CHRISTMAS 2014: MESSAGE
The event of incarnation marked the unity of the earth with heaven. God, through His love for humankind, was incarnated and came to the earth: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
This meeting of heaven and earth was initiated by God, Who gratuitously poured down upon us His love, by coming down from above to humankind. At the same time this unique God-human meeting also included the eagerness of the human being to go up to God. This meeting happened in the fullness of time, as stated in the Holy Bible, and, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, where God was incarnate by His love. In the creation of human being, God showed His love to everyone. In His incarnation, He confirmed this love. In His crucifixion and resurrection, the Lord concluded this great love toward humankind.
Hence, Christmas is a feast of unity: The world at the time of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ was divided between the Jews and the Gentiles. Besides, there was a separation between heaven and earth. Heaven was believed to be full of angels and heavenly creatures, and the earth was full of people who were divided into Jews and Gentiles. In the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, all these three groups came together.
The angels appeared to the shepherds, who were awake (Luke 2:8-9). The shepherds - who were Jews - were very simple people, who spent their time in the wilderness with the sheep. The shepherds were always traveling and did not have a place to dwell. God chose them for their honesty and simplicity. God wanted to honor them, and so He revealed to them His birth by the angel who appeared to them saying: “I am here to give you good news of great joy that will be for all the people“(Luke 2:10). God chose the shepherds to represent the Jews at the nativity event.
Then God chose the worshipping magi to represent the Gentiles. They came from far countries in the east to meet and worship the newborn King of the Jews. The essential factor was that because they remained focused on their journey, they reached their goal. Thus, the Jews who represented one half of the world, the Gentiles who represented the other half of the world, and the heavenly choir witnessed the incarnation event signaling the union between the earth and the heaven.
Message from the Manger at Bethlehem: We begin the season of Advent, which is preparation for Christmas, with a beautiful passage from Isaiah (2:4): “They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not raise sword against nation, and they will learn warfare no more” (Isaiah 2:4). Christmas 2014 has something very significant as well as poignant to tell us:
(i) Incarnation symbolized self-emptying: John 1:14 reads: “The Word became flesh; he pitched his tent among us”. Another word for incarnation is self-emptying or kenosis (cf. Philippians 2:6-8). Though unlimited, pure spirit, Christ chose to limit himself. Christ emptied himself in order to give fullness of life to everyone (John 1:16). We are called to empty ourselves of hatred, selfishness, self-righteousness and love for money.
(ii) Message from the Gifts of the Magi: Besides being the characteristics of our Lord Jesus Christ, the three gifts of the magi also symbolize the life of the human being. Our life throughout its entirety is characterized by gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Every one of us through life has days of gold, days of frankincense and days of myrrh. The days of gold are the days of success, good health, victory, wealth, and days of comfort and joy. The gift of frankincense represents the days of work, study, labor, hard effort and services. The gift of myrrh represents the days of grief, tribulations, need, suffering, illness, and all the days in which the human being suffers negative emotions and anxiety. Our lives are always a mix of gold, frankincense and myrrh. That is why if there are days of myrrh, there will be days of frankincense and gold.
(iii) To be born in a manger means to be born poor: Jesus was born in a manger in the town of Bethlehem in Palestine, because no one offered him a room in their homes. Thus, Jesus was rejected even before he was born. The message of Christmas is a challenge. It is a challenge, because it asks us to open ourselves to the inner depth of the message. If we intend to achieve joy and peace, we must beat our swords into plowshares. Plowshares symbolize poverty and the hard labour of a farmer. When we embrace plowshares, we embrace the poor, the suffering, the outcastes and the rejected. This way we can establish a kingdom of justice; and the fruits of justice are joy and peace. What pledge can we make this Christmas in favour of millions of babies worldwide that are born in a “manger” and spend their sweet childhood on the streets? Are we ready to shake ourselves off our own comfort zone of indifference and selfishness?
(iv) The Crib Is Our Hearts: The size of the crib has reduced dramatically our times. Does it indicate the growing tendency to self-sufficiency, inclusivity and refusal to open ourselves to the Lord’s coming into our hearts? Let our cribs be big enough for the Lord to enter in and dwell there in peace and at ease!
