24 February 2014
CCCI ‘Business Networking’ & Transaction Tax Seminar
Networking seminar and fellowship of CCCI held on Saturday 15th February at 8.00 a.m. at Hotel Avion, Santacruz. Mr. Anish Tripathi spoke on 'Transaction Tax'. The occasion graced by three guests from 'Rachana', Mangalore Mr.Walter D’Souza,Mr. Marcel Monteiro, Dr. Errol Pinto. Mr. Henry Lobo, Chairman of CCCI welcomed the gathering and guests. Dr. Richard Pereira Introduced the speaker. Vice Presidents: Mr. John D’ Silva & Antony Sequiera were present on the dais. Mr. Felix D’Souza, Executive Secretary spoke about CCCI Membership. (RONIDA)
I am cured from a long time illness. My heart felt thanks to Holy Family for the favours granted
—S. A. D'Souza, Dombivali
“Yuvakiran-2013” Award Presented
SAMANVAYA Trust Mangalore has instituted an Annual Award titled Prof. John Alphonso Karkala Konkani Literary award - “Yuvakiran” to a rising young talent in Konkani Literature. This very third award is won by Mr Roshan Melky Sequeira, son of Mr late Benjamin Paul Sequeira & Mrs Mary Sequeira of Bajpe who has contributed by way of several articles, poems, short stories to various Konkani magazines and News bulletins since last 17 years. This award consists of a Cheque for ‘.5,000/-, memento, citation, shawl, garland, fruits & flowers. Mr John Alphonse and Mrs Leena Karkala, presently settled in U.S.A. have initiated this annual award through Samanvaya for the best budding talent in Konkani Literature. The Award was bestowed upon Mr Roshan Melky Sequeira by Rev. Dr Pius F. Pinto, Managing Trustee of Samanvaya during the ICYM programme “Diaference - 2014” held at Mai de Deus Church ground, Puttur on Sunday, February 16, 2014 in the presence of V. Rev. Fr Jerald D’souza, Parish Priest of Puttur Church. Mr Stephen Mendis of Western Technology, , Rev. Fr Ronald D’souza, Director of ICYM and several other dignitaries and office bearers of ICYM. Dr Ronald Cutinha, Director of Samanvaya presented Konkani Works of Roshan Melky Sequeira to the public. While the awardee thanked Samanvaya and ICYM for recognizing his talent, Mr Manoj Fernandes, Kirem compered the programe and the Youth President Mr Sheldon Crasta, Bendore proposed the vote of thanks. Over 1,200 ICYM members were present on the occasion.
24 February 2014
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pg. 3 - Northeastern youth protests in Delhi: Opportunity ... pg. 5 - Views on News pg. 7 - Reader's Views pg 8 - Plight of East-indians pg 9 - Love At Christmas pg 10 - Love Without Frontiers pg. 11 - It's Lent: Live Like Jesus pg. 12 - The Original Aam Aadmi pg 16 - Tips to Have a More Organised Life pg 17 - Bishops' Guidelines For Voters: ... pg 18 - Simple Home Remedies for Toothache pg 19 - Inspiration! pg 20 - Matrimonials pg 22 - Ash Wednesday: The Season Of Lent Begins
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24 February 2014
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Northeastern youth protests in Delhi: Opportunity to bridge the gap New Delhi: Last week, Delhi witnessed a large turnout of youth from northeastern India - comprising eight states - to protest against the attack on the people from the region following the death of 19-year old Nido Tania, a student from Arunachal Pradesh. Son of an Arunachal Pradesh legislator, Nido Tania succumbed to his injury Jan 30, after a fight broke out at a shop in south Delhi when Nido reacted for being mocked at his hairstyle by some local men. Subsequently Nido was taken to the police station, where he paid a sum of Rs.10,000 as a settlement for damage of window panes. Later, according to the complaint, he was sent back to the same spot, where Nido was again mobbed by a group of about 7-8 men. He was declared dead at AIIMS. The recent years saw several reports of alleged physical, sexual assault and murder of young men and women from the northeast living in Delhi and other metro cities of India. In Delhi, a centre for support and helpline set up in 2005 recorded 10 sexual harassment cases in that year alone. In the period between 2007 and 2009, there were 23 cases reported to the helpline, out of which 80 percent were of sexual assault. It may be also recalled that in mid2012 thousands of northeast youth fled Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai after they received threats via social media. The Delhi outburst and solidarity over the death of the young Arunachalee is a tipping point of the sense of feeling alienated and discriminated in their own country. They feel these are hate crimes meted out to them for looking different, being different culturally and traditionally. Emotions, sentiments and anger ran high as these youths feel they were treated as "non-Indians". Provocations arise mainly from mockery, as in Nido's case, or remarks, comments such as "chinky". In the case of young women, in most cases they are considered easy-going and available. A large number of youths, with minimal, middle to higher education, throng the metro cities for better opportunities and jobs. In fact, the emerging economy of Indian cities provides employment, ranging from lower to middle level management to collar jobs in both private and public sectors/government offices. Most of them were employed in the hospitality sectors, retail sectors and Business Process Outsourcing centres.
(Contd.. on p. 4)
(Contd.. from p. 3) A study by the Centre for North East Study and Policy Research, Jamia Millia Islamia, 2013, found that about 200,000 youths from the northeast reside in Delhi alone, while over 414,850 have migrated out of northeastern states into various metro cities during 2005-2010. In the city, they encounter unfriendly public transport to house owners. Another major issue is the misunderstanding, or rather misconceptions of life styles, culture and social ethics. Due to this perception and patriarchal mindset, deeply entrenched in the Indian mainstream society, young northeast men and women were even more vulnerable, as they work in shopping malls, bars and night shift duties. In a metro like Delhi, the majority population comprises mainly migrants. In such a situation of anonymity, where nobody knows who lives next door, it also provides fertile ground for anti-social activities. This outpouring from youth also comes from the apathy of the security agencies, the police to be specific. The police's unwillingness to file an FIR is the first and foremost grievance. For instance, a young girl form Manipur was found dead in her room in Chirag Dilli, south Delhi, in May 2013. The Malaviya Nagar police immediately registered a case of suicide. After two consecutive days of demonstrations and intervention of then Delhi minister Kiran Walia, the police registered a case under IPC section 302 and 304. Northeast support centre founder member Madhu Chandra once told this writer that unless the media takes up the story, there is no action by the police or political leaders. Another area is the long-drawn judicial process in India. None of the cases related to northast people have been disposed of, except in one gang rape case in 2005 where the charge-sheet was filed after six years. A feeling of victimization and a sense of being discriminated against also come from the historicalpolitical background of the northeastern states. Crossing the Brahmaputra and attempting to overcome the barriers, youth were moving out from the region today. And here, the northeast populations were caught between indifference and prejudice coupled with poor governance, administration and monitoring of state apparatus of the metro cities in India. This recent protest is an opportunity for review, reflections in the establishments and its implementations, along with proactive interventions out of the existing mechanisms and find new ways for a humane approach such as people-to-people (northeast populace with the locals); people-to-police interactions, and, most importantly, involvement of Resident Welfare Associations. Ninglun Hanghal, IANS
Marriage Must Be Built On The Rock Of Love, Pope Francis Tells Couples
arriage must be built on the rock of love not the shifting sands of emotions, Pope Francis told ten thousand engaged couples today. Greeting them for a special audience in St Peter’s Square today Pope Francis listened to questions from different engaged couples and answered them in turn. Pope Francis told the young people: “It is important to ask ourselves if it is possible to love one another ‘forever’. Today many people are afraid of making definitive decisions, that affect them for all their lives, because it seems impossible … and this mentality leads many who are preparing for marriage to say, ‘We will stay together for as long as our love lasts’.” Pope Francis continued: “But what do we mean by ‘love’? A mere emotion, a psycho-physical state? Certainly, if it is just this, it cannot provide the foundation for building something solid. But if instead love is a relationship, then it is a growing reality, and we can also say, by way of example, that it is built in the same way that we build a house. And we build a house together, not alone! … You would not wish to build it on the shifting sands of emotions, but on the rock of true love, the love that comes from God. “The family is born of this project of love that wishes to grow, as one builds a house that becomes the locus of affection, help, hope and support. Just as God’s love is stable and lasts forever, we want the love on which a family is based to be stable and to last forever. We must not allow ourselves to be conquered by a ‘throwaway culture’. This fear of ‘forever’ is cured by entrusting oneself day by day to the Lord Jesus in a life that becomes a daily spiritual path of common growth, step by step. Because ‘forever’ is not simply a question of duration! A marriage does not succeed just because it lasts; its quality is also important. To stay together and to know how to love each other for ever is the challenge Christian married couples face! … In the Our Father prayer we say, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’. Married couples may also learn to pray, ‘Give us this day our daily love’, teach us to love each other, to care for each other. The more you entrust yourselves to the Lord, the more your love will be ‘for ever’, able to renew itself and to overcome every difficulty”. Following a question from one of the young couples Pope Francis said that “living together was an art.” He said that couples hwo live together must remember three phrases: ‘thank you,’ ‘please’ and ‘sorry.’ The day was organised by the Pontifical Council for Marriage and Family Life with the theme “The Joy of Yes Forever.”
