Monday, June 30, 2014

July, 2014


My dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord Jesus,
Our Christian faith is a gift from the Heavenly Father. To bring us the faith in Jesus, he brought to us some 150 years ago truly remarkable Belgian Jesuits. They impressed our forefathers through their deep love and concern for us, and through their faith in Jesus which they shared with us, God made of us what we are today, an evangelizing community of believers in the Risen Lord.
Among these missionaries there was the Servant of God, Fr. Constant Lievens. Within a short span - only seven years - he was able to establish a living Christian community here. We look at this miracle of God’s grace with awe and deep gratefulness. That is why we requested and brought the remains of this Apostle of Chotanagpur to Ranchi in 1993 and his mortal remains were placed in the Ranchi Cathedral. Daily faithful Christians visit him there and ask for his intercession.
At the same time the then Bishop of Brugge, the diocese in Belgium where Fr Lievens was born, initiated the process for his beatification. Rev. Fr. Omer Tanghe who was responsible for the process of beatification was a real friend of Chotanagpur.  He had often come to India and to Chotanagpur. He was full of admiration for Lievens and had genuine appreciation for this Church of which Fr. Lievens had laid the foundations. Unfortunately the untimely death of Fr. Omer Tanghe slowed the process of Beatification considerably. Yet Father Flor Jonckheere of St Albert’s Seminary did his best to awaken among us a growing desire to make this apostle of Chotanagpur a saint recognized by the Church. Four years ago the new Bishop of Brugge who vigorously supports the cause of Fr Lievens has appointed Rev Bart Geryl to head this commission for the beatification. Rev Bart has already come several times to us and is now again present among us to complete the work to be sent to Rome.
Why is the beatification of the Servant of God important? Of course this declaration by the Church that he is Blessed or Saint changes nothing to the greatness and holiness of the person of Lievens, but it changes much for us. The community of the faithful recognizes his holiness. He becomes a real example and model for us to imitate: a person of whom we know he continues to love us. He will go near the Lord to intercede for us. It is also a recognition that his work among us was truly God’s doing and the Lord never leaves unfinished what he has set about to achieve. It was Lievens’ dream that the whole of Chotanagpur would accept the Joy of the Gospel in this vast India. Lievens’ dream has not yet been realized. Besides, Lievens worked at the same time for the emancipation of the tribal people. He fought for their rights, he made it possible for people to get back their land which had been taken from them unjustly, he established schools for both boys and girls. Through all these he hoped to make the tribal people free and emancipated, ready to take their place in this vast country. He also hoped to bring them up as authentic Christians who through their life and work would help to bring about the Reign of God, the reign of justice, freedom and equality for all. I believe that the Servant of God is still working for this from his closeness to Jesus and the Father. As we are working for his beatification, we at the same time need to grow into mature adult Christians who help each other and who try to minimize and abolish discrimination and all forms of corruption in our country.
In order to achieve this, parents must instill in their children through their exemplary life true Christian piety and oneness with the community. The Christian life in our Chotanagpur was so authentic that from the beginning young girls and then young boys desired to work for the spread of this Reign of Love. We remember with great joy and gratefulness among others the Daughters of St. Anna – begun already in 1897 - and the establishment of St. Albert’s Seminary, where local young men prepared for the priesthood. Today every parish has their religious men and women belonging to a variety of religious societies and their priests who are at work here in Chotanagpur and all over India and in the world. We are very grateful for this gift of God.  Besides these generous young men and women we look with gratitude on the deep faith and commitment of the Lay People who truly make this Church of Chotanagpur so vibrant. They are the fruit of Fr. Lievens’ work.
Yet we may not relent: we need to continue the mission handed over to us to bring God’s Reign and in this our devotion to the Servant of God Fr. Lievens may help. We need to collaborate with the commission for the Beatification of Lievens so that they can bring their work to a successful conclusion. As you all know the Church expects that we make known that our prayers for favours are heard. Therefore do communicate to your parish priest or to Father Aurel Brys, presently Vice-Postulator for the Cause of Lievens, when you have received favours through the intercession of Fr. Lievens or when a healing takes place so that you may hasten to bring about the beatification of Fr. Lievens.
Our prayer for the Beatification of Fr Lievens is of utmost importance. New prayer cards are made available for this purpose. Also today a new booklet on the Life and Work of Father Lievens will be released. Reading it will be a good way of becoming more familiar with the marvellous life and work of our Fr Lievens to whom the Church and the tribal community owe so much.
As is written on a rock near the place in Bendora from where Father Lievens visited the whole of Barway and several other parts of Chotanagpur: “May God be praised in Father Constant Lievens sj, apostle of Chotanagpur.”
(Jointly issued by the Archbishop of Ranchi and the Bishops of Gumla, Simdega, Khunti, Jamshedpur, Daltonganj, Hazaribagh, Dumka and Port- Blair ; Rourkela, Sambalpur; Raigarh, Jashpur, Ambikapur; Purnea; Raiganj, Bagdogra, Jalpaiguri, ,Tezpur, and Dibrugarh,  in consent with the Archbishops of Guwahati, Calcutta, Patna, Raipur and Cuttuck-Bhubaneshwar.)

