FAMILY SYNOD: FULL TEXT OF THE BISHOPS’ CLOSING MESSAGE
We, Synod Fathers, gathered in Rome together with Pope Francis in the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, greet all families of the different continents and in particular all who follow Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We admire and are grateful for the daily witness which you offer us and the world with your fidelity, faith, hope, and love.
Each of us, pastors of the Church, grew up in a family, and we come from a great variety of backgrounds and experiences. As priests and bishops we have lived alongside families who have spoken to us and shown us the saga of their joys and their difficulties.
The preparation for this synod assembly, beginning with the questionnaire sent to the Churches around the world, has given us the opportunity to listen to the experience of many families. Our dialogue during the Synod has been mutually enriching, helping us to look at the complex situations which face families today.
We offer you the words of Christ: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20). On his journeys along the roads of the Holy Land, Jesus would enter village houses. He continues to pass even today along the streets of our cities. In your homes there are light and shadow. Challenges often present themselves and at times even great trials. The darkness can grow deep to the point of becoming a dense shadow when evil and sin work into the heart of the family.
We recognize the great challenge to remain faithful in conjugal love. Enfeebled faith and indifference to true values, individualism, impoverishment of relationships, and stress that excludes reflection leave their mark on family life. There are often crises in marriage, often confronted in haste and without the courage to have patience and reflect, to make sacrifices and to forgive one another. Failures give rise to new relationships, new couples, new civil unions, and new marriages, creating family situations which are complex and problematic, where the Christian choice is not obvious.
We think also of the burden imposed by life in the suffering that can arise with a child with special needs, with grave illness, in deterioration of old age, or in the death of a loved one. We admire the fidelity of so many families who endure these trials with courage, faith, and love. They see them not as a burden inflicted on them, but as something in which they themselves give, seeing the suffering Christ in the weakness of the flesh.
We recall the difficulties caused by economic systems, by the “the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose” (Evangelii gaudium 55) which weakens the dignity of people. We remember unemployed parents who are powerless to provide basic needs for their families, and youth who see before them days of empty expectation, who are prey to drugs and crime.
We think of so many poor families, of those who cling to boats in order to reach a shore of survival, of refugees wandering without hope in the desert, of those persecuted because of their faith and the human and spiritual values which they hold. These are stricken by the brutality of war and oppression. We remember the women who suffer violence and exploitation, victims of human trafficking, children abused by those who ought to have protected them and fostered their development, and the members of so many families who have been degraded and burdened with difficulties. “The culture of prosperity deadens us…. all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us” (Evangelii gaudium 54). We call on governments and international organizations to promote the rights of the family for the common good.
Christ wanted his Church to be a house with doors always open to welcome everyone. We warmly thank our pastors, lay faithful, and communities who accompany couples and families and care for their wounds.
There is also the evening light behind the windowpanes in the houses of the cities, in modest residences of suburbs and villages, and even in mere shacks, which shines out brightly, warming bodies and souls. This light—the light of a wedding story—shines from the encounter between spouses: it is a gift, a grace expressed, as the Book of Genesis says (2:18), when the two are “face to face” as equal and mutual helpers. The love of man and woman teaches us that each needs the other in order to be truly self. Each remains different from the other that opens self and is revealed in the reciprocal gift. It is this that the bride of the Song of Songs sings in her canticle: “My beloved is mine and I am his… I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Songs 2:16; 6:3).
This authentic encounter begins with courtship, a time of waiting and preparation. It is realized in the sacrament where God sets his seal, his presence, and grace. This path also includes sexual relationship, tenderness, intimacy, and beauty capable of lasting longer than the vigor and freshness of youth. Such love, of its nature, strives to be forever to the point of laying down one’s life for the beloved (cf Jn 15:13). In this light conjugal love, which is unique and indissoluble, endures despite many difficulties. It is one of the most beautiful of all miracles and the most common.
This love spreads through fertility and generativity, which involves not only the procreation of children but also the gift of divine life in baptism, their catechesis, and their education. It includes the capacity to offer life, affection, and values—an experience possible even for those who have not been able to bear children. Families who live this light-filled adventure become a sign for all, especially for young people.
This journey is sometimes a mountainous trek with hardships and falls. God is always there to accompany us. The family experiences his presence in affection and dialogue between husband and wife, parents and children, sisters and brothers. They embrace him in family prayer and listening to the Word of God—a small, daily oasis of the spirit. They discover him every day as they educate their children in the faith and in the beauty of a life lived according to the Gospel, a life of holiness. Grandparents also share in this task with great affection and dedication. The family is thus an authentic domestic Church that expands to become the family of families which is the ecclesial community. Christian spouses are called to become teachers of faith and of love for young couples as well.
