20 National News

posted Jun 20, 2018, 8:47 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 20, 2018, 8:47 AM ]

Kandhamal tenth anniversary

The Catholic Church in Odisha plans to invite all cardinals, archbishops and bishops of India to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the persecution of Christians in the Kandhamal district of the eastern Indian state. The Church expects all prelates, along with hundreds of priests and nuns from all over India, at the solemn Mass on August 25 on St Joseph's School Ground in Bhubaneswar, the state capital.

"We are persecuted but not abandoned, knocked down but not crushed," says a message from Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, the chief organiser of the programme.

Archbishop Barwa said the Church has experienced God's powerful presence and accompaniment during all hardships and persecutions down the centuries. Everything happens for a purpose, said the Divine Word prelate, adding, "Let's pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the persecuted Christians of Kandhamal and for their continuous growth in faith."


Inauguration of Academic year at Divyadaan

The community of Divyadaan, alongside representatives of neighbouring communities, ushered in the new academic year 2018-19 on June 11, with a programme in line with the Gospel theme: 'Sir, give me that water.'

The celebrations began with the Holy Eucharist, which was presided over by Fr Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of the Salesian province of Mumbai. Fr Philip Gonsalves OFM Cap, Provincial of the Bonaventure province of the Capuchins, Fr Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial of Mumbai province, and Fr Manuel Murzello, Economer of Mumbai province, were also present.

Following Holy Mass, a choral piece was sung by students from the first year. It was conducted by Fr Kenneth Pereira. Fr Robert Pen, Rector of Divydaan, then welcomed the gathering, and felicitated the chief guests and guests of honour.


Madhya Pradesh
Catholic schools to continue nation building

Fr Maria Stephen, spokesman for the Church in MP said, "507 Catholic educational establishments are active in the state. We will continue our educational apostolate, provide service to the community, and offer quality education to the nation and the people, from the remotest rural areas to the suburbs, from villages to cities."

In recent years, fundamentalists have targeted some schools run by the Catholic Church. The most violent incidents occurred in two establishments—the St Mary Post Graduate College in Vidisha and the St Joseph Convent School in the Ratlam district.


Schools to teach Constitution

All Catholic schools in India will continue to educate their students about the country's Constitution amid claims that Church leaders are promoting human rights and secularism, attempting to destabilise the country at the behest of the Vatican. The Office for Education & Culture of the CBCI issued a module on June 11 for all Catholic educational institutions during the academic year starting June-July.

"In this first stage, we have decided to focus on the Preamble of the Constitution," said Archbishop Thomas D'Souza of Calcutta, who heads the Education and Culture office.


Prepare and prevent, don't repair and repent

The Rashtriya Life Saving Society RLSS (I) conducted a workshop on life saving, first aid and resuscitation, entitled 'Prepare and prevent, don't repair and repent', for the teachers of Don Bosco High School and Junior College, Pune on June 11.

Kavita Sharma, who assists her husband Rear Admiral Purushottam Dutt Sharma, AVSM, NM, IN (Retd), the founder of RLSS (I), along with Divanshu, Mamta Advani and other members of their team conducted the workshop.

Sharma briefed the teachers, at the onset, about the history of RLSS (I), its partners, associates, centres, training programmes for all the age groups (students and adults), facilities and operating methods. She narrated an incident in July 1997, when she and her husband witnessed a school bus jumping the rails of Wazirabad bridge near Delhi and plunging into the river, claiming 29 young lives.