22 National News

posted Nov 28, 2018, 5:46 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 28, 2018, 5:47 AM ]

ASI to restore casket housing relics of St Francis Xavier

Almost 300 years after it was put together to house the relics of St Francis Xavier, a Jesuit and patron saint of Goa, the mastrillian casket will undergo a major restoration work. The casket made of silver, wood and cloth was originally made by Italian Jesuit Marcelo Mastrili, and is now showing signs of wearing out.

Fr Patricio Fernandes, the Rector of Basilica of Bom Jesus, where the relics of the Spanish saint are preserved, said that the casket is there from 1637; it has been safe on top and untouched at the right side of the altar in the church.

"But with time it wears off. It is wooden, cloth and silver. The things of cloth are falling apart. If they do not take care now, in ten years time, it will fall apart," he said.


Thousands flock to Pilar to seek Ven. Agnelo's blessings

Venerable Agnelo D'Souza is a shining star of the Church of Goa, and he preached the Gospel through his holy life, said Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi, in his homily at a Mass to mark the 91st death anniversary of Venerable D'Souza on November 20. The death anniversary of the Anjuna-born priest was celebrated with great fervour and devotion, as thousands flocked to Pilar hillock to seek his blessings.

Fr Tony Fernandes, vice-postulator of the Cause of Venerable Agnelo de Souza, announced the beatification process has gained momentum and sought unceasing prayers for the same.


Priest's Caring Ministry gifts 24 homes to needy people

A Catholic priest's Caring Ministry in Shillong has gifted 24 newly built homes to needy people. Christened Dong Don Bosco, the new village at Nongkohlew within the Mawlai Constituency was inaugurated and blessed on Sunday 18 November 2018.

"The new dong [village] is named 'Dong Don Bosco' after the patron saint of youth, and the 24 homes honour Blessed Virgin Mary," said Salesian Fr Jose Chunkapura, founder of Caring Ministry. Former Professor of Theology at Sacred Heart College Shillong, he explained, "Dong Don Bosco is a 'green field project' where an entire hill-top (knoll) was purchased, and divided into 24 plots of 1,500 square feet each, and were registered in the names of 24 needy families who didn't own a house."

After the houses and toilets were built on each of these plots, each family now has also a small area of land to use as a kitchen garden.


Roti Bank feeds hungry

Two men have launched a project to feed the hungry in the streets of Tinsukia, a commercial town in the northeastern state of Assam.

"We do not want any one in the town to go to sleep on an empty stomach. However, we only act as a medium between people who can and who cannot," said Amit Bhattacharjee, who started the 'Roti Bank' with Prasant Goenka on November 18, the World Day of the Poor.

Bhattacharjee said they tell people and school children just to bring one extra roti to workplace or to school, and drop it in a basket kept at some important locations in the town and in the school campuses.


Fr Grugni, PIME — 'poor among the poor'

More than 1000 people, both Christian and members of other religions, took part in the funeral of Fr Antonio Grugni, a PIME missionary in India for 40 years, who died on Nov. 24, said Fr Rayarala Vijay Kuman, PIME Regional Superior, who concelebrated the Mass in the cathedral of Warangal (in Telangana) with the local bishop, Msgr Udumala Bala Showreddy.

"So many poor people, his poor" came to pay their final respects to "the one who created the Christian community" of Warangal," the superior said.

"For his entire life, Fr Antonio chose to serve the poor, giving up new clothes and things that he considered superfluous, like the smartphones he received as gifts, and which he donated in turn."


Family Year Convention held

Raipur archdiocese held a Family Year Convention, climaxing the Family Year being celebrated in Chhattisgarh region. Nearly 1400 people from most of the archdiocese's 76 parishes participated in the Nov 23-24 programme.

"Coming together from all the parishes of the archdiocese itself is an experience of a family. Christian life is a life of relationships," said Archbishop Victor Henry Thakur of Raipur in the opening Mass. "Only when God's kingdom comes in our families, will it be realised in the Church and society at large."