22 National News

posted May 8, 2019, 8:10 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 8, 2019, 8:10 AM ]

Churches hit by Cyclone Fani

At least eight people were killed when the extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani barrelled into the Odisha coast on May 3. Several churches, including St Vincent's Pro-Cathedral Church and the residence of the archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar were severely hit, when the storm, considered the worst in the past 20 years, unleashed torrential rain and winds up to 175 km per hour.


Outreach to victims of Cyclone Fani

Catholic Relief Services was involved in operations to ensure the safety of residents in Odisha and in Bangladesh, in the wake of Cylcone Fani. CRS distributed supplies to Cox's Bazaar refugee camp in Bangladesh, where almost 1 million Rohingya refugees reside. Caroline Brennan, Communications Director for CRS' humanitarian response team, said, "We are working closely with our Church partners in both India and Bangladesh who are best placed to assess the damage and respond quickly."


Security of Goa heritage church complex reviewed

In view of the Easter Sunday terror attacks on churches in Sri Lanka, the Goa Police has conducted a security assessment at one of Goa's most popular church complexes in Old Goa, which houses 17th century religious structures, said a police officer recently. "We conducted a security assessment as well as a training programme for security guards posted at the Old Goa Church complex," said Jivba Dalvi, of Old Goa Police Station. "Guards posted at the church complex were briefed about the security measures, dos and don'ts, precautions, ways to efficiently check luggage, etc," Dalvi said.


Bishop Derek appointed Bishop of Belgaum

Most Rev. Derek Fernandes, presently the Bishop of Karwar, has been appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Belgaum. As per the communication received from the Apostolic Nunciature via the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) secretary general, Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, the announcement was made public in Rome on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 3:30 pm. Making an official announcement, the Administrator of the Diocese of Belgaum, Fr Eusebio Fernandes, said that the clergy and the laity of the diocese of Belgaum have been praying for 11 months for the gift of a Bishop, and the date of the installation of the new bishop would be decided shortly.


SA Jesuits rediscover richness of 'Spiritual Conversation'

A group of South Asian Jesuits has expressed the joy of rediscovering the richness of an Ignatian spiritual tradition. President of the Jesuit Conference of South Asia, Fr George Pattery, called the 'spiritual conversation' "a rare fruit." Some 200 Jesuits from 19 provinces and regions of South Asia attended the April 25-28 assembly on 'Interculturality for Reconciled Life and Mission,' held at the Jesuit philosophy-theology centre, Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune.

Fr Pattery said that the Jesuits continue to rediscover the Ignatian treasure that is always present. He invited the Jesuits to sharpen and nuance the tool of 'spiritual conversation' and use it in their communities. Fr Pattery, a member of the Calcutta Jesuit province, said the Ignatian tool for discernment introduced 'respectful listening', providing a true democratic space for those engaged in it.


Muslims pray for Christian victims of Sri Lanka

Hundreds of Muslims gathered outside the church of St Filomena in Mysore (Karnataka) to express solidarity with the Christian victims of the attacks on Easter Day in three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka. The gathering took place on Sunday 28 April, while Mass was held inside. At the same time, the Muslim faithful, in meditation outside the place of Christian worship, sent a powerful message: "Hate cannot divide unity."