Another expression of fraternal communion is charity, giving, nearness to those who are last, marginalized, poor, lonely, sick, strangers, and families in crisis, aware of the Lord’s word, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). It is a gift of goods, of fellowship, of love and mercy, and also a witness to the truth, to light, and to the meaning of life.
The high point which sums up all the threads of communion with God and neighbor is the Sunday Eucharist when the family and the whole Church sits at table with the Lord. He gives himself to all of us, pilgrims through history towards the goal of the final encounter when “Christ is all and in all” (Col 3:11). In the first stage of our Synod itinerary, therefore, we have reflected on how to accompany those who have been divorced and remarried and on their participation in the sacraments.
We Synod Fathers ask you walk with us towards the next Synod. The presence of the family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in their modest home hovers over you. United to the Family of Nazareth, we raise to the Father of all our petition for the families of the world:
Father, grant to all families the presence of strong and wise spouses who may be the source of a free and united family.
Father, grant that parents may have a home in which to live in peace with their families.
Father, grant that children may be a sign of trust and hope and that young people may have the courage to forge life-long, faithful commitments.
Father, grant to all that they may be able to earn bread with their hands, that they may enjoy serenity of spirit and that they may keep aflame the torch of faith even in periods of darkness.
Father, grant that we may all see flourish a Church that is ever more faithful and credible, a just and humane city, a world that loves truth, justice and mercy. (http://press.vatican.va)
ANNUAL RETREAT FOR JAMSHEDPUR PRIESTS BY SR. INIGO SSA
The Jamshedpur diocese organized the annual retreat for the priests between October 12 and 17, 2014 at Vikas Bharathi, Sunder Nagar, Jamshedpur. Sr. Inigo SSA, the former Superior General of the Congregation and a renowned writer and preacher, guided the 30 priests that also included one Jesuit from the Jamshedpur province in their wilderness experience and spiritual journey. Sr. Inigo is presently involved in prison ministry at Tihar Central Jail, Delhi serving the spiritual needs of the prison inmates.
Introducing the retreat, Sr. Inigo said that the annual retreat is a wilderness experience, wherein the retreat-makers have real God-experience that leads them to genuine inner transformation. Retreat is God making an appointment with the believer inviting him to receive from Him the fullness of life and grace (Jn 11:28).
On the first day, Sr. Inigo dwelt on our understanding of faith. Faith is not that we get what we ask for. Faith is listening to God who is calling each one of us by name and we in turn letting God act as He desires. Likewise, Sr. Inigo helped the priests to reflect on the reality of the co-existence of good and evil in every human being. The Evil One tries his best to overpower the good in us. However, we are also divine at the same time. Therefore, we must allow the divinity in our nature to dominate so that the good and truth prevail.
On the second day, the priests meditated on how to be an effective priest in life and ministry. To be an effective praying and preaching priest, he needs to be ceased of by the Spirit. Jesus was busy the whole day and night praying, preaching and healing. Priests need to draw inspiration and strength from their life of prayer and good works, which enables them to remain in close communion with the Trinitarian God. Consequently, people will recognize their priest as a man of God (Mk 15:39).
Thereafter, Sr. Inigo spoke at length on the Ten Major Attitudes of the Parish Priest (PP) like Praying, Preaching and Prophetic Priest. Each of these attitudes includes the BEING (what a priest is) and DOING (what a priest does) of the parish priest. The retreat ended on October 17 with the solemn Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Rt. Rev. Felix Toppo sj, the Bishop of Jamshedpur. The Bishop exhorted his priests to be authentic and effective shepherds and to be close to the Lord in all moments of their life and ministry.
Significantly, this is the first time that a woman religious has been invited to guide the Priests’ retreat in Jamshedpur and Sr. Inigo made an excellent impact on the priests by her gentle approach and at the same time by her strong and firm convictions and personal faith-experiences. The priests expressed great joy and gratitude at the wonderful God-experience that they had during the retreat. They extended their heartfelt gratitude to Sr. Inigo for her special charisma and for having led them through this desert experience, which truly helped them to undergo intense personal transformation. (Fr. John Crasta)
ST. TERESA’S CHURCH, SINDRI
Feast day brings all people together. As the parishioners of St. Theresa’s Church, Sindri celebrated the feast of their patron saint of the Church on 1st, October, 2014 they realized the joy of coming together. They had a very devotional liturgy celebrated by Fr. Amautus Kujur, the dean of Dhanbad and concelebrated by 7 priests from diocese. The presence of Junas Purty former Parish Priest of Sindri doubled the joy of Sindri parishioners. On this happy day two boys and two girls of the parish received the first communion.
