Diocesan News

Cardinal Ivan Dias Award 2021

The Archdiocese of Bombay has announced the Cardinal Ivan Dias Award for the best written article in Mariology on 'Mary, Mother of Hope'. Any priest, religious brother, seminarian, religious sister or lay person serving in any of the dioceses in India can apply.

Required documents:

1. Brief biodata of applicant

2. A synopsis of 200-300 words of the applicant's research paper.

3. The research paper (having a minimum of 2000 words) is to be on A4-size paper, with standard Times Roman font, and 1.5 line spacing. It is to be submitted both by e-mail and hard copy printout.

4. The email address is: mariologyawards20@gmail.com

5.If the applicant is a seminarian or religious, an authorisation by the seminary/religious institute that the applicant is a bonafide person in the relevant seminary/congregation.

6. If the applicant is a lay person, an authorisation by the Parish Priest that the person is a practising parishioner.

The research paper on the above topic and the other relevant documents are to reach the organisers of the Cardinal Ivan Dias Award by February 5, 2021. Please send to: The Secretariat, Cardinal Ivan Dias Award, St Pius X College, Aarey Road, Goregaon East, Mumbai 400063. E-mail: mariologyawards20@gmail.com; Tel: 098195 70303.

Catholic Medical Guild of St Luke

1. Inviting all Catholic Doctors of Bombay with their families (and also medical students), on the occasion of the Feast of St Luke, to the 80th Annual General Body Meeting (AGM) of the Catholic Medical Guild of St Luke on Sunday, October 25, 2020. The programme will begin with the Annual Thanksgiving Eucharist on Zoom at 6:00 p.m., followed by the AGM at 7:00 p.m. and the distribution of Scholarships and get-together, all via Zoom.

2. Applications for Scholarships and other awards are invited from members of the Catholic Medical Guild of St Luke, Mumbai for academic excellence at both undergraduate examinations held by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), Nashik only, and postgraduate examinations held by the MUHS or any other university/ deemed university/autonomous institute of Health Sciences in the year 2020 (Undergraduate & Postgraduate) at the first attempt, and in the disciplines that the Guild offers the scholarships/awards. (For a complete list of Scholarships and Prizes, please refer to our website www.the-examiner.org)

3. Applications from new members - Life Membership Fee is Rs 2000/-.

4. Essay Competition: Inviting one and all to write an essay on 'Role of Healthcare Professionals in the present COVID crisis'. October 20, 2020 is the last date to submit the essay in approx. 2000 words by email: stlukemedicalguild@gmail.com and copy to Dr Egbert on egbertsaldanha@gmail.com. The best essay will receive the Miss Eugene Dias Ethics Prize.

Requesting members of the Guild to e-mail the Secretary, Dr Fabian Almeida (E-mail: wellsprings2006@gmail.com) any changes in their name, address, telephone/mobile numbers, and e-mail addresses by October 20, 2020.

Prison Ministry: Celebration of God's Love

The lockdown forced everyone indoors, but for us in Prison Ministry, we were flying high with the slogan - 'Lockdown cannot lock us down!' We are blessed with an energetic and enthused PMI Chairman, who constantly leads from the front, silently breaking boundaries and barriers to scale new heights, and we are energised to follow. Thank you, Bishop Allwyn, for setting goals for Diocesan, State, Regional and National PMI teams to emulate.

It followed with a bugle call given by our Mumbai Director, Fr Glasten, "Let's celebrate Prison Ministry Sunday differently, considering the present situation." Every aspect of the preparation and planning went online, and that began a Poster Campaign to create awareness about this ministry. Taking this year's National PMI theme - 'Reform to Reintegrate' - combined with the R theory of Prison Ministry, the Tech team of Prison Ministry Mumbai rolled out creative and informative posters three weeks prior to Prison Ministry Sunday. This brought tremendous positive feedback and questions about Prison Ministry.

An Online Orientation to answer these queries was slated from September 27 to October 3. Registration forms went out, names came in. Invitations went out and the programme was finalised. Because of the blessing of video conferencing tools, we had the benefit of an otherwise intensive course available to us at home; the best of the pioneers and stalwarts of PMI shared their knowledge and experiences with us 'under one roof', and our PMI Chairman, Bp Allwyn D'Silva, blessed us with his presence.