Irrespective of hatred, violence and sin, there are lots of people of good will, people who love peace and justice. Christmas 2014 is all about this hope: hope in a New Year 2015. The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ gives us hope, courage and new life in a new vision for our daily life. Let us pray and hope that the Christmas message of justice, peace and joy reverberate in every heart, every soul and finally in the very womb of humanity. May the Lord give us His grace and fill our life with the joy of Nativity every day. May our life be for the glory of His name. (By Fr. John Crasta, Prof., St. Albert’s College Ranchi)
As other years this year too we had a memorial celebration of the 1st baptized catholics on 8th November, 2014. This was celebrated as the feast of our Lady of Khuntpani. A big number of faithful gathered from different parts of the diocese. On this occation Rt. Rev. Anand Jojo, Bishop of Hazaribag and Bishop Felix Toppo,S.J. along with 53 priests offered the Holy Eucharist.
Different parishes contributed through songs and dances to make this event prayerful. Unlike other years this year we had Holy Hour before the Eucharist which was conducted by Christ the King Church, Chakradharpur. And there was recitation of Rosary after the Eucharist which was led by Lupita Church, Telco.
ST. JOSEPH CATHEDRAL
November 16, 2014: It was a great day for 18 of our parish children as they willingly and happily were ready to welcome Jesus on their lives. Rev. Fr. Camille Hembrom was the main celebrant for the Holy Mass. Rev. Fr. Rocky, OP, in his inspiring homily told the first communicants and congregation about the sacredness of Holy Communion and due preparation for the Eucharist for worthy reception of Jesus into us. May Jesus enrich their lives with His Body and Blood.
November 21, 2014: It was the birthday of Rt. Rev. Felix Toppo, SJ on 21st of November. St. Joseph’s Welfare Centre students had a great time with him. There was a short and sweet programme to wish birthday baby. Children’s day was also celebrated on the same day. Thanks to the staffs of SJWC.
November 23, 2014: “Krist Raja Ki… Jai”, “Krist Hamara Raja…Hai”, with these powerful slogans in the praise of Christ the King, Jamshedpur Deanery had a procession, started from Cathedral to Agrico and returned back to SJWC ground. Rev. Fr. Chonas Xalxo was the main celebrant for the Holy Mass. Rev. Fr. Oscar Beck gave beautiful message in his homily. Many hands joined together to make the procession successful. The Choir was awesome during the procession and mass too. Heartfelt thanks to SHH, SCJM, SCN sisters of Golmuri Parish. (Fr. Michael Deogam)
YOUTH CONVENTION AT CATHOLIC CHARITIES, JAMSHEPUR
Youth convention was organized at Catholic Charities. This was meant for the youth of our diocese. There were about 130 participants from different deaneries. It was conducted by Mr. Mathew Joseph in association with a youth group namely “Reaching Soul”. Mr. Mathew Joseph stays in America and goes around the world to preach and motivate the youth spiritually. Reaching Soul is a spiritually dedicated youth group which is based at Ranchi. They in their own way reach out to the youth. It was very successful as many youth experienced the love of God. In their sharing they expressed that they had never experienced such newness in their lives. They expressed that they are motivated to read and love the Word of God. For some this was a life changing experience as after a week of the convection they still express that they are continuing to abstain from intoxicating substances. (Fr. Sanjay Kujur, Cssr.)
RETREAT AT ST. XAVIER’S CHURCH, CHAIBASA
With great anxiety, two days retreat was organized at St. Xavier’s Church, Chaibasa for all the parishioners. It was conducted by Mr. Mathew Joseph in association with a youth group namely “Reaching Soul”. Mr. Mathew Joseph stays in America and goes around the world to preach and motivate the youth spiritually. Reaching Soul is a spiritually dedicated youth group which is based at Ranchi. They in their own way reach out to the youth. The entire program was organized by the youth of the parish. Both the days lunch was served for all the participants. It was amazing to see the number of participants exceeding two thousand from a parish. It was a time of reconciliation for the parish. The retreat was coordinated by Mr. Birendra Kujur. The entire parish was very supportive towards this retreat.
