26 National News

posted Apr 5, 2018, 9:09 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 5, 2018, 9:09 AM ]

New Delhi
The spirit of Holy Week

"Christians prayed for their country and its political leaders, at federal and regional levels, so that they can be guided by God. We also prayed that the innocent who languish in prisons or suffer in their place of work, or who are troubled by their oppressors may find justice. We implore that consolation and comfort be shown to those who suffer from illness and deprivation," said Msgr Theodore Mascarenhas, Secretary General of the Indian Bishops Conference in an interview to Agenzia Fides, explaining the spirit with which the faithful Indians live Holy Week. He said our hope for India is that India be guided by Truth and Justice.

The Secretary noted that the message of this holy season is forgiveness of sins by God and to love one another unto death; "All the gestures and rites carried out during these days are very significant for India." In harmony with Jesus' teachings of humility and service, Holy Thursday celebrates the establishment of the Christian priesthood and of the Holy Mass, commemorating the Lord's Last Supper with His chosen Apostles. In this celebration, the priest washes the disciples' feet to teach them the true meaning of humility and service. On Good Friday, we reflect on the sufferings, the Passion and death of Jesus. And on Saturday evening, during the Easter Vigil, we celebrate the Lord who rose from the dead—the victory of good over the powers of evil, the triumph of life over death, of the Just against the forces of injustice."


Menezes appointed Chairperson of Minorities Corporation

Shri Jose Orlando Menezes has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Goa State Minorities Finance and Development Corporation. Shri Menezes holds a Master's in Economics and Political Science, and is the Principal of the Shri Shantadurga Higher Secondary School, Bicholim.

The Corporation will monitor and ensure that benefits of all Central Government schemes for minorities reaches minorities in the State of Goa. The Corporation will also create awareness among minorities on social evils such as gambling, alcoholism, drugs, smoking, so that family life is not destroyed.


Church slams government for poor Ockhi relief operations

Archbishop M. Susaipakiam of Trivandrum slammed Kerala's Pinarayi Vijayan government on March 31, for not doing a proper rehabilitation programme in the wake of Cyclone Ockhi, while complimenting the Tamil Nadu government for rising to the occasion.

Addressing reporters, Archbishop M.Susaipakiam of Trivandrum said they were told that the political leadership is busy with their party congress and other things. "While the total dead in Kerala on account of Ockhi was 146, the compensation has been handed over to just 49. But in Tamil Nadu, the compensation has been given to 146 dead," he said.

The Church leadership also demanded that a social audit should be conducted in the way the funds for Ockhi relief and rehabilitation have been spent.

Even as the Church says that the total dead is 146, according to the Kerala government figures, 52 people were killed, and 91 remain missing. Cyclone Ockhi struck Kerala's southern districts on November 30 last year, and the worst affected were two fishing villages in the state capital; a huge majority of the affected belonged to the Latin archdiocese.


Claretian priest bags Rashtriya Gaurav Award 2018

Fr Vineeth George CMF, a priest belonging to the Claretian Province of Bangalore, received the Rashtriya Gaurav Puraskar 2018 from Lt Gen K.M. Seth PVSM, the former Governor of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Tripura, at the India International Centre, New Delhi on March 26, 2018. The award consisted of a citation and a certificate of excellence for outstanding leadership in the field of higher education, exceptional performance of high order and service to the society. The jury consisted of experts in diverse fields, such as economists, journalists, social activists, industrialists, educationists, technocrats, politicians and retired defence officers. Fr Vineeth is one of the youngest recipients of this prestigious award. The past recipients of this award include Mother Teresa, Gen K.V. Krishna Rao, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, G.V.G. Krishnamurthy, Justice P.N. Bhagwati, Dr Naresh Trehan, and Air Chief Marshal N.C. Suri.


West Bengal
Bandel prior's Good Friday message stresses peace, harmony

The head priest of the oldest Catholic church in eastern India has called people to "actively promote peace and harmony in these volatile days by extending goodwill, tolerance and forgiveness to mark Good Friday."

"Whatever be our religion or culture, living in peace with fellow humans, and in harmony with Nature and other living beings, as did St Francis of Assisi, is the hallmark of Good Friday, and is the only path to co-existence and peaceful living," said Fr T L Francis, prior of the Marian shrine at Bandel in Hooghly district.

Pointing to a 20-feet wide and 8-feet high mural depicting the life of St Francis of Assisi, Fr Francis reminds the visitors, "St Francis is a shining example of people living in peace and harmony with fellow beings and Nature." The mural, a unique piece of art executed in bronze, shows how St Francis tried to establish harmony with Nature, harmony with God and harmony within oneself. The mural was designed, manufactured and installed by Church Art Kolkata.