Issues Vol. 63‎ > ‎

Vol. 63 No. 18 • MAY 04 - 10, 2019

01 Cover

posted Apr 30, 2019, 6:33 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 30, 2019, 6:33 AM ]

03 Index

posted Apr 30, 2019, 6:32 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 30, 2019, 6:32 AM ]

04 Official

posted Apr 30, 2019, 6:31 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 3, 2019, 12:03 AM ]

05 Engagements

posted Apr 30, 2019, 6:30 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 30, 2019, 6:31 AM ]

07 Editorial - Month of a Marian Memorial - Fr Anthony Charanghat

posted Apr 30, 2019, 6:26 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 30, 2019, 6:27 AM ]

For centuries, Catholics throughout the world have honoured the Blessed Virgin Mary with special devotion of the Rosary during the month of May and crowning her as a Queen of Peace, making it truly the month of a Marian Memorial. Besides, the month of May largely corresponds with the Church’s liturgical season of Easter, the 50 days between Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday. The popular Marian piety encouraged by the Church is not at odds with the season of Easter.

In the Easter season and during this month of May, we celebrate with Mary, the Resurrection of the Lord. Truly, Mary’s heart was filled ‘with joy beyond all telling’ at the Resurrection of her Son. We share in her joy and we ask for her intercession and protection, that we may obtain peace in these turbulent times of terror and political conflict. We plead that she help us secure the elusive joy of everlasting life won by her Risen Son. The Church highlights this joy in the Easter prayer that is called the ‘Regina Coeli’. We sing or say: “Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia. Has risen as He said, alleluia.”

Mary had stood at the foot of the cross as the sorrowful Mother, joined with the suffering of her Son. She stood by Jesus in His agony on the cross and witnessed the suffering and death of her beloved Son. It was during this agony that Our Lord gave us Mary as our Mother. In His great love for us, through St. John, Jesus entrusted His mother to us and entrusted us to His mother. She is with us and teaches us to join in solidarity with all our brothers and sisters who are tragic victims of the recent gruesome attacks of terror and not to fear in political, economic or social troubled times.

It is also good in the Easter season to reflect on Mary’s presence in the community of the first disciples waiting for Pentecost. As we approach the feast of Pentecost, we can reflect on that first community of disciples praying together in the upper room after Jesus’ Ascension into heaven. Mary was with them in prayer, awaiting the descent of the Holy Spirit. Mary had already been overshadowed by the Holy Spirit at the Annunciation, when she conceived the Son of God and became the Mother of Christ. At Pentecost, she would again be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, filled with His grace to fulfil her new role as Mother of Christ’s Body, the Church.

In light of our Blessed Mother’s joy at her Son’s Resurrection and of her loving and prayerful presence with the disciples in the upper room at Pentecost, we can celebrate this Marian month of May with deeper meaning. In the beautiful prayer of the rosary, we meditate on the mysteries of Jesus, the key moments of His life. As we pray the rosary, Mary helps us to put Jesus at the centre of our attention, our thoughts, and our actions. The Holy Father invites us to pray the rosary together in the family or with friends or in the parish. Praying the rosary together strengthens family life, friendships, parish life and can direct us to the gift of Easter Peace - the path of Peace to the world.

We believe that Mary reigns in glory with her Son, interceding for us and all God’s children. This Easter season is a reminder that Mary, the humble handmaid of the Lord who was on earth, now shares in the glory of her Son’s resurrection and has been exalted by God as the Queen of all creation. May Mary, our Mother and our Queen, help us to follow her Son and one day receive the crown of glory in heaven.

08 MARY: Fortitude of Faith - Bp Thomas J. Tobin

posted Apr 30, 2019, 6:24 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 30, 2019, 6:24 AM ]

To the crisis in the understanding of the Church, to the crisis of morality, to the crisis of woman, the then Cardinal Ratzinger has a remedy, among others, to propose "that has concretely shown its effectiveness throughout the centuries." "A remedy whose reputation seems to be clouded today with some Catholics, but one that is more than ever relevant." It is the remedy that he designates with a short name: Mary.

