LENTEN PASTORAL LETTER 2014
(To be read in all the Churches of Jamshedpur Diocese on 2nd/9th March 2014)
He became poor,
so that by his poverty you might become rich,
(cf. 2 Cor 8:9)
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Lenten Message: Our Holy Father Francis, in his Lenten Message, has reflected on the words of St. Paul: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9). The Holy Father is inviting us, individually and collectively, to be converted to a life of evangelical poverty. Christ the eternal Son of God, set aside his glory and became man, born of the Virgin Mary. Because of his love, he shared our life and sufferings, and he wanted to us to share his life and holiness. For this sharing he even sacrificed his life on the cross. He took upon himself our weaknesses and sins in order to purify us. The compassion, tenderness and solidarity of his love gave us true freedom, eternal salvation and divine happiness.
Christ empowered us through his poverty and invites us to imitate him to embrace the same poverty in order to enliven his Spirit of love and mercy in the Church and in the world. Following this, the Holy Father is inviting us to alleviate material, moral and spiritual destitutions from those who are affected by these. Material destitution affects the living conditions opposed to human dignity. People who suffer material destitution lack basic rights, food, water, hygiene and work. Holy Father wants our consciences to be converted to justice, equality, and simplicity. Moral destitution consists in slavery to vice and sin: alcohol, drugs, taking and giving bribes, sexual gratification, hunger for power and money, etc. Spiritual destitution signifies lack of faith and trust in God’s love and mercy. We Christians must proclaim the good news: God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son who liberated us from slavery of sin and eternal death, and has reconciled us with the heavenly Father.
Evangelii Gaudium: The Holy Father Francis has given an Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium on the Proclamation of the Gospel. He says that the joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. This joy is ever new and it has to be shared with others. Christ is the “eternal Gospel”(rev 14:6); he “is same yesterday and today and forever”(Heb 13:8). Pope Francis says that the entire people of God should proclaim the Gospel. Every Christian is a missionary. We no longer say that we are “disciples” and “missionaries”, but rather that we are always “missionary disciples”. We can preach Christ person to person constantly and everywhere. The Gospel urges us to proclaim the good news and to render charity to our neighbours, especially to the poor. The Holy Father Francis wants us to be spirit filled evangelizers. For this it is necessary to have a personal encounter with the saving love of Jesus. We need to spiritually experience that we are God’s people.
Renewed Church for a Renewed Society: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) had its Plenary Assembly in Palai in Kerala in which 187 member-bishops participated to deliberate on the theme: “Renewed Church for a Renewed Society – Responding to the Call of Vatican II”. Looking at our country the Bishops were concerned over widespread corruption, displacements, internal migration, disruption of family and destructive fundamentalism. On the other hand, they were happy to see in the Church, the presence of the traditional practices of deep piety, reading of the Word of God, positive effects of the Charismatic Movements, formation of Small Christian Communities in many parts of the country and empowerment of women and youth. Nevertheless, they called for an improvement in the areas of “God -Experience”, addressing justice issues, giving rightful places to the lay faithful, stamping out discrimination against women, promoting ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue and safeguarding ecology.
Small Christian Communities: During the meeting on Pastoral Collaboration in our Diocese, held on December 18, 2013, and attended by a large number of Parish Priests, Heads of the Institutions and Superiors of Religious Communities, a resolution was made that every parish would organize “Small Christian Communities (SCCs)” within the parish. It was also resolved that each parish would arrange training programs for the parish leaders on SCCs. I had requested all of you to actively cooperate with Fr. Cyril Tigga, S.J., the Director of Dibya Bharati and the coordinator of SCCs in the diocese. I am aware and glad that many of you have taken it up seriously.
Early Christians who lived in small communities had one mission: to proclaim and to witness Jesus Christ, the resurrected saviour. Like early Christian communities we need to be a witnessing, an evangelizing and a proclaiming Church. We need to be united - heart and soul. Our Christian charity has to overflow. We need to move from individualism to Community, from consumerism to sharing and from materialism to God. In the present context, the Small Christian Communities reflect the true identity of the Church. They become leaven in the human communities, salt of the earth and light of the world. The Word of God becomes the centre of the SCCs. The deeper understanding of the Word of God reveals the deeper love of God offered in the Sacraments. Sharing and proclaiming the Word of God helps our human and spiritual relationship.
Dear brothers and sisters, during this Lenten season, let us to bring the Gospel message of merciful love of 0ur heavenly Father to all those who live in material, moral and spiritual destitutions. Let us strive to have personal encounter with Jesus Christ so that we could become spirited missionary disciples to proclaim the Gospel. Let us address justice issues, fight discrimination against women, promote ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue and safeguard ecology. Finally, let us form Small Christian Communities in every parish. Let us pray to Mary, Our Mother who is a loving gift of Jesus to us and who is always present amongst us to spiritually strengthen us.
February 25, 2014
+Felix Toppo, S.J.
Bishop of Jamshedpur
LOYOLA KUMARDHUBI, TALDANGA
The Republic Day celebrations spread a patriotic fervor all over the campus on 26th Jan. The Chief Guest inspired the students awakening in them the need to be conscious youth for tomorrow. India needs you.
On the occasion of Graduation Day, once again students and teachers shared moments of smiles and tears on the 1st of Feb. It was a proud moment for Loyola to see yet another batch of graduates ready to face the world.
