22 National News

posted Apr 12, 2018, 9:34 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 12, 2018, 9:34 AM ]

New Delhi
Vandalisation of places of worship in Sundargarh

On April 1, 2018, in the late night of Easter Sunday, some miscreants vandalised a grotto outside the compound of St Thomas Church, Salangabahal, mutilated the statue of Our Lady, and broke the head of the statue of Child Jesus in the grotto. They smashed a statue of Our Lady in another grotto in Gyanpali village, and attempted to burn the Church of the Victory of the Cross in Bihabandh in the Diocese of Rourkela. These incidents have already been reported in the Press. The anti-social elements had also chopped off the head of a statue of a bull at the Shiva Temple in the vicinity.

On April 7, 2018, a delegation of Bishops, comprising of Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas SFX, the Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), Archbishop John Barwa SVD, the Regional Chairman of the Odisha Catholic Bishops' Council (OCBC), Bishop Kishor Kumar Kujur, the Bishop of Rourkela, Bishop Telesphore Bilung SVD, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Ranchi, Bishop Alphonse Bilung, SVD, Bishop Emeritus of Rourkela, visited the affected areas. They were received by a large number of priests, sisters and huge crowds of people whom they led in prayer at each of the places. Sr Teresa Dungdung, the Superior General of the Handmaids of Mary also joined the Bishops. Prayers were offered for reparation, as well as for forgiveness and conversion of those who were involved in these reprehensible crimes.

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Syro-Malabar Church calls for re-reading of yoga

The Catholic Church does not approach yoga with the view that all eastern modes of worship are improper or bad. If training regimes that aid the working of the Kingdom of God can be discovered in Indian culture, it would be a great asset, said the Commission headed by Joseph Kallarangatt.

The Syro-Malabar Church has called for a re-reading of the role of yoga. The Syro-Malabar Doctrinal Commission says in its report that Christians are forced to re-read the role of the traditional physical and mental regime, in the context of the Sangh Parivar trying to exploit yoga to achieve its political and communal goals. The report is posted in the latest bulletin of the Mananthavady diocese of the Church. The need for a re-reading of yoga has intensified with a government move to make yoga compulsory in schools and to present it as an inseparable part of the Indian culture, the Commission said.


Septuagenarian doctor nun honoured with bravery award

A Catholic nun hailing from Malayattoor in Kerala has been honoured with the Rani Laxmi Bai Award by the Uttar Pradesh government for her 40 years of service in the medical field. The award was presented to her by the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Popularly known as the Mother Teresa of Mau (now known as Maunath Bhanjan village in Uttar Pradesh), Sr Jude, was appointed as a gynaecologist by the Medical Sisters of St Joseph organisation.

Sr Jude, who had nursed a childhood desire to lead a holy life and had left home to serve God at the age of 17, found her mission in Mau. "I wanted to become a saint. I became a doctor instead. In 1975, the convent sent me to Lady Harding Medical College in New Delhi to study medicine. I soon realised I was doing God's work," is how she describes her medical journey of over four decades.


'Forces of hate polarising Indian polity'

Spiritual leaders of six religions expressed their "deep worry and concern at the way the forces of hate and division are striving to polarise the Indian polity."

Religious heads representing Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism—Sushil Goswamy Maharaj - President of Bharatiya Sarva Dharma Sansad; Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi - Chief Imam of India and President of All India Imam Association and Imam Council of India; Theodore Mascarenhas - Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI); Vivek Muni - President of International Mahavir Jain Mission; Paramjeet Singh Chandok - Chairman of Bangla Sahib Gurudwara; and Bhikku Sanghasena - founder of the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Ladakh condemned the attacks on educational institutions and places of worship.


SC advocate Niranjan Thomas Alva passes away

Niranjan Thomas Alva, Supreme Court advocate and husband of senior Congress leader Margaret Alva, passed away recently after a brief illness, a family member said.

Son of Joachim and Violet Alva, freedom fighters, 78-year-old Alva was also a former Director of the State Bank of India. He had played a key role in expanding the footprints of All India Catholic University Federation (AICUF) as its president across the country in the late 1950s.


Kerala plans 'She-Corridor'

Kerala is planning a one-of-its-kind model stretch of road in Thiruvananthapuram which will be dedicated exclusively for women. Dubbed as "she corridor", the women-friendly stretch will be between two prestigious girls-only institutions – the Government Women's College and the state-run Cottonhill Girls Higher Secondary School in Vazhuthacaud. The "she corridor" will be dotted with seating facilities on both sides of the road, CCTV cameras, FM radio, she-toilets, napkin vending machines. What more? The corridor's walls will bear paintings of women who are inspiring role models.

Deputy Mayor Rakhi Ravikumar said the initiative is aimed at making Thiruvananthapuram a safe city for women.