24 February 2014
NaMo Tea Party It is unfortunate that in their political rivalry, politicians speak out of turn and sometimes cross the thin line of decency. Mani Shankar Iyer by calling Narendra Modi a chaiwala, he has given his astute opponent a golden opportunity to lift his stock which to some extent had been dented by Kejriwal. Gone are the days when political parties respected each other and refrained from personal attacks. They restricted themselves to the failures of their opponents and their policies. But now all that is gone. Candidates attack each other, sometimes even below the belt. This may earn a few claps at rallies but the public in general does not support such indiscretions. Elections, they feel, must be fought according to the rules of the game. Politicians endowed with the gift of the gab, in fact, need not actually indulge in such loose talk. This applies to Modi as well. Come elections and all parties gear up for the formal announcement of the general elections. This is expected to be done soon which will set the ball rolling. All parties in power in different states are working overtime to woo the voters. Some like AAP wants to pass some bills bypassing established procedures to prove their intentions and even reward defaulters with reduction in power bills. Ultimately Kejriwal had to exit. Some of his ardent supporters have turned into foes. He needs to ask why. He has now set his sights high in the general elections. It was T.N.Seshan who instilled the fear of God [or is it law] in the minds of all politicians. Until then it was free for all and everybody did what they pleased. In fact it was a nightmare with loudspeakers blaring with Netas in trail day in and day out. There used to be huge traffic jams. Walls and compounds became easy targets for politicians to stick bills exhorting voters to support them. Nobody bothered to remove them later. Once Seshan took over, it was curtains for the politicians who thought the country belonged to them and that they could do what they wanted. The nation is grateful to him because what he has done has come to stay. To that
24 February 2014
VIEWS on NEWS extent, elections are no longer a pain. Politicians cautious now and are forced to pay heed to the guidelines of the Election Commission which, like the Supreme Court, commands huge respect across the board. You hardly hear a word against the EC which conducts largest electoral exercise in the world. It has earned plaudits from other countries including the advanced nations. It is time all the parties get together under the aegis of the Election Commission and draw a comprehensive code for electioneering particularly verbal attacks on the opponents. They are already considering increase in the ceiling on expenditure which is a good sign. They may as well cover the aspect of the type of language that should not be used in election campaign on the lines of un-parliamentary words or phrases. In the meanwhile, Namo tried to capitalize on his ‘chai’ nationally which did not have a good market. Nonetheless the Congress is let with just ‘pani’. *****
Being Paroled The case of Sanjay Dutt when he was granted parole for the purported illness of his wife raised a storm when it was reported that she was seen partying a couple days earlier. It was viewed as a typical case of political connections at play. Political parties went hammer and tongs and demanded that the parole be cancelled. This was when another convict in the same case – a very elderly and fragile woman was not given parole. It was only when it was clear that the actor’s wife has been suffering from a major illness that all guns went silent. He was granted a 30 day parole to enable him to get her admitted in a city hospital. There was sympathy factor at play. It must be appreciated that when the details became public, political parties stopped all comments. That is a sign of maturity. Sanjay has asked for extension of the parole by another 30 days which has been considered favourably. Nobody really grudges him for that. He
by Marshall Sequeira has every right to ask for it considering the sensitivity of the case. In fact the general public wishes his wife a speedy recovery. This however raises other issues. Undoubtedly, there are thousands of convicts languishing in jails [some of them without being formally convicted] for years together. They too have their families and kids who also may be suffering from worse ailments. It is understood that a lot of requests for parole are received and pending for months together without a final decision, either way, being taken for whatever reasons. This is a case of blatant discrimination. The rules must be uniform. So long as the conduct of the convict is good and there are no other adverse factors, each and every convict must be given the same benefit as that of Sanjay Dutt. If people with political connections get preferential treatment, it will be a clear case of discrimination which is against all norms and also against the constitution of the nation. Every citizen is equal in the eyes of the law. There are cases when sole bread winners are undergoing prison terms and their dependents are starving. Even women convicts leave behind small kids who actually need motherly care. Genuine cases should be referred to the court which convicted the person. This will remove the element of doubt in the minds of the public. The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court has come heavily on the 105 year old Prisons [Bombay Furlough & Parole] Rules, 1959. The rules when they were framed did not visualize its misuse to this extent that it has become a mockery of the justice system. The learned judges called it meaningless in the current context. All State Governments should take the observation very seriously and review the existing guidelines.
Pope seeks prayers ahead of visit to Israel Vatican City: Pope Francis asked leaders of the American Jewish Committee to pray for his May trip to Jerusalem, "so that this pilgrimage may bring forth the fruits of communion, hope and peace". The modern relationship between Jews and Catholics, he said on Thursday, has a "theological foundation" and is "not simply an expression of our desire for reciprocal respect and esteem". Pope Francis noted that in 2015, the Catholic Church will mark the 50th anniversary of "Nostra Aetate," the Sec-
ond Vatican Council's declaration on relations with other religions. The document, the pope said, is "the sure point of reference for relations with our 'elder brothers'". The declaration said Christians and Jews share a common heritage and a profound spiritual bond and denounced any form of contempt of the Jews. It also explicitly taught that responsibility for Jesus' death "cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today". Pope Francis told the American Jewish Committee delegation that while the Catholic-Jewish exploration of theological themes must continue, the two communities also must find ways to work together to construct "a more just and fraternal world", especially through service to the poor, the marginalized and the suffering. In addition, he said, "it is important that we dedicate ourselves to transmitting to new generations the heritage of our mutual knowledge, esteem and friendship", especially in seminaries and education programs for lay Catholics. "I am similarly hopeful that a desire for an understanding of Christianity may grow among young rabbis and the Jewish community." Stanley Bergman, president of the committee, thanked the pope for his commitment to improving Jewish-Catholic relations and told him, "We come here feeling deeply that you are our true friend, and we feel that we are yours." Source: Catholic News Service
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24 February 2014
Encore Modi, Toujours Modi!
any people today feel that the con cept of the church choir is outdated. They prefer rock music and songs with meaningless words. If we look at the history and purpose of the BY JUBEL D'CRUZ
It is the accepted practice to preface a dissenting opinion/ oral argument with the words , “ with all due respect to…” but I shall refrain from doing so simply because I do not know the author – Secular Citizen Feb. 10 , 17 – Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ, well enough for that. This is in response to his two articles – pg.8 and pg.8 -9 – in the afore-mentioned issues of The SC. 1.
If Narendra Modi is everything Fr. Prakash claims he is / is not, do you really think the BJP would run the risk of jeopardizing its chances of forming the next government at the Centre by naming him as their Prime Ministerial candidate ?? If the alleged charges of corruption , lack of development ,attempts at communal disharmony, etc.etc. against the Gujarat CM /government made by the writer , were accurate, don‘t you think his political opponents and detractors, especially the Congress party, would use it as ammunition to target him so as to halt his 2014 juggernaut , by filing FIRs and getting him indicted by the Courts ? Instead, they hark back all the way to 2002 ( ! ) flogging a dead horse (after the recent Supreme Court verdict exonerating him of any/all complicity in the riots ) playing minority votebank politics in a desperate bid to discredit him .
Which other Human Rights issues does Fr. Prakash ‘s Prashant bat for : the massacre of 3000 Sikhs, Delhi 1984; the Nelli ,Assam massacre of 2191 ; more recently the Muzaffarnagar riots in UP, in which 117 died -to name just three. Why this selective campaign ??
If Modi has no chance of ever becoming PM, why is EVERYONE – politicians/parties targeting him ? Isn‘t he better ignored as being
24 February 2014
unimportant/irrelevant/inconsequential ? Or does the fact of prepoll forecasts ( 58% voters favour Modi for PM, BJP to get 220 + seats ) give his baiters/haters/opponents/competitors/detractors, sleepless nights ? Let‘s not think of ourselves as minority/majority community members , but as INDIANS – first, last and always . Let us consider, dispassionately, our options and the prevailing circumstances and taking the larger view ,vote for whoever/whichever party is best for the country, at a given point of time. Let‘s concentrate on issues – there are many – rather than on individuals; focus on policies not party politics; and look to the future, where solutions lie, not to the past. We have a good Constitution, adequate laws and a competent judiciary. Truth will out and the guilty – howsoever high and mighty- receive exemplary punishment. We must have faith in democracy and in our democratic institutions and respect court verdicts , even when they seem unfair, because we have every right to appeal. When we don‘t, we invite anarchy, the kind we witnessed recently in Delhi. Let‘s not return ‘encore‘ and again, and ‘toujours‘ and always to the subject of Modi. He isn‘t important – our country is. And our vote. —Bernie Tellis, Bandra ( W )
church choir, we will find that this ought not to be the case. The church choir has its origins in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. The first church choir was appointed by King David during his reign. These choirs were far more serious than the ones we have today. According to Dr Bruce Leafbald, a Professor of Church Music and Worship at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, music also had another vital role in the Old Testament. In our modern days, the arts are separated so that poetry and music are distinct. But in the Old Testament time, however, the two were never separate. Any poetry that was ever presented was presented as a song. Some churches in Mumbai, the youth and adults sing hymns in different languages for the different languages masses. Masses are celebrated in English, Hindi, Konkani, Tamil and Malayalam. The English choirs are usually combined during Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter vigil, Christmas Eve and New Year Eve masses. The singing and melodious music by adults and the youngsters brings life to each of the masses, making the parishioners engrossed in the spiritual world completely set apart from their usual daily life chorus. The hard work and efforts taken by each choir member is commendable and is reflected in their singing that every hymn sung keeps your foot tapping to the floor. The youngsters are gifted with amazing talent and are asset to the church.
