News Letter – August, 2012
THE ASSUMPTION OF OUR LADY
Protestants as well as Catholics believe that the Body of Jesus Christ is now in heaven.
This doctrine is called the Ascension and is explicitly revealed in the Bible. All Christians believe, too, that the bodies of the just will be united to their souls at the end of the world and be glorified in heaven after the manner of the Risen Body of Christ. This is also revealed explicitly in the New Testament. It follows, therefore, that the bodies and souls of the departed saints are now separated, that their souls are in heaven and their bodies in the grave. Christians of every conceivable denomination are agreed on these two dogmas.
After that, however, Protestants and Catholics part company, for Catholics believe that the body of the Blessed Virgin Mary is also in heaven. We call this doctrine the Assumption. By it we hold that the glorification of the flesh, which will take place for us only at the end of time, was granted to Mary at the end of her earthly life. We believe, therefore, that the bodies of both Jesus and Mary are now in heaven. There is, however, this difference: Jesus arose from the tomb and ascended into heaven by his own power, whereas Mary's body was taken up to heaven by the power of her Son. For that reason we use two different words: the Ascension of Christ and the Assumption of Mary.
Implicit in Bible
The Bible nowhere mentions explicitly this glorification of Mary's Immaculate body. That it has been revealed by God is nevertheless certain; otherwise it could not have been defined as a dogma of faith, A public revelation of the Assumption must have been made to the Apostles, or at least to one of them, because public revelation closed with the death of the last Apostle. There are, however, several implicit revelations of the Assumption in the Bible. The most important texts are: Gen. 3:15; Lk. 1:28; Apoc. 12:1-2.
Reasons for the Assumption
Ancient belief in the Assumption was based on the Christian conviction that Christ willed his holy Mother to participate in all his prerogatives. Therefore he associated her in his own glorification by an anticipated resurrection.
The corruption of the grave is a punishment for sin (Gen. 3:19). Our flesh is a "flesh of sin" (Rom. 8:3). Through the desires of this flesh the majority of our sins are committed. In Mary, however, there is not the slightest stain of sin. By her Immaculate Conception and fullness of grace she was entitled to immunity from corruption in her body. The principle of corruption which we bear within us did not exist in her. "Flesh and blood," says the Bible, "cannot possess the kingdom of God" (I Cor. 15:15). Even the bodies of the saints do not deserve to enter the kingdom of God. They must first be renewed by the hand of God. But Mary's body — Immaculate, pure, sinless — is consequently incorruptible.
From the first moment of her conception the state of the Blessed Virgin Mary was analogous, but superior, to the state of Adam and Eve before the Fall. Had they not sinned they would not have heard the divine malediction: "Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return" (Gen. 3,19). Doesn't justice therefore demand that Mary be preserved from a malediction never merited by her?
Mary's Immaculate Body was, in a sense, the origin of sanctification of all mankind. Her flesh was used to form the flesh of her Son; the flesh which he used on the Cross to destroy death and sin, and which he gave to us that we might rise from the dead. Was this flesh, Mary's flesh, Christ's flesh, the instrument of our redemption and resurrection, to be subject to the corruption of the grave?
"The womb that bore Jesus Christ, the hands that caressed him, the arms that embraced him, the breasts that nourished him, the heart that so loved him — it is impossible to think that these crumbled into dust" (Father Canice, OFM Cap.).
Christ's perfect victory over Satan included victory over sin and death. But Mary, the Mother of God, was most intimately associated with Jesus in his victory over Satan. She not only furnished the flesh which Christ sacrificed for our Redemption, but she also had a definite role of cooperation in this Redemption. She was associated with him in the different parts of his triumph. Hence she was associated with him in his victory over death by her anticipated resurrection and Assumption. This argument is used by Pope Pius IX in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus.
In the virginal conception and birth of his Son, God performed an absolutely unique miracle. This miracle was an act of divine respect for the flesh of the Mother of God. Against all the laws of nature he preserved the corporal integrity of his Mother. Would he later allow that Immaculate flesh to suffer the immeasurably greater lesion of the corruption of the grave?
