Thursday, March 31, 2016

                                                     Catholic Diocese of Jamshedpur

         Vol. 46 No. 4                          Private Circulation Only                  April– 2016

Dear brothers and sisters,
Every year the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) meet and discusses various issues and plan for the future.  As leaders of the Church, 182 Bishops from 170 Dioceses of the Church in India gathered at St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, from 02 to 09 March 2016 to deliberate on "The Response of the Church in India to the Present Day Challenges”. The Meeting was inaugurated with a solemn Mass presided over by His Grace Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolic Nuncio to India and con-celebrated by all the Prelates and priests attending the CBCI Plenary.

After much prayer, discussions and deliberations the bishops have resolved to respond to the challenges facing the Church in India, identifying the following:

1.    Family Life: Family is the nucleus of the Church and society. Every family is to be modeled after the Holy Family. There must be a cordial-spiritual-parental relation with the pastor and parishioner; Proper marriage preparations and Marriage - Enrichment Programmes will help the families to be rooted in Divine Love and to face the challenges that the media and society pose for family life. e.g. pro-life issues, issues in human sexuality, pornography and marital fidelity.

2.    Renewal of Consecrated Persons: The consecrated has a great role in carrying out the Divine Mandate of the Master; they are consecrated for this purpose. At the same time, they are never to forget that every baptized is called to carry out his or her Priestly, Prophetic and Kingly duties in their own manner. There should be a proper understanding of, distribution of, rights and duties. The consecrated are to help the faithful in their pilgrimage of faith. The Church is not an island, we are embedded in the society and hence, we must try to represent ourselves in the temporal administration; promote suitable individuals to main streams of civic life.

3.     Marginalized   of the Society and the Mission of the Church: The Church is to be voice of the voiceless. Realizing that caste system is a reality in India, which has crept in certain parts of the Church, we need to pursue with the Government   that Christian  Dalits be treated on par with the Hindu Dalits; empowering   them and strengthening   advocacy    on   the   socio-political, economic and cultural rights of Tribals, enshrined   in the Constitution of India. We must not be silent spectators but be ready to address issues that we face today, such as, land alienation, induced displacement, human trafficking, migration, etc.,

4.     The Youth and Women: India is a Young country; most of its population is below 40. It is our responsibility to prepare them for the future; guide them, train them to be better leaders and responsible citizens. We must promote youth apostolate at all levels, such, as Jesus Youth, YCS/YSM, ICYM and AICUF in all parishes and institutions and encouraging  faith formation, value education, enhancing critical thinking and problem solving. We must also foster gender equity and establish Grievance Cells to address women’s issues and protect their rights.

5. Ecumenism & Inter-Religious Dialogue: The need of the hour is to take initiatives to foster better cooperation among Christians through dialogue and common ecumenical  services. In the light of the economy of salvation, the Church sees no conflict between proclaiming   Christ and engaging in inter-religious dialogue. Each member of the faithful and all Christian communities are called to practice dialogue. Dialogue is a path toward the kingdom.  (Redemptoris Missio, no. 56, 57). We must create and promote ecumenical bodies such as Inter-Church Councils and United Christian Groups and promote Spiritual Ecumenism. We must learn to respect the sentiments of the people of other  religions; breaking the divisive and intolerant walls of caste, language and ethnicity.

6. The Education Apostolate: Our educational institutions need to rise above the maintenance mode to impart holistic education with a heart for the poor and the marginalized. We must promote Faith formation and Value Education of Christian students and try to reach out to the socially backward and the girl children, ensuring administrative transparency, financial accountability and participatory management. We must know our constitutional rights and demand for it when denied. It is our duty to implement CBCI's All India Christian Education Policy of 2007 in our schools and educational Institutions.

7. Care of the Earth, our common home: As stewards of God's creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. We are encouraged to make use of solar energy, rain-water harvesting, bio-gas plants and promote sustainable development-reuse, reduce and recycle. The protection of the earth is our sacred duty; the failure of which results in the failure of everything.

8.   A new way of being Church for an effective response: We are blessed with the life examples of Blessed Mother Teresa and Pope Francis for living with a vision and mission. Mother Teresa changed her routine way of living and made a radical decision for living her religious / consecrated life in a thoroughly new way. So also, the lifestyle of Pope Francis challenges us to be authentic in our Christian vocation, by freeing ourselves of traditional structures, institutionalization and to break new ground, shedding the comforts and privileges of office and status, embodying the gracious mercifulness and love of Christ and bringing the joy of the Gospel to one and all. We are also challenged and inspired by the exemplary life of the Saints of India, namely, St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Francis Xavier, St. Gonsalo Garcia, St. Alphonsa, St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara, St. Euphrasia, St. Joseph Vaz, Blessed Mother Teresa, Blessed Devasahayam Pillai, Blessed Maria Theresa Chiramel, Blessed Augustine Thevarparampil (Kunjachan), Servant of God, Father Constant Lievens and others.

