24 National News

posted Mar 27, 2019, 9:48 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 27, 2019, 9:56 PM ]

Signis India National Assembly 2019

SIGNIS (originally UNDA-OCIC) India National Assembly (SINA)-2019 was held at Prerana Sadan, Indore, from February 19 to 22, 2019 with the theme 'Media for Promotion of Truth and Peace'. 104 members from different parts of the country participated in the assembly. The input sessions, as well as the group discussions, highlighted the need for networking among the members and the media professionals, which will eventually promote Truth and Peace in our society.

The assembly felt the need for networking, as there have been great developments in technology, and emphasised the need for a proper platform to respond to social issues by utilising our resources, which otherwise are getting scattered. An effective evangelization aimed at the promotion of truth and peace in our society is possible, only if we network as we pass on information and ideas to all involved, and make united efforts.

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Father of street children passes away

A priest who worked for street children in various Indian cities for over 33 years died on March 19. Salesian Fr Antony Thaiparambil died at Don Bosco Provincial House, New Delhi. He was 84. Fr Antony was the eldest of three brothers; two became Salesians in Calcutta province, and the third - a Jesuit priest. Fr Antony's younger brother, Salesian Br. T.V. Mathew, died on February 1 in Kolkata.

Fr Antony started work for street children in the same room in Pilkhana slum near Howrah Railway Station that French author Dominique Lapierre used while writing his eponymous novel The City of Joy.

The Salesian priest, who had completed his Master of Social Work degree, noticed an unsettling number of children roaming on the platforms of Kolkata's Howrah Railway station. The children looked distressed and miserable. Alarmed, he decided to approach them and learn more about their situation. He started coming to the station regularly to spend time with them. He learned about their struggles, their constant fight for survival, and the abuse they often suffered. He observed that they did menial jobs during the day, and fought for their safety at night. Unable to bear such misery, Fr Antony decided to act.


Superstition stops priest's first Mass

A newly ordained Catholic priest faces social exclusion in his village, as Catholics now consider him a "bad omen" after 11 of his close relatives died in a road accident on his ordination day. Fr Dibyaranjan Digal of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archdiocese was ordained on Jan. 22, but has yet to celebrate his first Mass in his native St Joseph Church, Godapur parish in Odisha's Kandhamal district.

He lost 11 of his relatives, when a bus carrying 50 people to his ordination ceremony overturned and fell in a gorge. The ordination of four deacons was conducted at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Bamunigam, about 15 km from Fr Digal's parish. Two of his sisters were among those critically injured. His parents were saved because they arrived the day before the ordination.


Tamil Nadu
HC rejects plea to change election dates

The Madras High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which sought a direction to the Election Commission of India to reschedule the polling date, which is scheduled on April 18 in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, or in the alternative, to shift the election booths to any other premises convenient for the government and public, other than the schools run by the Christian community, since the election date falls on Maundy Thursday, and within the 'Three Holy Days' or the "Holy Triduum" of utmost religious importance for Christians, and essential for Christian faith.

A division bench, comprising Justices S. Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad, dismissed the PIL filed by Most Rev. Dr Antony Pappusamy, Archbishop and President, Tamil Nadu Bishops' Council.