It is a basic principle of Catholic teaching that all the prerogatives and glories of Mary are because of Jesus Christ. His divine dignity presupposes and demands such perfection in his Mother. The flesh of Mary was the Flesh of Christ; and Christ owed it to himself to preserve from dissolution the body that had served to form his own Body. Mary's body, like her soul, had to be sinless and undefiled. The humiliation of the Mother would have been the humiliation of the Son.
On November 1st of the Holy Year, 1950, the day after the closing of the 8th International Marian Congress, held that year in Rome, Pius XII solemnly defined the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven. This great event took place in the Piazza of St. Peter's in the presence of 40 Cardinals, 500 bishops, thousands of priests, and close to one million lay persons. The exact words of the dogma of faith definition, extracted from the Bull "Munificentissimus Deus," were:
"Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."
Just as Mary received Christ on earth, so Christ in turn received Mary in heaven. Having deigned to descend to her, it was fitting that he should raise her to himself in his glory. The place of the Mother of God is in the splendors of eternal glory and not in the gloom of the sepulchre.
Excerpts taken from: Immaculata 1980, Conventual Franciscan Friars, Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL
AN UPDATE ON DIOCESAN GOLDEN JUBILEE
The Golden Jubilee concluding ceremonies and “Yesu Mahotsav” will be celebrated on 29-30 September 2012 on Loyola School Grounds. We are going to celebrate our faith and life in Jesus Christ our Lord. It is a communitarian feast of our Diocesan Christian Family. The faithful of the parishes are expected to participate in a big number. In a very special way all the catechists, all the members of the Parish Council, the catholic teachers of our schools, all the youths and Krusvir children are invited to participate in these celebrations.
On 30th September, the programs begin with the Eucharistic celebration at 9.00 am. At 11.30 am is the Cultural program and the concluding function of the Jubilee. For the Mass we expect some 25 Bishops, including Cardinal Oswald Gracias and Cardinal T. P. Toppo. For the cultural and concluding function we expect the presence of the Governor of Jharkhand and some VIPs of this region. During this function some important people will be honored, educational scholarships distributed and the Jubilee Souvenir will be released.
We expect and request all parish priests and heads of institution to motivate and mobilize our people to participate in this programs in large numbers.
Accommodation and food for all those coming from outside Jamshedpur and suburban areas have been arranged. Various committees to handle this program have been formed.
Financially speaking: The Souvenir committee has achieved more than 100% of their target. The fund-raising for Jubilee scholarship Fund has not reached the expected target. We have a very long way to go to meet the expenses of the jubilee celebrations. We appeal to all our parishes, schools, religious institutions to contribute generously towards this cause.
We urgently request all parish priests to let us know as soon as possible the number of our people coming to participate in this programs and needing food and accommodation. (Fr. C.R. Prabhu)
TOR FATHERS AT NOAMUNDI MISSION
15th July, 2012 has marked the history of Noamundi mission. In the presence of Fr. Alphonse Ekka, TOR, the Provincial Superior, Fr. Anthoney Hembrom, Fr. Abhay Tigga, Fr. Richard Miranda, Fr. Suresh Xaxa, OFM Cap. , Fr. Suresh Kerketta, OFM Cap. and big number of faithful, Rt. Rev. Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J., Bishop of Jamshedpur welcomed the TOR Fathers whole heartedly in the Diocese. TOR Fathers will develop Noamundi mission station into Parish. At this initial stage Fr. Abhay Tigga, TOR is appointed as the first Priest-in-charge at Noamundi.
The welcoming ceremony of TOR Fathers at Noamundi started at 9:00 am with beautiful liturgy. Bishop Felix and Fathers were accompanied to the altar by the faithful with beautiful entrance song and dance. At the very beginning of the Mass Fr. Alphonse spoke about the TOR Congregation and assured the faithful that the Congregation will commit itself for their spiritual care.
After the mass there was a small program to felicitate TOR Fathers. The faithful of Noamundi were very happy and welcomed the TOR Fathers in their midst. They also thanked Fr. Suresh Xaxa, OFM Cap., and his associate for the spiritual care they gave so far to the faithful of Noamundi. At the end of program a delicious meal was shared by all.
