Diocesan News

Mass Diary 2020

Mass Diaries for the year 2020 (priced at Rs 700 each) are available at the following places:

1) Diocesan Liturgy Centre, Bandra, from Monday to Friday between 10 am to 3:45 pm. (Lunch time from 1:00 to 1:40 pm). Tel: 2655 5500

2) St Paul's Book & Art Centre, Bandra.

New BCS Office-bearers

Elections for the Bombay Catholic Sabha were held on Oct 22, 2019. Adv. Raphael D'Souza was elected as President (St John Bosco Church, Borivli). The three Vice Presidents are: Lawrence Fernandes (OL of Remedy Church, Kandivli), Bento Lobo (OL of Victories Church, Mahim), Robert D'Souza (St Joseph Church, Vikhroli). The ten elected Executive Committee members: Adrian Rosario, Anthony Dias, Dominic Chettiar, Varun David, Alexio Fernandes, Anthony Chettiar, Herbert Barretto, Leny Fernandes, Maryann Lopes, Rita Almeida.

Migrants Commission

The Archdiocese of Bombay has started a Migrants Commission to look after the pastoral needs of the migrants in keeping with Pope Francis' concern for migrants. Those who are interested in working in this apostolate are invited for a meeting on November 26, 2019 at Salvation Seva Kendra, Dadar from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Kindly confirm your attendance with Ms Rosebell Maben or Juliet on Phone: (022) 2927 0523 / 2927 0953.

Ecological Crisis to Ecological Conversion

An Advent Recollection is being organised by the Archdiocesan Office for Environment (AOE) on November 30, 2019 from 9 am to 5 pm at St Anthony's Chapel (Creation Chapel), Margalle Lake, Uttan (next to Judicial Academy), Uttan-Gorai Road, Bhayandar 401106. The Retreat preacher is Fr Luke Rodrigues SJ. The Eucharist will be celebrated by Bishop Allwyn D'Silva. We are planning to organise transport from Bhayandar station. Registration charges: Rs 100/- per participant. Register at mumbaiaoe@gmail.com. For more details, call us on Phone: Juliet/Rosebell (022) 2927 0523/2927 0953 or Ms Deepika Singh – 76780 41697.

The Festival of Festive Music

The Festival of Festive Music, presented by The Stop-Gaps Cultural Academy for the 36th year at the NCPA's TATA Theatre, is easily the season's best draw, with some of the best Indian choirs performing traditional and contemporary pieces in the spirit of peace and goodwill. Beautiful costumes, a delightful setting, a pipe organ overture, harmonious blending of voices and a peppy commentary are sure to warm the cockles of every concert-goer's heart. The participating choirs are:

December 7 at 7.00 pm: Avinash Grubb (Bengaluru), Bel Cantelina (Pune), Bel Canto (Pune), Faith & Harmony, The Harmonics (Chennai), Orlem Harmonizers, The Salvation Singers, St Thomas Marthoma Syrian Church Choir, The Stop-Gaps Junior Choral Ensemble and The Stop-Gaps Choral Ensemble.

December 8 at 6.30 pm: Avinash Grubb (Bengaluru), The Bai Avabai F. Petit Girls' High School Choral Ensemble, Family Harmony, Happy Home Choral Group, The Harmonics (Chennai), The Choir of the Church at Powai, The Santacruz Ensemble, Singspirators, The Stop-Gaps Junior Choral Ensemble and The Stop-Gaps Choral Ensemble.

Tickets: ₹ 1,750, 1,350, 1,100 & 850/- (inclusive of GST) at NCPA Box Office and on www.BookMyShow.com

The Cantata Choir

The Cantata Choir, conducted by Olga Collaco, will present 'An Evening of Christmas Carols' at the Church of St John the Evangelist (Afghan Church), near Navy Nagar, Colaba on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 7:30 pm; St Anne Church, Mazagaon on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm and at St Peter Church, Bandra on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at 7:45 pm. The programme will include traditional and modern Christmas Carols. The soloists are Natasha Collaco, Soprano and Kersi Gazdar, Tenor. The Choir will be accompanied by Marilynne Chhabra (Pianoforte and Percussion) and Natasha Collaco (Pianoforte).The programme duration will be 45 minutes. Admission is free. All are welcome.