Plight Of East Indians
he East Indian Christian Community have been ex ploited and were not allowed to live in peace, initially by the Mughals Emperors, then by the Portuguese who took our community’s ancestral lands either for building Churches or Forts. With the arrival of Portuguese came the Missionaries. The Missionaries converted us into Christians. They gave us Bible in our Hands and we in return gave them our land .Today our land is with them and their Bible with us. Whenever we want the halls or playgrounds for any functions in our family they charge us heavily .And there after some of our villages were destroyed by Marathas, later on by the Britishers who took our land for various developments especially for Churches, Schools, Railway Lines, Courts, Administration purpose, etc. Later after independence in 1947, our very own the Indian Government continued the trend of forceful acquisition of our ancestral lands and later making us tenants on our own ancestral lands. Now, not only the Indian Government/Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (BMC), even the slum lords, builder’s lobbies and migrants/ outsiders are feasting and making merry on our said ancestral lands. The Government/BMC have started harassing us by taking advantage of our goodness, misusing their powers and the laws of the land. One could see slums mushrooming all over Bombay more from 1970’s onwards. Listing herein below are the grievances of the East Indian Christians as under:
by Herbert Barretto 1. The East Indian Christians lived and are living in spacious and palatial houses with open spaces around our houses, called “Gaothans/Villages” and owned several acres of ancestral lands all over the city of Mumbai, Salsette, Thane, Dharavi Island, Bassein and Alibagh-Raigad District. Some of our ancestors cultivated lands since time immemorial and the others were basically into trading, fishing, manufacturing of salt and other traditional occupations, since it was the main and only source of income and our means of livelihood. There are about 169 gaothans in Mumbai City & Suburbs, 20 gaothans in Dharavi and 66 gaothans in Salsette with a population of 5 lakhs East Indian Christians. 2. It is public knowledge that our lands, before and after independence, have been and are even today being forcefully acquired, earlier by the Britishers, and later, by the Indian Government for public purposes – for so-called industrial and developmental projects proposed by them, e.g. the airport land, the saltpan lands at WadalaAntop Hill were acquired in 1961 and now slum dwellers have encroached upon them. The lands of Kurla Villages where Premier Automobiles Company existed up to year 2000.But it has now been taken for residential purpose by Kohinoor City by Shri. Manohar Joshi. The lands were taken by the Government for industrial pur-
poses. Even Indian Oil Company at Wadala, Rashtriya Chemical Fertilizers at Chembur are lands taken by the government, under the guise of development – without rehabilitating us but by only giving us meager, paltry and negligible sums by way of compensation, which is nowhere near the market price but is so meager that we are not even able to buy a proper roof over our head, as the rate of houses have increased exorbitantly. 3. In most instances, the Government has acquired lands from the original owners of our community, and ironically later on have made them tenants on their own lands. In certain cases, the original owners in the Gaothans / Villages are paying assessment taxes which is revised to double the amount that is currently being paid by the owners. We are not only deprived of our only means of livelihood and source of income but we have also lost our lands and houses to the Government without any fruitful purpose being served. This, according to us, is being done solely with a view to rehabilitate the people who have migrated from all over the country and is aimed at serving the urban population, for which purpose our lands were and are still being forcefully acquired. 4. The Government, after forcefully acquiring our lands, instead of using the said lands for the purpose for which they were acquired, have only done their duty of laying its hands on the said lands and has never bothered to look back and see how the deprived, destitute and unskilled people, whose lands and only source of income were forcefully taken away, were surviving after the acquisition. The original owners of the said acquired lands (Contd.. on p. 9)
24 February 2014
(Contd.. from p. 8) were warned by the government officials to henceforth not cultivate on their said land or else stern legal action would be taken against them for disobeying their rules/policies. Their licenses to do business were even cancelled. This resulted in keeping the original owners away from their own lands. The acquired lands which were owned by our ancestors have been encroached upon by these migrants who had flocked to Mumbai from the State of Maharashtra and other States in India, by initially building shanties/ huts, and later on by constructing pucca houses on the said lands, and then selling these very lands to private builders for implementing Schemes for their development. Though being fully aware of the said encroachment/misuse of our acquired lands the Government is paying a blind eye. The migrants, who get attracted to the lifestyle of Mumbai, come streaming into the city daily, leaving behind elders in their hometowns and villages to look after their family business, i.e. farming and cultivation of their lands, only to fulfill their ambitions and dreams, at our costs. These people have become successful in all fields after settling in the city, as they have full support of the politicians, the Government authorities, the bigwigs and the laws of the land, by way of special reservations, quotas and schemes, whereas nobody seems to bother about us and we are left with grief and heavy hearts only to watch our lands being grabbed and utilized for the upliftment and betterment of these migrants. 5. Our ancestral lands which have been acquired by the Government were and are at no point of time lying vacant and unused, but were, at all times, and those that have not been acquired, are even today being regularly cultivated by the members of our community. Under the guise of acquisition, we are forced to leave our ancestral homes
24 February 2014
and lands, this despite the fact of we being the original inhabitants of Mumbai. 6. Our community was once very wellto-do but since the continuous acquisition of our lands and properties we have lost recognition, respect and standing in society. We were and are finding it difficult to face the outside world, as our ancestors having no technical knowledge and skills other than the trade/business of fishing, farming, salt manufacturing and trading, and also being less qualified were left at the mercy of others. We had no alternative but to work for survival, and also had to run around finding a very small roof over our head from whatever compensation amount was offered to us from our acquired lands where alternate accommodation was not provided. 7. It is an Irony that almost 63 years since independence, and we East Indian Christians despite being the original sons-of-the-soil, who were once upon a time landlords of Mumbai, Salsettes, Thane, Dharavi Island, Bassein and Raigad District are being marginalized and have become micro-minorities because of influx from migrants from the State of Maharashtra and other States in India, we find ourselves strangers on our own land. We are made to prove that we are the natives of Mumbai by various officials who have themselves left their ancestral homes and properties from all over the country and especially from mainland Maharashtra have migrated to Mumbai, settled here to earn their livelihood and made it their home and who now proudly claim that Mumbai is theirs. Even for repairing our dilapidated houses we are made to run from pillar to post by the concerned officials for seeking permission to carry out repairs, and that too limited, which makes us feel that we are trespassers on our own land. Our ancestral lands are being forcefully acquired, villages and houses are
being destroyed and disrupted and we being marginalized are living in the fear of further maneuvered acquisition of all our other existing lands by the Government only for development/public purposes, without any proper compensation and no scheme/projects for rehabilitation being offered to us. We feel that we should be liberated and freed from the clutches of tyranny of our very Indian brethren and feel insecure, rootless and have fear looming upon us that one day we will be thrown out from our ancestral homes and our community will be completely wiped out from our own motherland - by our very own Indian brethren. 8. It is common knowledge that slum dwellers, as well as trespassers, are being given alternative accommodation by the Government/ BMC. These slum dwellers though being the encroachers on our acquired lands are not paying the Government any type of revenue/ rent/tax for being in occupation of such lands. They also do not have documents besides the survey receipt given to them by the BMC or other government officials. They though being illegal occupants on our acquired lands are still being enrolled in Government schemes. As of date, under the Slum Redevelopment Scheme, the slum dwellers, who have left their own villages or hometowns to earn their livelihood, are in fact, wealthy people with acres and acres of land owned by them in their own villages and hometowns. They have their ancestral homes and properties in their respective native places safe and undisturbed and after migrating to Mumbai they set up new illegal homes on available open/vacant lands of the original residents of Mumbai acquired by the Government. This illegal occupation on our community lands is encouraged by the Government/ BMC by providing them with alternate accommodation of an area of 275 to 325 sq. ft. or more, which (Contd.. on p. 15)
Love Without Frontiers
nbounded love and self effac ing humility are the ingredients that form the alchemy, of the persona of St. Magdalene of Canossa, whose life can be summed up in 2 virtues: Charity in Humility and Humility in Charity. Here was a charity that never tired of reaching out to others, and sharing the riches of life. Hence of the many titles bestowed on her, the one that appeals to me is “Weaver of Hope and of Life”. “Live relying on God and were you to lose everything else you would find it all again in Him”. These inspiring words were what St. Magdalene abided by all her life. Born in Verona, on 1st March 1774, of a noble and wealthy family, Magdalene Gabrielle was the 3rd of 5 children. Losing her father in an accident at the tender age of 5, and 2
Ninette D'Souza years later having her mother remarry, leaving all 5 children behind meant that, Magdalene experienced a rather harsh upbringing, under an unforgiving governess. This was a childhood fraught with trials and tribulations, as Magdalene, time and again stood up for all that was right, unmindful of the punishment meted out to her. At the age of 15, she suffered a mysterious crippling illness, from which she recovered, just as miraculously. Through it all, she found in God, a fatherly love that never dies, and in Mary, Mother of Sorrows, she found a touch, that heals. This time of pain and introspection, led to her making a firm decision, to offer her life to God, as a religious. Magdalene lived in a society, dominated by the arrogance of privileges. She used the charisma of her nobility, to become the protagonist of a spiritual change. Leaving the luxury of her palace, and the trappings of wealth, she set up base in San Zeno, one of the poorest districts. With some like minded companions, whom she affectionately called, ‘daughters of charity’ she engaged in the task of, revealing God’s love for, humanity. This she did by
giving of herself, without reserve, for the salvation of the many, who had been abandoned in their poverty, for those exploited by the egoism of the rich, and for those oppressed by the reigning evils of,a materialistic society. When in refuge in Venice, she was rewarded with a vision, which paved the way for her life’s mission. She saw the Blessed Mother, surrounded by 6 religious, who were led, 2 by 2, to a Church filled with children, youth and adults, then to a hospital and finally to a hall, filled with bedraggled children. The women were instructed to attend to all 3 groups, while paying special attention, to the poor. Magdalene responded to the vision with alacrity. Her life was never easy, right from infancy and much less in the years of founding, the 2 congregations of the Sons and Daughters of Charity. Her faith journey was very demanding, and often painful, yet she never abandoned her hope in God, who led her to sanctity, step by step. Besides her enlightening experiences of communion with God alone, and the Crucified Jesus, her little daily joys, made up of gestures of goodness and total self – giving to the least and poorest, have maximized her potential to be, a totally fulfilled ‘Woman and Believer’. The Virgin Mary, Mother of Faith, accompanied Magdalene on her journey, of entrusting herself to the crucified Lord. Magdalene found comfort, support and answers to decisive choices, as she worked for the glory of God, and for the
salvation of her brothers and sisters. “Perfect love is the bond of unity”, says St. Magdalene. She was a person of numerous and profound relationships, who was constantly in dialogue with all those, who could help her to start and consolidate her apostolic works. The goal of every person associated with the Canossian family, as I see it, is to put in an extensive effort, so that each Christian may become a witness, that is capable of responding to the faith, a zealous, burning faith that will animate him/ her at all times and everywhere. She has taught her sons and daughters by her example, and through them she teaches us, Canossian Educators, to seek dialogue among ourselves and with others. While working together is never easy, ‘dialogue’ is a precious instrument, in the search for the good, of everyone, in carrying out God’s works. As a Canossian Teacher, I have been privileged to learn that, a simple question, a proposal or advice given in love, is worth more than an imposition, or judgement given in haste. Such attitudes free people, thus allowing for greater acceptance, even when what has to be said, is not what the other person expects to hear. As a Canossian ex - student and now a teacher at my Alma Mater, I am filled with an inexplicable sense of pride, and joy to have had the opportunity, to learn about a woman who was a great visionary. Magdalene’s vision implied a missionary spirit, and her zeal to go anywhere and do anything, to make Christ known and loved, is today manifested in 35 countries of the world. St. Magdalene, deemed by Pope John Paul II ‘a prophet of charity’ lived a life of truth and love. Are these not the very qualities needed even today to heal a broken world??????????? Ninette D’souza is a teacher in Canossa Convent School, Mahim.