ST. JOSEPH’S CATHEDRAL
Charismatic Convention at the Cathedral: In preparation for the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese, the Diocesan Charismatic Team under the leadership of Fr. Camille Hembrom is organizing a 3-day Charismatic Convention at the Cathedral Church on 17, 18, 19 of August, 2012. The Convention will be held from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm on each day. All are invited to join this prayer convention. The Registration fee is Rs. 100/- and for meals and snacks Rs. 150/- for three days. Kindly pray for the success of the convention.
ST. ALBERT’S COLLEGE, RANCHI
The Brothers of St. Albert’s College returned to the Seminary after their summer ministry or vacation with great enthusiasm and joy. Their arrival at the Seminary was a new step in their lives. The first day in the Seminary was blessed by the Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Rector. The grace from the Eucharist was all that we needed to begin our journey of love and sharing. July 2nd was the Orientation Day for all the theologians and the philosophers. The orientation was led by the Rector, President, Minister and Prefects. Offices were allotted to the theologians and our Maria Charles (II Theology) is one of the chief sacristans. The annual retreat was held between July 2 evening and July 8 evening. Fr. Valerian Joseph Minezes, OFM cap from Bangalore preached the retreat. It was an extremely enriching experience to all of us.
July 9th was the official opening of the new academic year 2012-2013. Bishop Binay Kandulna offered the holy Mass in the morning. This was followed by the opening ceremony at the auditorium. Master of Theology, Bachelor of Theology as well as Bachelor of Philosophy diplomas were awarded to successful students. Alwin C. Varghese and Sameer Soreng have secured First Division in the Bachelor of Theology studies. Bishop Felix Toppo launched the new website of St. Albert’s College: www.stalbertsranchi.org Bishop Felix Toppo also delivered an inspiring and thought-provoking speech highlighting the responsibilities and challenges of students as well as professors.
On July 19, Fr. James Rosario and his team from Patna gave presentation on the ministry to the marginalized. He exhorted Seminarians and Fathers to make the ministry towards the poor and the disadvantaged a priority. The Board of Bishops met the Staff and students of St. Albert’s College on July 27. Fruitful deliberations took place regarding the growth of the College.
St. Albert’s College is like a garden or family of trees and plants in the heart of the city of Ranchi. We sincerely thank our Bishop, V.G. and other priests of the diocese for giving us the opportunity to study at this College. (Br. Shibu V.R.)
BIJHAN DIOCESAN PRIESTS’ CONFERENCE:
The Regional Convention of Bijhan Diocesan Priests’ is being organized for all the Diocesan Priests of Bijhan at S.D.C, Ranchi from August, 16th morning to 17th noon. The theme for the conference is “Understanding the Present Life and Struggles of Priesthood” in our present world context and the context of the Golden Jubilee of the Vatican II. All the Diocesan priests of our Diocese are requested to participate actively. The Diocese will take care of the Board & lodge.
It was a pleasure to receive Joe Surin on July 14, who came with twenty young Regents – 10 Diocesan and 10 Jesuits - to guide them through a day of recollection. All were welcomed at Supper which was followed by the introductory talk. Next morning after breakfast they were given the understanding of the period of regency, which was followed by reflection and sharing. The climax of the day was a combined Eucharist with the novices during which the first years received their cassocks.
On the evening of 24 July we welcomed about thirty Jamshedpur Diocesan priests who came to Upasana with the initiative of Fr. C R Prabhu-Vicar General for a day of prayer. The programme was ably conducted by S. Tonyraj-Mission Superior from Orissa and was appreciated by the priests.