On 20th May 2013 was the day Salesians of Don Bosco made their first presence in the Diocese of Jamshedpur after long awaited request of nearly 19 years. Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J., handed over the mission to SDB with a meaningful liturgy in the presence of Rev. Fr. Shilanand Kerketta, SDB, the Vice Provincial of New Delhi Province, Rev. Fr. John Ottaplackal parish preist of Purulia and many other Priest, Sisters, with 10 other Salesian priests, Brothers from Ranchi. Actually two sisters, Sr. Mary Topno and Sr. Celine Baa (Disciple Sisters of Don Bosco) had their pioneering presence since December, 2011 sent by the kind favour of Veteran Salesiaon missionary and founder of Don Bosco Disciple Brothers/Sisters as John the Baptist the forerunner.

The first pastoral visit on 18th May 2014 as to mark the 1st anniversary was like sprinkling of refreshing water on drooping and fading plants. The small Christian community of 24 families welcomed Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J, at 10:00 am and there followed the Holy Mass in the small existing chapel. Fr. Valerius Lakra, SDB and Fr. Edward Dungdung SDB with Disciple Sisters had prepared 12 faithful for the sacrament of confirmation. There were another four, joined the group from Balarampur Catholic Ashram who were prepared by Fr. Jerome Periera and SSH sisters. The supportive presence of Fr. John Ottaplackal and Fr. Jerome Pereira was a big encourgament. During the service and Holy Mass Bishop gave a very encouraging homily to the faithful of Jargo mission. The community also thanked Fr. John the former PP and Fr. Augustine Topno for their pastoral care before the Salesians came. With warm, friendly blessings from Good shepherd the ceremony ended. We hope and pray that the mission will thrive in future. (Fr. Valerius Lakra, SDB, PP)

In the history of St. Micheal Mission, Burigora, Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo made their presence feel on 15th June, 2015 to the local community and diocese of Jamshedpur, as they stepped in with a strong team of Srs. Annie, Kanchan and Anjubala. Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. welcomed them on their arrival and wished them a fruitful ministry in the Burigora Mission.The Sisters will extend their ministry with priests and catechists in evangelization and faith formation in the Burigora Mission.
86 children of the Burigora Mission received the First Communion on the same day from Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. This was another joy of the people of Burigora. Along with 86 children, their parents also attended the catechism classes to strengthen their faith. All the parishioners congratulated all the 86 children and wished them.  
Selfless service of MC sisters continues expanding in Dhanbad. On 6th June, 2014, during the Holy Mass, Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. blessed a newly built building for physically and mentally challenged people of the area. Fr. Walter Crasta, V.G. and 10 other priests of the diocese concelebrated the Eucharist with Bishop and graced the occasion. On this memorable occasion Sr. Adriyana, MC, the general counselor of the congregation was present. She inaugurated the newly built building by cutting the colourful ribbon and opened the door for the needy people of the town. The city D.C. Mr. Prashant Kumar in his address to the crowd, appreciated the MC Sisters for their selfless services to the less privileged people of the town and whole humanity at large. A generous man from Dhanbad town sponsored the delicious fellowship meal served by Sisters. 

