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posted May 30, 2018, 10:34 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 30, 2018, 10:35 AM ]

St Michael Church goes green


Climate change is the most serious challenge facing humanity today. In his encyclical, Laudato Si', Pope Francis called people of all faiths to take action against environmental degradation and confront the climate crisis.

India, which represents 17% of humanity, has an important role to play in the climate crisis. The government has prepared an ambitious plan to reduce India's carbon emissions 33-35% by 2030. A key part of the plan is to substitute solar energy for coal-based electricity.

On the occasion of World Environment Day to be observed on June 5, all of us should reflect on our role in keeping our nation's land, water, and air clean and in combating the effects of climate change. We have a responsibility in keeping this Earth in as good a shape as we found it for future generations.

St Michael's Green Plan

As one of the oldest churches in the Archdiocese of Bombay, St Michael's Church in Mahim commands respect. Because of its location and novenas—that attract over 50,000 people every Wednesday—the church also gets attention. Lately, public attention has focused on the church's efforts to go green. At least six actions have been taken so far under the leadership of Fr Simon Borges, the Parish Priest:

1. The installation of solar photo-voltaics on the roof with 20 kWh capacity has been the most ambitious action. Once the installation is complete and connected to the local grid, it would lower the church's electricity bill by Rs 24,000 per month, and reduce its carbon footprint by 15 tonnes per year to realise the goals of Pope Francis and of the Indian government.


Ten Saints on the Eucharist


The Holy Eucharist is the shortest and safest way to heaven. – St Pius X

If angels could be jealous of men, they would be for only one reason: Holy Communion. – St Maximilian Kolbe

In one day, the Eucharist will make you produce more for the glory of God, than a whole lifetime without it. – St Peter Julian Eymard.

What a joy it was for me to throw flowers beneath the feet of My God! I was never so happy as when I saw my roses touch the Sacred Monstrance in procession. – St Therese of the Little Flower

When you look at the Crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host, you understand how much Jesus loves you now. – St Mother Teresa of Kolkata

From the Eucharist comes strength to live the Christian life; as also the zeal to share that life with others. – St John Paul II

This is the Bread of everlasting life which supports the substance of your soul, and also provides nourishment for it. – St Ambrose


Ramadan - time for worship, abstinence, charity


Pope Francis, at Wednesday's general audience on May 17, greeted the Muslim community a day before they began their fasting month of Ramadan.

The pontiff wished that this "privileged time of prayer and fasting help in walking the path of God which is of peace."

These words of the Pope capture the essence and spirit of the holiest month of the Muslim calendar. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk every day.

Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam – the other four being faith, prayer, charity and making the pilgrimage, called Hajj, to the holy city of Mecca.

A typical Ramadan day starts with a pre-dawn meal called Suhur, following which the worshippers refrain from eating or drinking, even water, until sunset.

This lets the devout understand and 'feel' the conditions of those living in poverty.

The day's fast ends with the sunset meal called Iftar, which includes sweet dates — the food Prophet Mohammed ate when he broke his fasts.

However, there are some exemptions. Children, the elderly, the sick and nursing, menstruating and pregnant women are not expected to fast.

And fasting does not mean abstinence from food and drink. It also means purification of soul, where the worshippers turn towards deeper spiritual values and refrain from arguments, quarrels, smoking and sexual activities.