Pope Francis announces 2015 will be dedicated to consecrated life


November 29, 2013. (Romereports.com) Pope Francis announced that the year 2015 will be dedicated to consecrated life, as he met with the Union of Superiors General.


Instead of a planned speech and short meeting, Pope Francis chose to have a three-hour question and answer session with the 120 leaders of the Catholic men’s religious congregations.




During the session, the superiors general and the Pope spoke about how religious congregations enrich diocesan life. He encouraged members to go out to “frontiers,” working first and foremost with people excluded from society.




But he stressed the importance of dialogue with local communities to better adapt the Church’s teachings into their ways of life.




When it came to formation of religious members, the Pope said to avoid hypocrisy andclericalism, to develop “a tender heart.”




During the three-hour session, the Pope took a break with hot sip of mate.




-You share it.


-With another.


-Of course.


-I’d like one.




Upon his return, he continues answering their questions, and near the end he announced 2015 would be dedicated to them. He also thanked them for their faith and service.




“Please pray for me. I need it.”


















Picture of second pope of catholic church. Pop...

Picture of second pope of catholic church. Pope Linus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Church to let go institutional approach



It was felt during the first convention of the small Christian communities.




(Photo: newsofgoa)


The Indian Church is considering a paradigm shift from an institutional approach to a Church of communion with people following the successful completion of the first national convention of the small Christian communities (SCC).

“This is the beauty of SCCs, as the church is experienced more as a communion than hierarchy. And that is the paradigm shift we want to make from an institution to church of communion,” said Fr. Anthony Fernandes, a Goa diocesan organizing team (GDOT) member.

The event held from Nov. 19 to 21 in Goa brought together the country’s cultural diversity in a unique bonding exercise over faith and other things when a 2,000 outstation delegates participated with about 5,000 local ones.

“Many of the bishops came back with a sense of joy after their personal encounters with people as a result of their visits to the parishes and even parishioners’ homes,” Fr. Fernandes said.

Taking stock of the three-day event, church leaders said the occasion and organization of event was a journey of growth and learning.

Fr Leonardo Souza, GDOT convener, said the presence of Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, CBCI president Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishops and bishops, hundreds of priests and sisters and over 7,000 active lay animators, affirm that SCCs now occupy a central place for a new way of being the Church and that the Church in India intends to promote SCCs as home and school of communion for the 21st century.

It was also a rich cultural interaction as the guests stayed with Goan families and enjoyed their hospitality.

Church leaders said an event of this magnitude with representatives from 140 dioceses from the length and breadth of the country was held for the first time.

“Goa had the privilege of hosting it and it is a big achievement in itself that we were up to the mark,” Fernandes said.

“We carry with us happy memories of gathering all over Goa, celebrating the Eucharist joyfully with people, visiting families, participating in the gospel sharing and exchange of experiences and partaking of a meal with them,” Fr. Souza said.

National services team (NST), which was responsible for the organization of the event, has expressed satisfaction after a post-event evaluation.

“We will have a similar program soon at the regional level,” said NST secretary Fr. Vijay Thomas.

Source: Times of India


Indian Church ,Small Christian Community ,Panaji , Institutional Approach 



English: Alcove with crucifix in Portuguese co...

English: Alcove with crucifix in Portuguese colonial church, Panaji (Panjim), Goa, India. July 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Year of Faith concludes



Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had announced the Year of Faith in October 2012.





New Delhi:

Various archdioceses in India organized events to conclude the Year of Faith, announced by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI last year.

The pope had announced the Year of Faith October 2012.

It was done to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of catechism of the Catholic Church.

During the Year of Faith, Catholics were asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the catechism so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.

Around 5,000 people attended the concluding Year of Faith celebrations in Amboori Forane church in Changanacherry Archdiocese, Kerala, yesterday.

Archbishop Joseph Perumthottam was the main celebrant of the liturgy.

While a number of vehicles rallied from Thiruvananthapuram and other places in the archdiocese, the parishioners of the church rallied on the foot in colorful uniforms and echoed the streets with the slogans of “Christ the King” coupled with “the Faith Year.”

In the past one year, the archdiocese has conducted various faith renewal progarams such as home mission- popular mission retreats, bishops’ teams answering people’s questions on bible, theological questions and questions concerning church institutions, special interventions for saving the alcoholic addicts, special quiz programs on Second Vatican Council.

