Thursday, August 9, 2018

Diocese of Jamshedpur

Vol. 49 No. 8                         Private Circulation Only                August – 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters!

At the end of its Constitution on the Church, the Second Vatican Council left us a very beautiful meditation on Mary Most Holy. Let me just recall the words referring to the mystery we celebrate today: “the immaculate Virgin preserved free from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things” (no. 59). Then towards the end, there is: “the Mother of Jesus in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven is the image and the beginning of the church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise, she shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come” (no. 68). In the light of this most beautiful image of our Mother, we are able to see the message of the biblical readings that we have just heard. We can focus on three key words: struggle, resurrection, hope.

The passage from Revelation presents the vision of the struggle between the woman and the dragon. The figure of the woman, representing the Church, is, on the one hand, glorious and triumphant and yet, on the other, still in travail. And the Church is like that: if in heaven she is already associated in some way with the glory of her Lord, in history she continually lives through the trials and challenges which the conflict between God and the evil one, the perennial enemy, brings. And in the struggle which the disciples must confront – all of us, all the disciples of Jesus, we must face this struggle - Mary does not leave them alone: the Mother of Christ and of the Church is always with us. She walks with us always, she is with us. And in a way, Mary shares this dual condition. She has of course already entered, once and for all, into heavenly glory. But this does not mean that she is distant or detached from us; rather Mary accompanies us, struggles with us, sustains Christians in their fight against the forces of evil. Prayer with Mary, especially the rosary – but listen carefully: the Rosary. Do you pray the Rosary every day? But I’m not sure you do [the people shout “Yes!”]… Really? Well, prayer with Mary, especially the Rosary, has this “suffering” dimension, that is of struggle, a sustaining prayer in the battle against the evil one and his accomplices. The Rosary also sustains us in the battle.

The second reading speaks to us of resurrection. The Apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, insists that being Christian means believing that Christ is truly risen from the dead. Our whole faith is based upon this fundamental truth which is not an idea but an event. Even the mystery of Mary’s Assumption body and soul is fully inscribed in the resurrection of Christ. The Mother’s humanity is “attracted” by the Son in his own passage from death to life. Once and for all, Jesus entered into eternal life with all the humanity he had drawn from Mary; and she, the Mother, who followed him faithfully throughout her life, followed him with her heart, and entered with him into eternal life which we also call heaven, paradise, the Father’s house.

Mary also experienced the martyrdom of the Cross: the martyrdom of her heart, the martyrdom of her soul. She lived her Son’s Passion to the depths of her soul. She was fully united to him in his death, and so she was given the gift of resurrection. Christ is the first fruits from the dead and Mary is the first of the redeemed, the first of “those who are in Christ”. She is our Mother, but we can also say that she is our representative, our sister, our eldest sister, she is the first of the redeemed, who has arrived in heaven.

The Gospel suggests to us the third word: hope. Hope is the virtue of those who, experiencing conflict – the struggle between life and death, good and evil – believe in the resurrection of Christ, in the victory of love. We heard the Song of Mary, the Magnificat: it is the song of hope, it is the song of the People of God walking through history. It is the song many saints, men and women, some famous, and very many others unknown to us but known to God: mums, dads, catechists, missionaries, priests, sisters, young people, even children and grandparents: these have faced the struggle of life while carrying in their heart the hope of the little and the humble. Mary says: “My souls glorifies the Lord” – today, the Church too sings this in every part of the world. This song is particularly strong in places where the Body of Christ is suffering the Passion. For us Christians, wherever the Cross is, there is hope, always. If there is no hope, we are not Christian. That is why I like to say: do not allow yourselves to be robbed of hope. May we not be robbed of hope, because this strength is a grace, a gift from God which carries us forward with our eyes fixed on heaven. And Mary is always there, near those communities, our brothers and sisters, she accompanies them, suffers with them, and sings the Magnificat of hope with them.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, with all our heart let us too unite ourselves to this song of patience and victory, of struggle and joy, that unites the triumphant Church with the pilgrim one, earth with heaven, and that joins our lives to the eternity towards which we journey. Amen.
(Excerpts from Pope Francis’ sermon on 15 August 2013)

