20 National News

posted Feb 22, 2018, 8:29 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 22, 2018, 8:29 AM ]

Sesquicentennial Jubilee of St Vincent's School

On the occasion of the Sesquicentennial Jubilee of St Vincent's High School, Pune, the treasured memories of the school are captured in a Souvenir brought out by a close knit team headed by Fr Lawrie Ferrao, SJ, Director of the Xavier Institute of Communications (XIC), assisted by Mr Etienne Coutinho—artist, theatre producer and director. Ms Bernadette Mascarenhas single-handedly sifted through, visualised and collated relevant material for each page. As Fr Francis Patekar, Principal of the School, said, "The Magis spirit, the characteristic Jesuit zeal of our school has been vividly captured in this souvenir. Fr Andrew Fernandes, who began the good work, passed on the baton into the talented hands of Fr Anish.

The original purpose of the school was to educate Catholic students. Today, the school is all-inclusive and fosters and develops the whole person—head, heart, intellect and feeling, to develop the habit of critical thinking, by creating the environment to question, reason and explore new ideas and to foster academic excellence.

The school opened on April 9, 1867. Fr Joseph Brunner was the first Principal of the school (1867-1872). Amid monumental difficulties, he, along with Fr John McDonnough, was able to lay a respectable foundation for what is today a world class school. 

Read More... 

Fr Uzhunnalil visits Kolkata

Salesian Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, who spent 18 months in captivity in Yemen, visited Kolkata on Feb. 17. Archbishop Thomas D'Souza of Calcutta, five Missionary of Charity Sisters, three Salesian Sisters and three Salesian priests received the 59-year-old priest at the airport.

Fr Uzhunnalil has a series of speaking engagements in Kolkata, known as the City of Joy. One of the places he visited on the first day was the Auxilium Convent to meet his aunt, Sr Mary George. He arrived there escorted by Archbishop D'Souza.


New Delhi
New health system 2018

The recent announcement of the Union Government on the new health system for 2018—the largest health insurance project ever proposed in the world—could be "just a big announcement, but not really feasible," said Fr Mathew Perumpil, MI, Secretary of the CBCI Healthcare Office.

"Although the media hailed it as a great move in favour of the poor to improve the health of millions of Indians, from a more accurate analysis of the details of the Budget and the implementation plan, we understand that it is a big announcement, but it does not appear to have much hope for a normal citizen," he explained.

It was announced that the health policy will cover more than 500 million Indians and will allocate Rs 500,000 annual medical coverage for each family. The plan, according to government estimates, should cost US $ 1.7 billion, between federal and state funds. The insurance plan aims to cover the poorest Indians (about 29% of Indians live below the poverty line) and the most vulnerable: those who have an irregular job or are unemployed, or are burdened by debts with high interest, as well as paying for one's health care.


Rohingya refugees in India face deportation threat

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been stepping up its calls to forcibly remove Rohingya refugees, many of whom fled alleged military attacks in Myanmar, from the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. The trigger was a suicide attack on an army training camp in Jammu, launched by three militants from Pakistan-based outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.

In the ensuing 48-hour gun battle, ten people were killed, including six army personnel, one civilian and the three insurgents.

The state houses 1,219 Rohingya families comprising a total of 5,107 people, according to official records. Most live in makeshift shanties on roadsides and eke out a living as daily labourers or collecting scrap.


Relics of St Anthony of Padua to be brought to Goa

The holy relics of St Anthony of Padua will be brought to Goa at the beginning of March for a three-day pilgrimage.

The two original sacred relics—a fragment of St Anthony's petrified flesh in a beautiful bust, and his smallest rib in a casket—brought from Rome, will be kept at Monte de Guirim and Navelim for veneration. While the first relic—the petrified flesh in a bust— will be kept for public veneration, the rib in the casket will be used to bless the faithful.

The St Anthony Capuchin Province, Goa, jumped at the opportunity of bringing the relics to the state. During this pilgrimage in India, the relics are also being taken to Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Meghalaya.