24 February 2014
It’s Lent: Live Like Jesus
ans Kung, one of the greatest contemporary theologians and an aging Papal cynic, expressed surprise that our present Pope “dared” take the name Francis (of Assisi)! Pope Francis wants the Universal Church to be “of the poor – for the poor!” Why is this innocent-looking name so heavily loaded – spiritually? The reason: St. Francis of Assisi had an unswerving desire to imitate our Crucified Saviour in all things by living the Gospel, and teaching others to do the same. In 1209, he opened the Scriptures thrice, in as many minutes, and found these three inspirational verses: 1). If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have, and give to the poor - then follow me 2). Take nothing with you for your journey 3). If any man desires to follow me, let him deny himself and take up his Cross! Francesco was famously called
Leon Bent Poverello (Poor one)! His followers were known as Penitants (contrite/repentant) of Assisi! He recognized Jesus in the poor, and the Lord’s Beauty and Providence in nature. His purity of heart helped him to see God in all things! The truth is he is regarded as one of the greatest saints, because he mirrored Jesus closely!! Francis died on the eve of October 4, 1226, lying on the bare floor, naked and poor in the eyes of men, but rich in God’s grace. It is true to say that, no one ever, has set himself as seriously to imitate Jesus Christ, and carry out Christ’s work so literally, in Christ’s very own way! The keynote of Francis’ spirit was poverty, reduced to “begging,” so much so that an allegorical poem and one of the frescos at Assisi, Italy, celebrate the “holy nuptials of Francis with Lady Poverty!” Francis’ exuberance and incessant joy, despite the “stigmata” (suffering the five bleeding wounds of Jesus), his tenderness, originality, simplicity, humility, stillness, silence, Be-
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sarily be counter-cultural, prophetic, swim against the tide and portray the face of Jesus across the seven seas. Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI offers us a gold nugget for this Lenten Season: “The ‘risen one’ is always the one who has been crucified!” I offer you a slight variation, which I struggle daily, to put into practice: “In this world, true love is invariably, necessarily, crucified!” We need to tuck these rare treasures securely, gently, into the folds of our unconscious, if they are to work their magic!
atitude-meekness, desert-like nothingness, overflowed like a fountain from his holiness. He once strangely preached a scintillating sermon to a flock of birds, and his wisdom blossomed into “flowers in verse!” Now, do you know why Pope Francis’ odour of sanctity is kissing the clouds, in curls and twists of fragrant incense? This is one of Francis of Assisi’s sweetest legacies (against modern spiritual decadence/relativity) in song: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;/ Where there is hatred, let me sow your love;/Where there is injury, pardon/Where there is error, truth;/Where there is doubt, faith;/ Where there is despair, hope;/ Where there is darkness, light;/ And where there is sadness, joy.” “O Divine Master, Grant that I may, not so much seek/To be consoled, as to console/To be understood as to understand;/To be loved, as to love./For, it is in giving that we receive;/It is in pardoning that, we are pardoned;/And, it is in dying that, we are born to eternal life.” This is exactly how Jesus would have lived if he walked this earth today! To achieve sainthood, we must neces-
If you want to be right up there in the heavens, by Jesus’ glorious, blissful, side, sign these profound life-changing chants, on your throbbing heart, so that, they go on echoing and re-echoing ceaselessly, mellifluously, like a thousand temple bells in the distance, even after the bells have stopped ringing! I’ll try to do the same, as Francis of Assisi did so very beautifully, to near perfection!
Subscriptions for Renewal as well as New, can be sent through Bank Fund Transfer to any one of the following banks: Bank: HDFC Bank Branch : CST - Mumbai VT Account Name: The Secular Citizen Account No. 03552000006744 ISFC code: HDFC0000355 or Bank: Citizen Credit Co-op Bank Ltd., Branch : Colaba, Mumbai Account Name: The Secular Citizen Account No. 000000000000489 ISFC code: CCBL0209003 Please inform us through email: firstname.lastname@example.org or through phone: 22693578 after transferring the same.
The Original AAM AADMI STOP! Donâ€™t flip the page. This is not about the AK assault rifle that hit Delhi with a bang and ended with a whimper. It is also not about the Aam Aadmi Pope, a clever term coined by Dr James Kottoor. The original Aam Aadmi, now that the term has become au currant, is Jesus himself. In a sense, we are all aam aadmi. But when an extraordinary being dons the mantle of an ordinary mortal, the term Aam Aadmi (in Caps â€“ no pun intended) assumes an entirely different connotation. Since we are close to Lent, a small Lenten reflection would be in order. Did Jesus actually need to fast without food or water for 40 days in the desert, before beginning his public life at the age of 30? Was it just a drama to overawe people, or was it an essential prelude, an immediate preparation, before an intense 3-year public campaign, for which he needed to keep his powder dry? The answer is blowing in the wind, if by that we understand the Holy Spirit that blows where it wills (cf Jn 3:8). Infact, our Lenten observance will largely depend on how we view Jesusâ€™ desert experience. BY CHHOTEBHAI Did he actually require preparation? If yes, then how much more do we? Was he an almighty omniscient God who â€œdescendedâ€? from heaven to become an avatar (incarnation) among us lesser mortals? Or was he like one of us, who went through a learning, experiencing and discerning process; till he finally ascended to the godhead? Those unfamiliar with theology and spirituality may find these questions disturbing. Infact, if we arrive at the correct conclusions, they are truly comforting and inspiring. We are so inured to calling Jesus the â€œSon of Godâ€? that we forget that Jesus always referred to himself as â€œSon of Manâ€?, a nomenclature that he used 82 times in the Gospels. Interestingly, no other person used the term, neither the four Gospel writers, nor in the other books of the New Testament (NT). The term is also not found in the Old Testament (OT). Ironically, â€œSon of Godâ€? is 12
often found in the OT, long before the advent of Jesus; and refers to a superior being. It is ofcourse extensively used by others in the NT. Exegetes (biblical scholars) tell us that the NT writers were in a time and space where their listeners had seen the flesh and blood Jesus, and knew only too well that he was an aam aadmi. So there was no need to state the obvious. They therefore over empha-
A Lenten Reflection sized what was not so apparent â€“ that he was a divine being. As a â€œgood Christianâ€? I too mouthed the theophany of the Nicean Creed that Jesus was â€œtrue God and true manâ€?; but this was just a neat formula. That was until I read the book â€œThe Conspiracy of Godâ€? by Rev John Haughey SJ, about 35 years ago. It transformed my understanding of Jesus, and thereby my life. It also largely impacted my own book *Beyond 2000 â€“ The Other Sideâ€?, written for the third millennium of Christianity. It was a Christological treatise, trying to answer the eternal question put to Peter, and to each one of us, â€œWho do you say that I am?â€? A seemingly innocuous but personal question could be conveniently answered with an academic theophany like â€“ True God and True Man/ Son of God/ The Messiah. An academic or generalized answer does not suffice. Jesus expects a personal answer. The Annunciation is synonymous with the incarnation â€“ the Word becoming flesh. The Ascension was the Other Side of the story â€“ the flesh becoming the word, man becoming divine. Between these two extremities there is a
short biography spanning just 33 years, the life of Jesus of Nazareth. If we can comprehend those 33 years, not just the three years of public ministry; then we will begin to understand who Jesus really is. In turn we will understand ourselves, the meaning of life, and our mission here on earth. We can then say with St Augustine of Hippo â€“ Help me know thee, help me know me. We need to explode the myth that Jesus was some kind of a superman who just donned a mantle â€“ a readymade garment. He assiduously avoided any cult following, or to be labeled a â€œwonder workerâ€?, invariably warning those whom he had healed to not broadcast it. That is why he correctly discerned Satanâ€™s temptation to prove that he was the Son of God by jumping off the top of the temple (cf Lk 4:11). We too should not be deceived into believing that Jesusâ€™ fast in the desert was a fast one! Why did Jesus use the previously unknown term â€œSon of Manâ€? to describe himself? In his native Aramaic dialect the words were â€œBar Nasaâ€? â€“ bar meant son, and nasa meant man. Notice how phonetically close it is to the word we use for a human being â€“ insan? They obviously have the same etymological roots in Hebrew and its sister Semitic languages. The Aramaic word nasa simply meant a man, and not a particular person or category. It stood for the common man, yes, the aam aadmi. So Jesus was actually calling himself an aam aadmi, because that is how he saw himself. It was his selfunderstanding. The word aadmi in turn comes from Adam whose etymological roots in Hebrew are uncertain. It possibly meant ruddy or earth colour, what we today call terracotta. Interestingly, the Hebrew word for earth is damah, pho-
24 February 2014
netically akin to Adam. The ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations also had a tradition of man being fashioned from earth. The Quran too replicates the biblical account of Adam’s creation. So the word aadmi has probably traveled to India via Islam and the Bible! What happened between the Annunciation and the Ascension? What happens to us between birth and death? If we can use “connecting rods” to join these two life tracks then we will be truly on track, our lives running parallel to Jesus’ own. The major connecting rod is the Word of God which needs to be welded in place by the working of the Holy Spirit. In his introduction to Rev Haughey’s book the charismatic Cardinal Seunens wrote, “In the past we have given in to the tendency to present the mystery of Jesus in terms of a Divine Theophany – God coming to us under human appearance, rather than from among us in the mystery of the Incarnation. We must meet the authentic Jesus, a man among men, conditioned by the relativity of time and space as men always are”. The problem with the superman Christology is that we tend to see Jesus the Son of God as somebody “up there” who inspires awe, and by default makes us down here feel so grossly inadequate that we cannot aspire to that utopian state. So we wallow in self-pity and our own “sinfulness”. There is no serious attempt to aspire for perfection or to imitate Jesus. This phenomenon is what Haughey calls “pedestalisation” – putting a statue high up on a pedestal, and consequently beyond our reach. This is not the work of the Holy Spirit. Rather it is the handiwork of the eternal schemer, the original tempter in the desert. St Teresa of Avila, considered one of Christianity’s greatest mystics, in her book “Interior Castle” says that he operates like a noiseless file – so subtle. Again, so different from popular perceptions of the Evil One. Haughey sees through this game plan when he says that “the pedestalisation of Jesus is the main reason for the anemic condition of Christianity”. This profound observation radically changed my understanding of Jesus, and transformed my life. The Bible reminds us that Jesus was a man like us in all things but sin (cf