DHANBAD CARMEL HIGH SCHOOL
One day retreat for Girls of Dhanbad Carmel High School was preached by Fr. Raju Crasta on 30th of October, 2014. The programme began at 8.30 am and concluded at 4. pm with the Eucharist. About 40 catholic girls benefited from this. The highlights of the retreat were meditations, vocation and faith. Inspired the Word of God some girls have expressed their willingness to be religious.
ST. XAVIER’S ENGLISH, SCHOOL, CHAIBASA
Keeping in line with the guidelines of our honourable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, our students of std XI had gone to clean the areas in and around Lupungutu, Chaibasa, as part of their community service. Their efforts were appreciated by the locals there and the students had an enjoyable and learning experience there.
It is often said – “Instruction does much but encouragement, does everything!” From the day our Principal Sr. Sheetal took over the reins of our school, she has been motivating the students to excel in academics, and her efforts have borne fruits. We had our ‘open house’ for 2nd Terminal Exams and a marked improvement has been noticed in the result of all the classes.
We also have more good news to share. Atul Toppo of Std IX has been selected for the national level cricket team. Some of our student had participated in a drawing competition organized by the Government of India and our students bagged prizes.
Our Annual Sports Meet was held on 11th November. Our Chief Guest for the occasion was our Parish Priest, Fr.Halan Bodra, Fr. Tom and Fr. Sahay graced the event as our guests of Honour. Some of the events were really hilarious. Children had lots of fun in participating as well as watching potato-race, cock-fighting, boat race, etc.
On 14th November we celebrated children’s day. The program started with the lighting of lamp, and there on the stage was rocked by the teachers. We concluded the program with fashion show where all the teacher took part.
Now we are back on the track …………… busy with our teaching-learning activates.
CCJ-SJVK-VIKAS BHARATI KEPT BUSY DURING OCTOBER-NOVEMBER
Ursulines organize a retreat: The Ursuline Province organized a 7 day retreat for all its Sisters working in medical field. Nearly 45 Sisters at Vikas Bharati. Sisters from Ranchi-Gumla province participated in this retreat guided by Fr. Prabhu. To maintain total silence and to make the place conducive for prayer & silence, no other programme was held during this period
Diocesan Youth Renewal Program: Fr. Dileep Marandi, Fr. Sanjay Kujur organized a special Youth renewal programme at Catholic Charities. A special Charismatic team led by Bro. Mathew of Kolkata animated the youth. Nearly 150 young boys and girls spent 3 days at this centre. Though it was announced as the youth camp, it turned out to be a good spiritual retreat. Congratulations to our diocesan Youth Coordinator.
Fr. Cyril Tigga brings together BCC Groups for a refresher course
Once again Fr. Cyril Tigga brought together BCD teams from all parishes for a refresher course. Sr. Christin from Patna, now based in Kolkata did a very good job. The Bishop inaugurated the workshop and also concluded with a Mass. It is very gratifying that a number of priests this time joined in this workshop. Congratulations to all, especially to the Organizers. During these days, Fr. Prabhu found time to give a retreat to the Diocesan priests of Shimla-Chandigrh at Shimla and another retreat to the TOR Fathers of Ranchi province at the OCD Spirituality Centre at Kokar.
SSJVK also participated in a Tribal Mela organsed by Tata Steel on the Gopal Maidan on November 15,16,17. The CCJ/SLVK stall put up a special stall on Herbal Medicines, medicinal plants SJVK publications. It was quite popular. Now a good beginning has been made. In the month of January, they will also be conducting some Melas in collaboration with the SHG cooperatives
ST. CECILIA DAY CELEBRATION
Jesu Marsal Parish Chandil celebrated St. Cecilia Day as parish choir Day. To mark the occasion a special Eucharistic Liturgy was arranged in the evening. The choir sang the melodious hymns and made the Eucharist lively and meaningful to all attended the Eucharist. After the Mass, a short falicitation programme for the Choir member was held which ended with a high tea.
St. Theresa’s School, Jhinkpani organized a science cum craft exhibition on29-30, Oct., 2014. The school children displayed various models in the examination hall. Mr. Bartitius Kullu, DSP, inaugurated the science exhibition. In his speech he congratulated the school authorities for organizing this event in a village school. He spoke as length how these events can motivate the village children to come up in like and play a role in building a new society and improve the socio-economic conditions in the villages. The children of the local high schools were invited for the events. They came along with their teacher and enjoyed the exhibition.
