26 National News

posted Apr 24, 2019, 6:35 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 24, 2019, 6:35 AM ]

New Delhi
Church in India expresses deep anguish over Sri Lankan Church Attacks

The Catholic Bishops' Council of India (CBCI) expressed deep anguish at the blasts that hit Sri Lankan churches on Easter Sunday. "Our hearts weep for those who died and bleed in Colombo, but we weep even more for those heartless people whose hatred blinds them to massacre innocent human beings. God have mercy on our world. Our prayers for our neighbouring people of Sri Lanka," CBCI said.

Serial bomb blasts rocked Sri Lanka early on Sunday morning, claiming over 200 lives and injuring nearly 400 people. The explosions hit four churches and two luxury hotels in Colombo and other parts of the country. The blasts occurred at 8:45 a.m. (local time) as the Easter Sunday Masses were in progress, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.

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Security stepped up around Delhi churches

The Delhi Police have strengthened security in churches across the capital in the wake of bomb blasts at three churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka that claimed the lives of 290 people, and left more than 500 injured during Easter celebrations on Sunday, April 21.

A two-layer security cordon has been put in place around prominent churches in the city for proper searching and frisking of visitors and people attending morning and evening prayers. While the inner layer security of the churches is being taken care of by private security guards and staffers employed by the churches, the city police, along with personnel from the paramilitary forces, are guarding the outer layer.

"Anti-terror Parakram vans — which carry trained commandos, armed with MP5 submachine guns and other sophisticated weapons — have been deployed outside prominent churches across the city. These commandos are trained in combating threats, and work as first responders during any terrorist attack. We have also deployed policemen in uniform and plainclothes to keep a check on suspicious movements. All anti-terror measures are being taken to thwart any untoward incidents at religious as well as other important installations across the city," said Madhur Verma, Delhi Police spokesperson.


Archdiocese opens shelter home for street dwellers

Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore has allowed a shelter home for the poor street dwellers within the premises of his own residence.

Archbishop Emeritus Bernard Moras opened the home on April 21, in the presence of civil authorities, heads of institutions and organisations, NGOs, priests, nuns and special invitees.

Salesian Fr Edward Thomas, the brain behind Dream India Network and foster homes for children in Karnataka, had always wanted a place for the homeless found on the streets of Bengaluru. Speaking at the opening ceremony, he recalled Archbishop Machado showing him a place within the compound of Archbishop's House. The present requirement of shelter is for around 92,000 people in Bangalore alone.


Catholic priest receives "Best citizen of India" award

A Catholic priest, Fr Vineeth George, was awarded the "Best citizen of India" prize for his work with the marginalised in northern India. The 38-year-old is a member of the Congregation of Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (commonly called Claretians) of the province of Bangalore.

The ceremony took place in Bangalore on April 16. His merits were recognised by the International Publishing House which specialises in biographical publishing. Born in Hyderabad, he was ordained a priest in January 2014. He previously studied at the Loyola Academy run by the Jesuits. He recalls that "it was precisely at that time that my vocation was strengthened". He later specialised at the Matrusri Institute of Post Graduate Studies, and at Jain Deemed-to-be University.


Christo-centric Leadership Retreat transforms participants

An Indore-based movement has helped hundreds of Christians to rediscover Jesus, and reinvent themselves and their works in the past one decade.

"My expectation of having a deeper encounter with Jesus and understanding His mission and recommitting myself to my mission is fulfilled," said Fr Roy Thomas, a participant of the latest Christo Centric Leadership Retreat held during the Holy Week at the headquarters of the Universal Solidarity Movement of Value Education for Peace.