16 Notes & Comments

posted Nov 20, 2018, 7:12 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 20, 2018, 7:12 AM ]

Damage caused by Cyclone Gaja

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India expresses its deep sorrow and sadness at the heavy damage inflicted by cyclone Gaja which hit the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu in the morning of November 16, 2018.

Cyclonic Gaja made landfall in the Nagapattinam District of Tamil Nadu around 1:40 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 16. Heavy rain and strong winds have been lashing the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu since Thursday evening. According to initial reports, 23 people have lost their lives, and a total of 81,948 people are staying in 471 relief centres in six districts. The natural disaster took its toll, despite the preventive measures taken by the Government of Tamil Nadu and by the Church.

The most affected areas lie in the Diocese of Thanjavur and the Archdiocese of Pondicherry-Cuddalore which have been badly affected by this cyclone. The districts of Nagapattinam, Pudukottai and Pattukottai are the most affected regions. The Shrine of Our Lady of Health, Vailankanni was also affected badly. The ferocious winds have taken off the cross from the tower of the ancient church and have also severely damaged the statue of Jesus near the Morning Star Church.


Blessed James Alberione


I met Blessed James Alberione much the same way as St Paul met Jesus Christ — not in the flesh, but in the spirit. It was an intense and impressive meeting that left a lasting effect on my inner being and electrified my spirit. My encounter with him deepened progressively, as I began a more serious study of his life and work, his words and deeds. He was an astonishingly committed man, committed to prayer and to doing his best for the Kingdom of God. When I read his words that very early every morning, when his spiritual children were still asleep, he would offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice for them, and offer them to the Lord, placing them in intention together with the host in the paten and the wine in the chalice, I was deeply moved and could not contain my tears.

Amidst his many and demanding activities, Fr Alberione wrote an incredible amount of literature. The annotated bibliography which was prepared years after his death is itself a volume of about 250 pages! His writings include 113 books written all by himself, 15 books written in collaboration with others, 800 articles in various publications, a large number of book reviews, thousands of letters and a large number of sermons and conferences. He also translated three books: one from Portuguese, one from Spanish and one from French.


Pope: Ratzinger Prize-winners help us turn our thoughts to God


Pope Francis has expressed appreciation for the work of the 2018 Ratzinger Prize winners - a theologian and an architect - whose noble work, he said, helps us to lift our heads and turn our thoughts to God.

The Ratzinger Prize honours outstanding individuals for their research in theology and adjacent sciences, or for their religious artwork. The Prize is awarded by the Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation that was established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

In a speech of greeting to this year's prize-winners - Professor Marianne Schlosser and Architect Mario Botta - the Pope said that "against the backdrop and in the context of the great problems of our time, theology and art must (…) continue to be animated and elevated by the power of the Spirit, which is the source of strength, joy and hope."

And after having remarked on how the event provides "a lovely occasion on which to offer our affectionate and grateful thought to the Pope-emeritus, Benedict XVI," the Pope said that "as admirers of his cultural and spiritual legacy," members of the Foundation and the prize-winners have received the mission to "cultivate it and continue to make it bear fruit, with that strongly ecclesial spirit that has distinguished Joseph Ratzinger."

Special appreciation for choosing a woman theologian