Your are the light of the world” was really an awaking theme for the youth camp organized by Fr. Sanjay Kujur and his team at Carmel School, CKP in the first week of June, 2014. 130 youths from various parishes of Chaibasa deanery gathered at Carmel School, Chakradharpur. During the youth camp four different topics were discussed with the youth. 1. How a youth can live a good Christina life. 2. Health – dealt by Sr. Mercy, OUS. 3. Career Guidance – dealt by Mr. Rajat Manik Xalxo, DSP, Kiriburu. 4. RTI – dealt by Fr. Clement Kujur, S.J., TRTC. The camp was inaugurated by Mrs. Indu Prabha Xalxo, CDPO, Chaibasa who inspired and encouraged 130 young youths of the area to dream big and be a good citizen of the country. Congratulations to the organizers Fr. Sanjay Kujur and his team!

Twenty eighth meeting of the North-East Catholic Mahila Sangh, was held at St. Mary’s School, Junior Block Jamshedpur from 6th to 8th June, 2014. 110 Catholic women from 14 dioceses participated to reflect and share their views on “Jesus the light of the world” and “Catholic Families”. Fr. C.R. Prabhu, Vicar General of the diocese inaugurated the three days convention by hoisting the flag and garlanding the picture of St. Monica, the patron of the mothers. The Holy Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. C.R. Prabhu, Fr. Camille Hembrom and Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. on other days respectively. The Bishop during his homily suggested to them to say Please, Thanks and Sorry in the family.

“Your are the Light of the world” was the first theme of the convention which was dealt by Mrs. Kiran Kujur and Mrs. Stella Beck. “Renewal of Catholic Families” was the second theme of the convention which was dealt by Sr. Sudha, SJT, Sr. Eamma, OUS and Miss. Sibil Kandulna. All speakers were excellent. All the women were really inspired by the talks. Thanks to all the organizers and congratulations for successfully carrying out the convention!

As the tenure of Fr. C. R. Prabhu, the vicar general came to completion, the newly elected and appointed V.G. took over his charge from 4th June, 2014 during a short prayer service organized in the Bishop’s Chapel. All the priests of the town gathered in the evening to congratulate and wish him a successful leadership as the Vicar General of the diocese. Other new comers, Frs. Edwin Coelho, (Treasurer) Dileep Marandi (Diocesan Youth Director) and Micheal Deogam (Assitt. PP, Golmuri) also were wholeheartedly welcomed by the Bishop.

At the same time it was the right opportunity to thank Fr. C.R. Prabhu (Former V.G.), Fr. Eugene Ekka (Treasurer) and Fr. Bipin Barla (Minister) for their selfless services that they rendered and to wish them every success in the new ministries in the diocese.

Fr. Joseph Cheruchilampil, a priest of the Diocese of Bhagalpur and aged 71, is found missing since Sunday, 1st June 2014. He was residing at R. C. Bishop’s House, Bhagalpur and partially helping out in St. John’s Regional Seminary adjacent to it. Except for being a diabetic, he was leading a healthy life. He was always available for the spiritual needs of the religious communities in and around Bhagalpur as well as neighbouring parishes. During the absence of the Principal of St. Joseph’s School, Bhagalpur, Fr. Joseph was having a brief period of stay at that place to render spiritual help to the sisters and the faithful there.
 After having celebrated the Sunday Holy Mass on 1st June 2014, Fr. Joseph with just a casual dress he used to wear for walking, was getting out of his room around 11:15 a.m. and told the seminarian staying with him that he was going out. When the seminarian asked him to have lunch, the latter seemed to have said that he would have lunch outside and come back in the evening. Neither the seminarian nor anyone at the gate had any suspicion over his going out as it was his habit to go out with that dress for walk or other casual work earlier too.
 Unfortunately Fr. Joseph has not returned since then. His mobile and money were found left in his room. Efforts at various levels are on to trace him out but his whereabouts are still unknown till this moment. We hope that more and more priests, religious and faithful would come to know of his missing through your Archdiocesan/Diocesan News Letter and hopefully someone can give us information if they have any. We also seek the prayers of one and all for his safe and speedy return (XKurien Valiakandathil, Bishop of Bhagalpur)

