplaceable gift to God, to the Church and to all. Dear young people, to be called by name is therefore a sign of our great dignity in the eyes of God and a sign of his love for us. God calls each one of you by name. All of you are the ìyouî of God, precious in his eyes, worthy of respect and loved (cf. Is 43:4). Welcome with joy this dialogue that God offers you, this appeal he makes to you, calling you by name.
3. You have found favour with God The main reason why Mary need not be afraid is that she has found favour with God. The word ìgraceî speaks of love freely given, not owed. How much we are encouraged to know that we do not have to earn the closeness and help of God, by presenting a ìCurriculum Vitae of excellenceî, full of merits and successes! The angel says to Mary that she has already found favour with God, not that she will obtain it in the future. And the same formulation of the angelís words helps us understand that divine grace is continuous, not something passing or fleeting; for this reason, it will never fail. Even in the
future, the grace of God will always be there to sustain us, especially in moments of trial and darkness. The continuous presence of divine grace encourages us to embrace our vocation with confidence; our vocation demands a commitment of faithfulness that needs to be renewed each day. Our vocational path is not without its crosses: not only our initial doubts, but also the frequent temptations that crop up along the way. The feeling of inadequacy accompanies Christís disciple to the end. Yet he or she knows the help of Godís grace. The Angelís words descend upon our human fears, dissolving them with the power of the Good News of which we are heralds: our life is not pure chance or a mere struggle for survival, rather each of us is a cherished story loved by God. That we have ìfound grace in his eyesî means that the Creator sees a unique beauty in our being and that he has a magnificent plan for our lives. The awareness of this certainty, of course, does not resolve all our problems nor does it take away lifeís uncertainties. But it does have the power to transform our life deeply. The unknown that tomorrow holds for us is not a dark threat we need to overcome, but a favourable time given to us for living out the uniqueness of our personal vocation, and for sharing it with our brothers and sisters in the Church and in the world.
4. Courage in the present moment From the certainty that Godís grace is with us comes the strength to take courage in the present moment: the courage to carry forward what God asks of us here and now, in every area of our lives; courage to embrace the vocation which God reveals to us; courage to live out our faith without hiding or diminishing it. Yes, when we open ourselves to Godís grace, the impossible becomes a reality. ìIf God is for us, who can be against us?î (Rom 8:31). Godís grace touches the ìnowî of your lives, ìtakes holdî of you as you are, with all your fears and limits, but it also reveals his marvellous plans! You young people need to know that someone truly believes in you: please know that the Pope has confidence in you, that the Church has confidence in you! For your part, have confidence in the Church! To the young Mary was entrusted an important task, precisely because
she was young. You young people have strength as you go through a phase of your lives where energy is not lacking. Make use of this strength and this energy to improve the world, beginning with the realities closest to you. I want important responsibilities to be given to you within the Church; that there may be the courage to make space for you; and that you may be prepared to take on these responsibilities. I invite you once again to contemplate Maryís love: a caring, dynamic and concrete love. A love full of boldness and focused completely on the gift of self. A Church permeated by these Marian qualities will always be a Church going forth, one that goes beyond her own limits and boundaries to let the grace she has received overflow. If we allow ourselves to be truly touched by Maryís example, we will live out authentically that charity which urges us to love God above all else and above ourselves, to love those with whom we share our daily life. And we will also love those who may seem hardly lovable in themselves. It is a love that is service and dedication, above all towards the weakest and poorest, love that transforms our faces and fills us with joy. I would like to end with the beautiful words Saint Bernard used in a famous homily on the mystery of the Annunciation, words that express the anticipation of all humanity for Maryís response: ìYou have heard, O Virgin that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answerÖ We too, O Lady, are waiting for your word of compassion... In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to lifeÖ This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet... Answer quickly, O Virginî (Sermon 4, 8-9; Opera Omnia). Dear young people, the Lord, the Church, the world are waiting for your answer to the unique call that each one receives in this life! As World Youth Day in Panama draws closer, I invite you to prepare yourselves for our gathering with the joy and enthusiasm of those who wish to participate in such a great adventure. WYD is for the courageous! Not for young people who are searching only for comfort and who withdraw whenever difficulties arise. Do you accept the challenge? From the Vatican, 11 February 2018
