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posted May 2, 2018, 11:13 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 2, 2018, 11:14 PM ]

Ministry of the Word Programme 2018-19

Admissions are open for the Ministry of the Word Programme (Archdiocese of Bombay). The programme aims at equipping lay people to personally experience the saving power of the Word of God in their lives, and out of that experience to communicate God's Word to others in the parish. The programme covers the study of all the books of the Old and the New Testament, the document of the Second Vatican Council on Divine Revelation, and the Pontifical Biblical Commission's document on the interpretation of the Bible in the Church. The courses are conducted by professors of the Archdiocesan Seminary and other competent Bible teachers. At the end of the study stage, the candidates enter the probation stage. On successfully completing this stage, the candidates are commissioned as Ministers of the Word in the Archdiocese.

Admissions are open for the new academic year, which will begin May 31, 2018. For more details, contact Fr Roland Fialho, Coordinator, Ministry of the Word, St Pius X College, Goregaon East, Mumbai 400 063. Tel: 2927 1217/2927 1554/2927 1560. Please e-mail your name and parish to rolandfialho7@rediffmail.com

Bombay archdiocese demands justice for women, children

The Archdiocese of Bombay organised peace gatherings at six places on May 1 to express solidarity with women, children and victims of injustice.

The participants of the programme titled 'Because We Care' pledged to uphold women's dignity and respect. They also signed a memorandum to be submitted to authorities asking for justice and speedy redress, said Fr Nigel Barrett, spokesman of the archdiocese that covers Mumbai, India's commercial capital.

The memorandum also demanded sensitisation through educational programmes to eradicate gender bias, he added.

The one-hour programme was held at 6 pm at St Michael Church, Mahim, St Francis Xavier Church in Vile Parle, St Francis of Assisi School in Borivli, Our Lady of Nazareth School in Bhayander, Holy Cross Church, Kurla and Sacred Heart School, Vashi.

Earlier, on April 13, the archdiocese came out in support of the rape victims of Kathua in Jammu and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. Various parishes launched protests demanding swift and stern action against the criminals. An archdiocesan statement summarised the anger and disappointment of the Church at the state of affairs in the country.

Fr Barrett then urged the laity to speak up. "Evil exists and perpetuates because good people are silent," he said. "We hope to awake the collective conscience of the community and the nation, and say this is not the India we love. We don't want well-crafted advertising statements or campaigns, but action on the ground that provides for a safe India."

On April 18, Auxiliary Bishop Allwyn D'Silva of Bombay organised a rally and a signature campaign at St John the Baptist Church, Thane.

Fr Warner D'Souza, the parish priest of St Jude Church in Malad East, urged parishioners to wear black outfits to weekend Mass. "This is the least we can do. In another country, the Kathua incident would be treated like a war crime. The situation in our country has reached breaking point," the priest said, and invited parishioners to speak on gender discrimination.

Fr Felix D'Souza of St Anthony's Church in Vakola led parishioners in observing one-minute silence at all Masses on April 14 and 15 "to symbolise the solidarity of a nation in mourning." "We will raise three slogans — we protest, we demand justice, and may God protect our country," he said.


Social Apostolate

On April 26, 2018, eighteen heads/representatives of the various groups involved in Social Apostolate met at the Salvation Seva Kendra hall for an evening of reflection. This meeting was held, following a suggestion at the Priests' Council meeting of March 20, 2018 that the concerned groups meet to share and network with one another.

Bishop Allwyn D'Silva, in-charge of the Social Apostolate of the Archdiocese of Bombay, explained that the objective of holding a joint session was for the Church to present a common face with respect to social issues, while every group continued working in their respective commissions/ associations. The following points emerged from the discussion:

• Need for a common documentation centre in order to facilitate networking and to publicise the work of the Social Apostolate;
• Releasing joint statements as an immediate response to critical issues;
• Promoting the thrust of the Social Apostolate on Mission Sunday
• Prompt grievance redressal ("put our own house in order")
• Campaign on respecting human dignity and to protest gender violence
• That Bombay becomes a Green Diocese.

Fr Felix D'Souza will coordinate the Social Apostolate, and he called on the groups to "become a think tank for innovative work that could be done in the diocese".

The next Social Apostolate networking meeting will be held in June, with a special focus on preparing for Mission Sunday.

An Evening with Mary

155 legionaries from the Borivli Deanery gathered together on April 22 at Carmel of St Joseph, Orlem, Malad to spend 'An Evening with Mary'. The programme began with a prayer and a Welcome Song.

His Lordship, Bishop Emeritus Agnelo Gracias, the main speaker of the evening, spoke on 'True Devotion to Mary' based on the book by St Louis Marie de Montfort.

Speaking about: 'What is Internal and External Devotion', 'Why Devotion to Mary', 'Where in Scriptures does Devotion to Mary fit', Bishop Agnelo explained that devotion to Mary increases our central devotion to God.

Bishop explained the three ways 'How we can express Devotion' i.e.:

1. Praise of Mary, which is really praising God: We praise God for the whole of Creation (Psalms); for the wonders He works in human beings (Eph.1:3-14); for His favour and graces bestowed on Mary (Lk 1:28).
2. Imitation of Mary: a need in life (1 Cor 14:16 & 11:1). Mary is the true Disciple of Jesus.
3. Invocation: human prayer based on Biblical examples of prayer (Abraham, Moses, Job, Paul, Jesus). We see an example of Mary's invocation/prayer in the Wedding Feast at Cana.

Bishop Agnelo gave us four points by which we can have this TRUE DEVOTION TO MARY:

• Being Committed
• Through the Catholic Faith
• Being Balanced
• Being Selfless

The evening ended with sharing of Gold Stamps, mentioning the virtues of Mary that the Legionary would be blessed to possess.


St Stanislaus Villa - Family Holiday Camps at the Jesuit Villa at Lonavla. Register at the Reception counter, St Peter Church, Bandra. Tel: 2642 3098. Details in The Examiner (Mar 24 - pg 28), or WhatsApp ‘CAMP FORM’ to 92232 62524 or contact Fr Gerard C. Rodricks sj.

Atma Darshan
1. Couples and Family Therapy : May 08 - 12
2. Guided Retreat : May 12 - 18
For Registration & inquiry, contact Atma Darshan, Gyan Ashram Campus, Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri (E), Mumbai - 400 093. Tel : (0091) (022) 2836 3120/ 2824 2419 Mobile : (+91) 97696 94422.

Inner Healing Retreat for youth from ages 18 to 30, including young married couples, conducted by Anthony Lobo and Team, scheduled for June 7-10, at Retreat House, Bandra. For details, WhatsApp Anthony @ 98198 49997, Audrey @ 98207 61532, Odette @ 98201 42085, Eugenie @ 98202 94413 with heading: 'Inner Healing Retreat'.