Issues Vol. 169‎ > ‎

Vol. 169 No. 51 • DEC 29, 2018 - JAN 04, 2019

01 Cover

posted Dec 28, 2018, 3:47 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 28, 2018, 3:47 AM ]

03 Index

posted Dec 28, 2018, 3:46 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 28, 2018, 9:35 PM ]

04 Engagements

posted Dec 28, 2018, 3:44 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 28, 2018, 9:36 PM ]

05 Editorial - 2019: International Year of Indigenous Languages

posted Dec 28, 2018, 3:41 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 28, 2018, 3:41 AM ]

It is through language that we communicate with the world, define our identity, express our history and culture, learn, defend our human rights and participate in all aspects of society, to name but a few. Through language, people preserve their community’s history, customs and traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking, meaning and expression. They also use it to construct their future. Language is pivotal in the areas of human rights protection, good governance, peace building, reconciliation, and sustainable development.

A person’s right to use his or her chosen language is a prerequisite for freedom of thought, opinion and expression, access to education and information, employment, building inclusive societies, and other values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Many of us take it for granted that we can conduct our lives in our home languages, without any constraints or prejudice. But this is not the case for every one.

Of the almost 7,000 existing languages, the majority have been created and are spoken by indigenous peoples who represent the greater part of the world’s cultural diversity. Yet, many of these languages are disappearing at an alarming rate, as the communities speaking them are confronted with assimilation, enforced relocation, educational disadvantage, poverty, illiteracy, migration and other forms of discrimination and human rights violations.

Given the complex systems of knowledge and culture developed and accumulated by these local languages over thousands of year, their disappearance would amount to losing a kind of cultural treasure. It would deprive us of the rich diversity they add to our world, and the ecological, economic and socio-cultural contribution they make.

More importantly, their loss would have a huge negative impact on the indigenous cultures concerned. It is for this reason and others that the United Nations chose to dedicate a whole year to indigenous languages, to encourage urgent action to preserve, revitalise and promote them.

1. Increasing understanding, reconciliation and international cooperation.
2. Creation of favourable conditions for knowledge-sharing and dissemination of good practices with regards to indigenous languages.
3. Integration of indigenous languages into standard setting.
4. Empowerment through capacity building.
5. Growth and development through elaboration of new knowledge.

Use of logos

Languages play an essential role in the daily lives of all people. Through language, people not only embed their history, traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking and expression, but more importantly, construct their future. Languages are pivotal in the areas of peace building, human rights enhancement, education, research, innovation, protection of the environment, and sustainable development. However, despite their value, languages, especial indigenous languages, are continuing to disappear at an alarming rate due to a variety of factors.

In response to the issue, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on ‘Rights of Indigenous Peoples’, proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO) is the lead UN agency for the year.

Governments, intergovernmental organizations, and entities of civil society are encouraged to organise activities to support the International Year in accordance with the Action Plan proposed and to use the logo of the Year to promote its visibility. Registered partners can use the IY 2019 logo for their events, subject to approval. The logo is available in the six official United Nations languages.

Source: IYIL2019

06 Mary pondered...

posted Dec 28, 2018, 3:38 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 28, 2018, 3:38 AM ]

Pope Francis’ homily at Mass on New Year’s Day 2018 - the Solemnity of the Mother of God, and World Day of Peace

T he year opens in the name of the Mother. 'Mother of God' is the most important title of Our Lady. But we might ask why we say 'Mother of God', and not 'Mother of Jesus'. In the past, some wanted to be content simply with the latter, but the Church has declared that Mary is the Mother of God. We should be grateful, because these words contain a magnificent truth about God and about ourselves. From the moment that our Lord became incarnate in Mary, and for all time, He took on our humanity. There is no longer God without man; the flesh Jesus took from His Mother is our own, now and for all eternity. To call Mary the Mother of God reminds us of this: God is close to humanity, even as a child is close to the mother who bears him in her womb.

The word mother (mater) is related to the word matter. In his Mother, the God of heaven, the infinite God, made Himself small. He became matter, not only to be with us, but also to be like us. This is the miracle, the great novelty! Man is no longer alone; no more an orphan, but forever a child. The year opens with this novelty. And we proclaim it by saying: Mother of God! Ours is the joy of knowing that our solitude has ended. It is the beauty of knowing that we are beloved children, of knowing that this childhood of ours can never be taken away from us. It is to see a reflection of ourselves in the frail and infant God resting in His mother's arms, and to realise that humanity is precious and sacred to the Lord. Henceforth, to serve human life is to serve God. All life - from life in the mother's womb to that of the elderly, the suffering and the sick, and to that of the troublesome and even repellent - is to be welcomed, loved and helped.


07 Stand on His promises for 2019 - Eddy D'Sa

posted Dec 28, 2018, 3:36 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 28, 2018, 3:36 AM ]

"S o shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing where to I sent it." ( Isaiah 55:11) "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Mt 24:35) The Holy Bible – THE WORD OF GOD – has been estimated to contain over 3000 promises (3547). This is our great inheritance to claim. But before we ask which one is for me, before we pray that promise, stand on it and claim it, we have to be very clear about a few things. Do not confuse a principle with a promise. Do not ignore its context. Do not conveniently overlook the conditional "IF". Do not choose selectively, but ask the Spirit for wisdom. Do not use a promise manipulatively; you cannot coerce God. And finally do not limit a promise to your own human understanding on how, when and why it will be fulfilled.