GENERAL AUDIENCE Wednesday, 7 February 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning! Let us continue with the catecheses on the Holy Mass. We had reached the readings. The dialogue between God and his people, developed in the Liturgy of the Word of the Mass, culminates in the proclamation of the Gospel. It precedes the chanting of the Alleluia ó or, during Lent, another acclamation ó with which ìthe assembly of the faithful welcomes and greets the Lord who is about to speak to it in the Gospelî. As the mysteries of Christ illuminate the entire biblical revelation, likewise, in the Liturgy of the Word, the Gospel constitutes the light for understanding the meaning of the biblical texts which precede it, both of the Old and the New Testaments. Indeed, ìChrist himself is the centre and fullness of the whole of Scriptureî. Jesus Christ is always at the centre, always. Therefore the liturgy itself distinguishes the Gospel from the other readings and surrounds it with particular honour and veneration. Indeed, its reading is reserved to the ordained minister, who concludes by kissing the Book; it calls us to stand up to listen and to make the sign of the Cross on our forehead, our mouth and our breast; the candles and incense honour Christ, who, through the Gospel reading, makes his effective Word resonate. From these signs, the assembly recognizes the presence of Christ who gives them the ìGood Newsî which converts and transforms. What occurs is a direct discourse, as attested by the acclamations with which we respond to the proclamation: ìGlory to you, O Lordî and ìPraise to you, Lord Jesus Christî. We stand up to listen to the Gospel: but it is Christ who is speaking to us, there. And this is why we are attentive, because it is a direct conversation. It is the Lord who is speaking to us. Thus, in the Mass we do not read the Gospel in order to know how things happened, but rather, we listen to the Gospel in order to realize
what Jesus once did and said; and that Word is living, the Word of Jesus that is in the Gospel is alive and touches my heart. Therefore, listening to the Gospel is very important, with an open heart, because it is the living Word. Saint Augustine writes: ìThe Gospel is the mouth of Christ. He is seated in heaven, but he has not stopped speaking on earthî. If it is true that in the liturgy ìChrist is still proclaiming His Gospelî, it follows that, by participating in the Mass, we must give him a response. We listen to the Gospel and we must give a response in our life. In order to get his message across, Christ also makes use of the words of the priest who, after the Gospel, gives the homily. Strongly recommended by the Second Vatican Council as part of the liturgy itself, the homily is not a trite discourse ó nor a catechesis like the one I am giving now ó, nor is it a conference nor a lesson. The homily is something else. What is the homily? It is taking up ìonce more the dialogue which the Lord has already established with his peopleî, so it may find fulfilment in life. The authentic exegesis of the Gospel is our holy life! The Word of the Lord concludes its journey by becoming flesh in us, being translated into works, as happened in Mary and in the Saints. Remember what I told you last time: the Word of the Lord enters through the ears, goes to the heart and passes to the hands, to good deeds. And the homily also follows the Word of the Lord and also follows this path in order to help us so that the Word of the Lord may go to the hands, by passing through the heart. I have already addressed the subject of the homily in the Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, where I recalled that the liturgical context ìdemands that preaching should guide the assembly, and the preacher, to a life-changing communion with Christ in the Eucharistî. The homilist ó the one who preaches, the priest or the deacon or the bishop ó must carry out his ministry well, by offering a real service to all those who participate in the Mass, but those who listen to it must also do their part. Firstly by paying proper attention, that is, assuming the right interior disposition, without subjective pretexts, knowing that every preacher has merits and limitations. If at times
there is reason for boredom because a homily is long or unfocused or unintelligible, at other times, however, prejudice creates the obstacle. And the homilist must be aware that he is not doing something of his own, but is preaching, giving voice to Jesus; he is preaching the Word of Jesus. And the homily must be prepared well; it must be brief, short! A priest told me that once he had gone to another city where his parents lived, and his father told him: ìYou know, I am pleased, because my friends and I have found a church where they say Mass without a homily!