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posted Feb 8, 2018, 6:27 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 8, 2018, 6:28 AM ]

Catholic education must help counter violence

One of India's leading bishops has called on education in the country to help bring about "a moral revolution with a renewed ethic of justice, responsibility and community."

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay, said, "Education should help people realise that national unity and integrity of the nation should be placed high above any divisive forces and sectarian interests."

The cardinal's words came after a series of incidents when Hindu nationalists tried to force their way into Catholic educational institutions in order to perform Hindu rituals.

Cardinal Gracias was giving the presidential address at the 9th International Conference of UNESCO and Cardinal Paul Poupard Chair for Inter-Religious and Inter-Cultural Dialogue at St Andrew's College in Mumbai. He was speaking on 'The Role of Education to Foster Religious Harmony' and said education means "learning to dialogue with people with whom they have conflicting interests."

Despite the fact that Catholics make up less than 2 per cent of the population, there are around 15,000 Catholic institutions of learning—including primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and technical schools—in India, and the majority of the students are not Christian.

Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, the Secretary General of the Indian Bishops' Conference, said Catholic educational institutions were being increasingly targeted by Hindu nationalist student groups.

Cardinal Gracias did not specifically mention the incidents in Madhya Pradesh, but he did name some existing challenges to national integration: "They include brutality, violence, casteism, communalism, regionalism, fanaticism, religious intolerance, social and economic disparity and the vested interests of some people," he said.


Sabha Day 2018

All roads led to St Paul Church, Dadar on January 26, 2018 – the venue for Sabha Day, the annual gathering of the Bombay Catholic Sabha (BCS). The Eucharist was celebrated by Bp Barthol Barretto who exhorted those present to be 'apostles of love'.

Bp Barthol was the Chief Guest and Mr Albert D'Souza was the Guest of Honour. The BCS President, Ms Rita D'Sa, welcomed the large gathering and acknowledged the work of the BCS units across the archdiocese. She highlighted the current thrust of the BCS on youth entering the Civil Services, and urged all present to support this venture. Mr Bento Lobo, Secretary General, presented a compilation of the work done during the year and the achievements in various spheres – civic, political, social, etc. A tribute was paid to the late Anand Castelino, the former Secretary General, who passed away in August 2017.

Bp Barthol's crisp speech encouraged the BCS members to keep working to achieve the vision of the Sabha. Mr Albert D'Souza took the opportunity to share his views on the future course of action for all Catholics; he urged the BCS to be in the forefront of creating entrepreneurs, supporting aspiring civil servants and training youth to be employable and to become employers. Fr Felix D'Souza, ecclesiastical adviser to the BCS, asked the members to be alert to current realities and to respond in an appropriate manner.

The Awards ceremony that followed saw several units receiving trophies for the work done during the year. The winners of the Power of One awards – Dr Anil K. D'Cruz, Nicholas Almeida, Ana Dias and Joseph Fernandes – were also felicitated.

Mumbai Marathon 2018

It goes without saying that the Mumbai Marathon has become one of the most important events of our city over the past decade, creating a culture of running and fitness in the people. CSA Mumbai has been part of this mega event for the past four years.

To start with, the Mumbai Marathon has been one of the biggest platforms for CSA to create awareness of its cause, which is restoring the dignity of vulnerable children, empowering women with their basic rights, promoting environmentally friendly practices and fostering communal harmony. As a result, the number of runners has increased steadily from a humble 12 runners (10 in Dream Run category and one in the Half Marathon) in 2015, to 82 runners in 2018 (right from the Dream Run to the Full Marathon). These came from different segments of society – teams from corporates like Crompton Greaves Power and Industrial Solutions Limited, CMS Computers, Redi Port Limited (Earnest John Group of Companies), Intelenet Global, staff of Community Centres, CSA and Sarvodaya Centre for Capacity Building, and individual runners from a wide range of professional backgrounds across the city. With planned branding for the cause, each person representing CSA wore jerseys which joyfully declared: "I say yes to empowering communities with CSA."

"It was a wonderful experience doing the Dream Run alongside CSA for the causes of children's education, women's empowerment and communal harmony. It gives me personal joy to have had an opportunity to support the CSA team in their amazing work," stated Kevin Dias, Sr VP, Corporate HR of Intelenet Global Services Limited.

Hope & Life Annual Day 2018

The 33rd celebration of the Hope & Life Association was held on Sunday January 28, 2018 at St Joseph the Worker Church, Bandra East. There was an assembly of about 800 widows who came from different parishes of the Archdiocese of Bombay. They had Hope in their eyes and wore a friendly joyful smile to match their happy feelings.