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Heb 4:15). He learned obedience through what he suffered (cf Heb 5:8). He was infact learning throughout his 30 years of hidden life. In the desert he was like a cow chewing the cud, to fully digest all that he had ingested in the previous 30 years. He emerged fortified and with clarity for the tumultuous 3 years of public life that beckoned him. Small wonder that the Evil One was desperate to distract him through food (Pride of the senses), power (Pride of the intellect) and subversion (Pride of the spirit), the last of which has no cure. That is why we also read that the Evil One left him for just a little while (cf Lk 4:13). From the desert to Calvary, and after almost every act of healing in between, the taunt was to proclaim or prove that he was the Son of God, a tactic that should not be lost on us. So let us also not be lulled into complacency, believing that we are the children of God, the chosen few, the born again and have therefore ascended to a higher level. Haughey asks another critical question. Which is correct – Jesus could not sin, or Jesus did not sin? If Jesus could not sin then his life was just a charade, and a deterrent to a godly life. However if, despite human nature and all manner of temptations, Jesus did not sin, then he is indeed the Aam Aadmi, worthy of inspiration and imitation. Do we see the subtle difference? There is a very thin dividing line between truth and error. It is like going off on a tangent where the subtle digression is hardly noticeable, but the gap progressively widens. So there is a constant need for a Lenten review, and a course correction before it is too late. Would Jesus, limited by time and space, have known about nuclear physics or microbiology? Infact he frankly admitted that even the son did not know the hour of the Second Coming, the parousia, the end of time (cf Mat 24:26). But he did know about carpentry and
farming. He understood human nature as he himself had lived and experienced it. He was therefore able to communicate in an idiom that touched his listeners (so different from our boring Sunday sermons). That is why his audience said that he was not like other speakers, for he taught with the authority born of personal experience (cf Mat 7:28-29). Jesus the Aam Aadmi kept evolving. His learning curve was based on both the study of the Jewish scriptures and his own authentic “hidden” life of 30 years. Though there are passing references to Jesus growing in maturity and increasing in wisdom (cf Lk 2:50-52) his definitive learning is manifested at the age of twelve, when he was “lost” in the temple. To the contrary that is when he “found” his true Father in Heaven telling his carpenter father Joseph of Nazareth that he was doing his Father’s business (cf Lk 2:49). I have already referred to Jesus learning through his desert experience, so I won’t repeat it. Another important learning experience is his baptism by John where he receives a confirmation of his divine origin and specific mission. The same may be said of the Transfiguration. It is often described as an epiphany (manifestation) to his disciples. What we forget is that it was simultaneously a continuing affirmation to Jesus, to press on regardless. Another significant affirmation is the raising of Lazarus, just days before his own excruciating death (cf Jn 11:1-44); a sign that he too would rise again. During the agony in the garden he is again affirmed by a comforting angel (cf Lk 22:43). His last lesson is on the cross itself when he feels abandoned by the Father, and expresses his thirst – one that could not be quenched by material things. He gets the final message from his Father, that abandonment (banishment from Eden) is what all human beings experience, and the only solution lay in dying on the cross, and not coming down as the Evil One was taunting him to do (cf Lk 23:3538). This was Jesus’ Last Temptation, and had nothing to do with Mary Magdalene, as some voyeuristic novelists would have us believe. He overcomes it with his last supreme act of will when he proclaims that his mission is accomplished saying, “Into your hands (Contd.. on p. 14)
(Contd.. from p. 13) I commend my spirit” (Lk 23:46). It is at this point of ultimate fusion of the human and the divine that the centurion is inspired to proclaim, “Truly this man was the son of God” (Mk 15:39). Note that Jesus did not resign like other aam aadmis, nor did he accept the escape route offered to him by the Tempter. Where do we figure in this salvific history? For that I turn to Peter, my favourite biblical persona. His experience of Jesus also evolved, from addressing him as “Sir” (Lk 5:8), “Teacher” (Jn 1:38), “Master” (Lk 8:45) and finally “the Christ, the Son of God” (Mt 16:16). We see that his personal relationship with Jesus kept evolving from an admirer to a disciple, then to a servant and ultimately to total surrender and assimilation. Jesus’ final message is also addressed to Peter in a personal way. At the Ascension he asks him, ”Do you
love me more than these … feed my lambs, feed my sheep” (cf Jn 21:15-17). This Lent we too are called to answer the same personal question and accept an unambiguous mission. Is it an onerous task? Again Haughey seems to have the answer. He says that if Jesus himself was constantly led by the Spirit, then more so do we need that guidance. But the problem is that we try to imitate the historical Jesus of Nazareth who healed people, walked on water, multiplied loaves,etc, and we find ourselves inadequate to the task. So we end up thinking Christian discipleship is utopian, like the pedestalers. Walking in the footsteps of the historical Jesus is fraught with danger, because like footprints in the sand, they get swept away by time and tide; and we in turn will get lost or disillusioned like the pedestalers. Instead, Haughey advocates being led by the same Spirit that
They Prayed and Favours Granted
led Jesus. An apt example would amply illustrate the point. St Francis of Assisi followed the historical Jesus in both letter and spirit, to the extent of receiving in his own body the wounds of Jesus – the Stigmata. But Pope Francis is being led by the Spirit of the Ascended Christ. As we enter the desert this Lent we have three choices (i) To pedestalise Jesus the Son of God, and wallow in adulation or self-pity (ii) To follow the historical Jesus with the heroic virtue of St Francis of Assisi, aptly called the alter Christi (another Christ) or (iii) Be inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit that led Jesus the Aam Aadmi to the point of fusion with the godhead, to ascend to the divine, by loving and caring, as Jesus had instructed Peter to do. (This development of thought is expressed in greater detail in the writer’s book “Beyond 2000 – The Other Side”)
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Infant Jesus and Our lady of Vailankanni helped to restore our family peace and health. I thank her for the favours granted. And praying for more favours. —P. Verghese, Navi Mumbai
Thanksgiving Thanks to St. Francis Xavier for the favours granted. Praying for more favours. — Mrs. D. S. F. D'Souza, Goa
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24 February 2014
Plight Of East Indians (Contd.. from p. 9) when sold fetches them a price to the tune of anywhere between Rs.40,00,000/- to Rs.45,00,000/-. Even the large houses acquired by the Municipality where the original Agri and Koli communities and the East Indian Christians live are also given the area of 269 sq. ft. in SRA Scheme. What an irony? The migrants having sold their illegally constructed houses for the stated price, they again proceed to build new houses on other available vacant lands. There are instances where these very people, after settling here, become owners of 3 to 4 illegally well constructed houses built by them on vacant acquired lands, which have been forcefully taken from us by the government and left unattended. These people give away their illegally constructed houses on rental basis, and later, under the schemes planned for them by the government, they become wealthy after the redevelopment schemes by the Slum Redevelopment Authorities (SRA) is implemented. By implementing new Schemes, more and more illegal migrations have started taking place as the people are further getting encouraged by the support they are getting from the Government, the politicians and bigwigs, and are hence flocking daily to Mumbai in large numbers, leaving their hometowns and settling in Mumbai on our acquired lands forcefully taken from our community people, as they know that it is an easy way to success. These migrants now visit their hometowns/ villages only during the vacations. Mumbai, we hear, is being transformed into a world-class city but sadly at the cost of its original inhabitants, who are made to sacrifice their ancestral lands and only means of livelihood and who have no native place but only Mumbai. 9. Everyone seems to be sympathizing the people who have left their
24 February 2014
hometowns and who start living in Mumbai, for the time being in huts, thinking them to be poor, but one wonders in what way are these people poor and why are they being sympathized by all, because if one notices, they earn salaries from their jobs/employments from their stay in Mumbai, earn rent from the illegally encroached houses here in Mumbai, and are also earning from cultivation that they do on their own village lands, whereas we the original inhabitants of Mumbai have been made penniless by the Government by forcefully taking away our family businesses and homes and offering us meager sums by way of compensation with no alternate accommodation to stay. We have to work to survive and meet all our daily needs in addition to wasting money on needless litigation to save our homes which have been reserved for acquisition by the government, for so-called public purposes. 10. No steps are at all being taken to change the lives of the East Indian Christian Community and no enquiries are even being made by the Government Authorities as to what would be the lives of these poor saltpan owners, farmers and fisher folks, whose lands have been wrongfully and forcefully acquired by the Government, without any rehabilitation schemes. We are still waiting for the Government/BMC to announce Schemes/Projects for our communityâ€™s development and upliftment, but on the contrary our lives become miserable when we hear of Projects/Schemes being implemented for the migrated people. Steps are taken to improve the quality of life of the migrated people, and even of the people staying on the footpath, then why are no schemes/projects being implemented for the deprived members of our community, whose lands have been forcefully acquired and taken by the
Government. 11. Our humble thinking is that if the Government/BMC can think of accommodating/rehabilitating these migrants, then why are no plans being made for us, the East Indian Christian Community, the original inhabitants of Mumbai, Salsettes, Thane, Dharavi Island, Bassein and Raigad District. The members of our community and also the Hindu Agris and Kolis have suffered and are still suffering immensely due to the injustice and inequality meted out to them by the Government and the BMC, by taking away our ancestral lands and houses. One wonders, whether it is really a bad omen or an offence to be the original inhabitants of Mumbai, Salsettes, Thane, Dharavi Island, Bassein and Raigad District? Is the law of the land so mean, unfair and discriminating that it thinks of only the illegal migrated people and of their security, safety, well-being and upliftment whereas we the original inhabitants of Mumbai, Salsettes, Thane, Dharavi Island, Bassein and Raigad District are purposely being side-tracked? One fails to understand why such a step-motherly treatment is being given to us even after being the genuine and original owners of the encroached lands. Is it because we are micro-minorities? We need to wake-up before we lose our identity, our age old customs, culture and rich heritage, which has given us a feeling of pride and recognition. Help us to honor and sustain the history of our community, before our Gaothans and Villages are completely destroyed and wiped away. ITâ€™S HIGH TIME WE UNITE FOR OUR COMMON CAUSES by becoming pro-active. Each one of us, including the people who have already lost their lands to the Government, should help to strip away the faĂ§ade of political lies, bring to light the unheard and unanswered cries of our East Indian Christian brethren and begin to realize that each acquisition of our beloved lands is disastrous for our community.
