16 Notes & Comments

posted Jan 30, 2019, 9:19 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jan 30, 2019, 9:21 AM ]

Resting in Peace & Beauty


Shroud Burials have been discussed in the various parishes of our archdiocese for quite some time now. It is heartening to note that both, parishes and individuals, have begun to increasingly opt in favour of shroud burials. For those who are still in doubt whether this is a "dignified" or even a "Christian" manner to bury the dead, it is good to recall that Christ Himself was buried wrapped in a simple linen cloth.

But beyond shroud burials, which I hope will soon become the normal practice across the Bombay Archdiocese, it is important that we discuss another issue that we seem to be ignoring – the garbage that is often strewn across graveyards. It is really distressing to come across cellophane sheets from old bouquets, floral foam, discarded plastic vases and containers used for flowers, thermocol, and other such materials lying over the graves, or dumped in the corners of the cemeteries. Not only is this an eyesore, it is also disrespectful towards the departed lying in the graves, to have this garbage piled over them.

It is understandable that we want to express our undying affection towards our beloved departed, and flowers are easily the best way to display our emotions. Yes, we can definitely lay fresh flowers over the graves – but just flowers, not bound together by silver foil or wrapped in cellophane, not stuck into a plastic container or floral foam, not adulterated with thermocol beads. All these extra trappings actually diminish the beauty of the flowers and leave behind a trail of trash. Just flowers and ferns - certainly that's beautiful and expressive enough?


FIAT Festival

Christopher White, cruxnow.com

While World Youth Day may be a mega-event for the global Catholic Church, American pilgrims on hand in Panama were focusing on the small ways in which they might be able to live holy lives upon returning home.

A panel discussion - "Young People, Called to Holiness, In the Church and In the World Today" - tackled a range of themes related to marriage, secularization, same-sex attraction, and more during an hour-long discussion during the 'Fiat Festival' held during the WYD. The festival, organised by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), FOCUS, and the Knights of Columbus, was the major event geared toward English language pilgrims, drawing an estimated 10,000 English language youth to the Amador Convention Centre on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

The panelists, which included a mix of young pilgrims, besides Bishop Edward Burns of Dallas, responded to written audience questions about the practical applications of World Youth Day once pilgrims return home. Drew Dillingham, who along with his wife Kim, had previously given a testimonial about the vocation of marriage, was asked about why marriage within the Church matters in a world that increasingly sees it as unnecessary.


Pope keen to visit India

Matters India/Asia News

Bedwin Taitus K. of India was among ten young people — five men and five women — chosen to share a meal with the Pope at St Joseph's Major Seminary in Panama during the recently concluded World Youth Day. Bedwin said the food they ate was typically Panamanian, and "was really tasty." However, "the food was secondary," he said, "We were too busy concentrating on talking to the Pope!"

Each participant was given the opportunity to ask Pope Francis a question. The conversation turned to the question of if and when Pope Francis will make a pastoral visit to India. Bedwin was encouraged when the Pope said he is "trying to come to India"; he was particularly excited to discover the Pope knew about his home state of Kerala. Bedwin told journalists he was initially nervous, but became at ease and was moved when the Pope told him that "he takes India in his heart and deeply cares for India."

The Indian youth said his question for Pope Francis was "very different" from those of his peers."I asked him how many hours he sleeps," Bedwin said. "He laughed and told me he sleeps for six hours. I told him that I would pray that every day he sleep peacefully." The Pope's response "was very thought-provoking." He told us, 'You have to take care of your Holy Father.' So I had a very beautiful experience." Bedwin, who hails from Kochi, Kerala, had earlier worked in Jesus Youth, an international Catholic movement.

A taste of Panama hospitality

The Indian delegation, comprising of some 56 young people, landed in Panama on January 15, and were hosted in the parish of Atalaya in the Diocese of Santiago de Veraguas, for the preliminary 'Days in the Diocese' event of the WYD. They were accompanied by nine priests, a nun, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Pandarasseril of Kottayam and Fr Deepak Thomas, executive secretary of the Youth Commission of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI).