14 Local News

posted Apr 4, 2019, 9:34 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 4, 2019, 9:35 AM ]

AHLC launches new website

The website of the Archdiocesan Human Life Committee was officially launched by Bishop Agnelo Gracias, an ardent pro-lifer and long time supporter of the Pro-life initiatives of the Committee, at the Pro-life Day Rally on Sunday, March 24, at St Michael Church, Mahim.

To promote the Culture of Life, the website aims at reaching every corner of the archdiocese and beyond. It promises answers to questions on the rationale behind the Church's stand on various moral and ethical life issues, such as abortion, contraception, IVF and surrogacy, euthanasia, homosexuality - to name a few. There are sections on the Memorials to the Unborn in our archdiocese and Pro-life petitions for intercessory groups. In the 'Queries' section, a comprehensive list of Pro-life issues is published, for which the Committee can be contacted for counselling and guidance. In the 'Publications' section, copies of 'Jeevutsav' - the Committee's newsletter are available, as well as earlier issues. This section also has details of other Pro-life pamphlets, books and handouts that can be ordered for schools, colleges and other institutions. The website contains a section where visitors to the site can send their questions and feedback directly to the Committee and receive answers to their questions from the Committee. We invite you dear Pro-life readers to visit www.ahlc.org.in and send the Committee your queries and feedback.

Basic Scripture Course in Marathi: Graduation Day

Muktisagar Prabhodan Kendra (MSPK), Uttan is glad to announce that 36 candidates who had enrolled for the one-year Basic Scripture course in Marathi received their graduation certificates on March 24, 2019. The certificates were presented by His Lordship Bishop John Rodrigues, the Bishop-in-charge of the Archdiocesan Bible Committee. The theme for the ceremony was 'Go into the world and proclaim the Gospel' (Mk 16:15).

The programme began with an opening prayer conducted by two candidates of the advanced Bible course. This was followed by a short reflection. A welcome prayer dance was performed by the Confirmation students of Our Lady of the Sea Church, Uttan. Br Dylan D'Souza addressed the gathering about the Marathi Bible Basic Course that was conducted this year. He gave a little background on the genesis of the course, shared an outline of the courses conducted, and urged the candidates as laity to start and be part of the Bible Cells in their parishes. Fr Leslie Malya, Director of MSPK, explained the significance of the new logo prepared for MSPK by the Catholic Communication Centre. The logo was formally launched by Bishop John Rodrigues. Fr Peter D'Cunha, the Dean of Bhayandar deanery, spoke about the need to be spiritual heroes, and that reading and studying the Bible is a life-long process that should never end.

There were two testimonies presented by graduating candidates, Bernard Possa and Helen Kini. Bishop John Rodrigues delivered an inspiring speech. First, he congratulated the candidates for their dedication and love for the Word. He made everyone aware of the need to experience Jesus in and through the Bible. One of the candidates, Raphael Nabar, came forward to share his thoughts about this course. A contemplative-in-action who related his own life to the exile of the Israelites in Babylon, Raphael spoke his heart out. This was followed by the felicitation ceremony where Fr Leslie's words stood out. Scripture has to be learned under the guidance of someone with full dedication. Recalling the words of Pope Benedict XVI in Verbum Domini, Fr Leslie said, "We can never read Scripture simply on our own. We come up against too many closed doors, and we slip too easily into error." (Art. 30). He said, "You don't become Bible gurus by this course. Indeed, you have found a way to reach that perfection through this course. Let this be your beginning, and keep trying to reach that perfection as a servant and student of Jesus." In the felicitation ceremony, the top five students were felicitated, two inspiring candidates and a thought-provoking candidate were honoured, and everyone was felicitated with the certificate along with a Marathi copy of "Rejoice and be Glad" (Gaudete et Exsultate) 'on the call to holiness in today's world'. Then a skit and dance performance by the candidates to share their moment of happiness and also to express their gratitude for what they have learnt over the year. Kudos to Fr Leslie Malya and his team for bringing these candidates closer to Jesus.

Br Dylan D'Souza (Regent at Uttan)

Deepen Your Faith Course

Deepen Your Faith is a practical-oriented Theology course for the Laity conducted at the St Andrew's College, Bandra, under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Bombay. Deepen Your Faith completed its 26th year in succession on March 30, 2019, with over 90 participants enrolled this year.

Speaking on the occasion of the closing ceremony, Bishop Barthol Barretto appreciated and commended the role of Adv. Joaquim Reis in giving the lay people of Mumbai an opportunity to deepen their faith through this course.

Bishop Barthol highlighted two key texts—"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10)and "You are the salt of the Earth; You are the Light of the World" (Mt 5:13-16). Bishop Barthol emphasised the need of the participants to reflect on these words of Jesus, and live lives of abundance, by depending on the Lord to provide our every need. This will enable us to be the salt and light to all those around us. Begin with the family, move out to the neighbourhood, and then the community at large, was his appeal.

The theme close to the heart of Pope Francis: "A poor Church for the poor" was the topic for the year 2018-2019. The excellent faculty, invited from different parts of India, exposed the participants to a rich variety of thoughts, dwelling on the theme from different perspectives. The works and writings of eminent philosophers, sociologists, and economists are discussed, and more importantly, how scripture, be it the Old or New Testament, refer, treat and considered the poor was deeply looked into. We come to realise how the poor are always close to the heart of God, as they have a special openness to God, their lives being totally dependent on Him for their needs.

The field trip, debate, live-in at JDV Pune and Retreat, being part of the curriculum, gave the participants ample opportunities to actively participate in the discussions with dedicated and knowledgable lecturers from various Catholic institutions.

The course provokes and teaches us to think and reflect on our own lives, and seek new ways of looking at people around us through the eyes of Jesus. The Deepen Your Faith Course is open to all those seeking to grow, deepen, and mature their relationship with God.

The theme for the next course, beginning July 27, is "The Church – Leaven of Society". For enrolment and further details, one may contact Adv. Joaquim Reis, beginning July 2019, or refer to the Notice Boards in the parishes.

Agnelo Braganza

Bible Quiz Master scores a 100

The Bible Quiz which took place on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at St Joseph Church, Goregaon East, was a special one. The quiz held on Bible Sunday under the spiritual guidance of Fr Jude Rodrigues, Priest-in-Charge, was the 100th quiz conducted by our parishioner, Mr Lawrence Sahayadass.

After the enthronement of the Bible, the contest was declared open by the Chief Guest, Fr Andrew Aranha, Dean of the Theology Department, St Pius X College, Goregaon East. This was followed by a short video, showing pictures and videos of past achievements of Lawrence's quiz journey in different parts of Mumbai, Gandhidham, Tanjore and Chennai. Lawrence began as a Sunday School Catechist, taught the confirmands, and then the Lord called him to serve in His vineyard. Lawrence is studying for the Permanent Diaconate in the Archdiocese of Bombay.

The quiz was held on the book of Exodus. There were six rounds and one lifeline - 'Ask the Expert'. The Expert was Brother Conrad from St Pius X College. The engaging competition was won by Stacy D'Cunha and Jeston Saldanha belonging to St Teresa of Avila Community. The first runners-up were Elma Mathew and Alden D'Souza from St Pius X Community; the 2nd runners-up - Varghese Yohanan and Manuel Pasi from St Paul Community.

Out of the 100 quiz programmes, Lawrence has conducted 45 Bible Quiz programmes. The same evening, he conducted his 101st Quiz programme - a Bible Quiz at St Teresa Church, Girgaum. We are very fortunate to have a professional quiz master as our parishioner. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Afra D'souza, St Joseph Church, Goregaon East


Lenten Retreat: from Friday, April 12 (7:30 am) to Sunday, April 14 (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.

Biblical Sacred Triduum Retreat: Jointly organised by The Retreat House and the Catholic Bible Institute, at the Retreat House, Bandra, from 8 am on Holy Thursday, April 18, to 4 pm on Holy Saturday, April 20. Come, enter deeper into the Saving Events of Our Lord's Passion, Death and Resurrection through profound Scriptural talks and liturgies. Total cost: Rs 1700 only. Prior registration before Monday, April 15 obligatory. Contact 2642 7648/2642 2095/98196 01562.

The Retreat House, Bandra, will conduct its Summer Vacation Retreat starting from May 2 evening and ending on May 10 evening. Contact: 2642 2095/2645 5296. Email: bandraretreathouse@gmail.com

Open Growth Retreat: May 11-12, from 8:30 am – 5 pm each day. Venue: Salvation Seva Kendra, 2nd Floor, Gokhale Road, Dadar (W). Conducted by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Mumbai. Registrations at the CCR Office, Dadar (W) – 2430 3626/2421 0881/99309 40705. Register early.

St Stanislaus Villa 'Family' Holiday Camp

Camp 1: 5 Days - Wed. 08 May - Sun. 12 May
Camp 2: 5 Days - Wed. 15 May - Sun. 19 May
Camp 3: 5 Days - Wed. 22 May - Sun. 26 May
Camp 4: 6 Days - Tue. 28 May to Sun. 02 June

There is a bus available for those interested. For more information & registration, get in touch with The Parish Office, St Peter's Church, Hill Rd, Bandra. Tel: 2645 9474/2642 3098 Or WhatsApp 'CAMP FORM ' to Fr Gerard C. Rodricks sj 92232 62524.