20 Notes & Comments

posted Mar 29, 2018, 8:57 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 29, 2018, 8:59 AM ]

Mass of the Holy Oils - March 22, 2018

On this very special day in the Church's calendar, all the priests of the Archdiocese of Bombay came together with their Bishops to celebrate the Mass of the Holy Oils and renew their commitment to serve. It was an enthralling spectacle to see the priests walk solemnly in procession to take their place in the Cathedral, as the bells pealed out their joy, and the choir took over from them in glorious praise: 'I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the people; I will sing praises to you among the nations…'.

At the commencement of the Eucharist, His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, extended a very warm and personal welcome to all who were attending the Mass at the Presbyterium of the Archdiocese of Bombay, especially the Provincials of the Religious Orders of Men in the Archdiocese and the Bishops Emeriti Bosco Penha and Agnelo Gracias. He emphasised that the priests were present to receive the Lord, hear His Word, greet Him and reinforce their unity, their enthusiasm for the priesthood, and the ministry.

In his homily, His Eminence referred to the readings which related to the priesthood—the first reading from Isaiah spoke of the Spirit of the Lord being on the anointed one; the second from Revelation spoke of the kingdom of priests who proclaim the one true God, and the Gospel of Luke was about Jesus the High Priest whose priesthood all priests share. Listening to the readings helps to reflect on the priesthood and the mission received to be the bridge between God and man, to transform the world. The Cardinal then indicated that this would be an opportune time to reflect on the priests' ministry in the parish and the challenges being faced, as they fulfil their responsibilities and make the presence of Jesus felt.

The CCBI, when studying the needs of the Church, realised that Faith Formation was the greatest need. It is necessary to ensure that parishes are 'truly believing communities' where the faith is known and understood. Parish Councils should examine what could be done to increase the faith of our youth. We need to utilise the many opportunities in our parishes and deaneries to implement ways for better faith formation.


Connecting with our Youth

Bishop Barthol Barretto

The Universal Church is paying special attention to young people. Pope Francis will convene a Synod of Bishops in Rome on the theme – 'Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment' in October 2018.

Our Archdiocese desires to minister to all the youth in our parishes. A meeting of all the Parish Youth Directors (PYDs) was held in July 2017, where the Neighbourhood Youth Group (NYG) methodology was explained as a way to reach out to all the youth (singles below 25 years) in the parish. The NYG structure is already working successfully in a few parishes. The chart below indicates how the NYG structure will work in practice:


GOAL: From June 2018, the SCCs/Sectors/Units/Zones in each parish must have full-fledged NYGs.

Steps to achieve the Goal:

A. Identify possible Parish Youth Animators [PYA: Adults (over 28 years) who will guide the youth month after month for just one hour at the NYG level] to join the PYAT. For the training of the PYAT, please contact the Diocesan Youth Centre Team, Bandra and/or the Deanery Youth Coordinator.

B. PYD and PYAT chalk out the annual calendar of activities for the youth at the NYG and parish level. This annual calendar may be presented to the Parish Priest, who will set aside the budgeted amount in consultation with the PYD.

C. SCC Animators can provide data of youth in their SCCs, while the Confirmation Animators can give the details of those who have received Confirmation in the recent past. This will serve as the Youth Census. Those to be admitted in Confirmation Class from June 2018 will be members of the NYGs.


Day of missionary martyrs

Agenzia Fides

In 1993, the Missionary Youth Movement of the Italian Pontifical Mission Societies decided to celebrate a 'Day of prayer and fasting in memory of the Missionary Martyrs' every year. March 24 was chosen because it was the day when Msgr Oscar Arnulfo Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, was assassinated in 1980; he was beatified on May 23, 2015.

"The theme of martyrdom has returned, in recent times, to question Christian communities. It is a great positive sign," writes Giuseppe Florio, theologian and biblical scholar. "'The harvest' of which the Gospels speak can be many or few, but when martyrs appear on the horizon, then the prophetic message of the Gospel is before everyone's eyes. Ezekiel's invitation (3:17) is addressed to a people who do not look at the warning signs of a drama that will soon take place—the destruction of Jerusalem by the king of Babylon in 587 BC."