Thursday, September 1, 2016

Diocese of Jamshedpur

Vol. 46 No. 9              Private Circulation Only                  September– 2016

Vatican raises hope for Tribal Nun -  Mother Mary Bernadette, DSA to Sainthood

Mother Mary Bernadette Prasad Kispotta, founder of the Congregation of ‘The Daughters of St Anne, Ranchi’, became the first tribal woman to be declared Servant of God on 7th August, 2016, paving the way to start the lengthy process for a possible sainthood.

After the Vatican in July issued a nihil obstat or 'nothing stands in the way' certificate for a thorough probe into the life of Mother Mary Bernadette, a decree issued by Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo, named her a Servant of God. "It is a rare honour for a tribal woman to be declared a Servant of God. Today, she became the first tribal nun in India to start her journey towards a possible sainthood. It is all God's mercy," Cardinal Toppo stated on the day of naming her a ‘Servant of God’.

Born on June 16,1878, Mother Mary Bernadette Prasad Kispotta, along with three other Sisters - Cecilia, Veronica and Mary - founded the Congregation of the Daughters of St Anne on July 26, 1897. All her life as a nun, Mother Mary Bernadette worked extensively for education and travelled across forested hinterland without roads to reach and teach villagers. During the turn of the 20th century and the early decades, when cholera struck large parts of Chhotanagpur, Sister Mary and Sister Veronica died in the epidemic. Undeterred by tragedies and dangers, Mother Mary Bernadette and her congregation went on with their work in the region and started branching out across India.

On April 16,1961, Mother Mary Bernadette breathed her last at St Anne's Convent, Ranchi, from TB.
Mother Mary Bernadette's bravery came from her unshakable faith in Jesus. The Mother and Sisters of the congregation defied all odds to spread faith and education in the region. They are heroines of the Catholic church. Sister Linda Mary Vaughan, Superior General, Daughters of St Anne, said they had moved a formal petition last November to Cardinal Toppo for the initiation of the process to declare their founder Mother Mary Bernadette a Saint.

Beginning from four in 1897, today the Congregation of the Daughters of St Anne has 1,040 sisters spread over 142 convents in India and abroad. While declaring Mother Mary Bernadette a ‘Servant of God’, Cardinal's Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo asked the faithful and people at large to submit documents, photographs and other material evidence relating to Mother Mary Bernadette that they may possess, to the church, which a tribunal to be formed by him would examine and send its report to the Vatican.

Giving details of the rigorous process, Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, auxiliary to Cardinal Toppo and secretary-general of Catholic Bishops Conference of India, the highest policy making body of the Roman Catholic Church in India, stated after the Cardinal received the petition, he formed a committee to go into the merits of the case. 

"All 9 Bishops of Jharkhand and the Andamans, two auxiliary Bishops to Cardinal Toppo and one Bishop Emeritus were consulted in the process of declaring Mother Mary Bernadette a ‘Servant of God’. All available documents and photographs, including a memoir written by Mother Mary Bernadette, were examined. It was unanimously concluded that Mother had led a holy life and that a recommendation should be sent to the Vatican for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints of the Holy See. The Vatican concurred Mother Mary Bernadette led a heroically virtuous life and issued the nihil obstat in July. On August 7, 2016 the Cardinal issued a decree naming the Mother a Servant of God,"

Once the tribunal sends its report to the Vatican, another long step-by-step process of screening for canonisation will start, criteria for which includes two posthumous miracles.
It is a matter of great joy for us to have someone from among us to be elevated to the status of ‘Servant of God’. And it indeed is our responsibility to pray for the faster process of her canonisation.
                                                                                                 + Felix Toppo, S.J
                                                                                             Bishop of Jamshedpur

Meeting of all Principal’s & H. M’s in the Diocese

On 20th August, all the principals, Head Masters and Head Mistress of all the schools in our diocese came together at the Bishop’s House for a meeting. The meeting was at the request of CBCI to have observations and opinions about the ‘National Education Policy-2016 in all the dioceses, to be coordinated and conveyed to the Government of India.