"If the place occupied by Mary has been essential to the equilibrium of the Faith, today it is urgent, as in few other epochs of the Church, to rediscover that place."

Ratzinger's testimony is also humanly important, having been arrived at along a personal path of rediscovery, of gradual deepening, almost in the sense of a full "conversion," of the Marian mystery. In fact, he confides to me: "As a young theologian, in the time before (and also during) the Council, I had, as many did then, and still do today, some reservations in regard to certain ancient formulas, as, for example, that famous De Maria nunquamsatis, 'concerning Mary, one can never say enough.' It seemed exaggerated to me. So it was difficult for me later to understand the true meaning of another famous expression (current in the Church since the first centuries when—after a memorable dispute—the Council of Ephesus, in 431, had proclaimed Mary Theotokos - Mother of God). The declaration, namely, that designated the Virgin as 'the conqueror of all heresies.' Now—in this confused period where truly every type of heretical aberration seems to be pressing upon the doors of the authentic faith—now I understand that it was not a matter of pious exaggerations, but of truths that today are more valid than ever."

"Yes," he continues, "it is necessary to go back to Mary, if we want to return to that 'truth about Jesus Christ,' truth about the Church' and the 'truth about man' that John Paul II proposed as a programme to the whole of Christianity when, in 1979, he opened the Latin American episcopal conference in Puebla. The bishops responded to the Pope's proposal by including in the first documents (the very ones that have been read only incompletely by some) their unanimous wish and concern: 'Mary must be more than ever the pedagogy, in order to proclaim the Gospel to the men of today.' Precisely in that continent, where the traditional Marian piety of the people is in decline, the resultant void is being filled by political ideologies. It is a phenomenon that can be noted almost everywhere to a certain degree, confirming the importance of that piety which is no mere piety."

Six Reasons for Not Forgetting

The Cardinal lists six points in which—albeit in a very concise, and therefore necessarily incomplete, way—he sees the importance of Mary with regard to the equilibrium and completeness of the Catholic Faith.


09 Evangelization and Decentralisation: Keywords in the new Vatican Constitution

posted Apr 30, 2019, 6:22 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 30, 2019, 6:22 AM ]

It took 29 meetings, but the Pope's "C-9" (Council of Cardinal advisers), which is now functionally more akin to a "C-6", has a new Constitution for the Vatican, in the form of a draft presented to all the bishops' conferences around the world, the heads of the various departments of the Holy See, theologians and canonists. Spanish journalist Dario Menor Torres, writing for the weekly Vida Nueva, reveals several elements of the new Vatican Constitution that has been in development for years, but the two core messages emerging from the new document are: decentralisation and evangelization.

The biggest novelty in the document, called Praedicate Evangelium ["Preach the Gospel"], will be the creation of the "super dicastery" for evangelization, which will potentially be more important than the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), often called "The Supreme Congregation". The new "super dicastery" for evangelization will result from the merging of two already existing bodies: The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, also known as Propaganda Fidei, that is tasked with overseeing "missionary territories;" and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, that was created in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI to confront the rapid secularization of Western countries.

Another of the novelties in the new Constitution is that the Curia will no longer be divided into "congregations" and the less prestigious "pontifical councils"; instead, all autonomous Vatican departments will be called "dicasteries," which has already been applied to several new bodies established by Pope Francis.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, who is on the C-9, said, "The main point of the new Apostolic Constitution is that the mission of the Church is evangelization. It puts it at the centre of the Church, and everything the Curia does. It will be the first dicastery. The name of the text shows that evangelization is the principal objective, ahead of anything else." Cardinal Gracias also highlighted that another aim of the drafters of the new Constitution was fighting "centralization". The issue was discussed by the cardinals who elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio to succeed Benedict XVI, "so Francis was elected on a mandate to do this," Gracias said.

