Issues Vol. 169‎ > ‎

Vol. 169 No. 45 • NOV 10 - 16, 2018

01 Cover

posted Nov 6, 2018, 8:30 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 8, 2018, 4:54 PM ]

03 Index

posted Nov 6, 2018, 8:29 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 6, 2018, 8:29 AM ]

04 Engagements

posted Nov 6, 2018, 8:28 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 6, 2018, 8:28 AM ]

05 Editorial - What Youth expect from the Church

posted Nov 6, 2018, 8:24 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 8, 2018, 4:55 PM ]

Young delegates from around the world in an encounter with Pope Francis and members of the Synod of Bishops made known their expectations that they no longer want to remain on the sidelines, but want to play an active role in the Church.

Young men and women delegates who addressed the Synod in its opening days and spoke candidly about their hopes for the Catholic Church to address the challenges they face in the modern world."Young people don't just want to be treated as such," said Silvia Retamales, a member of the Chilean bishops' Youth Office. "We need a different and open Church that doesn't close the doors on social, sexual and ethnic minorities."

As the Church in Chile continues to face a growing crisis regarding sexual abuse and cover-up by members of the clergy, Retamales told the Synod members that young Catholics in the country are "crying out for a structure that totally avoids any disposition that encourages, allows or covers up any form of abuse."

The role of women in the Church, she added, must also be strengthened in areas "of real decision-making and participation in our communities. I would like to be part of a church in which everyone has a place, and in which the voice of each member is considered, without 'demanding' a certain prototype of faithful, in a profound encounter with the diversity in which Christ manifests Himself," Retamales said.

Mariano Garcia, national coordinator of Youth Ministry in Argentina, said the Church needs to take greater care of young people, especially the poorest. Many young men and women, he said, "live under the scourge of poverty; young people with their social, economic and cultural rights violated, wounded by the exclusive systems we are immersed in and that do not favour equality, equity and justice for true human development."

Garcia said the Church needed to help young people who are considered "the 'nobodies' of the society in which we live, young people who are cast aside, the ones who nobody cares about."

For Yithzak Gonzalez, a Youth Minister and Executive Secretary of the Youth Office of the Panamanian bishops' conference, the Church should reconsider "the methods that are used to achieve a coherent and responsible discernment that doesn't turn us into a statistic: unemployed youth, delinquent youth, youth who neither study or work, youth with alcohol and drug problems, etc."

"We want to be part of the solution to conflicts. We believe that young people must be the first authors and promoters of their personal fulfilment," Gonzalez said.

Sebastian Duhao, a member of the Youth Council in the Diocese of Paramatta, Australia, recalled his experience playing saxophone in a youth choir, where he quickly learned that if he "wanted to be able to play alongside the youth choir, I would have to learn to play by listening."

"The Church needs to create similar spaces where young people can voice their opinions, their hopes, their needs and their struggles, without being judged," Duhao said. "The Church, like I had to, must learn to use its ears to listen to the world around it, to listen to what is required of it, and most importantly, to listen to the voices of young people because we have something to offer."

Cherylanne Menezes, the only woman in the 14-member Indian delegation participating in the Synod of Bishops, said the Church must recognise that young people are not just our future, they are our present. The complexities of our world today compel us as Church, as humanity, to invest our best resources for the benefit of our young generations. We have to start from fundamental questions and problems, and we have to work together, young people and adults, if we want to ensure a new and better world.

She added, "The youth are looking for clarity in the teachings of the Church and its relevance in today's context. They are hoping to be accompanied in their life direction by mature adults. They are searching for their space to contribute to decision-making processes, to experience the sense of belonging in a community. I also think as Catholics in India, we need to still find our way to be more integrated into our context, and more involved in working together with the youth of different faith traditions."

Culled from CNS and Matters India Reports

06 Message for 33rd World Youth Day 2018 - Pope Francis

posted Nov 6, 2018, 8:23 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 6, 2018, 8:23 AM ]

World Youth Day 2018 represents another step in preparation for the international WYD due to take place in Panama in January 2019. This new stage of our pilgrimage falls in the same year that the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops deliberate on the theme: 'Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment'.