The well-organised training programme consisted of an exposition of the working of Prison Ministry in Mumbai over two decades, as well as training for new volunteers. Coordinators of the five jails (Arthur Road, Byculla, Kalyan, Taloja and Thane) and the two Children's Homes (Dongri and Mankhurd) shared beautiful PowerPoint presentations on the work that has been diligently and dedicatedly carried out over the years by exceedingly passionate volunteers. This helped all participants to appreciate the good work done by PMI. Speakers from across the country gave us a quick yet thorough overview of the background, functioning and future vision of Prison Ministry. We are blessed to welcome 52 new volunteers who were commissioned by Bp Allwyn on October 3.

Rowena Luis, Prison Ministry Mumbai

Deepen Your Faith course goes online

Thanks to the organisers of the DYF course, this is the 28th year it is running uninterrupted, although this year is the first time that it is planned online to meet the challenges of the pandemic. The upside of this is that it is an opportunity for those living in the far-flung suburbs of the archdiocese to avail of this course, which otherwise might not have been possible given the commute to St Andrew's College, Bandra, where it has been held for the past 27 years.

I sincerely invite lay people to take this golden opportunity to grow in the knowledge of God through His Word. I would like to share with you my personal experience that this course has been a watershed in my faith journey. In the early years at the course, I was a passive participant, more than a little distracted by the demands of a challenging career. But God blessed my perseverance, until, without my knowing it, the Word of God started taking root in my heart. Suddenly, I was active and alive to the teachings we received from our resource professors, each of whom is a scholar of a book(s) in the Bible. After that, there was no looking back. I fell in love with God's Word, and to this day, nothing gives me greater happiness than studying, pondering, teaching and sharing the Word with others. Thanks to the DYF course where the seeds were first sown, my quest and desire to learn more led me to do the Ministry of the Word, in preparation to be commissioned as a Minister of the Word.

God can do the same for you, if only you will take the first step, and now you can do it in the comfort of your home. The course has just commenced on October 10, 2020. You can be a part by registering through email at dyfcourse@gmail.com. It is conducted online on ZOOM, every Saturday from 5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Adv. Joaquim Reis

ARMAAN: Reaching out to Youth with Special Needs

"With You, I Can" are the buzz-words that motivate us at ARMAAN, to draw out the 'gold spot' in our Youth with Special Needs. This is the 'Creative Vocational Training Cell' of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Orlem, Malad.

The youth meet every Wednesday and Friday, along with a group of teachers and dedicated volunteers. They are taught Vocational Skills - Jewellery-making, chocolate-making and decorating festive articles for special feasts and celebrations. The items made by them are sold twice a year. A stipend is given to the youth quarterly, each year, in appreciation for the hard work that they put in, and also to promote a sense of self-worth and boost their confidence.

The pandemic has left our special Youth with a sense of unease, being confined to their homes, and, moreover, they are unable to meet their friends whom they treasure. To remedy this situation, the teachers and volunteers meet the Youth via the Google Meet platform once a month. Thus, they are able to see their friends and teachers, share a few stories, and show off what they have been doing during the lockdown.

ARMAAN celebrated its third anniversary on October 11, 2020. The day was eagerly awaited by all. Fr Michael Pinto, our Spiritual Director, dedicated a meaningful Prayer Service and the Eucharist to all children with Special Needs and their families. A Special Blessing was imparted on the children during the liturgical celebration. There was much expectation in the air, as the youth eagerly awaited the 'virtual' celebration. The festivities began with much enthusiasm with a prayer and a hymn, followed by the Anniversary Song. With much excitement, the Youth took part in a game thoughtfully prepared for them.

The highlight of the evening was the surprise gifts for the youth that were couriered to the parents, well in advance. It was a treat to watch their faces light up, as they eagerly tore open the wrapping to unravel their gifts. The celebration concluded with an action song and a vote of thanks.

Our praise and thanksgiving surely resounded in Heaven, for God gifting us three years with our Youth with Special Needs, with whom we have established an irreplaceable bond. The teachers and the volunteers bask in the reflected sparkle and glory of our wards. Truly, they are a fountainhead of love and ooze charm. We place another year with ARMAAN into the hands of our Almighty Father.

Nisha Gomes