Fr. David Vincent, the Secretary of Jamshedpur Diocesan Education Society, spoke in details about the National Education Policy -2016 and its implications. Bishop Felix spoke about the need for our schools to be identified as Christian Schools by our way of imparting value education. He emphasized the need for catechism classes in our schools. The members requested to coordinate and organize the text book for the catechism classes for the whole diocese. The meeting was concluded with a sumptuous meal.

St. Xavier’s English School, Chaibasa

Investiture Ceremony of St. Xavier’s English School, Chaibasa was held on 29th July, 2016. It was an important event where our new school council was appointed. The new school council consists of Asim Chandra Hessa (Head Boy), Richa Naik (Head Girl), Sikander Pariah & Shreya Gupta (Sports Captains) and Nikhil Tiriya & Nikita Kumari (Inter-college Captains). Candidates were selected by teachers on the basis of student's overall performance. The first open house was held on August 6. The parents of the students had one-on-one meeting with the respective class teachers. A patriotic dance & song competition was organized for Std V to XII. The best performances were showcased on the Independence Day. The Independence Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm and respect on August 15. Sr. Kusum, Provincial, UMI, was the Guest of Honour and Sr. Vandana, Vicar General, UMI, was the Chief Guest. They also participated in tree plantation in the children's park. Later, both the respected Guests inaugurated the Smart Boards in the new building. Our school participated in the annual patriotic programme in Pillai Hall on August 15.

Catholic Charities, Sundharnagar
Monthly Recollection: And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” Mk 6:31. It was the good opportunity for the regents to take break from their busy schedule to attend in the monthly recollection. 7 regents from the different parishes of our diocese came for the monthly recollection which was arranged at Catholic Charities from 20th evening to 21st afternoon. Fr. Prabhu the resource person was more than happy to see all the seven regents of the diocese as he found them energetic and full of life. Apart from his inspiring and thought provoking talks, he met them one by one and made them aware of the need of the good and committed priests in the diocese. All appreciated the talks of Fr. Prabhu very much and went back to their respective parishes refreshed. A big thanks to Fr. Prabhu and Catholic Charities family for organizing it.

Gaun Gan Raj Majhi Pargana Sammelan: Due to lack of knowledge about the rights and entitlements, a person or a community can be oppressed and suppressed by the others. The tribals have been victims of this kind since a long time. They have so many rights but they do not know and understand them. As a result, they are not able to make use of them. Keeping this idea and thought in mind the local tribals who belong to the Gaun Gan Raj Parishad had organized one-day seminar at Catholic Charities on 20th of August.  They also had intense discussion about Gramsabha as it is not functioning well in many villages and it has control of Political leaders. Mr. K.C. Mardi the local leader and well-wisher of the tribals from Karandih was the resource person and organizer. He, in his speech, emphasized the need of knowing the rights and entitlements and the importance of Gramsabha.

The Annual General Body Meeting of Samekit Jan Vikas Kendra & Catholic Charities Jamshedpur  : The Annual General Body meeting of Catholic Charities & Samekit Jan Vikas Kendra, Jamshedpur was held on August 11th, 2016 in the office of CCJ, Sundernagar at 5: 00 pm. All members, excepting two, were present for the meeting. The President, Dr. Felix Toppo, SJ chaired the meeting. He invited the CCJ team to lead the house in prayers. After singing of a Bhajan and a short reading from the Bible, the Chairperson extended a warm welcome to all the Members, especially Sr. Mridula AC on the Governing Board; new Staff members, namely, Fr. Birendra Tete Asst. Director, Sr. Marie Zelie AC (Finance), Sr. Tessy SSH ( Vikas Bharati) Sr. Eliani HC( Women’s Desk) Mr. Simon Zarika ( Accountant). He also thanked those who have left CCJ & SJVK during the year, we put their services on records- namely Sr. Thomasina, Sr. Deepti, Ms. Prabha Dahanga and Mr. Alphonse Xaxa.

The Chair-person then requested that the minutes of the last AGB of CCJ & SJVK be read. Fr. Birender Tete read the minutes; after some clarifications, Fr. George Proposed the minutes be approved and Mr. Ronald D’ Costa seconded it. The minutes were confirmed by the House.