As you already know, we have chosen to be accompanied on this journey by the example and intercession of Mary, the young woman of Nazareth whom God chose as the Mother of His Son. She walks with us towards the Synod and towards the WYD in Panama. If last year we were guided by the words of her canticle of praise – "The Almighty has done great things for me" (Lk 1:49) – teaching us to remember the past, this year we seek, together with her, to listen to the voice of God who inspires courage and bestows the grace needed to respond to his call: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God" (Lk 1:30).

As is understandable, the sudden appearance of the angel and his mysterious greeting: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Lk1:28), strongly disturbed Mary, who was surprised by this first revelation of her identity and her vocation, as yet unknown to her. Mary, like others in the Sacred Scriptures, trembles before the mystery of God's call, who in a moment places before her the immensity of His own plan, and makes her feel all her smallness as a humble creature. The angel says: "Do not be afraid!" God also reads our inmost heart. He knows well the challenges we must confront in life, especially when we are faced with the fundamental choices on which depend who we will be, and what we will do in this world. It is the "shudder" that we feel when faced with decisions about our future, our state of life, our vocation. In these moments, we are troubled and seized by so many fears.

And you, young people, what are your fears? What worries you most deeply? An "underlying" fear that many of you have is that of not being loved, well-liked or accepted for who you are. Today, there are many young people who feel the need to be different from who they really are, in an attempt to adapt to an often artificial and unattainable standard. They continuously "photo-shop" their images, hiding behind masks and false identities, almost becoming fake selves. Many are obsessed by receiving as many "likes" as possible. Multiple fears and uncertainties emerge from this sense of inadequacy. Many, faced with the uncertainty of work, fear not being able to find a satisfactory professional position, or to fulfil their dreams. Today, a large number of young people are full of fear - both believers and non-believers. Indeed, those who have accepted the gift of faith and seek their vocation seriously are not exempt from fears. Some think: perhaps God is asking or will ask too much of me; perhaps, by following the road He has marked out for me, I will not be truly happy, or I will not be able to do what He asks of me. Others think: if I follow the path that God shows me, who can guarantee that I will be able to follow it through? Will I become discouraged? Will I lose my enthusiasm? Will I be able to persevere for the whole of my life?


08 “Let The Little Children Come To Me” (Mt 19:14) - Bishop Bosco Penha

posted Nov 6, 2018, 8:22 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 6, 2018, 8:22 AM ]

Some years ago, when I was actively at the helm of the Youth Ministry in the archdiocese, I was discussing our efforts with another priest. I was telling him the importance of reaching out to the youth who were the future of the Church. He said something to me which I have never forgotten. He opined: "I feel that starting with the youth, we are already late. They have had so many years of childhood, when they are already formed; so it is difficult to mould them as youth. We have to start earlier in the Church, with children." Of course, we do deal with children in Catholic school and Sunday Catechism Class, but I think our children need something more intense and creative in this endeavour.

On November 14, we celebrate Children's Day, and I was reminded of the vulnerability of children and how much they depend on us adults. But I was also reminded of the power and potentiality of children, and how much we can learn from them. Can we get them more involved and use their talents to build the Church?

There are at least three experiments, of which I have heard, regarding efforts made to reach out to children and develop their potentialities.

1. At Dadar West and Vakola

The first is by Fr Felix D'Souza. Earlier, when he was the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Salvation, Dadar, he had started the 'Children's Parliament'. Here is what he writes:

a) The 'Children's Parliament' was an idea that was initiated in one of the parishes in a diocese of South India; the main purpose being that the children would be initiated in the programmes of the Small Christian Community Project. Having understood its operation, I thought of initiating a similar concept in the parish of Our Lady of Salvation, Dadar. I was often confronted with the comments of our elderly SCC animators who complained that the youth were nowhere in the picture for SCC programmes. This set me thinking, that if we have not been able to capture the attention and utilize the energy of the youth for the programmes in the Church, then it was necessary that we initiate such interest first and foremost in the children.