   Installation of Most Rev. Felix Toppo, S.J as the Archbishop of Ranchi


His Grace, Most Rev. Felix Toppo, S.J., former bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Jamshedpur, was officially installed as the Archbishop of Ranchi at a Solemn Eucharistic Celebration at the century-old St Mary's Cathedral at Purulia Road, Ranchi. He became the 4th Archbishop to hold the Office since the diocese of Ranchi was carved out of the Archdiocese of Kolkata on May 25, 1927. Till September 1953, the diocese of Ranchi was headed by a bishop. On September 19, 1953, the diocese of Ranchi was elevated as an Archdiocese.
The new Archbishop replaces Cardinal Telesphore P Toppo, who held the Office of Archbishop of Ranchi since August 1985.

First Counsellor to the Apostolic Nunciature in India Javier Domingo Fernandez Gonzalez, 20 Archbishops and Bishops from various parts of the country, Priests and nuns from the various congregations, members of Sadbhavna Manch and others were in attendance at the special mass. A good number of priests, and religious from Jamshedpur also attended the Eucharistic celebration and prayed for Archbishop Felix.

Born on November 21, 1947, in Tongo village in Gumla district, Felix Toppo joined the Society of Jesus in 1968 and was ordained a priest on April 14,1982. He completed his Masters in Psychology, from the Gregorian University, Rome and was made Bishop of Jamshedpur on June 14, 1997.

An appointment letter, issued by Pope Francis, read out on the occasion in Latin and translated into Hindi, said that following the resignation of Cardinal Telesphore P Toppo, the office of the archbishop of Ranchi had fallen vacant though the Cardinal was asked to continue till the nomination of a successor. The letter added that Bishop Felix Toppo, who has been nominated as the new archbishop, has been divested of all his duties as the bishop of Jamshedpur and given charge as Archbishop of Ranchi.

After his installation, the new archbishop went to his official residence - Archbishop House at Purulia Road, Ranchi, where he was given a rousing welcome. Later he presided over a public reception that was organised in his honour at Social Development Centre, Ranchi.

Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo, who has been residing at the Archbishop House till date, would soon relocate to the minor Basilica at Ulhatu, some 16 kms away from Ranchi.

St. Mary’s English High School, Bistupur

City of Jamshedpur woke up to a spectacular sight as St. Mary’s English High School Celebrated the inauguration of the Platinum Jubilee, in the morning of July 30th 2018. It was indeed glorious, that the school took its birth way back in 1943 in the most humble way, as a faint whisper but steadily grew in size and influence and can now claim a roaring presence in the city with two impressive blocks.
A mega show was organized at this occasion of entering into 75 years. The event kicked off with a Holy Mass celebrated at the St. Mary’s Church. Archbishop Elect Most Rev. Felix Toppo SJ was the main Celebrant and concelebrated by few of our Priests from the city. The procession of the Priests , Sisters, Parents and teachers finally reached to portal of St. Mary’s Senior block , where the N.C.C cadets , the band gave a trumpet sounds be fitting salute the guest were received with utmost honor that was followed by unfurling of the  school flag by Our Chief guest. True to traditional 75 Balloons were released and even pigeons took to wings – signifying peace and progress.
In the meanwhile Celebration Run took place circling the vicinity of the school which was a visual splendor to behold led by teachers and students alighted in an open jeep, holding banners of four houses. Students along with teachers carried the placards upheld the perennial virtues of Spiritual, Responsible, Selfless, Dedicated, Honest, Truthful, Self- Discipline and God Fearing. This was arranged in a most meticulous way and video graphed and together screened in the Auditorium before a surprised audience with a running commentary .Thereafter the Curtain Raising ceremony that released the Platinum Jubilee Emblem, its lofty ideals would constantly guide us and light our way - Then the last phase of the celebration took over with the Principal addressing the audience that ended with the felicitation of Most. Rev.Felix Toppo SJ. It was perfectly orchestrated event that received unending praises and emerged like a melody which would haunt us for a long time. (Fr. Darwin Alex)