The Agra Archdiocese too organized on the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King that marked the end of the liturgical year and the conclusion of the Year of Faith in Agra.

This year, the twin celebrations were also significant as it would be a pilgrim event for the entire diocese.

Responding to the call of Archbishop Albert D’Souza to make the day an Archdiocesan Day of Pilgrimage, pilgrims from all the parishes and mission stations of the archdiocese flocked to the Cathedral campus in the city yesterday.

While the pilgrims were engaged in silent adoration of the Eucharistic Lord in the church, praise and worship sessions were going on in St. Peter’s college.

Arrangements were made for the pilgrims to make their Confession in the Church of Pieta (the historical Akbari Girja).

The Holy Eucharist of the Solemnity of Christ the King began at 4 p.m. in te college. The archbishop was the main celebrant along with more than 50 concelebrants.

Some 2,000 lay faithful besides bishops, priests and religious from twelve dioceses of the Agra Ecclesiastical Region gathered in the city for two days to celebrate the Festival of Faith.

The first day was a day of community prayer, talks on faith, personal witnessing of faith and life, skits and dances based on the theme faith.

The second day, Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio attended the event.

Source: press statement


Year Of Faith ,Pope Benedict ,New Delhi ,Catechism ,Vatican Council 



Português: Cerimônia de canonização do frade b...

Português: Cerimônia de canonização do frade brasileiro Frei Galvão celebrada pelo papa Bento XVI no Campo de Marte em São Paulo, Brasil. (fragment) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



SCCs can transform society: Cardinal Gracias

The SCCs have the power to transform the Church from an inward looking community to an outreaching Church, he said.

Old Goa:

Cardinal Oswald Gracias has said that living a life of love is an authentic living of Christian faith and small Christian communities leading a genuine life can bring about society’s transformation.

“The SCCs have the power to transform the Church from an inward looking community to an outreaching church through a life of love,” Cardinal Gracias said while delivering the homily during the Eucharistic celebration on Nov. 21 outside the Basilica of Bom Jesus.

The celebration also marked the conclusion of the first national convention of small Christian communities (SCCs).

The third-day program shifted back to Old Goa after 2,000 outstation delegates, including bishops, priests and the laity held a day-long interaction with local parishioners at the deanery and parish level in Goa.

The cardinal, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), said SCCs are the primary locus and means of national integration, ushering in truth, honesty, justice, human rights and dignity, good governance, eco-care and eco-justice in society.

The event that brought to a close the Year of Faith for the Church in India saw the faithful from different parishes come in a rally and join the delegates during the closing function.

While acknowledging the Church’s contribution in the fields of education, healthcare and social service, Bishop Thomas Dabre, president of the National Service Team for SCC, challenged the faithful and the leadership to offer resources to the Church for the service of society.

Source: times of india

SCC , Small Christian Communities , Cardinal Oswald Gracias 


Laity Speaks on MEMORANDUM cum MINUTES:Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias meets GREG: Part II

  1. SILENT VOICE has always been inspiring Laity to speak up and express their opinion on happening in the Church, particularly at Parish Level. Many are responding to the posts and putting up their comments. But, as we mentioned in earlier post, once the reader visits a particular post, he wouldn’t be visiting it again, missing on the comments. We, therefore, have begun a practice of putting up the comments on the main body, for the benefit of the readers.


    Laity Image.

    fergymisquitta said,

    November 4, 2013

    It is indeed sad that amidst all this ” hoo ha ” about transparency in the financial matters of the Church in Bombay, the glaring corruption involved in the transfer of many tenancies in Khotachi Wadi during the reign of Jude Pereira as parish priest of St. Stephen’s Church, the trustees of properties donated to the church, in order that the then “POOR PARISH” of St. Stephen’s, Cumballa Hill, could earn some money for the parish upkeep; since the parishioners at that time were only the ayahs, cooks and servants of the bungalow owners of the area.
    The situation has changed drastically, and St. Stephen’s Church now looks like a Cathedral, and not like the little village, bungalow church it was.
    The avarice has increased and the upper echelon of the Bombay Archdiocese has perhaps got its cut from the various ” transactions “;
    hence the “blind eye” silence and collusion.
    SAD, SAD, indeed !!!!!!