Carol Nite at Catholic Gymkhana

The Catholic Gymkhana's Annual Christmas Carol Nite will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 7 pm at the Gymkhana. The programme will feature Arish Bhiwandiwala, The Ambassadors, Da Capo conducted by Havilah D'Sa, Sahar Beacons conducted by Aloysius Machado, C minors conducted by Sydney Pereira and the Choir of the Church at Powai conducted by Rev. Dr Cecil Clements.

Symposium for Educators on Human Sexuality

About 55 participants of 19 Catholic Schools and Institutions of the Archdiocese of Bombay were represented at the Symposium organised for Principals and Teachers at the Pauline Multipurpose Hall of the Daughters of St Paul, Bandra, Mumbai on November 9, from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. They witnessed an intellectual and experience-based sharing on a combination of two relevant topics: World Communication Day 2019 Theme - 'From Social Network communities to the human community' and 'Male and Female He created them: Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education' - the June 2019 Document issued by the Vatican Dicastery for Education (CCE) which was directed to the educators of younger generations.

The Guest of Honour was Fr George Athaide, the former Secretary of the ABE. Fr Athaide reminded us that the essence of education in Catholic Institutions is Christian education rooted in Faith, and that while we give importance to the equality of sexes, we should not forget the uniqueness of being male and female. Incidentally, Fr George Athaide has also written the Foreword to one of Pauline Publications' latest titles, Light from Many Lamps, Stories of Value to Live By by Sr Clare Ukken FSP.

The first speaker of the day, Dr Shaison Ouseph, International Award Winner, Social Researcher and Documentary Producer, enlightened the audience on the topic 'Media Influence on Students and Teachers on the issue of Human Sexuality'. He shook the audience with his out-of-the-box questions and proposals, like making courses on sexuality 'a must' in schools, in an ambience which is free and devoid of fear and shame. He discussed how the media portrayals reinforce a relatively consistent set of sexual and relationship norms, rarely depicting sexually responsible models. Sr Nisha Joseph, Director of Ish Creations (Centre for Dialogue and Culture) and Documentary Producer, Indore who spoke on 'Media Influence on Gender Divide and Related Issues', made us aware from her personal experience and work with various marginalised members of society that gender divide is a creation of the human mind for convenience and domination, and not willed by God. Fr Joshan Rodrigues, Managing Editor of The Examiner, the Bombay Archdiocesan newsweekly, gave us crisp but thorough ideas on 'Leading Students from Virtual Communities by Proportionate Use of the Media', reminding us to be alert and flexible to the 'App Generation' while helping them bridge the gap between virtual life and human relationships. The Moderator was the renowned Dr Pascoal Carvalho, member of the Pontifical Academy of Life, and he did justice to his role in summarising the topics and smoothly leading the Panel Discussion with relevant interventions and a well collated conclusion.

The group discussion which followed gave the participants a chance for a free expression of ideas, issues and concerns within the ambit of the topic, in an informal way. The Principals and teachers resolved to take seriously the need for organising courses in their schools on understanding sex and sexuality in a holistic manner, and not just leaving students to unreliable media sources, especially the Internet. The Principals, teachers and speakers congratulated the Organising Team for the event.

Joeyanna D'Souza FSP

Legion of Mary Congress 2019

The 'Mary, Tabernacle of Jesus' (Bombay Curia of the Legion of Mary) which governs the North Mumbai deanery conducted its 4th Legion Congress on Sunday, October 27, 2019 at Our Lady of Dolours parish, Wadala West. The day's proceedings began at 9:15 am with a concelebrated Eucharist; Bishop Allwyn D'Silva was the main celebrant. He also delivered the keynote address on the theme of the Congress - 'Is the Legion relevant today?' Dr Priya Alphonso Dias traced the history of the Legion in the world, and provided valuable insights into the working of the Legion system and the vision of the founder.

