Issues Vol. 169‎ > ‎

Vol. 169 No. 15 • APR 14 - 20, 2018

04 Official

posted Apr 14, 2018, 6:31 AM by Neil D'Souza

01 Cover

posted Apr 12, 2018, 10:17 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 14, 2018, 6:23 AM ]

03 Index

posted Apr 12, 2018, 10:11 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 12, 2018, 10:12 AM ]

05 Engagements

posted Apr 12, 2018, 10:09 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 12, 2018, 10:10 AM ]

07 Editorial - Call to Holiness in today’s world

posted Apr 12, 2018, 10:03 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 14, 2018, 6:24 AM ]

Gaudete et Exsultate" ("Rejoice and Be Glad"), is the third apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis, published on April 9, 2018 on 'the call to holiness in today's world.' Pope Francis insists primarily on the call to holiness that the Lord addresses to each of us personally, something God asks of each Christian, and which requires a personal response, given one's state in life, talents and circumstances.

"We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love, and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves." He contemplates the holiness present in the patience of God's people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile."

The path to holiness, he wrote, is almost always gradual, and made up of small steps in prayer, in sacrifice and in service to others. Being part of a parish community and receiving the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation, are essential supports for living a holy life.

"The holiness to which the Lord calls you will grow through small gestures," he said, before citing the example of a woman who refuses to gossip with a neighbour, returns home and listens patiently to her child, even though she is tired, prays the Rosary, and later meets a poor person and offers him a kind word.

Pope Francis said, "In the Beatitudes, Jesus explained with great simplicity what it means to be holy": living simply, putting God first, trusting Him and not earthly wealth or power, being humble, mourning with and consoling others, being merciful and forgiving, working for justice and seeking peace with all, as seen in the exemplary life of many saints.

Pope Francis also included a list of cautions. For example, he said, holiness involves finding balance in prayer time, time spent enjoying others' company and time dedicated to serving others in ways large or small. And, "needless to say, anything done out of anxiety, pride or the need to impress others will not lead to holiness."

The exhortation included many of Pope Francis' familiar refrains about attitudes that destroy the Christian community, like gossip, or that proclaim themselves to be Christian, but are really forms of pride, like knowing all the rules and being quick to judge others for not following them.

Holiness "is not about swooning in mystic rapture," he wrote, but it is about recognising and serving the Lord in the hungry, the stranger, the naked, the poor and the sick. "Our defence of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred," the Pope wrote.

"Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia...." And, he said, one cannot claim that defending the life of a migrant is a "secondary issue" when compared to abortion or other bio-ethical questions.

Pope Francis' exhortation also included warnings about a clear lack of holiness demonstrated by some Catholics on Twitter or other social media, especially when commenting anonymously. "It is striking at times," he said, that "in claiming to uphold the other Commandments, they completely ignore the eighth, which forbids bearing false witness or lying."

The exhortation ends with a section on "discernment," which is a gift to be requested of the Holy Spirit and developed through prayer, reflection, reading Scripture and seeking counsel from a trusted spiritual guide. "A sincere daily 'examination of conscience'" will help, he said, because holiness involves striving each day for "all that is great, better and more beautiful, while at the same time being concerned for the little things, for each day's responsibilities and commitments."

Compiled from Catholic News Service

08 Key Words from Gaudete et Exsultate

posted Apr 12, 2018, 10:01 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 12, 2018, 10:02 AM ]

The third apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis' pontificate, Gaudete et Exsultate, may be summed up in the following fifteen key words.

Beatitudes (n.63): Nothing is more enlightening than turning to Jesus' words and seeing His way of teaching the truth. Jesus explained with great simplicity what it means to be holy, when He gave us the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are like a Christian's identity card.

Mary (n.176): I would like these reflections to be crowned by Mary, because she lived the Beatitudes of Jesus as none other. She is that woman who rejoiced in the presence of God, who treasured everything in her heart, and who let herself be pierced by the sword. Mary is the saint among the saints, blessed above all others. She teaches us the way of holiness, and she walks ever at our side. Our converse with her consoles, frees and sanctifies us.

Persecution (n. 92-93): Whatever weariness and pain we may experience in living the commandment of love and following the way of justice, the Cross remains the source of our growth and sanctification.