9. BISHOPS AND PRIESTS: Bishops and priests, while exercising their role as administrators, should be first and foremost, shepherds of the flock, available and service minded. Their lifestyle should be an example of simplicity and spirituality that can be an inspiration to everyone.

Conclusion: As authentic citizens of the country, we repose our confidence in the democratic values and the Constitution of India. Trusting in God’s grace, love and mercy, we march ahead to carry out our God-given mission, confident of the goodwill and support of our people everywhere. We appeal to all people of goodwill in India to join hands with us in solidarity to work for a better Church and a better society. May Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy and Star of Evangelization, who brought joy and hope to the world, guide us and help us to fulfill our mission.   
                                                                                                                   +Felix Toppo, S.J.
                                                                                                            Bishop of Jamshedpur

Eastern churches bar women from Washing the Feet Ritual

The two Eastern Catholic churches in India have decided not to include women in the washing of the feet ceremony on Maundy Thursday this year. 
Pope Francis allowed the inclusion of women in the ceremony by changing the previous prescription that said the "feet of 12 men be washed." The changed regulation now asks pastors to "select a small group of the faithful" for the ritual washing.

Cardinal George Alencherry, the major archbishop of the Eastern Syro-Malabar Church, told media that his church will wash the feet of only 12 men following the age-old liturgical tradition as the Vatican has exempted Eastern churches.

Fr. Jimmy P., spokesman of the Syro-Malabar Church told that his church, and the smaller Syro-Malakara Church, were exempted because changes are part of the Latin liturgy and Eastern churches are "liturgically different." He said the churches have sought clarification from the Vatican's Eastern congregation, which oversees the Eastern-rite churches, and it has exempted them because Eastern churches do not follow the Roman rite or Roman Missal.
The spokesman stated that "We are an autonomous church having freedom to decide on our liturgy, but the synod is our supreme decision-making body. Any liturgical change such as this must come from the synod," After discussions with senior bishops, the major archbishop decided to maintain the status quo until the next synod meeting in August, he said.

An year dedicated to Venerable Constant Lievens


On 19th March, in the inauguration of the Jubilee Year of Venerable Constant Lievens, at Jamgai, Cardinal Telespore Toppo announced that from 19th March, 2016 to 19th March, 2017 is dedicated to venerable Constant Lievens. 

Constant Lievens, child in a large rural Flemish family, after studies in Roeselare and Bruges, was moved to enter the Society of Jesus in 1878 by a desire to serve on the foreign missions. He was sent to India after his novitiate, finished his training there and was ordained in Calcutta in 1883. He went to Central India, to the Chota Nagpur Plateau where missionary work was just beginning, in 1885 and centered his activity first around Torpa and later at Ranchi. He saw the oppression of the people and their need for legal help was their most pressing needs, and chose to address that as a preparation for the preaching of the Gospel. He made himself an expert in tribal customary law and persuaded English magistrates to consider that as they decided the cases he pleaded for the people. He came to be regarded as a savior and defender and by his work drew tens of thousands to the faith. Finally, forced by ill health to return to his native soil, he dies in Leuven in 1893. The cause for his beatification has been begun, his ashes were transferred to Ranchi and are kept in the Catholic Cathedral.

 International Women’s Day Celebration, Catholic Charities, Sundernager, Jamshedpur. 

International women’s day is observed on 8th March every year   all over the world.
2016 International Women’s Day theme is, “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality” talks about gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights. Keeping the theme of 2016 the international   women’s day was celebrated on 11th March 2016 at Catholic Charities Campus Patel Bagan Sundernager, Jamshedpur.  As the Catholic Charities Jamshedpur is implementing its project in three districts in East and West Singhbhum and Seraikela –Kharswan cities, towns as well as in the remote villages area. People of both urban and rural area enhancing their capacity and   skill development and give them a higher position in society in the aspects of economic, political and education. Till now 12 cooperative of women SHG have been formed consisting   584 WSHG with 7398 members.