  2. at 8:36 am · Edit
  3. dmelloalex said,

    November 4, 2013 at 1:37 pm · Edit

    Dear Mr Greg, The BMC has served written notices to the Churches at Malwani & Dahanukarwadi for Land acquisition and they are not yet withdrawn. AB claims that he has taken up up the matter with the CM and talked to some people in Delhi, did u have the privilege to see any of the correspondence exchanged between the CM & AB or its just a verbal discussion. In the absence of written assurance from the authorities are we supposed to believe that the matter is resolved and BMC notices will be withdrawn in the near future? What is the guarantee that they will not come again as we know that some unknown people visit the Malwani Church compound again & again?

  4. November 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm · Edit

    Reblogged this on The Iniquitous: Church Crimes.

    1. November 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm · Edit

      Greg your note minuted on the Christian Workers Movement discussed with His Excellency Bishop Oswald Cardinal Gracious could not have come at a better time, read what Bishop Oswald Lewis. CWM Chairman CBCI office of Labour stated at the national convention of CBCI Office for Labour and Workers’ India Federation (WIF) in New Delhi on Oct 31. Ucan news dt. today 5th Nov.2013. quote “They also asked the Church to take active steps to combat bonded labor in the country. “It is a national shame that in the city we see child labor so evident and rampant than any other place in the world,” Read: http://www.ucanindia.in/news/cbci-labor-office-demand-justice-for-workers/22560/daily

      The Christian Workers Movement founded in MUMBAI by Joseph Cardinal Cardijn was instituted by Pope Pius XII in the year 1957 “to underline the importance of work and of the presence of Christ and of the Church in the working world”, was officially recognized by the Archdiocese of Bombay and the CBCI in the year 1968, and affiliated to the (WMCW) World Movement of Christian Workers in Brussels, and (WSM) World Solidarity Movement, these Prerogatives, have since shifted to establish it’s base and H.O. to Chennai. See WHY ??



      1. One of the KEY DIFFICULTIES faced is Lack of Support Co-operation and Motivation from most Religious & Priests.
      2. Clergy Unwilling to Change the Situation and Accept the Initiatives of the Laity.
      3. Inadequate trained leaders on issues concerning the working class.
      4. There is no Diocesan Policy which makes working class movement as a pivotal center
      5. Lack of dedicated leaders for expansion.

      Present CWM Mumbai Structure (Not Verified), 353 registered members. ( M-242, W-75, Y-36 )

      During my present tenure as an Elected Arch.Exco.Member.2012 – 2014, The attendances at AGM’s and functions held at the H.O are DISMAL. Besides my functioning unit of 12 members working outside the parameters of the Church, due to non-acceptance of our Unit by our Parish Priest Fr. Bartholl Barretto (I.C.Parish Borivali) for reasons not disclosed either by him or recorded at Exco.members meetings at the head office. As on date I have not known of any other fully functioning unit in the whole Archdiocese of Bombay despite making my requests in writing. The last AGM held in August 2013, held without the approval of the Exco. Members giving only 3 days notice of the AGM date, Unapproved Agenda and UN-Audited Financial statement distributed 5 minutes before meeting, Why ?

      I have requested an appointment for a meeting with His Excellency. AB, and have now been given to understand Rev. Bishop Domnic Savio Fernandes has now been given charge (Laity, Family & Women Commission) hopefully the Symbols represented on his Coat of Arms will justify my request for approval. Letter dated 5th September 2013 to this effect, couriered earlier to the diocesan office.

      Not surprising, I am at a loss to understand in ones own backyard where lies the discord,!! the decisions on concerned Prerogatives !! However I believe. “MIRACLES HAPPEN EVERY DAY”

    2. noel corriea said,

      November 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm · Edit

      Dear Greg,

      With regards to the MOM between H.E Cardinal Oswald Garcia’s and you, where in you discussed on various issues. You have also mentioned that the discussion was fruitful in many cases.

      As I was going thru the MOM and the issues raised by you to the Cardinal. I still wonder how this discussion has been fruitful, As not on single issue the Cardinal has confirmed that there would be concrete action or certain steps would taken to change the situation.

      If you analyses the MOM you will notice that many of the cases either the Cardinal is not sure or not aware of the fact.

      In case of Examiner Press Building the concluding statement of cardinal was:

      AB: It is not possible to be transparent in every aspect of the deal; but would try to be transparent to some extent.

      Observed: Not a definite conclusion. Nor does he promise to be transparency in future.