The Director then was asked to present the Annual report. For a change, the report was presented through a Documentary film for 10 minutes. All watched & heard in rapt silence. The Documentary contained all the work that is being done in the diocese.  The House appreciated the report and congratulated the Staff and the Director.

Fr. Prabhu then presented the Annual Audited statement of accounts.  After some clarifications the financial report was approved and confirmed. The Director shared information on various development programs that are going on in the diocese. He also spoke of the efforts that are being made to tap the CSR funds from the Corporate Sector. The Chairperson congratulated the Director and all the Staff for their great work and encouraged them to move ahead in spite of the difficulties and problems. With some refreshments for all, the meeting came to a close.

St. Mary’s English School, Bistupur

The Inauguration of the Multipurpose Building: The inauguration of the multipurpose building of St. Mary’s English High School, finally culminated in the hands of Mr. T.V. Narendran, MD, Tata Steel Ltd., and his Lordship, Honorable Bishop Felix Toppo. The Chief Guest of the evening, Mr. T.V. Narendran, addressed the gathering by mentioning the achievements of St. Mary’s English High School and its illustrious past. He reminded the audience that St. Mary’s is one of the oldest schools in the city and has striven hard to secure this position. This multipurpose building is a wonderful achievement along this path. This building will pave the way for opportunities to students for self-expression and thus character formation. I hope that every school and its students can avail of the chance for making use of this auditorium.

Honorable Rev. Bishop, Felix Toppo, as the guest of honor, honoured us by blessing the multipurpose building with a Bible reading in the background. In his message, his Lordship said that the multipurpose building is a feather in the cap of St. Mary’s English High School, and a new chapter in the history of the institution. It is a matter of pride and definitely an achievement that the inconspicuous and humble beginnings of the school at Bengal Club premises would culminate into such a prestigious institution with an excellent infrastructure. He said that we owe our obligation to Tata Steel, Jusco, parents and well-wishers who have played a dominant role in fulfilling our dream. We nurture the hope that your love and cooperation will always be with us.

The dream of the multipurpose building/auditorium was envisioned by Ex. Principal, Late Fr. Gerald Martin D’Souza and Principal Fr. David Vincent played an important role to accomplish the task. It is the result of Fr. David’s untiring endeavor that we are proud to possess this magnificent building.
Ex Principal, Fr. David Vincent and Principal Fr. Puthumairaj have expressed their obligation for everyone’s cooperation. Together with a colorful cultural programme the history of the school was also exhibited through an audio visual display. The toppers of Class 12 and Class 10 were honoured and awarded by the Chief Guest and the guest of honour. The programme ended with the school anthem and the National Anthem.

Felicity an inter school competition is a much awaited event every year. It was held on 6th of August. Our chief guest for the occasion was Fr. C. R. his speech he mentioned that Felicity is a good platform for the children to be recognized and show their inner talents, participation is more important than winning. The teachers along with the help of the co­­-coordinator planned every detail with precision and organized a plethora of events for the students from various schools of the city. Several competitions pertaining to analytical skills, writing skills and entertainment were organized. It was heartening to see the team spirit, unity, innovation, enthusiasm and high energy levels that prevailed on the campus. As expected all their hard work paid rich dividends and Felicity was a grand success. Congrats to all! On August 15th St. Mary’s English school paid a glorious tribute to India’s martyrs and freedom fighters through dance and music invoking a feeling of pride and patriotism for our country.

Vianney Day at the Bishop’s House

The Feast of St. John Mary Vianney was celebrated on 4th of August at the Bishop’s House. The Priests, Brothers & Sisters, residing in & around the city were invited for the Feast. All assembled in the Cathedral at 6:30 pm for a talk and benediction. Fr. James Kalappura, S.J, the Guide, spoke on the “Duties and Joy of being a Parish Priest”. He highlighted very beautifully the importance of this Sacred Call. The sacrament of Reconciliation made the day more meaningful. All in one voice appreciated the unique way of this festive celebration. Later, all joined us for the festive Meal at St. Joseph’s Welfare Centre Hall. Thanks to Fr. David and Community for the good celebration of Vianney Feast.