î. And how often do we see that during the homily some fall asleep, others chat or go outside to smoke a cigarette.... For this reason, please, make the homily brief, but prepare it well. And how do we prepare a homily, dear priests, deacons, bishops? How should it be prepared? With prayer, by studying the Word of God and by making a clear and brief summary; it should not last more than 10 minutes, please. In conclusion we could say that in the Liturgy of the Word, through the Gospel and the homily, God dialogues with his people, who listen to him with attention and veneration and, at the same time, recognize he is present and acting. Hence, if we listen to the ìGood Newsî, we will be converted and transformed by it, and therefore capable of changing ourselves and the world. Why? Because the Good News, the Word of God enters through the ears, goes to the heart and passes to the hands in order to do good deeds. Wednesday, 14 February 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters Good morning, even if the day is a little unpleasant. But if the soul is joyful it is always a good day. So, good day! Today the Audience is taking place in two places: a small group of sick people is in the Hall, due to the weather, and we are here. But we see them and they see us on the jumbo screen. Let us greet them with a round of applause. We are continuing with the catechesis on the Mass. To what does listening to the Bible readings, which are elaborated upon in the homily, respond? It responds to a right: the spiritual right of the People of God to receive abundantly from the treasury of the Word of God (cf. General Introduction to the Lectionary, 45). When we go to Mass,
each of us has the right to receive in abundance the Word of God read well, said well and then, explained well in the homily. It is a right! And when the Word of God is not read well, not preached with fervour by the deacon, by the priest or by the bishop, then the faithful are deprived of a right. We have the right to hear the Word of God. The Lord speaks for everyone, Pastors and the faithful. He knocks at the heart of those who participate in the Mass, each one in his or her condition of life, age, situation. The Lord comforts, calls, brings forth sprouts of a new and reconciled life. And this is through his Word. His Word knocks at the heart and changes hearts! Therefore, after the homily, a moment of silence allows the seed received to settle in the soul, so that intentions to heed what the Spirit has suggested to each person may sprout. Silence after the homily. A good moment of silence must be observed there, and each one should ponder what he or she has heard. After this silence, how does the Mass continue? The personal response of faith is integrated in the Churchís Profession of Faith, expressed in the Creed. We all recite the Creed in the Mass. Recited by the entire assembly, the Symbolum manifests the common response to what is heard together from the Word of God (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 185-197). There is an essential nexus between listening and faith. They are linked. Indeed, this ó faith ó does not arise from human imagination, but, as Saint Paul recalls, ìcomes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christî (Rom 10:17). Thus, faith is nourished by what is heard and leads to the Sacrament. In this way, reciting the Creed enables the liturgical assembly to ìcall to mind and confess the great mysteries of the faith ... before these mysteries are celebrated in the Eucharistî (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 67). The Symbolum of Faith joins the Eucharist to Baptism, received ìin the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spiritî, and recalls that the Sacraments are understood in the light of the faith of the Church. The response to the Word of God heard with faith is then expressed in the common petition, called the Universal Prayer, because it
embraces the needs of the Church and of the world (cf. girm, 69-71; General Introduction to the Lectionary, 30-31). The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council wished to restore this prayer after the Gospel and homily, especially on Sundays and feast days, so that, with the participation of the people, ìintercession will be made for holy Church, for the civil authorities, for those oppressed by various needs, for all mankind, and for the salvation of the entire world (Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 53; cf. 1 Tim 2:1-2). Therefore, under the guidance of the priest who introduces and concludes, the people, ìexercising the office of their baptismal priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of allî (girm, 69). And after the individual intentions, proposals by the deacon or a reader, the congregation joins its voice, invoking: ìHear us, Lordî. Indeed, let us remember what the Lord Jesus told us: ìIf you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for youî (Jn 15:7). ìBut we do not believe this, because we have little faithî. But if we had faith ó Jesus says ó like the mustard seed, we would have received all. ìAsk whatever you will, and it shall be done for youî. And in this moment of universal prayer after the Creed, it is the time to ask the Lord for the most important things in the Mass, the things we need, what we want. ìIt shall be done for youî; in one way or another, but ìit shall be done for youî. ìAll things are possible to him who believesî, the Lord said. What did that man respond, to whom the Lord had addressed these words ó ìall things are possible to him who believesî? The man said: ìI believe, Lord. Help my little faithî. We too can say: ìLord, I believe. But help my lack of faithî. And we must pray with this spirit of faith: ìI believe, Lord; help my lack of faithî. Worldly demands, however, do not ascend toward heaven, just as self-referential requests remain unheard (cf. Jas 4:2-3). The intentions for which the faithful people are invited to pray must give voice to the concrete needs of the ecclesial community and of the world, avoiding recourse to conventional and short-sighted formulas. The ìuniversalî prayer, which concludes the Liturgy of the Word, exhorts us to turn our gaze to God, who takes care of all his children.