Samson Francis, in his session on 'Motivation', posed questions to the Legionaries as to why they are in the Legion, and how they could remain motivated. After lunch, there was an audio-visual presentation on the various projects carried out in the last three years. This was followed by a session on 'Looking Ahead – Challenges and the Vision for the Curia', by the President, Br Lionel D'Souza. He gave the present status of the Curia and the new Praesidia that could emerge in the near future, along with the all-round growth of the Legion. A Question Box was conducted, and the Congress drew to a close with a solemn Benediction and the Vote of Thanks.

World Elders' Day Celebrations

130 Seniors of Good Shepherd Parish, Andheri, decided to attend the event on November 3, 2019, despite much apprehension as the weather seemed so erratic; Cyclone Maha was expected to cause heavy rains in Mumbai over the weekend, and the Golden Hearts Committee members kept looking up at the sky.

The programme began with the President, Mr Xavier Almeida, welcoming and thanking all present for their support. This was followed by our Parish Priest, Fr Jerome, in his usual humorous way, applauding the Managing Committee for their efforts in putting up this programme, in spite of the odds. Fr Prakash led the gathering in prayer, and it was then time for some fun and frolic.

The compere for the evening, Ms Sarita, got everyone up from their seats. There was dancing, games (including housie) and lots of prizes. She ensured everyone was on the floor, and yes, our seniors exhibited a lot of stamina. The DJ, Mr John, played songs of yesteryears which got everyone's feet tapping. Ms Bella Correa gave the vote of thanks followed by a sumptuous spread of mouth-watering food.

Flory D'Souza

Blaisian Manoranjan

St Blaise Church, Amboli witnessed a spectacular display of 'Manoranjan' on October26-27, 2019. It stirred up enormous potential in many parishioners and strengthened bonds and associations among individuals. The time and efforts invested by each and every organiser and participant under the guidance of the Parish Priest, Fr Adrian Ferreira, contributed to the success of the event.

The first day of the 'Blaisian Manoranjan' commenced with the seven zonal members highlighting their eye-catching flags which were unique to their zones. They were brimming with joy as they marched their way to the stage by dancing and waving their respective flags. The theme song sung by the 'SALT Band' engaged the crowd in a cheerful melody. The graceful Prayer Dance by the Shraddha Vihar girls, the Welcome Address by the PPC Vice President, Rajesh Gujjar, along with the hosts for the evening, Kryson D'Gama and Valerie Lobo, left the crowds wanting for more. Dance competitions and skits were conducted for the children and the youth respectively. The fun-filled game stalls and the lip-smacking food stalls added to the thrill of the evening.

The second day was marked by the performances of the bands 'SALT' and 'The Misfits'. Competitions consisted of a comedy skit, 'Life in a Zone' along with a Bollywood dance event, 'Then and Now'.

The Parish Priest, Fr Adrian Ferreira, was called on stage to unveil the 'Booklet of Gratitude'. He took the opportunity to felicitate Mr William Gomes with a beautiful floral bouquet. The comperes for the evening, Dr Daisy Fernandes and Shane Carvalho, together kept the crowd fully entertained.

Zone Two bagged the 'Zonal Champions' trophy at Blaisian Manoranjan, 2019. The Blaisian Manoranjan logo with seven emanating waves aptly displayed the togetherness and harmony among the seven zones of the parish. As the Blaisian Manoranjan 2019 came to an end, the lights were dimmed and the volume of the music reduced, but the exuberance and the spirit of joy, happiness and contentment of each and every parishioner continued till the wee hours of morning.

Coretta D'Souza

Catechism & Bible Quiz Competition

November 3, 2019 was a day of celebrating, sharing and living the Word of God in the Bhayandar Deanery. A Catechism and Bible Quiz competition, organised by Muktisagar Prabodhan Kendra, Uttan. The competition commenced with a short prayer conducted by Fr Leslie Malya, the Director of Muktisagar Prabodhan Kendra.

