18 Notes & Comments

posted May 16, 2019, 2:13 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 16, 2019, 2:40 AM ]

Christians and Muslims: Promoting Universal Fraternity

Message for the month of Ramadan and Id Al-Fitr

Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters,

The month of Ramadan, with its dedication to fasting, prayer and almsgiving, is also a month for strengthening the spiritual bonds we share in Muslim-Christian friendship. I am pleased, therefore, to take this opportunity to wish you a peaceful and fruitful celebration of Ramadan.

Our religions invite us to "remain rooted in the values of peace; to defend the values of mutual understanding, human fraternity and harmonious coexistence; to re-establish wisdom, justice and love" (cf. Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, Abu Dhabi, 4 February 2019).

We, Muslims and Christians, are called to open ourselves to others, knowing and recognising them as brothers and sisters. In this way, we can tear down walls raised out of fear and ignorance, and seek together to build bridges of friendship that are fundamental for the good of all humanity. We thus cultivate in our families, and in our political, civil and religious institutions, a new way of life, where violence is rejected, and the human person respected.

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Pope draws lessons from Mother Teresa

Catholic News Service

Pope Francis went to the tiny Balkan nation of North Macedonia to pay tribute to a tiny saint who accomplished big things: St Teresa of Kolkata. Mother Teresa was born Agnes Ganxhe Bojaxhiu to Albanian parents in Skopje on August 26, 1910. After paying the obligatory formal visit to North Macedonia's President, Pope Francis went on May 7 to the memorial and museum built on the site of the church where she was baptised. (The church was destroyed in an earthquake.)

"Moved by the love of God," the Pope told the President, Mother Teresa "made love of neighbour the supreme law of her life." At the memorial, Pope Francis did not speak about the saintly founder of the Missionaries of Charity, but after praying silently before her relics, he praised God for the gift of her life and prayed for her intercession for North Macedonia. Pope Francis also prayed that God would give Christians the grace "to become signs of love and hope in our own day, when so many are poor, abandoned, marginalised and migrants."

Among the guests present at the memorial were dozens of Missionaries of Charity, about 100 of the people they serve in Skopje, and two of Mother Teresa's cousins, the Vatican said.

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A Labour of Love in His vineyard

In the footsteps of Christ the High Priest who started His ministry after three decades of His life immersed in the world, Fr Prax Pereira began his labour of love in the vineyard of the Lord to fulfil Christ's call to the priesthood. Indeed, it was a long journey that spread across parishes, beginning at Dadar and then Santa Cruz as an assistant priest; later as Principal at Byculla, and at Victoria High School, Mahim. He was the Spiritual Director of the Senatus of the Legion of Mary for nine years—a responsibility he carried out with great dedication, as it was something very close to his heart. He was appointed Parish Priest of St Joseph Church, Juhu, after which he was loaned to the Diocese of Shimla-Chandigarh where he served for four years.

Fr Prax was then appointed Secretary at Archbishop's House, and in 1988, was appointed Rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount. He was at the Mount for seven years, and during this time, he laboured hard and guided the setting up of the multipurpose building called 'Mary Hill', just opposite the Basilica. He continued to assist at Archbishop's House with the Archives, and also saw to the preparation of the Liturgical calendar (Ordo). He was once again appointed the Spiritual Director of the Senatus of the Legion of Mary for five years. In June 1996, he came to St Anne's, Pali, Bandra, and for almost 23 years, resided there, serving the parish, and experiencing the love and care of the parishioners and the members of his family, his nieces and nephews. Church Music is not listed among his responsibilities; it was for him a love, and he sought to praise God through music.

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