After spending three months and having a very enjoyable time with the community at Jesu Bhavan, Fr. Michael Raj said goodbye to us on July 26 evening and left for Bhali Pahari to join Fr. George Mannarakhan to form a new community. We wish him good health and a big success in this ministry. (C. Gautam)
On July 1st the Regional Propaedeutic seminary was reopened with the Eucharistic Mass offered by the Bishop of Buxar, Rt. Rev. Sebastian Kallupura who was the chief guest for the inaugural day of Pratiksha. This year the seminary is blessed with 30 candidates. In his message to the young seminarians, he brought the theme of being aware of the Presence and the Power of God in one’s life through the active and personal profession of faith in a simple and humble manner. In the absence of the Bishop Rt. Rev. Felix Toppo, S.J., the Vicar General Fr. C.R. Prabhu concelebrated the Eucharistic Mass along with Fr. Oscar, the Director, Fr. Casmir Vas, Fr. Tobias Kujur and Fr. Ajay Tiru.
Vianney Nivas, Nildungri is blessed with 13 new candidates for the diocese of Jamshedpur. Fr. Roque Cardoza with his fatherly care is helping them out to learn and discern their vocation, for the great mission of Jamshedpur Diocese. The Diocese of Jamshedpur welcomes and wishes them ALL THE BEST.
LOYOLA SCHOOL, TALDANGA KUMARDUBI
With the change in the Academic year, the semester exams are due in late August. So the Loyolians are all geared-up for a week long celebration of their Patron Saint – St. Ignatius of Loyola. From Nursery to Class XII no one is idle. There is an Essay contest both in script and pictorial form for classes VII to XII. Skit on St Ignatius for Classes V & VI. School Song contest for Classes II, III & IV. Fancy Dress for Nursery, KG & I. All month through, House-wise Notice Board Display is going on- highlighting the various stages of St. Ignatius’ life. Above all these there is the Quiz – know your patron Saint. This will be conducted by a Jesuit Priest. The contests are to be held from 26th onwards. (Rita Sen).
CANADA AND U.S. TRIP OF BISHOP FELIX TOPPO, S.J.
Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. made a trip to Canada and USA from May 29 to July 7, 2012. In Canada the Bishop stayed with Fr. Gyan P. Topno who is a wonderful host. He took him around to meet the friends and well-wishes. The Parishioners of St. Mark’s Church, Aylmer (Canada) celebrated the Silver Jubilee of Fr. Joy Paul K. on 2nd of June, 2012. The Jubilee Mass was attended by a large number of the faithful. After the Mass there was a sumptuous lunch for everybody. The Bishop also met the Archbishop Emeritus and the present Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Gatineau-Hull.
From Gatineau Bishop Felix went to Philadelphia, where he was invited to attend a Conference on “Inter-cultural Competencies”, from June 10-13, jointly organized by St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and St. John Mary Vianney Centre, Philadelphia. There were 80 participants (60 priests and 20 others) from all over the USA. Most of the participants were experts in psychology and were involved in the formation of priests and religious.
On June 14, the Bishop went to Fort Wayne and stayed for a week each with Frs. Alex Dodrai and with Cyril Fernandes. The Bishop met and renewed contracts with friends and well-wishers, including the Bishop Emeritus and the present Bishop. He also had a chance to meet all the Indian priests working in the same diocese. Besides their heavy pastoral responsibilities, both Frs. Alex and Cyril have to cook their own meals.
On June 28, Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J., went to Staten Island (New York) and stayed with Pauline Fathers. On Sunday, July 1st, about 30 people from Jharkhand working in New York, had a get-together at Staten Island. Bishop said Mass for them and then they had a fellowship meal. It was a wonderful family experience for all of them. He had some peaceful days with the Pauline Fathers before he left for India.
At the end Bishop Felix would like to thank the Lord for his protection and guidance and thank all the people who supported the diocese generously.
Jeevan Jyoti primary school in a village names Ichakutti in Burigora celebrated its 4th Foundation Day with a lot of fanfare 0n 27th July 2012. The school is just 4 years old and has over 450 students. The entire school is a village & lay initiative The Redemptorist Fathers of Burigora take care of it. Fr. C. R. Prabhu was the Chief Guest. Fr. Richard Miranda the Parish priest was the Guest of honour. The Programme began with a concelebrated Mass and concluded with 100 minutes of variety cultural programe and Prize Distrbution. Congratulations to Fr. Sanjay Kujur and Flugence Guria of Burigora.