Herbert D. Barretto President, Maharashtrian East Indian Christian Federation Mumbai
Tips to Have a More Organised Life
ometimes life can get hectic, and when it does, being organised can make everything so much easier. Follow these tips to help you on your way to a more organised lifestyle! Gather some supplies to help keep you organised. A daily planner, small notebook, sticky notes, highlighters, and a calendar are recommended. You can either buy these at a store or make your own. You may also want stickers and different colored pens. Set up your calendar. Choose a good spot in your room (or anywhere else you'll see it often) and hang it up. Use highlighters and pens to mark special dates, such as softball practice or when your English essay is due. You may also want to use a special highlighter colour specifically for marking when your period starts and ends. This way you're never caught off guard. Set up your planner. Depending on what type of planner you get, fill in your information accordingly. Make notes to yourself about homework, pep rallies, and other events you participate in. Use your sticky notes regularly. Stick them up on your bathroom mirror with homework reminders, TV show times, and anything else you need to remember! Don't limit yourself to just your bathroom mirror, though, stick them anywhere you'll see them easily. Do your work first. Make sure that all your homework is finished within
three hours before bed time, if you can. Then, you can text your friends and hang out with your family. Balance your job with the rest of your life. If you have an after-school job, life is even more hectic for you. Make a few copies of your weekly schedule and keep one with you at all times. This way you know if you're free or not when friends ask. Plan one day per week to relax. If you can't fit a whole day in, make sure you at least get eight hours of downtime per week, even if it's only an hour per day. Enjoy your hobbies, spend time with family and friends, take a bath, or anything else to relax you.
A guy called a budget airline to book a flight. The operator asked: "How many people are travelling? "How should I know?" said the man "It's you plane!"
Bishops Ask Not To Waste Vote
ew Delhi: The Catholic bishops in India have refused to identify the Church with any political party but urged their people not to discount the right to vote in the coming general elections. The 187 bishops of India issued a guideline at the end of their biennial meeting Feb. 12 underlining the importance of the national elections due in this summer, when the mandate of the current parliament ends. "The direction that our country takes, its progress and much of our everyday lives depend largely on the leaders we elect to our parliament," they said in the statement singed by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the outgoing president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India. The Church does "not identify herself with any political party" but every citizen eligible to vote should exercise it prudently, carefully and judiciously. "We must be convinced that every vote does count," the statement said. The bishops acknowledged the progress the country made in technology, science and communication but said there are several areas of concern. The increasing gap between the rich and the poor, privatization of education, health and the social welfare were listed as concerns. "Ethics is losing primacy as the guiding principle for society. God is slowly being pushed to the periphery," the bishops lamented. The bishops said Catholic should look forward to elect those who understand the anxieties of the people, and respond to their needs. They said the Church needed leaders who are committed to safeguard secularism, rights of minorities and rights of tribal and dalit people. They also asked people to elect leaders committed to work for an economy that seeks to help the poor, and those committed to protect environment. Press Release
24 February 2014
Bishops' Guidelines For Voters: Great In Theory, Not So Great In Practice
few elections back, the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) issued a 19-point set of guidelines for a new India, free of want, fear and exploitation. The guidelines advised voters how to choose candidates and parties who would be good for India. The CBCI put its faith in those who promised to uphold the rule of law and pluralism in all matters, linguistic, ethnic and religious. Voters were to shun those against secularism, communal harmony and respect of all religions, those who did not believe in the right to life “from womb” onwards, and those who were corrupt or had criminal records. They were advised to reject those who trampled on human rights, civil liberties, gender justice, or espoused the caste system. And they demanded from political parties and election candidates a promise to work for justice for all, the eradication of poverty, devolution of power, and the basic rights of food, shelter, health, clothing and education. In remarkably advanced thinking for the time, they also called for the right to eject candidates who won, and then failed to meet people’s expectations in fulfilling the promises. Almost 20 years on, not much has changed. India still rates among the lowest of the low internationally, in poverty, child health, basic education and other human needs. The gap between rich and poor grows, even though the country boasts a 200 million strong middle class now seeking to impose its self-serving politics on the entire nation. Violence against women is rampant, and corruption rules. Violence against Muslims and Christians remains a black mark on the nation. Multinational and local industrial giants are leveling sacred hills and denuding pristine forests, polluting both the air and the water with effluents. Recent press reports have suggested that the Catholic bishops will issue a statement on the general election due in April or May this year. There were high expectations that the prelates would build on the guidelines issued 20 years ago at their week-
24 February 2014
long plenary in Kerala, which ended on February 12. It was expected that they would help people understand and deal with the more complex politics of 2014. The day before leaving office, CBCI president Cardinal Oswald Gracias issued a pastoral letter paraphrasing the much older document. He listed a five-point list of desirable attributes for those contesting the next election -- secularism and the care of religious minorities; the rights of tribals in their homelands; a pro-poor economy; security for women and children, and full rights for Dalit Christians. The last, a new point, is of some importance, coming soon after the December 11 dispersal of a major protest in Delhi in which police baton charged and used water cannon on Christian Dalits. The general CBCI statement, issued a day after the pastoral letter, added that the lives of farmers and plantation owners of Kerala’s forested uplands, the Western Ghats, would be threatened if the government were to implement recommendations by a scientific committee which called for an end to human exploitation of the environment in such tracts. Many people to be impacted are Catholics and the bishops have been campaigning for them for some time now. Now the new CBCI president, Cardinal Moran Mar Baselios Cleemis, has highlighted one significant program for the future -- sensitizing and training the laity, especially young people, to enable them to participate in the political process. “Though the Church doesn’t have any intention of political gain it would be a dereliction of our duties if we don’t train youths, the values and principles,” he said. This will not be an easy task, and is much too late to have any impact on these elections. It could take another five years, if not longer, to have enough young people trained in ideology, values and strategy, to make their presence felt around the country. The efforts of the Church in training
young men and BY JOHN DAYAL women have on the whole not been very successful. It may have boosted numbers of loyal, and pious, laity but they have not made a difference in enhancing Christian participation in politics, or incorporating Christian values in the political system. Existing models of community political participation may not fit the bill for a country as large as India. In Christian majority states like Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland, there is naturally a Christian presence in state assemblies and other bodies. But even there, votes go by tribes and religious denominations. Kerala too is not the best model. With almost a quarter of the population professing being Christian, but divided sharply on denominational lines, there is a sizable presence of Christians in the state assembly and local administrations. But the binary politics of Kerala, between the Marxists and the Congress Party, and the aggressive antipathy of the Church towards the Marxists, leaves no space to explore the full potential of training in ideologies, political economy and statecraft. This is evident in the fact that Congress, which has the support of the Church, alternates power with the Marxists at most general elections. It is also evident in the fact that various Church leaders do not look at the larger picture or the national level. Little wonder that many Christian leaders in Kerala are praising Modi, the man accused of presiding over mass killings of Muslims in 2002, but who is riding high on a “development agenda” which largely translates into a promise of economic and industrial growth. The CBCI document offers very little hope that the laity will really be empowered. Till there is a new deal for the laity in the Church, training a few in the hope they will make a difference in Indian politics may remain a dream. John Dayal is the general secretary of the All India Christian Council and a member of the Indian government’s National Integration Council. Source: ucanews
East-Indian Wedding Pickle
Simple Home Remedies for Toothache
Ingredients: 1/4 kg. carrots 1 small papaya (raw) 2 bits ginger 100 grams green chillies 2 pods garlic flakes (whole) 100 grams dried dates ½ bottle of vinegar 25 grams of turmeric powder 100 grams of mustard seeds Method: 1. Slice the carrots, papaya and ginger. 2. Apply salt and let them dry in the sun for 2 hours or more. 3. Boil the chillies and garlic in ½ bottle of vinegar and then let it cool. 4. Mix the above with 25 grams of turmeric powder, 100 grams of mustard seeds (pounded and husked). Store it in a jar. — Jubel D’Cruz, Dombivili
Why Should I Invest?
ne of the most compelling rerasons for you to invest is the prospect of not have to work your entire life! Bottom line, there are only two ways to make money: by working and/or by having your assets work for you. Kf you keep your money in your lback pocket instead of investing it, your money doesn't work for you and you will never have more money than what you save. By investing your money, you are getting your money to generate more money by earning interest on hwat you put away or by buying and selling assets what increase in value. Investing is essential to getting you where you want to be.
ver had a toothache? Then you should definitely remember the throbbing pain it gives. It is not just the mouth, but your entire face and sometimes even your head feels the pressure. Here are a few home remedies for toothache:
Garlic Garlic is effectively used in herbal medicines against many ailments including toothache. Chew two cloves of garlic and retain it against the affected tooth.
Get some spinach leaves and chew it against the aching tooth. You can also make a spinach paste and apply directly around the affected area for better relief. Loaded with calcium and iron, spinach works best against tooth problems.
Wheat grass juice
Chew fresh, tender guava leaves till the juice comes out. Hold it against the affected tooth for quick relief. You can also boil guava leaves in a pot of water, allow it to warm, add some salt and use it as a mouth wash. It is the anti-bacterial properties in guava that makes it an efficient medicine for toothache.
Cloves Clove is one of the best herbal remedies for toothache. Grind whole cloves and apply it to the inflamed tooth cavity or around the area that has toothache. You can also use clove oil, by dabbing it on a cotton ball before applying it on the affected area. Remember to use only a drop or two of clove oil as it is harmful, if used in
A natural antibiotic, wheat grass is an effective remedy for toothache. Chewing wheat grass or washing your mouth using wheat grass juice will remove toxins from the gums and reduce toothache.
