Mumbai church celebrates 150 yrs by launching new website

Mumbai church celebrates 150 yrs by launching new website

Ashley D’Mello, TNN | Oct 28, 2011, 04.50AM IST

MUMBAI: The parish of Our Lady of Assumption, Kandivli (W) is celebrating its sesquicentennial jubilee with the inauguration of a renovated cemetery and a website this week.

The cemetery will provide the much-needed space for burials, while the website will detail the long history of Christians in the area. “While we will be having special prayer services in the church along with a festival, we will also be making people aware of the heritage of this parish,” said Harold Mendes, a local East Indian.

Though the current parish was established on October 27, 1861, local Christians were present in the area since 1560. Mendes said that Kandivli in those times was a small village surrounded by trees and paddy fields. According to church records, says Mendes, a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Assumption was built in Candolim (Kandivli).

The chapel came under the jurisdiction of the church at Magatana, near the present Kandivli railway station, which was built by local Catholics in 1630. When the Magatana parish was absorbed into the parish of Poisur in 1777, the chapel came under the jurisdiction of Our Lady of Remedies at Poisur. Fr Larry Pereira, a local historian, said that as per the records now available, there definitely was a church or a chapel in the area in 1560. Paulo Trinidade, a chronicler, wrote about a Franciscan church in 1630.

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Descendants celebrate German missionary’s centenary

Descendants celebrate German missionary’s centenary
Posted By cninewsletter On October 28, 2011 (8:28 am) In Indian News

The descendants of a German missionary, who pioneered educational and literary works in Karnataka, came to India to celebrate his second birth centenary.

A group of 16 people, mostly the fifth generation descendants of Reverend Hermann Mogling (1811-1881), celebrated the centenary yesterday in Mangalore, a Christian stronghold in the state.

“It is exciting to see how so many people are commemorating a great person. I am fortunate to be a descendants of the great missioner,” said Peter Landgraf, a great grandson of Reverend Mogling.

Indians, who attended the celebrations, said the German missionary had contributed immensely to the growth of education in Karnataka.

“We should do something that is worth writing or should write something worth reading. Reverend Mogling has done both,’ said B.M. Hegde, a Hindu leader.

Another Hindu leader, Parnitha Shetty, a university lecture who was also present, had visited Germany in September to speak on “Dr Mogling’s contribution to the growth of education” on the occasion of his second birth centenary celebrations there.

The German group visited Mangalore and other places in Karnataka where Reverend Mogling had worked. He was a member of the Basel Mission that worked along India’s southwestern coast now spread over Karnataka and Kerala.

Besides his missionary works, Reverend Mogling was involved in socioeconomic activities. He pioneered publishing works in Kannada, Karnataka’s official language, and started the first Kannada daily newspaper Mangalooru Samachara (Mangalore news).

Reverend Mogling published a book, ‘Coorg Memoirs,” one of the earliest history books in Karnataka.

He also translated a number of books from German to Kannada and vice versa. He also translated 24 songs of Kanakadasa and Purandaradasa, two eminent spiritual thinkers of Karnataka.

Revered Mogling was the founder principal of Karnataka Theological College, a leading theology college of the Church of South India.

One of his Brahmin converts and a close associate, Ananda Rao Kaundinya, became a pastor and married a German woman. Their descendants also joined the visiting Germans.

Peter Jens Kaundinya, a great grandson, recalled that the father of the Indo-German pastor was a lawyer like him. “It is a coincidence, but it brings in connectivity,” he said.

By Francis Rodrigues, Mangalore

Article taken from CathNews India –
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‘Pope John Paul II’s statue installed in Bangalore’

Apostolic nuncio Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio unveiled a statue of Blessed John Paul II at the Church dedicated in his name in the outskirts of Bangalore on October 25.

The Archdiocese of Bangalore is the first ever in the entire country to have a church dedicated in the name of late Pope John Paul II.

All the 13 bishops of Karnataka, including Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore attended the function.

Archbishop Moras, who is also the President of Karnataka Regional Catholic Bishops’ Council, said it was an occasion of great blessing for the people of the parish and the state.

Asking the people not to be afraid to welcome Christ in their lives, Archbishop Pennacchio exhorted them to open wide the doors to the Lord as he alone could give words of eternal life.

Archbishop Moras said he got the statue with the help of the nuncio whose friend Lona met the cost.

The bronze statue, manufactured in Bangkok, has at the bottom the impression of the national bird and flower – a peacock and lotus – engraved on it.

Pope John Paul II had visited Mangalore during his first visit to India in February, 1986.