10 Children and Cell phones - Dr. Jeanette Pinto

posted Nov 6, 2018, 8:20 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 6, 2018, 8:20 AM ]

Children are God's gifts to their parents. They are also a gift to their country, because they give joy to all and contribute to the success and development of their country. Children's Day (also known as Bal Diwas) is celebrated every year on November 14, the birthday of the first Indian Prime Minister, Pandit Jawarhalal Nehru.

Our children are our nation's future, and we are aware of how they have joined the bandwagon of Technology. Today, our children are learning how to use cellphones, and receiving their own at younger ages than ever before. A cellphone is a phone which is portable that can make and receive calls over an in-built radio frequency which links the person to the caller while the user is moving within a telephone service area. Since children have grown up in an era where the cellphone has been ingrained in them at such a vulnerable age, they are very susceptible to developing an addiction to their smartphones and/or social media. There are advantages, disadvantages, impact, consequences and concerns about the use of the mobile phones.

It is a common sight to see cellphones in the hands of young children and teenagers. Experts say that teens fancy this device because of its significance to an identity factor. Its usage has re-shaped, reorganised and altered several social facets of life. How do parents perceive the overall usage of mobile phones by their children? Much literature has provided evidence of them being used both for positive purposes and negative reasons. What are the disadvantages and problems superseding positive uses? Are there any solutions, possibilities and avenues to address such problems? These are the basic queries this article will reveal.


11 Let the Children live their Dreams - Fr Dr Patrick D’Souza

posted Nov 6, 2018, 8:18 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 6, 2018, 8:19 AM ]

Viswanathan Anand is a former World Chess Champion, and the current World Rapid Chess Champion. His mother taught him chess from the age six. Then he learnt the fine points of the game in Manila. He lived with his father there from 1978 to 1980. His father worked for the Philippine National Railways during those years.

Arjun Kshettry was all of six in 2013, and already a Golf super-achiever! How did he accomplish so much at such a young age?

Arjun is a living breathing example of how parents can encourage their children to be super-achievers in extracurricular activities without letting their schoolwork suffer.

According to Wikipedia, Arjun's father, Rishi, bought him a colourful toy golf set when he was only a few months old, which was his constant companion since he was old enough to stand by himself. Arjun was gifted his first real golf set by his parents at the tender age of two, and has accompanied his father to the golf course to learn the game since then. The main driving force in his life has been his father, Rishi, who has been constantly guiding him through the various stages, from learning to love the game to learning how to play the game. His mother, on the other hand, is the balancing force in his life, who has taught him to multi-task, ensuring that neither his school work, nor his favourite hobby, suffers because of his busy schedule.

Singapore High-Achiever Parents Support Group

"This is a super, but not elitist, 'meet up group' for people who have children that are (aspiring to be) high achievers and/or budding scholars / future entrepreneurs / future leaders. The group members will support one another in the following:-

* inculcating the right values, habits and attitudes

* discussing issues children face and how to tackle them


13 Twins' 150th Birthday - Sr. M. Conradine, C.C.R

posted Nov 6, 2018, 8:17 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 6, 2018, 8:17 AM ]

"Readily and wholeheartedly, I shall go and work in India, dedicate myself, even give my life, if our Lord gave me this signal grace." (A Life in Letters - Mother Mary Veronica of the Passion, pg. 317)

This was the spiritual force which brought forth the birth of Twin Sisters – C.C.R. and A.C. – Congregation of the Carmelite Religious and Apostolic Carmel as the Third Order Apostolic of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This year is for us 'The Year of Praise and Gratitude to God,' since the little seed of the Third Order of Carmelites, sown in the heart of our Foundress, Mother Mary Veronica, completes 150 Years (Sesquicentennial Year). It has now grown into a mighty tree, spreading its branches far and wide in India, Italy, Kenya, U.S. and Germany.

Who is Mother Veronica?

Mother Mary Veronica, nee Sophie Leeves, was born of Anglican parents, on October 1, 1823 in Constantinople. She never attended any school, but had tutors at home with regular hours of study. She was well trained by her father in virtues of humility and obedience, which contributed to what Sophie would become in the years ahead.

