18 National News

posted Oct 24, 2018, 6:37 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 24, 2018, 8:53 AM ]

Holy Mass in Sign Language

A special Holy Mass was celebrated in sign language for speech and hearing challenged persons in the Archdiocese of Bangalore on October 13 at St Patrick's Church. The Mass was organised by the Catholic Deaf Association of India, in association with the Commission for the Differently Abled.

The Holy Mass was celebrated by Rev Fr Priyesh and Rev Fr Biju, experts in the field of sign language. The Holy Mass was attended by hearing and speech challenged persons. The Mass was followed by a meeting addressed by Mr Stalin Thomas, President of Catholic Deaf Association of India.


New Delhi
Indian Church rejoices over Vaz's appointment

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) has expressed "great joy" over the appointment of Guilherme Vaz, a leading layman from the country, as a consultor to the reconstituted Pontifical Council for the Laity, Family and Life.

Vaz was for ten years a member of the erstwhile Pontifical Council for the Laity, first appointed by Pope Benedict XVI and continued under Pope Francis. Vaz has been a close collaborator of the CBCI, first as consultor to the Commission for Education and Culture. He was closely involved in the first comprehensive survey of Catholic Education in India and in formulating the Catholic Education Policy that followed.

He has been a member of the CBCI Finance Committee for the past seven years, and has assisted many dioceses. He is also a member of the governing board of the CBCI Society for Medical Education, North India. 


First 100% organic state

Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling received the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) Future Policy Gold Award for paving the way for the rest of the world, as Sikkim became the world's first fully organic state. "Let us build an organic world together," he said while accepting the award from FAO's Deputy Director Maria Helena Semedo, who praised the state for setting an example.


Christian family ostracized

A predominantly Hindu village in Karnataka recently decided to boycott a Christian family for not giving up their faith.

Pastor Jyothi Kumar, who became a Christian 20 years ago, ministers in a small church named 'Jeeva Dhara Prarthana Mandir' at Hadagalli village in Dasarahalli Thanda taluk of Bellary district. Around 100 people gather every Sunday for prayer.

On October 10, the village head and the elders called a meeting with the pastor and other Christians. The village elders asked the Christians to stop following Jesus Christ and their worship service or face further action.

When the pastor declined to give up his faith or stop worshipping Jesus Christ, the village collectively decided to boycott his family and other Christians. They were barred from attending any village activity such as funeral services. They cannot buy or sell anything in the village. The elders forbade the other villagers from attending any function or celebration of the Christians.


Thousands attend Bible Mahotsav in Patna

More than 3,000 people from south Bihar attended a three-day grand celebration (Oct. 15-17) to end the year-long Year of the Word of God at Patna, the capital of Bihar.

Jesuit Archbishop William D'Souza of Patna had declared the year-long observance in all Catholic parishes to help Catholics study on the themes of the Gospels. At different times during the past 12 months, parishes had held celebrations, quizzes, variety programmes and special prayer services to mark the importance of the Bible in Christian life.

The final programme was held at the Queen of the Apostles Church, Kurji, a major parish in Patna.

"It's a celebration of thanksgiving to God for the gift of the Holy Bible to the Catholic Church and the blessings we have received in and through the reading and celebrating the Word of God," Bishop D'Souza explained.

The Bible Mahotsav began at 3:30 pm on October 15, with a Mass led by Archbishop D'Souza at Hartmann School grounds in the Kurji church premises. A grand procession with the Holy Bible enthroned on a palanquin started from the church ground towards St Michael's Primary School. Girls and boys as well as youth members led the way.