Article taken from CathNews India –
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‘CBI begins probe into priest’s death’

CBI begins probe into priest’s death

Posted By cninewsletter On October 25, 2011 (3:44 pm) In Indian News

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) began an investigation October 24 into the mysterious death of a Catholic priest two years ago.

The naked body of Father James Mukalel was found on a road in Karnataka, state, on July 30 2009, but the cause of his death is being disputed.

Fr Mukalel, 39, was the parish priest of St. Mary’s Church in Kutrupady, in Belthangady diocese.

In July, the Karnataka high court ordered a CBI probe after the priest’s parents filed a petition expressing their dissatisfaction with two autopsy reports.

The first autopsy determined he’d suffered a cardiac arrest, but doctors could not pinpoint the cause, while the second pinpointed three wounds on the priest’s body.


Article taken from CathNews India –
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VM:-016 /2011 16th October 2011


                              VOICE  OF A SILENT MAJORITY
       A/7  Rodrigues Compound, Malwani Village, Malad (W), Mumbai, 400095.                         Contact No. 98707 19628. Blog:
          VM:-016 /2011.                          16th October 2011
Hello Friends,
“ROSE by any other name will always smell as sweet; provided it is natural and not an artificial one.”
The quote is in response to the changes you see here, and in title of the letters, sent to Archbishop, H. E. Cardinal Oswald Gracias. The reason for these changes has been clarified in the last issue of VOICEMAIL, 015/2011, dated 29/09/2011. No it is not a new title. Some time ago, we had embarked on a journey to a particular destination, with the name, VOICE OF A SILENT MAJORITY (Remember the Book)?  On its way, People went on embarking this train, with good intentions. Unfortunately, few came onboard with their personal baggage, stalling the journey for a while and causing inconvenience. Fortunately, their intentions were exposed at the right moment. However, the train has now begun its journey, with the same old name, cruising zealously, toward its destination. The destination called; Cleansing of our Church Administration of corrupt practices; helping  Archbishop, H. E. Cardinal Oswald Gracias, in his efforts to do so.
We have received favourable responses to this change. Those who still wish to join this journey, please do so.  Please remember, the vacuum, created because of your absence, will bring in unhealthy elements, and occupy the space; as it was evident.
It is well-known; The Parish Priests do not like to be questioned. It could have happened with many of you, or with some persons you know, within your parish. The persistent ones are silenced, using various methods; So that the Parish Priests can go ahead with their nefarious activities, using their SOLE TRUSTEE powers, particularly related to Properties and Finances.
The attached letter to Archbishop, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, contains some examples, adopted by Parish Priests, to silence the dissenting voices. We therefore, call upon you to discard your fear and speak out boldly, against mismanagement of Properties and Finances, by Parish Priests. Your Silence, out of fear, is taken by these parish priests as your consent, to whatever they do. Remember friends, by Voicing your opposition to unhealthy activities, You do not go against the Mother Church, as propagated by some members of clergy, but in fact, help in cleansing the rot within the Church administration. Even the Cardinal has accepted that there is nothing wrong in it.
Dear friends, we are pleased to inform you that Defamation case, filed against the Archbishop, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, has been quashed by the honorable Court.
Constituted Under Para 29 of  Christifideles  Laici
(Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of  H. H.Late Pope John Paul II)
A/7, Rodrigues Compound, Malwani Village, Malad(W), Mumbai,400095. Contact no. 98707 19628.  Blog:
                                                                                                                       8TH, October, 2011
H. E. Cardinal Oswald Gracias,
Archbishop of Mumbai,
Your Eminence,
While going through the depositions of the ongoing Archdiocese Inquiry Commission, in connection with St Anthony’s Church, Malwani; I came across a letter (Exhi. L, Pg.77 to 79) Signed by The parish Priest and Trustee, Fr. Ajit Bandekar, among others. I shall request Fr. Michael Goveas, the Convener of AEC, through the copy of this letter,   to pass on the letter (Exhi. L)  for your scrutiny.
The letter describes various issues related to AEC.  Besides, it states; “NO PLOT HAS BEEN SOLD BY US TO ANY PARTY, irrespective of claims made by various unscrupulous elements.” I have given my response to it in my deposition to AEC, and sought a public apology, particularly from the Parish Priest, Fr. Ajit Bandekar.  I take liberty, with your permission, to copy down the extracts from AEC depositions.
“However, this statement also mentions about various unscrupulous elements. I do not know how many people; apart from me have made this claim. I surely have. I therefore, take offense to branding me as unscrupulous. I am not concerned about others who have signed this letter, but Fr. Ajit Bandekar too has signed it. I therefore, call upon him to explain as to what is unscrupulous in the context of this inquiry; or tender a public apology. I shall be writing to H. E. Cardinal Oswald Gracias, separately on this matter.”