The Final Semester examination was conducted from the 6th to 15th Feb. Everything went on as planned. The ISC 2014 examination have also kicked off on a sound note. (Rita Sen)
ST. JOSEPH’S CHURCH, CHARBANDIA
Numbering 364, the catholic men of St. Joseph’s parish, Charbandia came together and spend a day of seminar reflecting their role in the family on 9th February, 2014. The men were surprised to find themselves in such a big number. They were helped and motivated by Fr. Valerian Lobo, the parish priest and Fr. Alex Dodrai APP who were the resource person of the day. They guided them through the workshop and helped them to realize their responsibilities and role in the family. It was a well appreciated seminar for the men of Charbandia. Fr. Linus Kindo presided over the concluding mass of the seminar. Congratulations to Fr. Valerian Lobo and his team!
ST. XAVIER’S ENGLISH SCHOOL, CHAIBASA
On 26th January our school celebrated Republic day with great pomp and show. Children marched proudly and many students displayed their patriotic fervour with their colourful programs. Our chief guest for the occasion was Fr. Tom and Mr. Ghanshyam Gagrai, the president of Rotract club, Chaibasa was our Guest of Honour.
In the evening our students performed in the Pillai Hall, Chaibasa. Every year on the occasion of Republic day a competition for cultural programs is organized there. Our students presented a dance through which they showed the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. Our students portrayed our dream of that India “where the mind is without fear, and the head is held high.” With their graceful moves and expressive gestures they enthralled the audience. They were louded by a huge round of applause. Our school bagged the third prize in the competition.
Books are the best friends, the most accessible and reliable counsellors and the most patient teachers of a human being. Thus we encourage our students to read more and more books to inculcate in them habit of extensive reading. For this purpose, we organized a book-fair on 28th and 29th January. There were a wide range of books for all age groups. It was a huge success as book-lovers thronged the fair and browsed through numerous range of books.
We bade farewell to our 10th std students on 31st January. We had a prayer service conducted by our vice-principal Sr. Pushpica. Some students of std X shared their happy moments experienced in this school. It was a day which is going to be remembered by the students.
We had our staff picnic on 6th February. A way from work, it was a relaxing moment. We had a wonderful lunch followed by games for both ladies and gents. We all had lots of fun.
Our Annual Examinations for LKG to std IX started on 10th and finished on 22nd February. Now very soon the Annual Results will be out and our session 2013-14 will come to an end.
INAUGURATION OF ST. TERESA’S TRIBAL HOSTEL, MALUKA
Inauguration of First Floor of St. Teresa’s Tribal Girls’ Hostel on 22nd February, 2014 was an another landmark in the history of St. Paul’s School Maluka. The chief guest Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J., invoked the God’s blessings and inaugurated the First Floor of St. Teresa’s Tribal Girls’ Hostel in the presence of Rev. Sr. Shaila, B.S., Provincial, Eastern Province and big number of hostel children.
To honour and entertain the guests of inaugural function hostel girls staged a short cultural programme which was enjoyed and well appreciated by all. Congratulations Sr. Naveen, B.S. and her team at Maluka!
Most Rev. Felix Toppo, S.J., lost his brother Mr. Francis Toppo, on 11th February, 2014. He was 87 years old. Since the Bishop was in the meeting of CBCI at Palai, Kerala, could not attend the funeral but on 15th February, 2014 he offered mass at the grave in Chainpur, Gumla and together with villagers prayed for the deceased soul of his brother.
Fr. Jonny P.D., lost his father Mr. P.J. Devasia on 14th February, 2014 due to kidney failure. He was 74 years old. As Fr. Jonny knew the seriousness of his father’s sickness he rushed home to be with his family in Kerala. In the presence of all his children Mr. P.J. Devasia passed away peacefully.
Fr. Raju Crasta, lost his father Mr. Cornel Crasta on 20th February, 2014. From January Fr. Raju is attending the formation course in Patna. As soon as he received the sad news he rushed to Mangalore to be with his family for the funeral of his beloved father.
Bro. Birendra Tete (II Theo.) lost his elder bother Mr. Animanand Tete on 24th January, 2014. He was 40 years old. He had T.B. and was suffering for long time.
WELFARE CENTRE, GOLMURI
St. Joseph’s Welfare Centre Golmuri welcomes the students for JOB ORIENTED Courses from March 2014 onwards like:
1. Mechanic Cum Forklift Operator
2. Battery Operated Pallet Truck Operator (BOPT)
3. Spoken English Course – Public Speaking
4. Computer courses – DBP, DCA, DBMS, DCCPT & Computer Accounting Tally etc.
5. Personality Development & Soft Skills
Your boys and girls from your parish are requested to take part in it.
Admission Forms are available from Welfare Centre Office between Monday to Saturday 9.00 to 12.00 am and 2.00 to 5.00 pm. Also I request you kindly announce in your weekly news Bulletin for information of your parishioners.(Fr. Henry Sequeira, Director)
The Call to the priesthood… Can you hear it?
The Diocese of Jamshedpur and Society of Jesus, Jamshedpur province have programs such as vocation seminar and meetings for prospective candidates for priesthood. The Vocation camp for the diocese and Jesuit province of Jamshedpur will be held from 28th March to 2nd April, 2014 at Catholic Charities Sundernager, Jamshedpur. 10th and +2 students are invited to join the vocation camp. Contact to the Vocation Offices for more informations at:
Fr. Linus Kindo
Phone No.: (0657) 2318130/09572752429
Fr. Somy Mathew, S.J.
Inigo Niwas, Candidate House
St. Xavier’s High School
P.B. No. 10, Chaibas P.O.
Ph. No.: 09546721569