20 National News

posted May 17, 2018, 8:33 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 17, 2018, 8:34 AM ]

Official Clarification

It has been brought to our notice by many people that a very malicious fake letter is being circulated in the social media and in Karnataka, on the eve of the elections there.

The purported fake letter is falsely attributed to Cardinal Oswald Gracias, as having been written by him to Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore. The false letter makes wild allegations about the Church involvement in the Lingayat issue.

In this regard, we wish to state:

1. We can assure you that this is a fake and malafide letter.
2. It will be noticed that the letter is not written on a letterhead.
3. The letter carries no signature.
4. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India nor Cardinal Gracias will never ever indulge in divisive tactics as indicated in that letter.
5. The language mistakes in that letter point out that it could not have originated from our Office.
6. Cardinal Oswald Gracias is the President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India. He is not the Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, as alleged by those who are circulating the letter.

The circulation of this letter just before the Karnataka elections is a disgraceful mischievous ploy. We reserve the right to take legal action against those involved in making and promoting that letter.

We request our well-wishers to respond to the letter, if it comes to them with this official clarification.

May God bless Karnataka, and may God bless our beloved Country, India.

Jai Hind!

Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, SFX,

Secretary General, CBCI

New Delhi
Lightning, dust storm, rains kill 40 across India

Several people were killed across the country on May 13, as violent dust storms, followed by rain and lightning, toppled walls and uprooted trees in north, east and south India.

Eighteen people were killed in Uttar Pradesh. Eight died in Andhra Pradesh and three in Telangana, officials told NDTV. According to reports, nine people were also killed in West Bengal and five in Delhi NCR, due to the storm.


Carmelites celebrate 150 years of educating girls

In an era when girl children were forced to stay home while their male siblings went to school, three Catholic nuns from France started an institution—now St Ann's High School, in Mangaluru. The nuns, of the order of Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel, spread their mission of educating the girl child to other parts of the country. Now, 150 years on, over 15 lakh students have passed out from 70 institutions of the Carmelite sisters in Karnataka alone.

As the order prepares to kick off its sesquicentennial celebrations (150 years) with an event in Bengaluru on May 5, those now in charge look back with pride on the long and difficult road they have travelled. Sr Lydia Fernandes, General Councillor, Apostolic Carmel, revealed the literacy rate on the West coast was abysmally low, when they first started out.

"The work of the Carmelite sisters in starting institutions for girl children years ago has helped increase the literacy rate in coastal Karnataka," said Sr Fernandes. "St Ann's school was the first to be established in Mangaluru in 1870."


Salesian school opts for multi-religious campus

A Catholic school in Assam state has used various religious symbols in a newly built facility to highlight multi-religious acceptance in an educational institution.

Holy Cross Bishop Stephen Rotluanga of Aizawl blessed the Don Bosco School Silchar Extension building on May 11, while Salesian Provincial of Shillong, Fr George Maliekal, unveiled the dedication plaque and inaugurated the building.


National Minority Commission to visit Odisha after 5 years

George Kurien, Vice Chairperson of the National Minority Commission, plans to visit Odisha from May 15-17.

He is likely to meet Christian and other religious leaders in the eastern Indian state.

"It is quite important as the National Minority Commission is visiting Odisha after five years. There are a lot of issues and concerns in various parts of the state," said Fr Ajaya Kumar Singh, a social activist.

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No full stop for fun, learning and growth

The second English Summer Camp was organised for the tribal students of class seven, eight and nine at Don Bosco Walvanda from May 2–11, with 90 participants, both boys and girls. The days began with prayer and meditation. The students had grammar, vocabulary and conversation classes in the morning session. Afternoon sessions consisted of inspirational movies, followed by a discussion on the movie.

During the camp, students were taken for Vanbhojan, where they were taken to the wilderness and had to cook lunch themselves, after which they were entertained with games and dance. Other activities like computer classes, learning on tabs, games and special programmes were organised after supper.