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posted Feb 22, 2018, 8:36 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 22, 2018, 8:36 AM ]

Indian Church releases English Standard Version (ESV) Catholic Bible


His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, the President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) and the Archbishop of Bombay, released the English Standard Version Catholic Edition of the Bible (ESV-CE) and handed over the first copy to His Eminence, Telesphore Cardinal Toppo, the Archbishop of Ranchi, at a solemn function held during the 30th Plenary Assembly of the CCBI, at Bangalore on February 4, 2018.

"Releasing of the ESV-CE Bible is a historical event and it would be of valuable help to the people of our country and the biblical apostolate. The ESV Catholic Bible is the Indian Church's contribution to the universal Church" said Cardinal Gracias.

"The ESV-CE translation came into being due to the preparation of the Lectionary for India, and so it would be used not only for the Lectionary, but also in the Divine Office and all Liturgical Books," said Archbishop Dominic Jala, the Chairman of the Commission for Liturgy and the Archbishop of Shillong.

Through a circular, Bishop J. Susaimanickam, the Chairman of the CCBI Commission for Bible, has requested the rectors and heads of all formation houses to replace all existing Bible translations with the ESV-CE in their training of students. "Since the Lectionary in India, which is under preparation, will feature the text of ESV-CE, it would be extremely commendable to introduce the ESV-CE to the students of Sacred Scripture in Seminaries, Formation Houses, Study Houses and in higher Institutes of learning, so that becoming familiar with it, they would be better equipped when they turn to the Lectionary, and use the same text for their personal reading, prayer and preaching," explains the circular of the Chairman of the CCBI Commission for Bible.


CBCI on the future of India

Agenzia Fides

The Catholic faith came to India thanks to great saints and apostles such as St Thomas and St Francis Xavier, and "India is what it is today, thanks to Christianity." Today, the nation is called to reject a religious nationalism that has produced violence and atrocities on women, Dalits, religious minorities, and to follow "an authentic nationalism that can lead our motherland to true peace, harmony, progress and prosperity," respecting dignity and the rights of every human being. This is what Cardinal Baselios Cleemis said on Feb. 11, presenting the final document of the 33rd General Assembly of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), which gathered the Bishops of the three rites present in the nation (Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara).

The document underlines that: "The Church believes that all people are our brothers and sisters, as Jesus Himself taught us: 'You will love your neighbour as yourself.' (Mt 22:39) The emancipation of the poor and the promotion of human dignity are values sanctioned by our Constitution and are also taken into consideration by the Church in her mission." The Cardinal therefore warned that "any attempt to promote nationalism based on a particular culture or religion is a dangerous position. It can lead to uniformity, but never to true unity. Such ill-conceived efforts can only lead our nation on the path of self-annihilation." The search for peace, progress and development, especially in a country like India, characterised by a rich diversity of culture, language, race and religion, will never find an answer in mono-culturalism, he stressed, recalling that "sooner or later, violence always falls on the violent."

In this regard, the document deplores the growing number of "atrocities against women, murders, caste rivalries and collective violence, including attacks on institutions and Christian communities" and recalls that "authentic nationalism respects the human dignity of every citizen, independently from the economic situation, from culture, religion, region or language."


Prevention is better than Cure!


On January 25, 2018 at the 6th annual Health Workers Rally of the Health Promotion Trust (HPT), held at the Holy Name High School hall in Colaba, Mumbai, nearly 450 people, including HPT staff, priests, nuns, social workers, representatives of community-based organisations and health workers from Raigad, Thane and Mumbai districts, participated in a scintillating and vibrant celebration. His Eminence, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, graced the event as the Chief Guest.

Katkari tribal women from Mahad, Mangaon, Kolad, Roha, Tara, Rees, Kolke, Karjat and other parts of the Raigad district, and health workers from various areas in Mumbai, sang songs, performed folk dances and skits to share the powerful impact of preventive healthcare on their lives. Their performances reflected their sheer joy, dynamism, enthusiasm, and one hundred per cent investment in their work as grassroot health workers. The Koli dancers of Uttan, dressed in traditional attire, delighted one and all with their folk dance, choreographed to the upbeat tunes of the amazing Uttan band. One of the items was a talk show featuring interviews with HPT's social workers, health workers, deacons and other stakeholders. In his response, Deacon Seby shared, "I suffered from vertigo for many years, and allopathic medicines had no effect, instead causing negative side-effects. HPT staff trained me to press certain acupressure points, and within a short time, my vertigo vanished permanently. I now teach other vertigo sufferers about acupressure. I am very grateful to HPT."

Cardinal Gracias presented certificates to all new graduates of HPT's intensive two-year health worker training programme. HPT has been conducting these "barefoot" health worker training programmes since 2010. The curriculum includes topics such as nutrition, exercise, sleep patterns, acupressure, yoga, pranayama, mudras, laughter therapy, herbal gardens and herbal remedies. Certified health workers conduct preventive health education sessions for urban and rural slum dwellers, senior citizens, farmers, fisherfolk, HIV+ persons, and others in their respective localities, padas or villages.