According to the report from Vida Nueva, Pope Francis could sign the new Constitution on June 29, the Solemnity of Peter and Paul. The draft of Praedicate Evangelium was sent to the world's bishops' conferences, heads of the Vatican's dicasteries and other Church officials to review the document, and send suggestions by the end of May. The plan is to compile all the suggestions, make the necessary modifications, and for the Council of Cardinal Advisers to review it again during their June 25-27 meeting.


11 ABOUNA FRANS will Never Die - Fr Cedric Prakash SJ

posted Apr 30, 2019, 6:21 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 30, 2019, 6:21 AM ]

Miryiam (name changed) spoke in a steely voice, but with passion as tears welled in her eyes, "Yes, they killed him! But for me, Abouna Frans will never die!" Those words of a young lady are a fitting tribute to a person who meant so much to her and to many others. Her profound sentiments echo the feelings of hundreds of others who were impacted by Abouna Frans. "I went for retreats with him. He listened to my pain and brokenness; when I cried, he cried too. He was truly a Father to me!" She goes on and on narrating one incident after another- each time unfolding the holiness, the humanness, the sensitivity and the grace that were the hall-marks of a modern day saint.

Fr. Frans Van Der Lugt was brutally gunned down in Homs Syria, five years ago, on April 7, 2014. 'Abouna Frans', as he was lovingly called, was a Dutch Jesuit who was born on April 10, 1938 in The Hague. His father was a banker. In 1959, he entered the Society of Jesus and seven years later opted to serve as a Jesuit in the Middle East. With the exception of a short break to complete his doctorate in Psychology, he spent almost fifty years (from 1976) in Syria. He founded the Al-Ard institute in Homs, where handicapped children of all religions and ethnic groups found a warm and welcoming haven.

In 2011, when civil war erupted in Syria, he chose to remain in the country, among the people he loved, suffering the shortages and pains of the conflict, alongside both Muslims and Christians. As the fighting intensified, Fr Frans moved to the Jesuit residence in Boustan –Diwan (the inner city). From there he shared the suffering of the inhabitants, refusing to leave, even as that part of the city continued to be bombed from all sides. His centre became a home for those who had nowhere to go: Muslims and Christians; old and young. It was a 'safe place' for them and Fr Frans was their refuge. His message to all was one of hope: of mercy and reconciliation, of justice and of peace!

The Jesuits of Netherlands and Flanders recently produced an animated film on Abouna Frans. The film begins when he is being killed and then he gradually looks back into his life. In the film he makes a powerful appeal to the whole world: only love triumphs and it must come first!

Abouna Frans was an extraordinary person: fully human, fully alive. He was warm and compassionate to all; to the youth, he was an inspirer and motivator, who never tired of hiking, trekking and long walks in the beauty of nature; to the elderly, he was a friend and mentor; little children loved to cling to his long legs; for Muslims and Christians, for atheists and agnostics, for those belonged to different sects and rites, he was a bridge-builder, a reconciler, a person who could draw the best out of them; for the spiritually weak and lost, he was a source of strength and a patient listener. He was a true shepherd, always in the midst of his sheep, who smelled of them. They simply loved him. He had the courage of his convictions and he communicated this unequivocally.


12 Give PEACE a Chance - Dr. (Sr.) Mudita Menona Sodder RSCJ

posted Apr 30, 2019, 6:19 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 30, 2019, 6:19 AM ]

I hail from Goa, which is said to be one of the most peaceful states of India. I am connected with many Peace organizations, like Taize (France), Universal Solidarity Movement (Indore), Tarumitra (Patna), Streevani (Pune), Samanvaya and Centre for Study of Society and Secularism (CSSS), Mumbai, etc. However, during Holy Week 2019, on deeper reflection, I got to grips with my own inner Violence or Un-Peace. Is my body, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, in sync? There can be peace within, only when my body, mind and spirit are one. Is there a balance in my life between eating, sleeping, working and praying? Do I eat the right types of food and in the correct quantity; or do I indulge in greed and gluttony, and binge on junk food? Do I sleep for eight hours every night, giving my tired body the time and chance to recuperate, rejuvenate and become whole again? Do I give my 100 per cent to everything I do, say or think about? How whole and authentic is my relationship with God, made real through my relationships with others? In honesty, I know I have sinned gravely. Lord, help me to give Peace a chance in my own being first, so that I can then become an Ambassador for Peace.