His Lordship Dr. Felix Toppo, the Chief guest, spoke in his message that “Men and women are complement to each other and God has given them equal rights”. By seeing the crowd of women coming from remote villages on the occasion of international women’s day celebration of three districts, he eulogized it and said that- women are now much motivated and aware of their rights. He also advised and encouraged the women to educate themselves for their progress and empowerment.   Mr. Raj Kumar, Vice president of Zila Parished, East Singhbhum appreciated the role of woman and said that - Woman is form of Goddess on earth.  Fr. C R.  Praabhu, Director of Catholic Charities / Samekit Jan Vikas Kendra Jamshedpur, Fr. David Vincent, Vicar General of Jamshedpur Diocese, Sr. Jessie, Administrator of Mercy Hospital Baridih, Jamshedpur, Sr. Susheela SCJM, Administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Billaipahady, Mr.C.V. Thambhi, General Manager, Federal Bank Jamshedpur, Mr. Champai Murmu, Gram Pradhan (villages leader of Karandih) were also present on this occasion.  

Bandolohar & Burgrigora

On the 10th March 2016 International Women’s Day  was also celebrated at   Bandolohar  village  football ground  of  Kuchai Block in Seraikela-Kharswan district.   The Board of Directors (BODs) of Kiran Avam  Sakh Swalambi  Sahkari Samiitee   took  initiative to celebrate women’s day  first time in Bandolohar  village.

On 8th March 2016 International women’s day was celebrated at Burigora village of  Chakradharpur in West Singhbhum. In Burger the SHG Cooperative is on process of formation.   There were around  700 hundred women and men had come for this celebration. There are 5 panchayats, of  5 cluster  consisting 25 SHGs,   seeing the progresses of other cooperatives are motivated to form their own Cooperatives. By the initiative of Sr. Annie, the women of hilly area of  Burigora International women’s day was celebrated  on 8th March 2016. 

 On 9th March 2016 International Women’s day was celebrated at  Charbandia of Anandpur Block in West Singhbhum Block.  After segregation from Manoharpur block, new Aanandpur Block has been established.  For  official work  cooperative members had to travel  20 kilometre distance from their village.  Hence           it was nice opportunity celebrate first time   women’s day in new block inviting new Block Officer  Mr.  Bishnu Deo  Kachap as  Chief guest. In his message  BDO  Mr. Bishnu Deo assured his cooperation ,  help and to support  to Nav Chirag  Sakh Avam Swalambi Sahkari Samittee Cooperative.  On this occasion successful story of women the Cooperative members shared their experience and advantage received from Cooperative.  There  were more than 600 hundred cooperative  members present to make it joyful and  successful day. On this occasion there were some cultural program  as skit  was  put-up by the women. It was very good and learning for the women. Fr. Alwin  Deputy Director  of Catholic charities/ Samekit Jan Vikas Kendra  Jamshedpur , Sr. Deepti  Program  Manager of Cooperative and Coordinator Mr. Rothin  Kumar were also present  to make it more successful.

Chrism Mass – 2016

Diocese of Jamshedpur left no stones unturned to make Chrism Mass – 2016 a memorable one. The Chrism Mass was held on 17th March, 2016 at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Golmuri. The day began with a Pastoral Clergy Meeting, chaired by Rev. Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. He explained in detail the new norms concerning the Washing of the Feet on Maundy Thursday and the optional inclusion of women in the ceremony. He also gave a short summary on the ‘Response of the Church in India to the Present Day Challenges’ – Final statement of the 32nd CBCI Plenary assembly held in Bangalore.
Fr. Christudas, the resource person, helped the priests to analyze the challenges that the Christian families face today. The talk was very interactive in nature and informative. In the afternoon, Fr. Christudas led everyone present to meditate on Divine Mercy and to approach the Lord with childlike faith.  The clergy and the religious made the best use of the recollection, benediction and reconciliation in the afternoon.

The Holy Eucharist with the blessing of the Holy Oils was celebrated at 5.30 pm. In the Holy Eucharist, Bishop felicitated and prayed for Fr. Elvius Dungdung who is celebrating the Silver Jubilee of his Sacerdotal Ordination.
There were more than 120 priests for the Eucharistic celebration; the cathedral was full with the religious and laity. Congratulations to everyone who made Chrism Mass -2016 a memorable one.

Thanks Giving Eucharistic Celebration 
& Felicitation of the Jubilarian.

On 13th March, 2016, with grateful and cheerful hearts the brothers of Pratiksha gathered around the altar of the Lord to thank Him for the accompaniment of love and guidance in their spiritual journey in the academic year 2015-2016. They also thanked the priests and the staff for facilitating their spiritual growth.