Fr. Michael Jojo arranged two hockey tournaments in his parish. The first one for the school children. A number of teames in the area participated in it. Then many village teams took part in the second Khasi tournament. But the team led by Fr. Michael Jojo proved to be the strongest and won the Khasi. In fact, under his leadership a team in Christantoli is fromed. It has already won three Khasi tournaments in the area.
After Goilkera, Fr. Alex Dodrai organized the hockey tournament in St. Joseph’s School, Charbandia. It was a day of enjoyment for the children of Charbandia school. From the senior section the teams were made by the children on their own. Fr. Alex, unlike Fr. Michael JoJo failed to retain the Khasi.
Then it was the Chance of Omra parish. Fr. Benedict Minj, managed the parish team, organized a hockey team in Omra parish ground. The two day event was like a village Mela. They tool failed to retian the Khasi for the home team.
ST. MARY’S ENGLISH SCHOOL
The school was buzzing with activities and events as the students put up a lively show at XLRI on November 1st.An inter school event titled XIBIO-2014 . Nearly 12 schools had participated in and around the city .The events were cosmet allics, the X factor, dance and beats, green wars ,go hard in the paint etc. Congrats to Fr. David Vincent, dedicated teachers and the enthusiastic students..On the 13th November children’s day mela was organized in which parents were also invited. Everyone enjoyed the delicious food, ice-cream and fun games. It was a grand success. One of the leading news papers Dainik jagran conducted a health check up for the students on the 26th November .A team of doctors visited the school to speak to students of std 11 and 12 to give them awareness regarding different types of sickness specially the cancer. Thanks to Fr., David for arranging such programs in the school.CCE work shop was organized for the teachers to get equipped with the creative lesson plan, class room management thus to become a better teachers .The resource person was Sr. Sheethal from Chaibasa. After all these hectic activities and programs the school started the 3rd unit test. Thanks to Fr. David for systematically organizing the curricular and co curricular activities for all round development of the students up. May St. Mary’s aim high, fly high to keep up its vision and motto.
Fr. Manu Horo and Jerome Pariera are recuperating from their sikcnesses. They are not yet fit to take up any responsibilities. Fr. Jonny Vithayathil and Fr. Norbert Kindo are on medical treatment. Fr. Roque Cardoza had a bypass surgery in Bangalore on Nov. 19, 2014 and Fr. Nestore Soreng is under treatment for his back pain by Doctors from CMC Vellor.
RIT NEWS: FR. WALTER CRASTA
21st January, 1954 - 26th November, 2014
Fr. Walter Crasta entered this planet earth in January 1954, lived and toiled for 60 years and 10 months like any other humans and left this planet so suddenly on 26th November 2014 shocking everyone who knew him. He was born in a very deeply religious, poor and hardworking family in Mulki parish of Mangalore diocese. His father died several years ago but his mother, known to the world as “Mary Teacher” lived for 95 years. She died just 10 days ago. Fr. Walter went to attend the funeral of his mother and 2 days after her burial, he too died of a massive heart attack. He has a sister, Sr. Neeta working in Germany and she has a brother residing in Pune. Sr. Neeta and he were travelling together when he developed chest-pain and within 30 minutes he was pronounced dead by the Doctors of Thumbe branch of Fr. Muller’s Hospital.
After he completed his matriculation, Walter was working as a cook for awhile for late Fr. Gregory D’Cruze, then parish priest at Mulki. It was Fr. DaCruze who took care of him, promoted him to become a priest for the diocese of Jamshedpur in 1971. After completing 2 years in initial formation at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Mangalore, he came to St. Albert’s College for Philosophy and he completed IA & BA during that period. Later he completed MA in Sociology from Ranchi University in flying colours.
He then spent 2 years in Regency at St. Xavier’s Church, Chiabasa under Fr. Prabhu. He was in charge of the hostel. During this time, he had his first confrontation with the local MLA & minister, Mr. Bagun Sumbrui. He was promoted to Theology at St. Albert’s college.After completing his theology in four years, he was ordained a priest in December 1982 along with his close friend, late Fr. Gualbert Furtado in his own parish in Mulki, Mangalore. Young priest, Fr. Walter’s first assignment was as an Asst. Parish priest of St. Paul’s at Maluka for 2 years; next 3 years he was Assistant at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Golmuri; then he was Assistant for 2 years in St. Xavier’s Chaibasa; he was then sent to Ahmadabad for development studies. When he returned after a year and half, he was appointed as the Assistant Director of Catholic Charities under Fr. Prabhu.