Monica Day at St. Paul’s Church, Maluka

The Feast of St. Monica as the Mother's Day was celebrated with religious gaiety and grandeur on 27 and 28 of August. On Saturday, 27th August, Fr. Michael Deogam, the resource person gave the mothers a spiritual input citing the life and example of St. Monica and he culminated the day with Adoration and confession. There were about 67 women who participated in it. The following day the mothers each holding a candle were led to the altar by a beautiful dance by the children for a solemn Mass in which there were special prayers for them and their families. Later, there was a talk on health awareness by Sr. Rajana followed by various games conducted by the Bethany Sisters and a singing competition. Fr. Michael in his final note exhorted the mothers to imitate St. Monica and become a model of faith for their families. The program concluded with an agape. The day was doubly blessed with the visit of FRS. Henry, Pradeep and Rafael who came as magi with gifts for the children and sponsored them a meal. A sincere thanks to Fr. Manoj, Sisters and all those who made the day for our mothers. (Fr. Dileep Marandi)

St. Joseph’s Cathedral Parish, Golmuri
The sad demise of Mr. Henry Sarkey :  It was an inconsolable day for the staff of St. Joseph’s welfare centre to know that Mr. Henry Sarkey left us for his heavenly reward on 7th of August, 2016. He joined the center in 1972 and worked as the office administrator for forty-four years. We are deeply indebted to him for his tremendous service to the Church and center. He was a well-known figure in the Church. He was very gentle and had a dynamic personality. A huge number of people were present at the Cathedral Church to pray for him and to show their solidarity with the family members on his funeral. Fr. David Vincent celebrated Holy Eucharist and prayed for him. Fr. Prabhu preached. Later a requiem mass was held on 27th of August by His Grace Most Rev. Felix Toppo condoled with the family members and assured of his prayer. We pray for the departed soul of Mr. Henry Sarkey. May God grand him eternal rest!  

The Feast of St. Monica: The Feast of St. Monica was celebrated very grandly in the Cathedral parish. The parish priest, Fr. Camille Hembrom offered the Feast Day Mass and prayed for all the mothers in the parish. A seminar was arranged after the Mass in which hundred women participated. Mrs. Madhuri and Mrs. Priscilla along with Fr. Camille Hembrom were resource persons of the day. They inspired everyone to be a good and responsible mothers in the family. The participants were given breakfast and lunch from the parish.

The Marriage Preparatory Class: The Marriage Preparatory Class was held from 26th August to 30th August at the Joseph’s welfare Centre. Twenty-three participants attended the programme. The five days programme was conducted by ten resource persons touching various aspects of life. At the end of the programme, every couple was given a joint project work regarding what they would do to make their married life a successful one in the future. The participants found the course a rare opportunity to make their married life a meaningful one. At the completion of the course all the participants were given certificate from the parish. We thank Fr. Camille Hembrom for his good work.

Hearty Condolence
Mrs. Magdale (90) beloved Mother of Fr. Junas Bhengra passed away on 19th August, 2016 at her house in Okara, Kharanjtoli. Her burial was held on the same day in her village. Most. Rev. Felix Toppo, S.J, presided over the requiem mass. We extend our heartfelt condolences and prayers. May her soul Rest In Peace. 

Jeyraj Ignatious
Emmanuel Horo
A.    Alphose
C.R. Prabhu
Tobias Kujur
Nestor Soreng


10.00 am
Meeting with Bps. V. Barwa and B. Kandulna
05.00 pm
Mass at St. Mary’s School
09.30 am
Meeting of the Senate of Priests (Council of Priests)
05.30 pm
Feast of Our Lady, Mass
09.30 am
Principals/HMs of all the Diocesan Schools

Jubilee of Sr. Lucius, SCJM
06.30 am
Mass at Holy Cross Convent

09.00 am
Meeting with AC Superior General
To Bangalore

Standing Committee Meeting (21-23)
Return to Jamshedpur
05.30 pm
DSWC Governing Board Meeting, Govindpur
09.30 am
Blessing of Damian Vocational Training Centre
05.30 pm
Meeting, Golden Jubilee Scholarship Fund Committee.
05.30 pm
Jubilee of Sr. Cecilia, Jeevan Jyoti
10.30 am
Thanksgiving Mass for the Canonization of St. Teresa of Kolkata at MC Convent