When I look around, all I witness is a culture of violence, prejudice and discrimination, which is fast spreading. I know that more the violence, the greater is the need for peace, and the more the indifference, the greater should be the sensitivity. As a disciple of the Mahatma, in this 150th birth anniversary of Kasturba and Gandhi, both Apostles of Peace and Non-Violence; and as a true follower, I too want to contribute to the building up of a civilization of love and peace.

According to William Barclay, the Scottish theologian, the mule (soft power) is a symbol of peace, while the horse (hard power) is a symbol of war. No wonder Jesus used a donkey to enter into Jerusalem. With my Donkey Spirituality ("the Lord has NEED of you"), how can I work for peace at the grassroot level? How can I be proactive, especially in situations of conflict? What initiatives do I need to take in order to bring about peace? I want to be a channel of peace. I want to cultivate and nurture peace. I want to make adequate and effective resolutions in order to create awareness about peace, forgiveness and harmony, dialogue and reconciliation.

We can no longer continue with the sin of silence. Propaganda is at its peak, and the electorate is polarised. The mental collapse is also linked to the propensity for violence. Pope Francis (World Day of Peace Message 2019) encourages us to engage in the political process for good governance and sustainable peace. As a Eucharistic people, it is our Christian duty to reach out to others, serve all humbly, render unflinching support to defend the pluralistic and secular fabric of the country. We have to vote for Peace, not for hate politics or violence. We have to free ourselves and others from fear, want, discrimination and sexual violence for women, men, transgender people and children. We have to uproot bitterness, divisiveness and violence from our own hearts first, if we, the people of India, want to overcome and ensure the realisation of great Indian stalwarts and visionaries who have gone before us. For this to materialise, we need to increase in ourselves the peace to forgive and be forgiven, and to encourage others, so that they too get the courage to follow suit.


14 National Museumof Indian Cinema - Cynera Rodricks

posted Apr 30, 2019, 6:17 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 30, 2019, 6:18 AM ]

If you are looking for options for an outing in the city this summer, this new museum at Pedder Road is worth a visit.

Have you ever wondered how films are made or how the Bollywood machine works? Are you enchanted by the world of movies and film stars? Or are you passionate about the historic, social or cultural impact of Indian cinema? Whatever your motivation for films or Indian films in particular, the newly opened National Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai is bound to expand your horizons and give you an educated insight into all things ‘cinema’.

Since its inception, cinema has remained the most powerful media of mass communication in India. Cinema has the ability to combine entertainment with communication of ideas. It also has the ability to touch the innermost layers of a person. A film can evoke joy, pain, empathy and happiness in a viewer, a myriad of emotions. Cinema is not just a form of entertainment; it can be a reflection into the world we live. The Indian film industry has evolved over a period of time, and can now be probably considered to be a global second to its more illustrious elder brother in the US. But Indian cinema cannot be really compared to Hollywood, since it carries a unique DNA and outlook towards the making of films. Indian cinema is intrinsically connected to India and the Indian people.

The museum commemorates the entire history of cinema from its origins to the New Wave, in a story-telling mode with the help of visuals, graphics, short films, publicity materials, artifacts, interactive exhibits and multimedia, making the entire experience very engaging. The museum is housed in an elegant 19th century heritage bungalow, Gulshan Mahal, along with another newly built state-of-the-art NMIC building (New Building of National Museum of Indian Cinema) that has four floors and two mezzanine floors with a total built up area of 12,000 sq. meters. The entry fee is minimal, and to be honest the museum offers you way too much for the price you pay. It is ₨ 20 for locals, Rs 500 for foreign nationals and free for kids below 12 years and students with valid college ID.


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