Wednesday, 28 February 2018 Dear brothers and sisters In our catechesis on the Mass, we now turn from the Liturgy of the Word to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Following the Lordís command at the Last Supper to ìdo this in memory of meî, the Church at every Mass makes sacramentally present the sacrifice of the New Covenant sealed by Jesus on the altar of the cross. The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the Preparation of the Gifts of bread and wine which will then be consecrated in the Eucharistic Prayer and received by the faithful in Holy Communion. The rite of the Preparation of the Gifts invites us to present our own lives as a spiritual offering together with the gifts we bring to the altar. The Prayer which concludes this rite voices our confidence that the Churchís offering will be transformed by the Holy Spirit and become a sacrifice pleasing to the Father, in union with the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. At every Mass, may we experience the Preparation of the Gifts as an invitation to offer our lives completely to the Lord, in order to receive from him the grace to live ever more fully our vocation to grow in holiness and to serve the coming of his Kingdom. Fr. George Edappady was born in Kerala on 21.08.1944. He was ordained as priest of Visakhapatnam Diocese in the year of 1971 and he rendered his service from 1979 to 1985 in various places (Bobbili, Utharavalli and other places in our Diocese. After the erection of Srikakulam Diocese, he was sent to work in Srikakulam Diocese. He was very good missionary, generous man, and working tirelessly for the good of the souls wherever he was placed for his ministry of forty years in the Dioceses. He has rended his services to Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam Dioceses. Due to heart disease, he died on 8th February 2018. We convey heartfelt condolences and sympathies to all his family members and to the people whoom he gained during in his ministry. Let us pray that good Lord may grant him eternal reward. May his soul rest in peace!
News from Canossian Provincialate The members of new council are: Sr. Josephine Nathan - Provincial Sr. Laly Alex - Vice Provincial Sr. Daisy Anthony - Councilor Sr. Sonia Alexander - Councilor
Heartfelt Prayerful Condolence from the CCBI Secretariat! Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) is shocked and deeply grieved to hear the sad demise of His Grace Most Rev. Kagithapu Mariadas M.s.F.s., Archbishop Emeritus of Visakhapatnam. With immense pain we express profound sorrow and condolence to the Archdiocese of Visakhapatnam and itĂs faithful. His demise is a great loss to the Church in India, especially for the Church in Andhra Pradesh. He was an undoubted and strong soldier of the true faith and traditions of the Church to the very end, especially during his 40 years of Episcopal ministry. His deep devotion, unbounded religious zeal and fervour, limitless love, his simplicity and prayerful life and sincere services to the Church are well known to everybody. He was a great shepherd and a spiritual leader, who carried the cross and followed his master Our Lord Jesus Christ. The contributions of His Grace Most Rev. Mariadas as the fourth Bishop of Guntur and the seventh Bishop of Visakhapatnam and the first Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Visakhapatnam will be gratefully remembered as a model by the coming generations. His transit towards paradise opens us the mysterious plan of God. Surely his memory remains as a blessing for the Archdiocese of Visakhapatnam. The maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary be our strength in this moment of great sorrow. Kindly accept and convey our heartfelt and sincere deep condolences. In deep sorrow, Fr. Stephen Alathara, Deputy Secretary General CCBI, Director, CCBI Centre
SCHOOL DAY CELEBRATION REPORT Kristu Jayanthi School celebrated its SCHOOL DAY function on Saturday 24th February, 2018 in its campus. The function began at 5:45 Pm. The chief guest His grace, Arch Bishop, Most Rev. Mallavarapu Prakash Garu, Guest of honor Rev. Sr. Rose (Principal St. Josephâ€™s Fort Catholic School) graced the occasion with their presence. Other distinguished guests who embellished the event were Rev. Fr. J. Balasowri (Procurator and Chancellor of the Diocese); Rev. Fr. Yugal Kumar (St. Antonyâ€™s Parish Priest), Rev. Fr. Ratna kumar (Correspondent - Kristu Jayanthi School) and Rev Sr. Avila (Principal KJEM School) The chief guest was welcomed by slow march. The concert was commenced with Lighting Lamp Ceremony by Arch Bishop Most. Rev. Mallavarapu Prakash garu and other dignitaries. The celebration began with a prayer dance; Miss. Chandipriya delivered the welcome speech. Mrs. Annapurna addressed the gathering. The progressive annual report was read by the principal Rev. Sr. Avila. Chief Guest Most. Rev. Mallavarapu Prakash Garu endowed the gathering with his words of wisdom. He appreciated the management for the services and progressive development. He also urged the parents to encourage and support their children for their good work and achievements and wished a better future for the students. He also expressed happiness that the school is imparting quality education to the students. Both the chief guest Arch Bishop Most Rev. Mallavarapu Praakash Garu and the guest of honor Rev. Sr. Rose handed over the medals and trophies to the academically meritorious pupil and sports winners of the school. Toppers of the class 10th 2016-17, SSC Examination were awarded on this day. It was also a moment of pride and honor for the KJEM Staff as one of the teachers (Sarojini- PET) was felicitated by the chief guest for her hard work. Finally, Correspondent Rev. Fr. Ratna Kumar acknowledged the efforts of the students and thanked the Arch Bishop for his continuous support and for the precious time from the very busy schedule to attend the school day function. He also emphasized on 2 aspects. Firstly importance of education and new projects that are in progress to improve the quality of education. Secondly he urged parents to be role models to the children and to inculcate values among families. The 2 hours long cultural show held the audience in awe and left them enlightened. All the dances and skits presented by the students received a huge applause. The senior class students enacted a play reflecting moral and cultural values. The comedy skit SAM and THE BIBLE made every one laugh. The entire school participated whole heartedly towards the success of this grand event. The triumph was made possible by the relentless efforts of the principal Rev. Sr. Avila. The vote of thanks was proposed by Akhila Std 5. The cultural program was well managed by the staff members. The program culminated with the National Anthem. Thank you.