On 22nd June 2014, St. Prabhu Marsal Parish, Goilkera was filled with joy and happiness as 36 boys and girls received the Confirmation and 46 of them received First Communion from Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. On arrival to Goilkera the parishioners gave the Bishop a warm welcome in a very unique way. As they led the bishop to presbytery he had to walk on the banana leaves. The whole liturgy was beautiful with devotional singing and prayerful dances. A big crowd participated in the Mass to pray and to wish the children the very best in their faith journey. After the Holy Mass children were given the certificate of confirmation. Congratulations to Fr. Micheal Jojo, catechists and Sisters at Goilkera!

Fr. Selva Raj., lost his Mother Mrs. Philomina on 6th June, 2014 due to old age and sickness. She was 78 years old. As Fr. Selva Raj knew the seriousness of his mother’s sickness he rushed home to be with his family in Tamilnadu. In the presence of all her children Mrs. Philomina passed away peacefully. May her soul rest in peace!

As a part of on going formation of the pracharaks of our diocese working in different parishes, Divya Bharati, Chaibasa is organising a renewal program for all the Pracharaks from 5th August, 2014, 5:00pm to 8th August, 2014, AM. All the parish priests are requested to encourage their catechists to participate in the renewal program.

After the month long vacation the school re-opened on June 17/6/14 with great enthusiasm and with a motivation to work harder for a better result. Slowly and steadily teaching and the other activities have also been started. The students and staff of the school are now in full energy and fully refreshed after a vacation to begin their work on time.

As the exams begin from June 23/6/14 the students are busy preparing for their exams and even the teachers are working hard for the children by conducting tests and revision works in the classroom. Even to alert the parents, regarding their child’s examination, the school is conducting parents -teachers meeting on 21/6/14 so that the teachers convey their message to parents about the importance of First Term Exam and the child’s progress so far. (Snehlata)

In order to update the teaching skills of   the teachers and also to have a positive outlook towards life one day orientation was conducted by Fr. George Antony from XLRI. The staff orientation programe brought home the fact that when one works with passion, focus and positive attitude, one understands the value of many Divine blessings in life. Hotel sonnet had organized a few competitions from class V, VI and VII Thanks to Fr. David Vincent for providing these opportunities for the students apart from their academic studies. For every institution their academic performance is the touch stone. Considering this criterion we can proudly say that despite our admission policies our students have been consistently commendable specially std 10&12.The credit goes to the hardworking and dedicated staff members, congrats! Especially Fr. David Vincent. All the catholic &Christian  students(about 200) in and around the city were motivated to experience the three-day –retreat at  St.Mary,s English  High school a team from Ranchi  known as reaching soul had  conducted it. The preacher impressed upon the students the importance of having faith in God. Quoting the scripture, he explained that we need to excersie the sense of faith in the Divine and only faith will save us &give us hope for a better life. Genuine leaders think not only of today but tomorrow, such leaders change the course of history. The entire St.Mary, s family appreciates &acknowledges the hard work and the sacrifices which he had put in, during hot summer holidays, hours he stood and worked with the labours to complete the new class rooms in the new building which was ready on the day when the school re-opened. Thanks to Fr. David for his love and dedication to this institution. “To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die”. The management, staff and students of ST.Mary’s English High school, awoke on the morning of 27th of April 2014, to the shocking news of the sudden demise of our former Principal Fr. Gerald Martin .A spell of gloom engulfed the school campus as the students and staff struggled to come to terms with this great loss..A memorial prayer service was organized on the 8th of May, for our beloved Principal. May his soul rest in peace.


Eugene Ekka
David Vincent
Cyril Fernandes
John Ottaplakal
Jerome Pereira
James Quadros
Linus Kindo
Joy Paul K.