To honour those four children and Fr. Amatus Kujur the dean of Dhaband, a short culture program was presented the by youth of the parish which really brought all the people in the featival mood. All enjoyed the beautiful cultural program. At the end of the program all the shared the delicious meal prepared by Fr. James Surin the Parish Priest and the parishioners. Congratulations to Fr. James and his parishioners!
BLESSED MOTHER TERESA’S CHURCH, SIADIH
World Mission Sunday 2014 at Siadih. On 19th. Sunday2014, World Mission Sunday was celebrated with great fervour. This year too, the parishioners of Siadih offered special prayers for the missions and learnt to raise funds for the evengelization on a small scale.The hostel Children organized various interesting games and sold home made sweets, like sukripota, bundi laddu and gulgulas and raised funds for the missions. Mahila sang members of the parish prepared delicious madva rottis and idlis and they were sold like hot cakes while the Catholic Shaba members organised Sandy(murga Cup) hockey matches. The Kruis veer children along with the youth collected amount on 'Luck Dip'. One guest remarked "Indeed I have seen that the World Mission Sunday is celebrated like a feast in the Mission Parishes rather then in our established parishes." - Lino Fernandes, s.f.x
ADIOS- LOYOLA SCHOOL, TALDANGA
It may be hard to say Goodbye but the Good with it is the promise of something better….yes the Loyolian family was emotionally high today. We bid farewell to Mr. Utpal Das (science teacher) on his retirement. His 14years of service was indeed valuable. There was a short programme in the morning Assembly and later the teachers organized a get together in the Staff room.
A few proud moments to share-
Nine students represented the school on the 11th of October at the ASISC Zonal Athletic Meet – 2014 and four have qualified for the next level.
The Hindi Elocution and Speech Contest took place before the school closed for the Puja Vacation. It was good to note that students are developing a well defined presence of mind.
The Semester 1 report cards were given away on the 20th of September. The Parent – Teacher Meeting on the same day should benefit the students in their performance in the present Semester. (Rita Sen)
ST. XAVIER'S SCHOOL, PURULIA
The month of September began with the colours of 5th Sept, Teacher's day, celebrated with great pomp and vigour. The day was decorated with a beautiful folk dance competition amongst the four houses and ending up with a delightful friendly cricket match between the teachers and the students, with the teachers defeating the students by a huge margin of 68 runs.
On 13th of Sept, the student enjoyed a thrilling inter-house quiz contest. Divided in groups, the junior group comprised classes V-VIII while the senior group of classes IX-XII with the green and red house as winners of the respective groups.
This month we also had the celebration of the birthday of the secretary of our school, Rev. Father Vijay Bhatt with the active participation of teachers and students.
On the 20th of Sept, the students of classes III-IV experienced their inter-house quiz competition which had been extremely exciting for them with the red house coming up as the winner. All students were enthralled by the quiz rounds they had. On the same day, inter-house football finals were also held side by side, which too had been superbly heart-pounding with the yellow house as the champion house.
This month some educational tours had also been organised by the school. The biology students of plus two were taken to the nursery at Bongabari. Even on 23rd Sept, students of class VIwere taken to Purulia Science Museum for a documentary film show of one hour. The show had been highly educative and well relished by the students.
This month, our school also participated in science exhibitions- the first being held in the Purulia Youth Training Centre on 3rd -4th of Sept. Out of nearly 85 schools participating our school secured the third place, receiving Rs. 800/- for model preparation and also an individual amount of Rs. 1000/- for the participants. Also between 9th - 11th sept, our school participated in Science Fair 2014 held at the Netaji Indore Stadium, Kolkata. Here too, out of nearly 4500 model exhibits, our school won a consolation prize of Rs. 15,000/-.
The month of Sept finally ended with the inter-house debate competition of the Senior section for classes V-XII. With the red house as the winner, the debate had indeed been a treat to the eyes as well as to the ears. All the events of the month had been glorious and conducted with lavishness and bright colours. When all around was getting embellished in the hues of Durga Puja, our school too did not lag behind. We too had a taste of Durga Puja celebration with a studded one-act play performed by the students on the origin and dignity of Durga Puja.
The month of September was truly, thus a ornamented and a pompous month, with multiple activities and events, kept in well-high spirits by the enthusiasm of everyone concerned.
ST. THERESA’S SCHOOL JHINKPANI
St. Theresa’s School Jhinkpani celebrated its annual day on the feast day of its Patron Saint, St. Theresa of Child Jesus on 1st October, 2014. After the prayer service to invoke the blessings on the school, its teachers, staff and students. A cultural programme was put up by the students. Mr. Kushal Mundu, the circle officer of Jhinkpani Block was the Chief Guest. The local ACC company representative was the guest of hounor as well as the local traditional leaders. The Headmistress Sr. Therese CMC read the report of the various activities conducted dunring the year in the school. She also mentioned the students have taken part in the Bolck and district level events organized by the government authorities. The students have done well and brought fame to the school by winning the prizes. She also mentioned that the efforts of getting affliation to the High School is blessed by God and they have recently returned affiliation to High school by Jharkhand education Board. The Students put up the cultural programme and the parents to guests enjoyed it.