Hearty condolences to Rev Fr. Shekar Sabbavarapu who lost his mother Albertina on 10th, February 2018, Let us pray for his mother and May the good Lord give her eternal rest.
The Days To Remember
M A R C H
Fr. Chacko Arayathinal Fr. Sudhakar Sivvam Fr. Paramjyothi Duppalapudi Fr. Vijaya Bhaskar Sivvam Fr. Mariadas Chintada Fr. Balashouri Jakkana Fr. Varaprasad Degala Fr. Joy Thomas Mamalasery Fr. Jojibabu Karanam Fr. Joseph Kochuchira Fr. Joseph Anithottam Fr. Joy Thomas Mamalasery Fr. Varaprasad Degala Fr. Prathap Sarisa Fr. Joseph Prabhakar Pathivada Fr. Joseph Bandanadam Fr. Joseph Kochuchira Fr. Lukose Kallakkat Fr. Vijaya Prasad Vuddavolu Fr. Peter Sebastian Palakunnel Fr. Jacob Karachira Fr. Francis Pasupuleti Fr. Antony Puthussery Fr. Maripi Pratap
4 5 7 11
Birthday Birthday Birthday Birthday
19 21 22 23 23 27 30 31
Ordination Day Ordination Day Ordination Day Ordination Day Birthday Ordination Day Birthday Ordination Day
Hearty Congratulations & Many Happy Returns of The Day
To You Dear Fathers! 40
02-03-1976 02-03-1990 03-03-1930 03-03-1937 06-03-1900 07-03-2004 11-03-1924 11-3-2013 12-03-1907 13-03-1980 14-03-1932 15-03-1909 16-03-1964 16-03-1998 18-03-1902 18-03-2003 19-03-1949 22-03-1906 22-03-1910 22-03-1947 24-03-1954 26-03-2004 28-03-1880 28-03-2004 30-03-1886
Fr. Raymond Saldhana, died at Vizag Fr. Camile Curzillat, 82 years, died at Lyons, France Fr. John Patrick Cowman, 42 years, died at Vizag Fr. Joseph Nilapana, 34 years, died at Salur Bro. Michael Allard, 23 years, died at Yanam Fr. Chacko Mulanjananickal, 66 years, died at Kuiiinji, Kerala Bro. Nicholas Page, 77 years, died at Vizag Bro. Joseph Thekkumthottam msfs, 82 years, died at Vizag Bishop Etienne Bonaventure (Bishop of Nagpur 19041907), 55 years, died at Chavanod, France Bishop Joseph Baud (Bishop of Vizag 1947-1966), 90 years, died at Vizag Bro. Alexis Voisin, 72 years, died at Nagpur Bro. James Gatti, 61 years, died at Nagpur Fr. Joseph Monnard, 65 years, died at Proupeine, Annecy Fr. John Kurandiarkunnel, 70years, died at Adoor Fr. Jean Prunier, 26 years, died at Surada, Orissa Archbishop Eugene Dâ€™Souza, 86 years, died at Bhopal Fr. Joseph Felix Bouchet, 71 years, died at Bhimili Bro. Clement Cottet, 18years, diedatVizag Fr. Pierre Joseph Dunoyer, 66 years, died at Amaravathi Bishop Peter Rossillon (Bishop of Vizag 1926-1947), 72 years, died at Vizag Fr. Maurice Chamonin, 48 years, died at Gnanapuram Fr. Mathew Pazhedam, 89 years, died at Visakhapatnam Fr. Jean Marie Debrones, 64 years, died at Viziangaram Fr. Mathew Kudakassery (Jr.), 76 years, died at Visakhapatnam Fr. Joseph Buttay, 55 years, died at Raipur
Newsletter for the month of march 2018 by archdiocese of visakhapatnam