DIVYA BHARTI CHAIBASA
The highlight of July month in Divya Bharati Pastoral Centre, Chaibasa was the Catholic Mothers’ Recollection on the 21-22 July in which 66 Mothers stayed (braving the mosquitoes!!), listened attentively to the talks, prayed and enriched themselves in their role as Catholic Mothers. Sr. Michael Xess, OSU assisted by Sr. Mukta, OSU enlightened the mothers and their important role in the Society, Family and the Church highlighting the importance of Faith practices, especially Family Prayer-“The Family that prays together stays together”. The whole programme was conducted in a very devotional and disciplined manner thanks to the extra help by Srs. Sunita, F.C AND Sr. Viveka, SRA who by their valuable presence and involvement were a great support, both for the Catholic Mothers and Srs. Michael and Mukta. The outcome was also that another Seminar is planned out on the “Gender Question” for the 27-28th of October. Thanks to you all mothers, sisters for your participation and support, especially Sr. Michael Xess, OSU. Special thanks to Fr. Somy for lending three candidates to help out in the material arrangements since our cook, Tarcilla, had fractured her hand just a week before the programme! (Fr. George Anthony).
INFORMATION OF PERSONNEL
The assessment Report on the Ministries the diocese has just come out of the press. The evaluation was conducted by Fr. Paul Fernandes, S.J. during the past 2 years. The whole diocese was involved in this process of evaluation. The Diocesan assessment Report would be released in near future. Every Parish, every Institution and every Religious Community will receive a copy of it. Our thanks to Fr. Paul Fernandes, S.J. and all those who in any way helped in this evaluation. May God bless you!
BISHOP’S HOUSE, GOLMURI
Fr. Sijo Chennamparambil, O.P, successfully completed his two years of dedicated service to the Diocese of Jamshedpur as the P.A and Secretary to Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. He has left for his higher studies in Goa. Thanks for his self-less service and the best wishes for his studies.
The diocese has received a new P.A., Secretary and Chancellor in the person of Fr. Linus Kindo who has just completed his studies from Rome. We welcome him back to the diocese with new responsibilities. All the best!
PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR SICK
1. Fr. Gualbert Furtado who is in the Hospital, is in Mangalore in serious condition. He has been twice on dialysis during the last week; a second dose of Chemo is being administered to him this week.
2. Fr. Saleth Soosai, SJ is in Mercy Hospital. A boil on thigh has been giving him sleepless nights. There was a surgical intervention to take out the pus. He is on his way to recovery!
3. Fr. Edwin Coelho has a wound on his leg and it is taking time to heal. In the meantime, he developed some other problems. Mercy Hospital has been conducting a series of tests on him. He has now to handle his prostate problem too.
4. Bro. Merlin Pereira, SJ was finally forced to come out of his room to Dr. Raja’s Clinic for cataract operation. Bro. Merlin has to be given a clean shave of his beard and head before the doctor could touch his eyes. He is recovering his sight fast
5. Fr. Leo D’Souza spent a couple of days in Mercy Hospital to set right his disturbing stomach. He is back now with renewed energy to take care of the youth ministry!
6. Sr. Ann Catherine the superior of M.C., in Baradwari was forced by her Community to spend a few days in Mercy Hospital to handle all her aches and pains and viral fever!
7. Fr. Prabhu spent 2 weeks in Sree Dhareeyam Ayurvedic Eye Hospital in Kerala for treatment of his eyes. He now claims to see better than what he has been seeing so far!
THOSE WHO HAVE GONE TO HEAVEN: R I P
1. Cynthia Fernandes, the niece of Fr. Henry Sequeira died all of a sudden in UAE on 11 July, 2012. Fr. Henry Sequeira rushed to Mangalore to be at the funeral. He is just back after spending a couple of days with his family. We offer our condolences to him and his family.
2. Mr. Richard Sarky brother of Mr. Henry Sarky died suddenly on July 02, 2012 at Tamulia Hospital of heart attack. Richard was a popular figure in Jamshedpur. His month’s Mind Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral on Sunday 22nd. Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. was the Main celebrant. Several other priests joined and concelebrated in the Holy Mass. A large number of faithful attended this Mass. We offer sincere condolences to Sarky family.