Fr. Walter became the parish priest for the first time in 1995 of Gua- Noamundi Kiriburu parish. In fact, he shifted the parish Centre to Kiriburu and built the priests’ Residence. When Anandpur parish was taken back into this diocese, Walter was appointed to this very challenging and difficult parish at Charbandia. He developed this parish, built a priests residence, school building and brought the Christian community together. After spending 4-5 years in the entire Manoharpur block, Fr. Walter was appointed Director of Damien Social Welfare Society, Dhanbad. He labored for 8 years at DSWC tried to make DSWC self-sustaining. He started an English Medium School, constructed buildings for the support of DSWC. After 8 years in Govindpur, he was appointed the parish priest of St. Theresa’ s at Jhinkpani, where he tried to develop a new campus, built a residence for priests, leveled grounds, planted plenty of fruit trees. He always took great interest in junior, young priests and would greatly encourage them.
After spending 3 years in Jhinkpani, he was appointed the Vicar General of the diocese just 5 months ago. He had just begun his mission as V.G, when the Lord called him to his eternal reward-R I P.
One of the first things that strikes us is that Fr. Walter had plenty of humour and mimicry and kept on entertaining everyone in this diocese till he died and he would bring in some comic relief whenever the situations and meetings turned tense or unpleasant. He spread the joy among everyone. Secondly, he was always ready to accept any challenging jobs, and work hard. He had a sense of urgency, a sense of mission in his life. He put his whole heart and soul in whatever he did and wherever he was. He also knew how to rest, visit his friends wherever they are. He needed a lot of appreciation and encouragement and in turn, he gave his best. Wherever he was posted, he always tried to make the places self-supporting. He has, as a priest contributed 33 years of dedicated service to the mission diocese of Jamshedpur and he did not spare himself in doing this. He had always a great trust in his parishioners and worked well with them. He had a great sense of really participatory Church. He was trying to empower the laity. He always took a need-based approach to all the decisions he made.
There were a couple of times mainly because of his terrible family situations, he wavered on his vocation and wanted to turn back. Support of his friends protected him. He has seen sufferings in his family, he became close to his mother. His own brother for personal reasons kept aloof and left his mother in Fr. Walter’s hands .Fr. Walter was thinking aloud of taking leave from the diocese 3-4 years to work and look after his mother. No wonder that Fr. Walter and his mother went Home, together within the same week. His unexpected departure is a great loss for the diocese of Jamshedpur and for the priestly family. The diocese was blessed by his love and humour, his unstinted commitment and service. May God reward him abundantly and bless his family. (Fr. C. R. Prabhu)
Fr. Joy Paul lost his father (Mr.Paul Papachan) on 14th November, 2014 in Kerala due to heart attack. He was 86. Hearty Condolences Fr. Joy Paul!
Fr. Halan Bodra lost his father (Mr.Johan Bodra) on 8th November, 2014 in Bandgaon. Hearty Condolences Fr. Halan Bodra!
The Diocese of Jamshedpur cordially invites all the Priests, Sisters and faithful to the Diaconate Ordination of Bro. Maria Charles and Bro. Manoj Tigga by Most. Rev. Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. on December 14, 2012, 8:00 am at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Golmuri, Jamshedpur.
The Call to the priesthood… Can you hear it?
The Diocese of Jamshedpur and Society of Jesus, Jamshedpur province has programs such as vocation seminar and meetings for prospective candidates for priesthood from 12-17 April, 2014 at Pratiksha (Seminary), Jamshedpur. 10th & +2 pass boys please contact to the Vocation Offices for more information at following address:
The Vocation Promoter
Phone No.: 09572752429
The Vocation Promoter (S.J.)
Inigo Niwas, Candidate House
St. Xavier’s High School
P.B. No. 10, Chaibasa P.O.
Phone No.: 9798736320/09546721569