It was a double joyous event, as we felicitated the Jubilarian, Rev. Fr. C.R. Prabhu on the occasion of the successful completion of the Spiritual journey of the brothers at Pratiksha. There were 10 priests, 23 sisters and the faithful to grace the occasion.

Rt. Rev. Bp. Felix Toppo presided over the Eucharistic Celebration. In his introduction he invited everyone to pray for the seminarians and for their vocation to priesthood and offer thanksgiving prayer for Fr. C. R. Prabhu on his Sacerdotal Golden Jubilee.

Fr. C .R. Prabhu, in his homily, narrated his experiences of 50 years of priesthood mentioning a few enriching and inspiring incidents that occurred in his life and asked brothers to be ready to face the challenging world. After the felicitation programme there was a grand fellowship meal which was enjoyed by everyone present. Fr. Oscar, Rector of Pratiksha, thanked everyone for their valuable prayers and presence. (Fr. Paschal Toppo)

St. Mary’s English High School, Bistupur

The staff of St. Mary’s English school embraced the academic year with an orientation programme conducted by Fr. Nelson on 22nd of March 2016. Intense activities centered on improving student teacher-relationship, performance. appraisal and teamwork, and different methods of teaching and humanistic approach to education. The programme aimed at imparting and upgrading the requisite job skill and knowledge to the staff, working on the coping mechanisms and strategies to deal with ever demanding and challenging situations faced by both the teacher and the taught. The day concluded with a decision to work towards motivating and moulding each student with patience, care and love. Thanks to Fr. David Vincent for arranging such a wonderful program for the teachers. The school is busy with board examinations also admissions. Our admission procedure is structured and systematic. We follow the norms of the CBSE. Education being the mission, everything that is possible, within the norms, is done to admit students from the downtrodden communities in society and also first generation learners.  (Sr. Mariam SJT)

St. Xavier’s School, Saparamgutu

14th March, 2016 will be marked in golden letters in the annals of history of Saparamgutu village as they witnessed the blessing of the new School Building on the occasion of the anniversary of the school. The long awaited dream of the villagers became a reality with the aid of Manos Unidas, Spain. It was Rt. Rev. Felix Toppo, S.J., Bishop of Jamshedpur who invoked the blessings of the Lord on the School and blessed the school building.   Mrs. Punjam Kujur, S.I, Sapraramgutu, cut the ribbon and inaugurated the building. Rev. Fr. Vijay Kumar Nayak C.M, Provincial, North India Province, graced the occasion and congratulated the Hembrom family for their generous contribution of the land for the school building. Bp. Felix encouraged the villages to struggle hard to attain the best in life; to study and shine. Many priests and religious from Chaibasa, Jamshedpur and Orissa came to express their support and encouragement. The school children put up a remarkable cultural presentation. Congratulations to Fr. Benedict Hembrom C.M. for his tireless service to Saparamgutu and to the Church as a whole. (Fr. Camille Hemberom)

St. Mary’s Church, Bistupur

On 13th March, the parish youth of St. Mary’s Church arranged a half day seminar in preparation for the Holy Week. Under the able leadership of Fr. Linus, they discussed about their role in the Church and the society. New office bearers for the Parish Youth were elected. Fr. Linus helped them to prepare for the Holy Week and insisted on the importance of Responsible Youth Today in our Church and the Society.

Richard Miranda
Leo John D’Souza
Sahaya Thason
Paulus Bodra
Pascal Minj
Sushil Dungdung
Alwin C.V.
Fr. Robert Toppo



CBCI-SME-NI and  HFH meeting
6.30 am
Mass with the Vocation Campers
Bh. Pahari
7.00 am
Confirmation and First Communion
11.00 am
Program at Community College
Mass:  Golden Jubilee of Oswald Mascarenhas

Sacerdotal Ordination of Deacon Birender Tete
To Varanasi


Hindi Region Bishops’ Meeting

Return to JSR

09.30 am
Diocesan Consult
08.30 am
Sacerdotal Ordination of Dn. Alfred Balmuchu

150th Memorial of Servant of God, Bishop Hartmann
08.00 am
Parish Feast and Confirmation
07.00 am
Sacerdotal Ordinations of Deacons Sushil                     Dungdung and Ranjit Kullu
To Delhi

03.00 pm
CBCI-SME-NI Governing Board Meeting

Return to JSR