16 Notes & Comments

posted Jan 16, 2019, 8:01 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jan 16, 2019, 8:02 AM ]

Indian bishops 'deeply concerned' about forward caste reservation


India's Catholic bishops have released a statement saying they are "deeply concerned" that the Indian Parliament adopted a law on Jan. 11, giving reservation in employment and education to members of forward castes. The note was signed by Fr Z Devasagayaraj, national secretary of the Office for Scheduled Castes (Dalits) and Backward Classes of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India.

The prelates say they are "deeply concerned about the dichotomy in rendering social justice in India." For them, "it is a known fact that the Economically Weaker Section is not affected by the caste system in India." Under the new law, this section would get "10% reservation". For this reason, they ask for the inclusion of "Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Caste origin in the Scheduled Caste List."

Catholic leaders have addressed the issue of reservation for the weaker section of the forward castes, something that has been part of a broader debate in the country. They complain that the new law "was introduced in Parliament without a scientific study of the Economically Weaker Section."

The Office for Scheduled Castes (Dalits) and Backward Classes notes that there are "various schemes, scholarships and programmes available for the economically weaker section" and the "Government was … hasty in passing the Bill."


Vocation Promotion Workshop

Thursday, January 10, 2019 saw 52 vocation promoters from different religious congregations across the archdiocese gather at Salvation Church, Dadar for a morning of reflection.

Fr Alban D'Souza and his team led the group in prayer and action songs that got the group energised and raring to go! A short session on games for animating groups was followed by the main speaker, Fr Robert Pen, sdb (Secretary, CBCI Western Region Vocation Commission) sharing ideas on the recent Synod - "Young People, the Faith and Vocation discernment".

The group discussion that followed saw a number of ideas being shared. Below is a summary of the discussion for the benefit of all:

1. Different ways we can listen to the young people of today

Befriend the youth - be with them, accept them; Connect with children at Sunday School, Confirmation classes; Do not ignore them; have a non-judgmental attitude; Have positive body language; Maintain confidentiality to build trust; Family visits; Invite them to visit religious communities at Christmas and on feast days; Involvement in meetings, musical activities; Personal accompaniment, one to one meetings; Offer counselling; attend to their questions.


Why the World Youth Day is such an amazing event

panama2019.pa - WYD official website

1) Because it is the Pope's encounter with the youth

The goal of World Youth Day is to provide a special unique meeting between Pope Francis and the young people of the whole world. Of course, it is still possible to see the Pope on a Vatican pilgrimage or at one of his other international travels, but at WYD, young people are the focus of this Catholic meeting and can experience many special moments with the Pontiff, such as the reflections of the Way of the Cross and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the Vigil.

2) Because we feel family within the Church

Few events in the world gather participants from as many countries as WYD. In 2019, more than 150 nationalities are registered. Together, each one with its flags and accents, we pray, sing, dance, celebrate Holy Mass, and bear witness to love and acceptance as Catholics.

3) Because we exchange gifts from all over the world

One of the traditions of WYD is the act of exchanging souvenirs with pilgrims from other countries. So, do not forget to bring something to WYD, even if just for your host family.