Annual Diocesen Mahila Sangh Aam Sabha, Sundernagar

Annual Diocesen Mahila Sangh Aam Sabha meeting was held on 14, 15 of July at Vikas  Bharti Sundernagar. there were 240 women gathered from whole through the parishes from the diocese of Jamshedpur. The resource person for the meeting was Rev. Fr. Rayappa Kasi from the Diocese of Vellore and Rev. Fr. Valerian Lobo. The theme of the meeting was on " Laudato Si " and the role of Family in the Church."  Everyone who participated in the seminar appreciated the input session and requested that they could arrange denary-wise workshops so that more women become aware of environmental issues and ecology. At the end, there was election for the new office bearers. ( Fr George Ekka)
Seminar on Liturgy at Catholic Charities
 The diocese of Jamshedpur organized two days seminar or liturgy from 6th to 7th July, 2018 at Catholic Charities Sundernagar. The seminar began with the lightening of the lamp. Most Rev. Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. was the Chief Guest for the day. The resource person for the seminar was Rev. Fr. Ayres Fernandes, National Executive Secretary for the Commission for Liturgy. He reminded the Priests and religious about the nuances of the sacred liturgy. There were about 135 priests and religious who participated and benefited from this seminar. The seminar concluded with a Solemn Eucharistic Celebration presided by His Grace Felix Toppo, S.J. Newly Appointed Archbishop of Ranchi. A felicitation program followed the Eucharistic Celebration. 

Fr. C.R. Prabhu thanked the Bishop and expressed the words of appreciation for the for the 21 years of service as a Bishop in our Diocese. He said that diocese has grown immensely under his leadership. At the end, Bishop expressed his deep gratitude for the support and appreciation he has received from the priests, religious and faithful. The programme concluded with a meal. ( Fr George Ekka)
St. Xavier’s English School & Junior College, Chaibasa
On 28th July Our School had organized a beautiful program to honour the backbone of our school, our Rt. Rev. Bishop Felix Toppo for his invaluable support throughout the journey of our school till now. Without his Lordship’s support, blessings and mentorship, this school would never have achieved its magnificent and glorious stature of present. Our Bishop very kindly spared time from his busy schedule and graced the occasion. He gave a beautiful message through his speech and also prayed for each one of us and our school. With our hearts brimming with gratitude, we took this opportunity to bring closure to our silver jubilee celebrations.

Inauguration of the academic year at Prathiksha- Regional Propaedeutic Center
On 2nd July, 2018 Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J with the Solemn Eucharistic Celebration inaugurated the academic year at Pratiksha - Regional Propaedeutic Center, Sundernagar. Rev. Frs. David Vincent, the Vicar General, Hilarius Kongari, S.J, Tobias Kujur, Cornelius Tigga and Jilson concelebrated the Mass and prayed for the brothers. The celestial choir and devotional participation of the brothers at the Mas, added colour to the celebration.
Soon after the Eucharistic celebration, brothers felicitated Bishop Felix on his appointment as the Archbishop of Ranchi.
At present, there are, For - Jamshedpur – 6, Gumla – 1, Bettiah – 3, Dumka – 8, Patna – 1, Daltonganj – 1, Hazaribagh – 5, Simdega – 7, Purnea – 3 Ranchi – 5 and Khunti -1 studying at the seminary.

James Surin
Amatus Kujur
Cornelius Tigga
John Crasta
Alfred Balmuchu
Johny P.D
Augustine Topno

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