Your Eminence, I do not wish to dictate, as to what I expect you to do in this context. The purpose of this letter is to highlight the anomalies prevailing within Parish Administrations. Attempt is always made to snuff any voice, raised against Unhealthy practices of Parish Priests, by maligning the person. It is a common practice all over within Archdiocese, barring an exception or so. In this case, if it was not on paper, it would be difficult for me to defend myself, because one can’t respond to whispering tongues.
Ø  The Parish Priest of OUR LADY OF EGYPT CHURCH, KALINA, made a Special announcement from sacred pulpit, denouncing the parishioners, calling them ‘DESTRUCTIVE ELEMENTS, spreading FALSE, CORRUPT AND WRONG INFORMATION about Parish Church and the Clergy; ‘Just because they were carrying out a signature campaign, against the installation of plaques, in the name of a politician, within precincts of the Church. This message was also put up on the notice board as SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT.  Your Eminence, Is it wrong, on part of parishioners to voice their opposition to glorification of a Politician, by putting up multiple plaques in his name?
Ø  Just recently, the parishioners, of OUR LADY OF REMEDY CHURCH, POINSUR; who opposed the sale of church land, are being targeted and humiliated, by cronies of the Parish Priest Fr. Peter D’mello. So believe the parishioners. Have these parishioners erred in anyway, in opposing the sale of Church land? We believe, not. Why then, they are being made to face humiliation?  We request you to put a stop to this.
Ø  One of my relative had received a letter signed by “ANIMATORS”, asking him to stop me, from writing letters to Bishops. The letter also contained some threatening matter. The relative did not want to pursue the matter further, out of fear perhaps. I feel hard to believe, the ANIMATORS could muster such courage. The matter was recently brought to my notice.
Your Eminence, This is the method adopted by some members of the Clergy, particularly the Parish Priests, who are having Vested Interest. They use the authority as SOLE TRUSTEE, for personal gains, and their PASTORAL POSITION to intimidate and instill fear in the minds of people, to silence the dissenting voice. Your Eminence, do you approve these threatening tactics by so called people of GOD, who are supposed to preach Christian Values of Honesty, Love and Peace to all? Do you expect that people should live in fear, and not Voice their opinion, against injustice and corruption? You decide.
Your Eminence, we have said it before, The SOLE TRUSTEE norm is malaise to Church Administration; and it must be abolished immediately. Your argument that property committee members are part of the Laity; Therefore, the SOLE TRUSTEE alone, is not responsible, has been contested by me personally during one of the meetings with you, and through various letters. It is well known as to how these members are handpicked by parish priests. Of course there could be some exceptions. The parishioners of St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani, and I have asked some questions related to credentials of property committee members; we have yet to get a response from parish priest.
Returning to AEC, your eminence, I am quite satisfied with the process so far; except, I was not provided the copies of depositions, to which I was supposed to respond, on the ground of secrecy. I had to spend around eight hours to copy the matter manually. It is disadvantageous to complainant to respond, without the matter, to which he is suppose to respond. I suggest, this be reviewed in order to avoid unfair advantage.
I am looking forward to the result of the AEC, and hope the action will be fair and transparent, in order to establish faith of lay persons, in these Commissions.
Yours always, in Our LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Copy to:     Fr. Michael Goveas:   To provide copy of the letter, (Exhibit L, Pg. 77 to 79); to H. E. the Cardinal.
Court relief for archbishop
Rosy Sequeira, TNN Oct 9, 2011, 03.36AM IST
MUMBAI: In a reprieve for the archbishop of Mumbai Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Bombay high court has quashed and set aside criminal proceedings initiated by a magistrate on a defamation complaint filed by a lawyer.
On September 21, 2011, Justice K U Chandiwal heard an application filed by Gracias, Fr Anthony Charanghat, the editor of church weekly ‘The Examiner’, and Mumbai archdiocese spokesperson Fr Savio Fernandes to quash process issued on July 5, 2011 by metropolitan magistrate 18th Girgaum court.
A tabloid carried an article pertaining to some church land in Marinagar, Mahim, and quoted advocate Arcanjo Sodder. Finding it objectionable, Fr Fernandes sent a clarification to the tabloid, which did not publish it.
The clarification was carried in ‘The Examiner’. Sodder moved a magistrate’s court saying the first part of the clarification was defamatory. The magistrate directed issue of process saying that prima facie, a defamation case is made out. Church’s counsel Joaquim Reis argued that it was a clarification by way of truth and hence, cannot amount to defamation.
Justice Chandiwal said the clarification need not be read in isolation. The judge noted that after Sodder wrote to the weekly, it published a clarification expressing regret and he “should have been satisfied”.

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