18 Local News

posted Jan 9, 2019, 8:24 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jan 9, 2019, 8:24 AM ]

Nominations invited for Diocesan Human Life Committee’s Prolife Awards

In order to recognise, acknowledge and promote individuals, communities and institutions working towards creating a Culture of Life, the Diocesan Human Life Committee of the Archdiocese of Bombay invites nominations for the following Prolife awards:

1. Lily and Rose Award – For a Christian lay person or clergy member, community or institution actively involved in protecting life, defending the defenceless or for exemplary service in the Prolife ministry.

2. Sr M. Annunciata RGS Golden Jubilee Award – For any person or institution, irrespective of caste, creed or community, actively involved in promoting and protecting life, from conception till natural end.

3. The Kevin and Hilda Prolife Award – For youth, individuals, associations or institutions. This award would take into consideration Prolife projects, missions and undertakings which have promoted and inspired the culture of life.

The nominees may be headquartered elsewhere, but actively working in the Archdiocese of Bombay. Nominations with complete details and contact information may be sent to dhlcbombay@gmail.com or addressed to Diocesan Human Life Committee, c/o Snehalaya Family Service Centre, Victoria Church Compound, Mahim, Mumbai 400016.

Those selected will receive the award at the Prolife Day Rally on March 24, 2019. The last day for receiving nominations is January 31, 2019.

Fr Salvador Rodrigues & Fr Edward D’Souza Memorial Awards

The Bombay Catholic Sabha is pleased to announce the fifth Fr Salvador Rodrigues Memorial Award in memory of the late priest, who was the Ecclesiastical Adviser to the BCS for several years. This year, the BCS announces the first Fr Edward J. D’Souza Memorial Award in memory of the late priest, who was also Ecclesiastical Adviser to the BCS for some years.

The Awards will be given to a Catholic Individual/NGO/Institute for:

• Outstanding contribution to the promotion of Social Understanding and upliftment of the weaker sections of society.

• Any published works or a mass movement that has made a substantial impact on the quality of life of any marginalised group of society.

• Efforts or programmes towards integrating the underprivileged or weaker sections of society into the mainstream through socio-economic schemes, education, skills training, etc.

The Awards will include a cash prize and a citation.

Contributions made within a period of five years (January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2018) will be considered. The last date for submission of application forms (with supporting documents) at the BCS Office, c/o St. Michael Church, Mahim is January 31, 2019 by 6 pm.

The decision of the Jury will be final. Application forms are available on the BCS website: www.bcsabha.org

35 years of Konkani CCR

November 12-14, 2018 were days of celebration and rejoicing for those in the Konkani Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) in the Archdiocese of Bombay, at the Convention held at St Joseph the Worker Church, Bandra East, Mumbai. The event, commemorating 35 years of its presence in the archdiocese, saw the coming together of committed members of parish-based Prayer Groups. Prayer dances, skits, spiritual songs, and testimonies (which were part of the celebrations) followed the Rosary and Prayers of Thanksgiving, Praise and Adoration on each day. ‘REJOICE AND BE GLAD’ - the Pope’s apostolic exhortation - was the theme of the celebrations. Frs Joel Pinto, Norbert D’Souza, Walter D’Souza O.C.D., and Nelson Saldanha - the spiritual director of the Konkani CCR gave thought-provoking insights into Pope Francis’ new apostolic exhortation on “the call to holiness in today’s world”. The Concelebrated mass offered by Fr Nelson Saldanha and Fr Cyril D’Souza O.Praem on the first day, was followed by Masses presided over by Bishop Dominic Savio Fernandes and Bishop Barthol Baretto on the second and third days respectively. Abbot Rocky O.Praem and Frs Benedict O.Praem and Peter SVD also concelebrated on these days. The venue, filled to its capacity, bore eloquent witness to the vibrancy of the Konkani CCR in the Archdiocese of Bombay, which is the result of the pastoral guidance and support of the Bishops and the clergy.

CSAPG’s Advent Reflection

The Office for Lay Collaboration in Ministry (OLCM) and the Catholic Secretaries and Administrative Professionals Guild (CSAPG) organised a screening of the film ‘Voices from the Ruins – Kandhamal in search of Justice’ at the Advent Reflection on Saturday, December 15, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at our Lady of Salvation Church Hall, Dadar, Mumbai.