Ten parishes actively participated in the quiz which was conducted on the basis of language - English and Marathi respectively. Divine Mercy Church, Bhayandar (E), Our Lady of the Sea Church, Uttan, Holy Magi Church, Gorai, St Joseph Church, Mira Road, Our Lady of Bethlehem Church, Dongri and Our Lady of Nazareth Church, Bhayandar (W) were a part of the English grouping, whereas St Andrew Church, Uttan-Chowk, Lourdes Mata Church, Uttan-Pali and Mother of Perpetual Help Church, Manori participated in the Marathi competition. Three teams from the English grouping and two teams from the Marathi grouping qualified for the finals.

The event proceeded with a solemn exaltation of the Word of God and a prayer service. It was followed by the lighting of the lamp which elevated the minds of all those who had gathered to a sublime experience of the Word of God.

Finally, the qualifying teams participated in the final round which included the Buzzer Round, Bonus Round and Send Forth round. The audience witnessed an invigorating competition marked by the zealous spirit of the competitors. After the final round, the felicitation of the quiz masters took place, along with the volunteers who worked hard for the success of the event.

Fr Barthol Machado, the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Nazareth Church, Bhayandar encouraged all the participants to cherish the Word of God, and not be disheartened by failure. Fr Peter D'Cunha, the Dean of Bhayandar Deanery, also emphasised on spreading the Good News. Prizes were distributed to all the teams who stood first in their respective events. Finally, the winners were announced which were Divine Mercy Church, Bhayandar East and Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Uttan-Pali.

Heartfelt gratitude was bestowed upon Fr Leslie Malya and his staff who worked hard to ensure that the competition was organised in an impartial manner, and transformed it into a platform for young children to understand that 'Ignorance of the Word of God is Ignorance of Christ'.

Br Francis Crisler Perumbully

Residential MOW Programme at Nashik

A basic one-year Ministry of the Word programme in Marathi has been organised by Muktisagar Prabhodan Kendra (MSPK), Uttan for the past three years. This year, we had a three-day residential live-in programme from Oct. 25-28, 2019 at Capuchin Ashram, Nashik. A total of 32 students were accompanied by Fr Michael D'Souza and Fr Leslie Malya (Director of MSPK). The inaugural prayer service was conducted, followed by the introductory talk by Fr Leslie.

The next day, we had very informative sessions as well as group related activities. The seven-step method of reading the Bible and being able to explain the text to people were demonstrated. Fr Michael helped us think and reflect on the Word. Br Clinton (Regent) explained how to proclaim the Word, especially by the use of communication. There were two sessions, one by Fr Lloyd, SJ on Christian leadership and Fr James Nigrel (Don Bosco) on building communities. In the evening, a Diwali-themed Eucharist with rangoli and lighting diyas was the high point of the day. The last day of our programme was kept for Nashik Darshan and group games. The visit to St Anne Cathedral and Infant Jesus Shrine was memorable.

Grazilia Gracious, Our Lady of Bethlehem Church, Dongri

Unifying to Evangelise

Since time immemorial, man has been known to divide himself by gender, race, religion, nationality, wealth and class, political party, and every difference that he could possibly find, and unfortunately it continues even today. However, we believe in a Saviour who stepped right in between all of these divisions to bring the Good news to the world, and thus, following Him includes uniting with those on the other side of the wall, and creating a culture that reflects the values of Christ.

As the nation celebrated Diwali, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Orlem celebrated a Eucharist themed on 'Jesus: the Light of the World' on October 29, 2019. The liturgy was conducted in regional languages i.e. Hindi, Marathi and Tamil; it brought the members of the parish together to celebrate with those of other faiths. The church was lit with diyas, and posters displayed a message that 'we are the light of Christ'. Mass was followed by a celebration with food and fun which had around 100 non-Christians in attendance. Multicultural living doesn't simply tolerate differences; it embraces them. He first loved us, and through that, we know that we can never influence lives without loving first. The Parish ended the Extraordinary Mission Month with this fruitful initiative, and endeavours to continue to grow along this path. In the end, they will know we are Christians by our love.

Ravina Lobo