Joy (n.122 and 126): Far from being timid, morose, acerbic or melancholy, or putting on a dreary face, the saints are joyful and full of good humour. Though completely realistic, they radiate a positive and hopeful spirit. Christian joy is usually accompanied by a sense of humour. Ill humour is no sign of holiness.

Silence (n.149, 150 and 151): Trust-filled prayer is a response of a heart open to encountering God face to face, where all is peaceful and the quiet voice of the Lord can be heard in the midst of silence. In that silence, we can discern, in the light of the Spirit, the paths of holiness to which the Lord is calling us. Are there moments when you place yourself quietly in the Lord's presence, when you calmly spend time with Him, when you bask in His gaze?

Eucharist (n.157): Meeting Jesus in the Scriptures leads us to the Eucharist, where the written word attains its greatest efficacy, for there the living Word is truly present. In the Eucharist, the one true God receives the greatest worship the world can give Him, for it is Christ Himself who is offered.

Testimony (n.138): We are inspired to act by the example of all those priests, religious, and laity who devote themselves to proclamation and to serving others with great fidelity, often at the risk of their lives, and certainly at the cost of their comfort. Their testimony reminds us that, more than bureaucrats and functionaries, the Church needs passionate missionaries, enthusiastic about sharing true life.


09 Pilgrim Pope on Journey to God - Cindy Wooden

posted Apr 12, 2018, 9:59 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 12, 2018, 10:00 AM ]

" I am on a pilgrimage towards Home," retired Pope Benedict XVI wrote, capitalising the Italian word casa (home).

Almost exactly five years after announcing his intention to be the first Pope in nearly 600 years to resign, Pope Benedict wrote the letter to a journalist from the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

"I am touched to know how many of the readers of your newspaper want to know how I am experiencing this last period of my life," the 90-year-old retired Pope wrote. "In that regard, I can only say that, with the slow diminishing of my physical strength, inwardly I am on a pilgrimage towards Home."

"It is a great grace in this last, sometimes tiring stage of my journey, to be surrounded by a love and kindness that I never could have imagined," said the letter, written on stationery with the heading 'Benedictus XVI, Papa emeritus'.

During a meeting with cardinals on Feb. 11, 2013, Pope Benedict stunned the cardinals and the world by saying, in Latin, "After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry."

He set the date for his retirement as Feb. 28, 2013. And, seen off by dozens of weeping Vatican employees, he flew by helicopter to the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo, where he remained until after Pope Francis was elected.

The day before he left was a Wednesday, and the overflowing crowd in St Peter's Square made it clear that it was anything but a normal Wednesday general audience. He told an estimated 150,000 people that his pontificate, which had lasted almost eight years, was a time of "joy and light, but also difficult moments. The Lord has given us so many days of sun and light breeze, days in which the catch of fish has been abundant," he said, likening himself to St Peter on the Sea of Galilee.


10 Joy of the Priesthood Cardinal's Ordination Mass Homily

posted Apr 12, 2018, 9:57 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 12, 2018, 9:57 AM ]

My dear brother priests of our Presbyterium, my dear religious sisters and brothers, relatives of our deacons and those who have come here to participate in this Ordination ceremony, I thank you for joining us in one of the high points of liturgical life in this Archdiocese of Bombay and my dear sons to be ordained priests: Joel, Savio and Joseph.

I can imagine the joy in your hearts this evening, as you entered in solemn procession for this Ordination ceremony. In a few minutes, the Lord will place a seal of acceptance on your desire to serve Him unlimitedly. With this seal, effectively symbolised by the laying on of hands and the formula of consecration,you will become a priest for all eternity: a class set apart, chosen ones. Every day that you live from today should be the living out of this consecration, a greater deepening of this reality. The priesthood, my dearest brothers, is not something that just happens like the flick of a switch, in an instant. The Holy Spirit will indeed come upon you intensely in this Ordination Rite, but in a very real sense, you are to become more and more priests every day. We have to become better disciples of the Lord, more deeply dedicated, more generously committed each day. This is a growth of our priesthood; this is the fleshing out of the sacramental reality that you receive this evening.

You are indeed a class set apart, you are indeed specially chosen ones. This is truly a dignity, an honour, but you know that in the Gospels, authority means service, leadership means becoming the least; becoming head means washing the feet of those who work with you. Humility, service and emptying of oneself are hallmarks of Christ-like leadership. My dearest Joel, Savio and Joseph, that is the leadership you are called to. This is to be our understanding - yours and mine - of the priesthood.