INAUGURATION OF THE ANM NURSING SCHOOL, GOVINDPUR
On October 19, 2014, at Nirmala campus Govindpur in commemoration of Golden Jubilee of DSWC, ANM Nursing School was blessed by Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. and inaugurated by the Honorable minister Mr. Manan Malik (Fishery). The nursing school was started to give training mainly to the girls of leprosy colonies. On the same day the statues of Sacred Heart, Mother Mary and St. Damien, were blessed by Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. and unveiled by the minister, Mr. Manan Malik. After this there was a short cultural program presented by the hostel children. Congrats to Fr. Bipin Pani, Fr. Elvius Dungdung, Sisters and the staff.
ST. JOSEPH’S CHURCH CHARBANDIA
Hectic activities were held to prepare the confirmandis for the sacraments of the confirmation. The Parish Priest began the preparation by calling the parents of the candidates for a day spiritual programme. Over more than Six month preparation for Sacrament of Confirmation got ended on 5th October 2014 by receiving it. A day before the Confirmation day, along with boys and girls, parents were well prepared for Sacrament of Reconciliation. Fr. Sanjay Kujur CSSR conducted it and set the proper atmosphere for six month long preparations. The St. Annes’ Sisters took a major role in catechizing the students. Fr. Alex Dodrai made sure that every student of his school studying in the high school section 9 and 10 attended the catechism classes. Meanwhile Mahila Sangh and Catholic Sabha and parish council members divided the work and did their part to make the confirmation programme a grand success.
On Sunday, early foggy morning from all corner the parishioners came to the Church to take part in the Holy Eucharist. When time came the Bishop and other concelebrants were led to the altar. And after a good homily the Bishop performed the sacrament of Confirmation. Whole liturgy was beautiful and devotional. Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. confirmed 128students on 5th October, 2014. After the mass a small felicitation was given to honour the Bishop. All dispersed after programme with little snack, to their houses with joy.
Fr. Alex is busy in constructing the boundary wall around the school campus. He has already started the new toilet block away from the present one as the instruction of the government to have girls’ toilet block away from the boys one. Repairs in the school are in full swing. He is preparing the file to get the school final affiliation for the High school by Jharkhand Government. All the best Fr. Alex, May God bless your efforts.
PARISH DAY, JHINKPANI
The patronal Feast of St. Theresa’s Church Jhinkpani was celebrated as “Parish Day” on 19th October, 2014. On Sundays people close to the church with in the radians of 5 km came to the church. Others came only during feast celebration. The majority of the Catholics in Jhinkpani parish belong to Ho tribe. They celebrated feasts during the year based on agriculture circle. Thus parish day and Naya Khani celebrations were combined.
The Eucharistic liturgy began with a Ho entrance dance. The singing by the parish choir and Ho traditional dance put the people in prayer spirit. The Bible and offertory procession with dances and music made the liturgy meaningful.
Fr. Edwin Coelho was the main celebrant for the liturgy. In his homely he encouraged the people to understand the functioning of the church and take a leading role in the promotion of the work of the evangelization in the area.
After the liturgy a non-ending cultural programme was organized. The local DSP, Mr. Kullu, Jaganathpur sub division was the chief guest for the faction.
The Parrish Day came to a close with a late lunch for all. Kuddors to Fr. Bipin Barla and Fr. Pascal Toppo who co-ordinated the programme and Sr. Rincy CMC the superior, Sr. Therese CMC, the headmistress sisters, teachers and hostel children who worked to make the programme a great success.
Fr. Emmanuel Horo lost his mother on 9th October, 2014 at 4.15pm at home, Karra. Hearty Condolences Fr. Manu!
DIVYA BHARATI, CHAIBASA
Marriage Preparation Course
Date: November 21to 24, 2014
Place: Divya Bharati Pastoral Centre, Chaibasa
By Pastoral Centre Team
Residential Facility available for those who wish to stay at the centre
For details Please contact:
Mob. No. 83401571848; email- ctiggasjgmail.com
ANNUAL FEAST OF KHUNTPANI MATA
The annual Feast of Khuntpani Mata will be celebrated on 8th November, 2014. All are invited for the celebration!
8th November, 2014, (Saturday)
: Rosary at 8:00 am
: Solemn Eucharistic Celebration at 9:00 am
- Fr. James Quodros, Priest-in Charge,
Our Lady of Khuntpani Shrine, Chaibasa