18 National News

posted Feb 14, 2019, 9:57 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 14, 2019, 9:58 AM ]

ICPA Awards

Senior journalist Anto Akkara, who has been carrying on a relentless campaign for truth and justice for the voiceless Christian victims of Kandhamal, has been chosen for the Fr Louis Careno Award of the Indian Catholic Press Association.

Besides chronicling with his books the incredible witness of the valiant Christians of the remote Kandhamal jungles of Odisha, following the orchestrated violence of 2008, Anto has also silenced the Hindu nationalists, exposing their fraud and political conspiracy behind the bloodshed with his investigative book 'Who killed Swami Laxmanananda?' He has so far written five books on the Kandhamal issue.


Government shuts down Nirmal Hriday

The Government of India has cancelled the license of 16 child care institutions, including Nirmal Hriday run by the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa in Ranchi. This follows a report submittted by the Jharkhand State Commission for Protection of Children's Rights, with a recommendation to take action against 31 institutions. The action comes as a result of the case of baby selling in Nirmal Hriday in July last year. The Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Raghubar Das, had ordered the Commission to present a report on the situation, monitoring 126 homes throughout the state. 16 child care institutions were closed due to "reported violations of various provisions of the law on juvenile justice," said the Director of the Commission, D.K. Saxena.


SVP Society, Gujarat wins 11th Human Dignity Award

Kaira Social Service Society (KSSS), a Diocesan Centre for Social Action celebrated its 52nd Anniversary day as Human Dignity Day at Town Hall, Anand on February 6, 2019. Fr Jagdish Macwan, Director of KSSS, highlighted the significance of the day by sharing the Word of God. "God created man in His own image and likeness, so we need to work tirelessly for Human Dignity." He recognised the works and services of St Vincent De Paul Society and congratulated the team. Fr Rocky Pinto welcomed all the dignitaries and participants. Mrs Tarlaben Parmar highlighted the achievements of KSSS by reading the Annual Report. Rt Rev. Rethnaswamy, Bishop of Ahmedabad and the President of KSSS, conferred the 11th Human Dignity Award to St Vincent De Paul Society, Gujarat Conference for the outstanding dedicated services in promoting the dignity of aged, sick and the poor who are on the periphery of society. Mr Daniel Christi received the Human Dignity Award on behalf of the Society.


92-year-old priest conferred France's highest civilian honour

Fr Francois Laborde, a 92-year-old priest, was recently conferred the Légion d'Honneur (Legion of Honour), the highest civilian award of France, in recognition of his work for specially-abled children.

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Madhya Pradesh
Statue of Mary set on fire in Jhabua

A statue of the Virgin Mary was set on fire in Madhya Pradesh, in the village of Ishgar, which falls under the diocese of Jhabua. This was reported by the Christian group Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). Its president, Sajan K. George, said that the fire "took place on February 3. The statue of Mary was found burnt in the grotto of the parish of St Joseph, about 10 km away from the Archbishop's house." The Christian community, he adds, "is very disturbed, and its religious sentiment is deeply wounded."

Fr Rockey Shah, spokesman for the diocese of Jhabua, announced that a complaint had been registered. "Investigations are under way. We presented a memorandum to the police officer and the Collector. We have asked our people to pray for peace and harmony and not to react aggressively."


World Apostolate of Fatima meetings

The third Asian Congress and 10th Indian National Council of the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF) were held in Kolkata from February 3-5 at Seva Kendra, Kolkata, followed by Goa, February 6-7.

Archbishop Thomas D'Souza of Calcutta, WAF International President Prof. Americo Pablo Lopez Ortiz, Archbishop Peter Machado, Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa and Daman, Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, Bishop Fulgence of Raiganj, Dr Celcio Dias, International Secretary, Vice Chairman India, WAF and Fr Sunny Mathai Varkey Menonkattil, national President of WAF (India) addressed the delegates.