The theme for the year was 'The Joy of Living'. The programme began with the celebration of the Eucharist by Bp Allwyn D'Silva; it was concelebrated by Fr Vernon Aguiar, the Ecclesiastical Adviser, Abbot Rocky D'Souza and Parish Priest of St Joseph - Fr Benedict Kerketta, Fr Prem Arockiadoss and Fr Savio Rodrigues. The backdrop beautifully reflected the theme.

Bp Allwyn D'Silva warmly welcomed the gathering. At the Eucharist, he offered prayers for the leaders - past and present, and for Bp Bosco Penha who had initiated the Movement. His homily was inspiring. He reminded the congregation that like them, the Church is a widow – for Jesus has gone away. But Jesus, during his Ministry, tells the apostles to be good to the widows, and although widowhood is a struggle, the Church can accompany the widows through their struggles. We all need to be strong and courageous in spite of our suffering.

He presented two directives: one - a mission to fulfil the fight for rights, and the other to develop skills in order to be useful and relevant. He gave the example of his own sister who found it difficult to communicate easily with her sons as she did not know how to send e-mails. St John the Baptist Church, Thane started computer classes, and this helped her move forward. By this we can have the 'Joy of living' and share it with others too. The Mass ended with the Widows' prayer.

An entertainment programme followed, interspersed with felicitations of the Chief Guest, of Fr Vernon Aguiar who recently celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his priestly ordination, of Lorna D'Souza - the past President of the Association who had steered the Movement for ten years. There was special mention of the Guest of Honour from Juhu—Bibiana Martins, aged 93, who after 53 years of happy married life, has now accepted and is enjoying her widowhood by joining the Association. The joyful celebration ended with the Anthem of the Widows of Bombay.


The Local News item 'Bandra Deanery Quiz 2018' in the Feb. 3 issue of The Examiner, in the process of copy editing, inadvertently contained some errors. It should have read: 'The Bible Quiz Competition on Jan. 21 was conducted by the Bandra Deanery Bible Committee' and not restricted to a couple. We also regret the omission of the names of the prize winners that was deleted due to brevity of space. 'The first prize was won by the participants from Mt Carmel parish, the second prize was won by participants from St Theresa's parish and the third prize was won by participants of St Joseph the Worker parish.'

- Editor


Archdiocese of Bombay - Clergy Retreat
Date: Sunday, March 4, 2018 (supper) – Friday, March 9, 2018 (lunch)
Venue: House of Prayer, Khandala
Preacher: Fr Ivel Mendanha, CSsR
Charges: Rs 3,500/-
Last date for Registration for this Retreat: February 24, 2018.
To register for the retreat, kindly e-mail on diocesebombay@gmail.com or contact Fr Pravin D'Souza, Secretary to the Archbishop on 98929 84689.

Holy Family Hospital
Awareness Programme on Skin Problems (Acne, Baldness, Pigmentation and Warts) will be held on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 12 noon at The Classroom, Basement, Holy Family Hospital, St Andrew's Road, Bandra. Registration includes an individual consultation. Limited seats.

Lenten Bible Course
The Catholic Bible Institute, Hill Road, Mumbai 400050 will hold three classes on the theme of Luke 24:27: “Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, Jesus interpreted to them the things about Himself in all the scriptures!” They will be held from 6:30 pm to 8 pm on Fridays in March - 2, 9 and 16. To register, please contact 98196 01562 or 2642 7648.

Inner Healing Retreat
Next Inner Healing Retreat conducted by Anthony Lobo and Team - March 22 - 25. Please contact Anthony Lobo for further information on 98198 49997 or tinantony@gmail.com

Don Bosco Summer Camps 2018

Camp I - March 28 - April 01 - YOUTH PASCH at Lonavla for above Std. XII and Working Youth (Boys and Girls)
Camp II - April 05 – April 10 - MISSION CAMP at Ahmednagar for above Std. X (Boys and Girls)
Camp III - April 14 - April 17 - LEADERSHIP CAMP at Boscowadi Uttan for Std. VIII – X (Boys only)
Camp IV - April 21 - April 24 - LEADERSHIP CAMP at Boscowadi Uttan for above Std. X (Boys and Girls)
Camp V - May 02 - 12 VOCATION CAMP at Lonavla for Std. VIII to XII and above Std. XII (Boys only)

Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS), Matunga Tel : 75060 42114 / 6529 1129 / 99205 88382. E-mail : dbysmatunga@gmail.com