One of the most appreciated leaders in the world today is Pope Francis. Cardinal O'Malley, the Archbishop of Boston, told me that a survey was recently conducted among people in his area, and the Holy Father got over 80% positive rating – by far more than any other world leader—civil or religious. You and I have to become Pope Francis' priests. Remember what he repeatedly says: We have to have the smell of the sheep; we have to go to the periphery to reach out to those most in need; we have to make the Church a field-hospital to treat people wounded in war. We have to dirty our hands.


12 Save Education Campaign launched in Delhi

posted Apr 12, 2018, 9:56 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 12, 2018, 9:56 AM ]

There is a "National Coalition of Private Schools" launched about a year ago that is seeking our advice and collaboration regarding certain vexing problems in the area of education. We have been attending some of their meetings and sharing concerns in areas that also affect us.

There was an official launch of the "Save Education Campaign" in Delhi recently. Some of the concerns are: Ease of opening schools, Recognition of schools and Choice of Board; Not reimbursing the expenses met for the 25% admissions given EWS students; concerns regarding TET for teachers already teaching; rewriting history, School Autonomy, threatening with de-recognition, policy flip-flops by the CBSE Board; Corruption in granting of NOC; All rules only for Private Schools etc. This movement is expected to culminate with a massive rally on April 7, 2018, from 10.30 am to 2 pm at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi.

National Independent School Alliance (NISA), an umbrella organisation that runs low-cost private schools and 90 other Founder Body key stakeholders have formed this large platform called "National Coalition of Private Schools" who have launched this movement. 

The campaign needs our magnanimity, solidarity and collaboration, as we all know very well that the current scenario will affect adversely the future of millions of children in the country. Different organisations and Founder Bodies are pitching in their support. One of the interesting pledges at the launch of this campaign was a committee of educators from Punjab agreeing to get the local Gurdwara in Delhi to provide a meal for one lakh (100,000) people who come for the Rally.

There are many common concerns that affect us. Education is an area that will affect every citizen of this country. Every interested organisation or individual needs to pitch in and contribute to the education of children, as even now 50 lakh children are still out of school. Our institutions stand for inclusive education, care for the marginalised, academic excellence, holistic education, care for the environment, the formation of character and value-based education. We also want policy makers to respect the rights of the minorities to establish and administer their own institutions, without undue interference and harassment.


14 Good Leadership is Passing the Baton - Thomas Lobo

posted Apr 12, 2018, 9:54 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 12, 2018, 9:54 AM ]

President Pratibha Patil, in her televised address to the nation on the eve of Independence Day 2009, while talking about Mahatma Gandhi’s contribution to the nation building process said: “guided by the aspiring leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.” We are sure she meant “inspiring”. That the Mahatma inspired millions by his words and example is common knowledge. But little has ever been heard about whether he “aspired” for this. Taking a cue from this inadvertent faux pas, we need to reflect whether Leadership, both secular and in the Church, is of the aspiring or inspiring kind? Most leaders in the secular world today aspire for leadership, as it brings in its wake power, prestige and position. In the Christian context, leadership is characterised by the element of servanthood; a leader must seek to inspire others by his readiness to serve.

At the end of the next pastoral year, 2018-19, with the expiry of the present term of office of all Parish Pastoral Councils and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, we will need to usher in a new set of leaders in all the parishes of our Archdiocese. With our past experience, we have observed that the process of induction of new leaders becomes, very often, a tortuous one, as not many are willing to take on the mantle of leadership. We often ask ourselves, why are talented and multi-gifted individuals who are leaders in their chosen vocation in life, reluctant to serve as leaders in our Church? Neither do they aspire for, nor are they are inspired enough to take up a leadership role. On the other hand, in many of our parishes, we have leaders who are unwilling to let go and nurture new leaders who can take up the baton of leadership.

One of the principle elements of Collaborative leadership is the need for a regular rotation of leaders (Post-Synodal Document PSD 2001:67:1). When we look at Jesus’ style of leadership, we realise it was both participatory and animatory. He not only shared His authority with His disciples, but provided them the necessary skills and practice to participate in His mission fully. He was challenging, inspiring and led by example. Empowerment for Jesus was conferring the fullness of His power on the apostles and disciples. But finally, He moved on, and let them build on His foundations, as they carried on His mission.


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