Chewing raw onion will gradually bring down toothache. If chewing is difficult, just place a piece of onion on the affected area. Onion has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties which help in fighting toothache.
Tea leaves Prepare a cup of tea and stick the tea bags to the aching tooth. You will feel numbing effect which is caused by tannin in tea leaves. This will help alleviate the pain to a great extent.
Ginger root Rich in antibacterial properties, ginger is a great herb that can heal wounds and swelling. Chewing a ginger root or applying ginger juice can ease pain from the sore tooth.
24 February 2014
Get the Inspiration & Motivation for Success If you believe in something, why not believe in yourself?
start out now and determine to have a good attitude about your circumstances whatever they are. Know that in every adversity there are opportunities for equal or greater benefit!
Here are some steps that will help you reach your goals and dreams by changing your attitude and getting inspired.
Get the inspiration. Once you have the right attitude, it is time to get inspired! Inspiration comes from inside you. To be truly inspired you need to seek to do what you love! Ask yourself searching questions. What is it you have always dreamed about doing? If you could choose to do anything what would that be? Inspiration is the fire that will burn through all of your fears. It will give you hope and faith. Inspiration will catapult you over the obstacles into your dreams.
In bad times, you need inspiration to motivate you out of the desperation and that will lead to the preservation of your soul and happiness. Regardless of what may be happening in your life, it is vital to believe in yourself but how do you do that when you are depressed about it? Have a positive attitude. Without the right attitude it is nearly impossible to go anywhere. Remember this saying; your attitude is like a flat tire until you fix it you are not going anywhere. So
SHRINES OF INDIA
Our Lady of Health of Velankanni Irla The Shrine of Irla, Mumbai is dedicated to Our Lady of Velankanni, Patroness of Health, Its existence is due to untiring efforts of Fr. Bruno Venturin P.I.M.E. The Statue of Our Lady of Velankanni within the Shrine is attributed with miraculous power and day by day attracts more and more devotees from every caste and creed even from great distance. The Novena Services have been held every Saturday since 1968 when the P.I.M.E fathers first came to Mumbai .
24 February 2014
Be motivated. Motivation will help you get started and help you follow through. Motivation can be sustained by creating a plan of action, working out a schedule and setting goals but what will sustain your motivation? That is your motivation. Know your motivations. Why do you want to achieve a certain goal or financial status? What is your reason for setting a goal and working toward it? Is it you hate your job; you are tire of being poor? What is your reason for wanting to change? Why do you want to start a home business or change careers? Believe in you. The more that you work at helping others the more you will help you. Remember the magic word 'attitude' and become inspired to invest in yourself. You will find that with a slight change of view opportunities are everywhere and the means to reach your dreams and goals is at hand.
DO YOU KNOW?
What is a Bolero Jacket? A bolero jacket is a short cropped jacket that usually has long sleeves. Bolero jackets can be made of many different types of fabrics and can be used to dress up or down almost any type of outfit. Commonly, a bolero jacket will cover only the upper torso, shoulders, and arms, leaving the waist and hips uncovered. Many jackets fasten in the front with a button or short zipper, though some styles also feature long pieces of fabric that can be tied. A bolero jacket can be handy for women heading from work or class into the nighttime scene.
DO YOU KNOW? Konkani Written in 5 Different Scripts Goaâ€™s official language Konkani has the rare distinction of being written in five different scripts. Within the state of Goa, Konkani is read and written in the Roman script as well as in Devnagiri. Goans who fled persecution centuries ago to settle in Canara (Mangalore) in Karnataka, took with them their religion, culture and language too. Today, they still speak Konkani but write it in the Kannada script. Konkani is also written in Malayalam and Arabic script.
JACK OF ALL STALL Reliable House for Religious Goods
Gloria Church Bldg., 263, Dr. Ambedkar Rd., Byculla, Mumbai - 400027 Tel.: 23725963, 23749358 Estd: 1951
Prop. B. D'Souza
MATRIMONIALS MUMBAI : Goan Roman Catholic Bachelor, aged 37 years, Ht. 5’ 6”, Wt. 68 kgs, Wheatish Complexion, Edn. HSC, Working as a T.L. Operation. Having own house. Seeks a suitable match. Contact email : email@example.com OR 9821952841 (Regd. No. 6035) MUMBAI : Goan Roman Catholic Bachelor, aged 32 years, Ht. 5’ 6”, Wt. 64 kgs, Wheatish Complexion, Edn. B.E., (Comp.), working as a Software Engineer. Contact email : firstname.lastname@example.org OR 9004500088 (Regd. No. 6034) MUMBAI : Goan Roman Catholic Bachelor, aged 45 years, Ht. 5’ 5”, Wt. 65 kgs, Wheatish Complexion, Edn. SSC, well settled. Seeks a suitable match. Contact Mob.: 9867764737 (Regd. No. 6022) POONA : Roman Catholic Bachelor, aged 32 years, Ht. 5’ 8”, Wt. 65 kgs, Wheatish Complexion, Edn. B.Com., MBA HR, working as a HR in Limited company. Seeks a suitable match. Contact email : richardcarvalho@ rediffmail.com OR Mob.: 9623043300 (Regd. No. 6021) MUMBAI : Roman Catholic Bachelor, aged 28 years, Ht. 6’, Wheatish Complexion, medium Built, born & brought up in Bombay. Family oriented with caring disposition. Edn. BE (Autombiles) working as an Engineer R & D. Seeks alliance with a tall, educated working girl with a positive attitude. Contact email : email@example.com OR 9833237363 (Regd. No. 6017) MUMBAI : Mangalorean Roman Catholic Bachelor, aged 29 years, Ht. 6’ 1”, Fair Complexion, Edn. BE and Masters in Computers (IT) from
London, working in an MNC (IT) in Mumbai, Seeks an educated, simple, mangalorean girl. Contact email : firstname.lastname@example.org OR 28618926 / 9920631575 (Regd. No. 6014) MUMBAI : Mangalorean Roman Catholic Divorcee, aged 32 years, Ht. 5’ 5”, Wt.57 kgs, Wheatsih Complexion, Edn. Graduate, having own business and accommodation. Only child. Seeks a understanding, honest girl. Contact email : email@example.com OR 8652878111 (Regd. No. 5989) MUMBAI : Goan Roman Catholic Bachelor, aged 33 years, 0Ht. 5’ 7”, Wt. 69 kgs, Fair Complexion, Edn. B.E. (Mech.) working as a Mechanical Engineer. Contact email.: firstname.lastname@example.org OR 9890892847 (Regd No. 5985) MUMBAI : Mangalorean Roman Catholic Bachelor, aged 30 years, Ht. 5’ 6”, Wt. 59 kgs, Wheatish Complexion, Edn. B.Com., D.C.A., working as an Accountant. Seeks a suitable match. Contcat email : email@example.com OR 9029694973 (Regd. No. 5984) MUMBAI : Mangalorean Roman Catholic Bachelor, aged 29 years, Ht. 5’ 6”, Wt. 72 kgs, Fair Complexion, Edn. MCA working as a Software Engineer. Seeks a well educated girl. Contact email : firstname.lastname@example.org OR Tel.: 0251-2680956 (Regd. No. 5960) MUMBAI : Roman Catholic Bach-
Members are requested to inform us when they are settled, so that publication of their details can be discontinued.
elor, aged 28 years, Ht. 5’ 8”, Wt. 65 kgs, Wheatish Complexion, Edn. B.E. (I.T.), working as a Net Work Engineer abroad. Seeks a slim, fair, beautiful, educated girl below 26 years. Contact email : email@example.com OR 9324312605 (Regd. No. 5963) MUMBAI : Roman Catholic Bachelor, aged 43 years, Ht. 5’ 7”, Wheatish Complexion, Edn. B.Com., M.A., (Diploma in Journalism from UK); working as a Freelance Journalist. Seeks a suitable & compatible match from India/Abroad, He might travel abroad for work. Contact email : firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com OR 9221394374 (Regd. No. 5968) MUMBAI : Mangalorean Roman Catholic Bachelor, aged 32 years, Ht. 5’ 9”, Wheatish Complexion, Edn. B.Com., + Dip. in Management, working as a Manager in Private Sector. Contact email : noelpinto@hotmailcom OR 9029462583 (Regd. No. 5969) HYDERABAD : Roman Catholic Bachelor, aged 29 years, Ht. 5’ 10”, Wt. 75 kgs, Wheatish Complexion, Edn. MBA, PGDM, working as a Sales Head in Abroad. Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR 8008001552. (Regd. No. 6024) Address your replies to :
Regd. No. ROYAL CHRISTIAN FAMILY, 99, Perin Nariman Street, 1st Floor, Fort, Mumbai - 400 001.