God encourages us to travel light as we venture into the New Year. I don't know how to travel light. But I need to learn. I can't enjoy a journey carrying so much stuff, so much luggage. Odds are, somewhere this morning between the first step on the floor and the last step out the door, I grabbed some luggage. Don't remember doing so? That is because I did it without thinking. That's because the bags we grab aren't made of leather; they are made of burdens. The suitcase of guilt, a duffel bag of weariness, a hand-bag of grief. A backpack of doubt, an overnight bag.


09 Christmas Celebrations at CBCI HQ - Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas

posted Dec 28, 2018, 3:34 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 28, 2018, 3:35 AM ]

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India hosted the Christmas gathering to usher in the Christmas celebrations in the country, on December 13, 2018, at the Sacred Heart Cathedral premises, New Delhi. The Christmas carols sung melodiously by the CJM School choir filled the atmosphere with joy as the guests who included Ministers, Members of Parliament, bureaucrats, Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, Bishops, Priests, Sisters, Brothers, leaders of various Christian denominations and different faiths and the laity. The Chief Guest for the evening was Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Honourable Former President of India; other Guests of Honour on the dais were His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), Shri Justice Kurien Joseph, Retired Judge - Supreme Court of India, Shri Conrad Sangma, Honourable Chief Minister of Meghalaya, His Excellency Joshua Mar Ignathios, Vice President of CBCI, Shri K.J. Alphons, Union Minister of State (independent charge) for Tourism and IT, and Rev. Msgr Mitja Leskovar, First Counsellor, Apostolic Nunciature, India.


11 13th National BOSCOREE - Fr. Glenford Lowe sdb

posted Dec 28, 2018, 3:33 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 28, 2018, 3:33 AM ]

Planning, Preparation and Pursuit of the goals have always been the hallmark of every Scout narrative. Boscoree is no different. I would like to take you on a journey through the process, just so you know, appreciate, and possibly, imitate some of what went into this wonderful 13th National BOSCOREE. It has not only been a humongous enterprise, but an exercise in endurance, expertise and excellence, and I am happy to share this journey with you.


LOGISTICS: Right from the word 'Go', the catch word was PLAN RIGHT. The Mumbai Province was given the responsibility to host the 13th National BOSCOREE during the Team Visit at Chennai in March 2017. We needed to get our act together in just twenty months. Fr Ian Doulton SDB was appointed as the Camp Chief. Fr Savio Silveira SDB, Vice Provincial was appointed as the Camp Coordinator. Six BOSCOREE Committees were then set in place, headed by the following: Programme Coordinator (Fr Glenford Lowe SDB), Venue and Accommodation (Fr Anthony Fonseca SDB), Food (Fr Gregory Almeida SDB), Travel and Tourism (Fr Rolvin D'Mello SDB), Finance (Fr Manuel Murzello SDB) and Communications (Fr Leon Cruz Ratinam SDB). Sr Rita Lobo FMA and Sr Nilima Rodrigues FMA were appointed to represent the Salesian Sisters.


12 The Holy Family - Joby Provido

posted Dec 28, 2018, 3:31 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 28, 2018, 3:31 AM ]

I n our current liturgical calendar, the Sunday within the Christmas Octave is celebrated as the feast of the Holy Family. This commemoration started in the 17th Century with the purpose of presenting the Holy Family as the model for Christian families.

In our reflection, it might come to our mind to ask what qualities of the Holy Family we are being asked to emulate. If there is one quality we need to emulate, it is trust. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that the sin of Adam and Eve, the first family, is that they allowed their trust in God to die in their hearts (CCC 397). In simpler words, they preferred to trust in their own wisdom, and not in God's. The consequence is doing what they felt was right, instead of doing what they were told was right. The Holy Family shows us quite a stark opposite.

Consider that Mary was invited by the Angel Gabriel to be the mother of the Messiah, despite being betrothed to Joseph. To carry someone else's child at this stage in her relationship with Joseph could be considered adultery, punished by stoning. We can assume she felt she wasn't free to tell Joseph of Gabriel's visit, or else Joseph wouldn't have been perturbed by her pregnancy. Despite no other instruction from the angel, she agreed to God's invitation, knowing full well she could be stoned to death. She gave God all her trust and abandoned her life to His will. 


14 Hark! The YouTube Voice is calling! - Fr Aniceto Nazareth

posted Dec 28, 2018, 3:30 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 28, 2018, 3:30 AM ]

To renew our Liturgies Bidding us to firm repentance, Since the Kingdom is now near.

Oh that warning cry obey: Now prepare for God a way! Ev’ry valley may He fill, Level ev’ry mount and hill.

The renewal of Sacred Music used in the liturgy was carefully considered by the Second Vatican Council. It explained the role of music in divine services, and hoped that pastors, musicians and the faithful would gladly accept its norms, and put them into practice to attain the true purpose of Sacred Music "which is the glory of God and the sanctification of His people." Good music gives the Liturgy a more noble form, and our prayer is expressed in a more attractive way.

YouTube has given us a most effective platform to display good new hymns for liturgical services from Baptisms to Funerals. The most important chants are those which people quite often skip: the Psalms! Then there are chants for the Great Seasons of Lent-Easter, Advent-Parousia-Christmas, not to forget music for Feasts and special occasions which give these events their proper tone and colour.

Our Diocesan Catholic Communication Centre has welcomed our Team and well chosen cantors to their studio to record hymns to be uploaded on YouTube. We are now looking for suitable singers: men, women and children to make video recordings, so that people worldwide may learn these chants and use them at all liturgical services. There is also much to be learnt by cantors about choice of hymns, while instrumentalists need to grow in the art of devout accompaniments and replace loud music with soul touching interludes.


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