One Easter Tuesday, while Sophie was in bed, she heard a voice in her ears, "My Peace I leave you; My Peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you."

This was the first call which she heard, not only with her ears, but with the ears of her soul. It seemed she had received a personal message from the Risen Lord. As time passed, Sophie got engaged and was to be married after two years. In between, she was getting closer to the Catholic Church. Until then, she was eagerly looking forward to her marriage, but suddenly, she felt that Jesus had taken possession of her heart. The mysterious part of this call is the fact that it came when Sophie was a Protestant. God had chosen her, and her response was 'YES'. Her acquaintance with a Catholic lady, Madam Demech (a social worker) brought her to the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus, which attracted her to enter the Catholic Church with her sister, Mary Ann, though it was against the wish of her mother.


14 Notes & Comments

posted Nov 6, 2018, 8:16 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 6, 2018, 8:16 AM ]

Cardinal Gracias: Synod document must be adapted to Asian youth


As the synod on young people drew to a close, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Mumbai, spoke to America not only about the Synod and the issues discussed, but also about his own plans to adapt the synod process in the Church in India—the country with the largest number of young people in the world, 600 million under the age of 25.

While the 73-year-old cardinal has attended many synods over the years, this one made him feel "very happy." He said it was "a wonderful experience," especially because of the presence of 36 young people from all continents.

"They fully participated as youth," he said. "They were yelling; they were happy; their presence was made felt. They had no inhibitions about saying what they felt. I think they also gave us an insight into the mind and the world of the youth and their aspirations, their joys, their hopes for the Church and their generosity for the Church, which is much more than we anticipated, though, of course, this was a special group."

He reported that "the issue of hope for the youth" came out strongly, as did two other themes. The young people "said repeatedly 'hear us' and 'take us seriously' and asked 'accompany us,' 'be with us.' This raised the question: 'How do we accompany them? They have a vocation; how do we help them to discern that vocation?'"


Pope greets Young, Elderly, Sick and Newlyweds


Pope Francis on October 31, 2018, offered particular thoughts to several groups during his General Audience in St Peter's Square:

"A particular thought goes to young people, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds. Tomorrow, we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints and, day after tomorrow, the Commemoration of all the deceased faithful. May the witness of faith of all those who have preceded us, reinforce in us the certainty that God accompanies each one on the path of life; He never abandons anyone to himself, and He wants all of us to be holy, as He is holy."


Sr Prema MC's meeting with Mrs Maneka Gandhi

Press Release

On October 29, 2018, Sr M Prema MC, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity met Mrs Maneka Gandhi, Honorable Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development. The meeting was held in New Delhi at the request of the Minister.

Mrs Gandhi, who expressed her appreciation of the good work of the Missionaries of Charity, asked Sr Prema MC for collaboration with her Ministry by registering all the MoC-run Child Care Institutions under the Juvenile Justice Act 2015, and also linking them with the Specialised Adoption Agencies who would carry out the placement in adoption of the children declared legally free for adoption.

Sr Prema informed the Honorable Minister that the majority of their Homes for Children are already registered under the Juvenile Justice Act 2015, and the remaining Homes are in the process of completing the registration formalities. Sr Prema MC further stated that the Homes will be linked to nearby Specialised Adoption Agencies in accordance with Section 66, Para 2 of the JJ Act 2015.


Gloria Church will make every Mumbaikar proud

The 160-feet tall heritage landmark Gloria Church in Byculla has been reopened for worshippers after a prolonged restoration project. On Sunday, October 28, parishioners witnessed a few spectacular changes, including the grand altar, stained glass and the statues of various saints.

This Gothic-style church has a Latin cross and lofty towers which are very rare in Mumbai churches. One of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in Mumbai, it was built by the Portuguese Franciscans in 1632. However, the modern structure was built in 1911 in English Gothic style. It acquired 'heritage status' in 1995.

While talking to the Times Of India, Parish Priest Fr Jude Botelho said, "We have been undertaking restoration work since six years in phases. Portions of the church were cordoned off for months at a time. Now the interior has attained its original glory."


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