To Place Your Matrimonial Advertisement Call: 2269 3578 OR 2265 4924 24 February 2014
MATRIMONIALS MUMBAI : Goan Roman Catholic Spinster, aged 46 years, Ht. 5’ 2”, Wt. 73 kgs, Wheatish Complexion, Edn. B.Com., working as a Audit Assistant. Contact email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org OR 9819884257 (Regd. No. 6027) NAVIMUMBAI : Mangalorean Roman Catholic Spinster, aged 26 years, Ht. 5’ 4”, Wt. 65 kgs, Fair Complexion, Edn. M.Sc. (Mathematics), B.Ed., Lecturer by profession. Contact email : email@example.com OR 9833970405 (Regd. No. 5976) MUMBAI : Goan Roman Catholic Spinster, aged 27 years, Ht. 5’, Wt. 46 kgs, Wheatish Complexion, Edn. B.Com., working as a Customers Service. Seeks a suitable match. Contact : 9820251612 (Regd. No. 5890) MUMBAI : Mangalorean Jacobite Syrian Catholic Spinster, aged 32 years, Ht. 5’ 4”, Wt. 62 kgs, Fair Complexion, Edn. B. Com., MBA (Fin) working as a Customers Service. Seeks a suitable match. Contact email : firstname.lastname@example.org OR 28954976 (Regd. No. 5891) MUMBAI : Mangalorean R.C. Parents invite alliance for their daughter 37/5’4”, Wheatish complexion, working in a reputed MNC. Seeks a suitable R.C. Bachelor upto 41 years with sober habits with latest photograph. Apply P.O. Box 853, Mumbai 400001 withfull details. (Regd. No. 5755)
Royal Christian Family Helps In Choosing The Right Life-Partner
Serving Since 32 Years 24 February 2014
MUMBAI : Mangalorean R.C. Spinster, aged 33 years, Ht. 5’1”, Wt. 51 kgs, fair Complexion, Edn. M.Com., PGDHRM, working for MNC - Shipping as Manager - Quality and Dy, Manager - Administration. Contact : Email : email@example.com (Regd. No. 5771) MUMBAI : Goan RC Spinster aged 39 years, Ht. 5’ 3”, Wheatish Complexion, good looking, Edn. B.Com., working as a Admin., in MNC., seeks a suitable match. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com OR 9892590888 (Regd. No. 5787) MUMBAI : Mangalorean RC Spinster aged 32 years, Ht. 5’ 5”, Fair Complex, Edn. Doctor, working as an Asst. Manager in Pharmaceutical company. Only Child. Contact: email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR 9930550318 (Regd. No. 5786) MUMBAI : Goan RC Spinster, aged 31 years, Ht. 5’ 2”, Wt. 55 kgs, wheatish Complexion, Edn. B.Com, employed as a Operational Analtst. Contact Tel.: 28262988 (Regd. No. 5833) VALSAD : Goan + Mangalorean RC Spinster, Godfearing, faithful and understanding, aged 30 years, Ht. 5’ 5”, Fair Complexion, Edn. D’Ed., BA, B.Ed., Teacher by profession. Contact Mob.: 09377099024 (12 a.m. to 2 p.m. & 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) (Regd. No. 5830) MUMBAI : Goan Roman Catholic Spinster, aged 33 years, Ht. 5’ 4”, Wt. 60 kgs, Fair Complexion, Edn. B.Com., Sr. Stylist (Hair & Makeup). Seeks a suitable match. Contact email : email@example.com OR 9167560077 / 9930689139 (Regd. No. 5964) MUMBAI : RC Mangalorean Spinster, M.Com/MBA (Finance) 28 /
5’2”, talented, with strong family values & from respectable family, working for a bank in Mumbai. Seeks well qualified boy upto 32, reply with recent photo & full details to email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR 9920424282 (Regd. No. 5962) MUMBAI : Mangalorean Roman Catholic Spinster, 24 years, Ht. 5, Wt, 55 kgs, Wheatish complexion, Edn. C.A., working for MNC, Seeks a suitable match. Contact email : email@example.com OR 9322295449 / 9769861559 (Regd. No. 5961)
Parents of R.C. Mangalorean Spinster, 32 years age, Ht. 5’ 4”, Wheatish Complexion, B. Engg. Mumbai University, software Engineer, working abroad (E.U.) since 5 years, seeks the alliance from well qualified R.C. Bachelors preferably Mangaloreans / Goans with sound health and good family backgrounds. Age around 3236 years. Relocation / transfer possible. Available for personal contact in April 2014. Please contact Mob.:
email : firstname.lastname@example.org Address your replies to :
Regd. No. ROYAL CHRISTIAN FAMILY, 99, Perin Nariman Street, 1st Floor, Fort, Mumbai - 400 001.
Please renew your membership at lease a month in advance before its expiration date. 21
Ash Wednesday: The Season Of Lent Begins BY MELVYN BROWN
fter Christmas, Holy Mother the Church draws back to almost six and a half weeks to the Season of Lent. Ash Wednesday is the prelude to the coming weeks of preparation for Easter and new life. Basically, the theme for the six weeks is centered on the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. From Ash Wednesday Lent begins, taking us along the path of fasting, penance and prayer, in a special invitation to return to God. Emiritus Pope Benedict XVI had earlier highlighted the importance of fasting. He said: “Fasting is a great help to avoid sin and all that leads to it.” The Prophet Isaiah calls for repentance with ashes : ‘O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth, roll in the ashes.”(Jer.6:26). Fasting in the Old Testament was to put on sackcloth and ash as a sign of repentance. Ash Wednesday reintroduces the Christian season of lent, placing before us the enigma of redemption, of Easter, in a way that we should meditate in its totality and undertake to participate in it. The norm to burn palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday began in the 12th century. Parishes often ask their members to bring their old palms before lent for a ritual burning after Mass. It was Pope Urban 11 who called for the use of ashes and later it was called Ash Wednesday. During the season of lent the call is for repentance, to turn to the Lord in prayer and meditation. On Ash Wednesday starts a time for personal renewal in preparation to highlight the act of penance and reconciliation during Holy Thursday which had started by the Order of Penitents. Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights and afterwards he was hungry (Mat.4:1-2). Jesus also prayed and fasted preparing himself for the mission that lay ahead. Moses fasted before receiving the tablets of the Law (Ex.34,28).
Even Elijah’s fast was made before meeting the Lord on Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:8). It is written in Maccabees, Chapter3:47, “They fasted that day, put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on their heads and rent their clothes”. In the Book of Daniel, Chapter 9:3 : “Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes”. In the Apocrypha, the Book of Sirach, Chapter 17:32, “ all human beings are dust and ash.” Jonah’s call to the people of Nineveh was to repent, announce a fast, saying : “ Who knows, God may yet turn from his fierce anger, so that we perish not ?” (3:9). As we know God spared them. Ash Wednesday initiates the period of Lent, asks us to repent for our mistakes and to prepare our spirit in the mystery of redemption. We should practice self-denial. Let us say, ‘no’ to the things we would like to do, or to have. As human beings
we need to exercise in self-control. This can be achieved only by practice. The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) had given Catholics a more personal approach to conditions of fasting, taking into account the changing circumstances of modern times. Our tradition of the Lenten fast is “no longer what it was. Voluntary self-denial is made through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. You can abstain from food, smoking, cinema and other forms of pleasures. Money saved from these means can be given to the needy. The putting on of ash is relevant as a sign to “turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel” (Mat.1:15). Since Ash Wednesday is the start of lent, it is also the beginning to focus on baptism – thereby helping us to renew our baptismal promises on the arrival of Easter. Open Ash Wednesday by attending the celebration of Holy Mass, coming away with ash on the forehead as a sign of your repentance. Make this season of lent meaningful and the medium to draw you closer to God.
24 February 2014
Come, make the best choice of your life-Partner
Royal Christian Family happy to announce the next
Places are limited! Book Your Seat Early !!
on Sunday 6th April 2014 from 10 A. M. to 4 P.M. at, Bandra West, Mumbai 400050.
A grand gathering to get acquainted with boys and girls of matching age group who are in search of a suitable Life-Partner of their choice with an ultimate view to matrimony. O Participants list and other details will be sent 15 days prior to the get-together. O Lunch, snacks, etc, will be provided at the Get-together. O All entries must reach us by 5th of March 2014. O Royal Christian Family is having the experience of organising over 60 get-togethers O The meet covers good family boys and girls
in the past.
Royal Christian Family 99, Perin Nariman Street, 1st Floor, Near GPO., Fort, Mumbai 400001 Tel.: 022 - 22693578, 22654924 Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Creating future leaders in the community through the project:
‘Leaders in the Making and Reaching to the Top’ Youth are the pillars upon which a nation’s future is built. It is true that in this challenging era of globalisation, our youth must be nurtured, educated and guided towards the right path. There is a need for the youth of our community to strengthen their faith by adopting the right mindset and acquiring a wealth of knowledge. With this objectives in mind we have been conducting special youth seminars entitled ‘Leaders in the Making and Reaching to the Top’ since 10 years. So far over 8000 youth have participated and benefited in the 12 seminars which have been guided by expert resource persons. Guiding our youth as effective future leaders and shine in top positions within and outside the country is our dream which we want to turn it into reality, The Entire project is conducted absolutely Free for the participants. This appeal is an invitation specially for people who are concerned about our youth and their bright future to be a part of this project : THE SECULAR CITIZEN 99, Perin Nariman Street, 1st Floor, Fort, Mumbai 400001. Tel.: 22693578, 22654924 Emails: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
24 February 2014
RNI No. 56987/92
Published on every Monday & Posted on Monday & Tuesday of every week Posted at Mumbai Patrika Channel Sorting Office, Mumbai - 400001.
24 February 2014
Registered No. MH/MR/South-139/2012-14
The Secular Citizen and Divo Weekly Friendly Group Organising
18 days 9 Countries Tour of WESTERN EUROPE
Italy, Vatican, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain Highlights: Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, Museum, St. Peter's Basilica. Veneice, Padova - St. Anthony's Shrine, Assisi - St. Francis Shrine, Rome - Coloseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, St. John the Latern Church, St. Mary Major Church, St. Paul Church, Holy Steps, Rotondo - Padre Pio. Engelbert - Mt. Titlis with Titlis Rotair and Ice Flyer. Cologne - Schaffhausen Rhine Falls, Cathedral. Amsterdam - Brussels. Parish - Eiffel Tower, Lourdes - Catholic pilgrimage centre. Loyola - St. Ignatius of Loyola. Fatima - visit Our Lady of Fatima Church, visit to holy sites. and more.
Includes all important sights and pilgrimage centres
Group Leaving on 19th May 2014
Includes OAirfare O Visas OAccommodation in Hotels O Travel Insurance O Luxury A/C coach O sightseeing O Tips & Gratuities O Insurance O Daily Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner O Water O English Speaking Licensed Guide. A Few Seats Are Available, Book Early
For more details Contact :
The Secular Citizen / Divo : 22693578, 22654924
Susan: 9820473103 O Cyprian : 9821589600, 28899609 O John : 9820384060 Printed and Published by Lawrence Coelho at The Secular Citizen, 99, Perin Nariman Street, 1st Floor, Harihar Nivas, Fort, Mumbai - 400 001. Tel.: 2269 3578, 2265 4924 24 February 2014 Printers: The Secular Citizen, Fort, Mumbai 400001. Editor : Philip Myaboo