The programme began with a prayer service. The introduction of the film and the discussion that followed thereafter was led by Ms Brinelle D’Souza, a faculty member, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Maritta Pereira from the OLCM then introduced the theme of the Reflection – ‘JESUS IS KNOCKING ON THE DOOR OF YOUR HEART; WILL YOU OPEN?’ She said, “Two thousand years ago, God needed a womb to be born, and Mary said “Yes”. Today, God needs our hearts to be born in… And He knocks on the door… will you open?”

The Advent reflection ended with a beautiful prayer, entreating the Holy Spirit to grant us the vision and courage to build a world where the weak are protected and none go hungry, where the riches of Creation are shared and everyone can enjoy them, a world where different races and cultures live in harmony and mutual respect.

All Things New

The season of Advent and Christmas can be very electrifying, with Christmas lights, decorated trees, tinsel, holly, festive tunes, and more. It is essential to be able to keep a balance and avoid being caught in the chaos of our premature festivities to let the season of Advent be grace-filled… with silent but joyful expectation, as we slow down… watch and wait… and consider how Jesus may be born in us, in our hearts.

A meeting of the Prayer Groups (English, Hindi and Konkani) called by Fr Adrian Ferreira to put together an Advent Preparation for the parishioners of St Blaise, Amboli on Dec. 15, 2018 materialised in the Advent Concert ‘All Things New’ which had ‘Open Secret’, a Mumbai-based Catholic Gospel Band (made up of youngsters, led by Macklin Lacerda) doing their bit by spreading God’s love and hope to all. ‘All Things New’ is a brand-new concert theme that the band had prepared, not just to focus on Christmas as we know it, but to be able to throw light on the entire reason behind Christmas, dwelling on the reason why Jesus needed to be born.

The visuals on the LED screen amplified the experience as they sang songs reflecting on the story of Adam, and moved further through the stories of Lot, Noah, Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham, Moses, Hosea and others. It was heart-warming to be reminded that nobody loves us like God does. What was enlightening was the realisation that God didn’t choose Superheroes to make us aware of His Love. In fact, all the prophets that God selected had their own share of weaknesses. They too were not perfect people. It was consoling to know that no matter how much we stray away, we too are called by God in our own weak capacities that He may convert our weaknesses to strength, that He may REDEEM us, TRANSFORM us, RENEW us, RESTORE us, and MAKE US NEW, as we WITNESS to His Love forever more.

The concert lasted for three hours that day, but the music continues to play in our hearts and minds and beings, as we hum, ‘Nobody loves me like You love me, Jesus; I stand in awe of Your amazing ways.’ It was an amazing and a beautiful experience to be able to draw from the grace of Baby Jesus, seek renewal and newness in our hearts, lives and spirit, as we collaborate with God to make ALL THINGS NEW.


The Retreat House, Bandra, will begin its Spirituality Series on Sunday January 20, 2019 at 10 a.m. on the theme - ‘Praying with the Mystics’. The Series will run for six consecutive Sunday mornings. Resource person: Fr Lancy Prabhu, SJ. Contact Tel. 2642 2096. Email: bandraretreathouse@gmail.com

"Come away with me for a while (Mk 6:31)." The Jesuits at Vinayalaya are offering a Silent Retreat from Friday, January 25 (8 am) to Sunday, January 27 (afternoon) at Vinayalaya, Andheri (E). The retreat will include input sessions, personal prayer time and individual spiritual guidance. For details and registration, contact 2687 1975 or vinayrethouse@gmail.com

Change of Heart Retreat for Married Couples at Vinayalaya Retreat House, Andheri East, from Fri. Feb. 1 evening to Sun. Feb. 3 evening. For details, contact Deacon Jaime (+9192232 73045) & Ligia da Fonseca (+9192222 17906), e-mail: jaime.ligia@gmail.com

Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS), Matunga is organising a Special Eucharist and Blessing for Std. X, XII and XV Youngsters at the Shrine of Don Bosco Madonna, Matunga (E), followed by a special blessing for each youngster on Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 12 noon.

Jesus Encounter Healing Retreat: from Friday, February 8 (7:30am) to Sunday, February 10 (5 pm) at Vinayalaya, Andheri (E), behind Holy Family Church, Chakala. Conducted by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Mumbai . OPEN TO ALL. Registrations at the CCR Office, Dadar (W) – 2430 3626 / 2421 0881/99309 40705. Register early.