      On ARCHDIOCESAN ENQUIRY COMMISSION: It was concluded that Fr Ajit was transferred from the Parish. And Fr. Dominic Savio and Company to save their corrupt colleague.

      Observed: Fr Austin was placed instead of Fr Ajit, by doing this does the role of Fr Ajit and Fr Dominic Savio forgiven or forgotten. Merely by changing the Priest the problem has been solved or diverted.


      Observed: Not much was concluded.

      CHRISTIAN WORKERS MOVEMENT (CWM), IC CHURCH : you mentioned that the Parish Priest was not responding , Did the Cardinal find it necessary to write or talk to such priest who do not find it necessary to discuss the subject with laity and Cardinal has no answers for the same.
      Observed: No action undertaken.
      AB: I do feel for the litigants and agree that they must be handled with Kid Gloves. But such matters do take long, to come to settlements, because of their sentimental nature.
      Observed: Again a polished sympathy but no conclusion or steps to ensure such things do not occur again.

      AB: Mr. Pereira, I must mention to you that it has been decided and a decision has come from highest level, the center. However, there is a kind of hurdle, which is beyond our control.
      Observed: the story of the helpless leader narrated once again.
      And what was found in the remaining two or three issues are also the same. Where in no definite conclusion or mere sympathy acknowledged. Nothing more than that, the cardinal can offer of give you.
      The whole exercise is to listen to you but not to act upon it. Because you will also feel good about the whole meeting and have a story to tell the parishioners of Arch Diocese Bombay but the Outcome is zero and the situations has not changed and will never change.
      Do not feel sad because I am blunt over it, it is the same story of all the communities and Organisation who struggles to find a way out to some solutions and approach the cardinal. But somehow return empty hands only blessing in the name of any solutions which do not require any efforts.
      Time and again I Narrate this lines.
      The Cardinal plays a role of the Pontius Pilot and we are bound to be crucified.
      Noel Corriea.

      • Silent Voice said,

        November 7, 2013 at 8:49 am · Edit

        Dear Noel,
        I appreciate your concern for deteriorating condition of the Church in Archdiocese of Bombay. You have been quiet vocal about happenings in your Parish. We are aware of how the Clergy brainwash the Laity on various issues.
        We, particularly me, do not get elated with smooth talking by these people. We should always take their word with a pinch of salt; and I do. With our persistent efforts, at least we get the Hierarchy to talk on certain issues, from time to time; bring their views in public domain Via SILENT VOICE.
        SILENT VOICE in not only meant for reading pleasure. If only, the readers could put up a brief note to Archbishop on the issue that is being discussed here, by few concerned readers and copy of the same could be marked to SILENT VOICE; certainly, we shall publish all the correspondence on SILENT VOICE, in the category, LAITY SPEAKS, which we have for the purpose. With many voices speaking and questioning the Hierarchy, will certainly make a difference.

    3. Isaac Gomes said,

      November 11, 2013 at 8:44 am · Edit

      With reference to the news report in the Hindu dated 4th November 2013 and its reproduction in UCAN and ICAN on Mar Thoma Bishop seeks houses for all, the Bishop deserves congratulations for speaking to the Chief Minister of Kerala to arrange housing for all the houseless in Kerala to make it a “Zero Houseless” state. It is probably the first time a church authority in India has directly spoken to the government on solving housing problems for all.

      To maintain continuity to the Bishop’s great initiative, Archbishops of other states should make similar representations. The minimum they can do is to approach their respective state governments for housing for all homeless Christians (2.3% of the total population as per the 2001 census). Religion-wise figures from the last 2011 census which showed the Indian population at 122 crores, are yet to be released by the census authorities.

      Instead of asking for dole-outs where the chances of rejection are high, proposal(s) for housing for the homeless can be made on the basis of Public Private Partnership (PPP) which is the norm now. The approach can be:

      1. The Archbishop of each state along with the Laity Group takes up housing proposal with the respective state government / minority department or

      2. The Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) under the Chairmanship of Cardinal Oswald Gracious (if he could meet Sonia Gandhi the other day to reportedly appreciate the welfare programmes of UPA II, then certainly he can meet her and the concerned government authority on housing for the homeless Christians) combines force with Lay Representatives of each state and takes it up with the Central Government / Ministry of Minority Affairs for single-window clearance applicable to all the states and union territories of India.

      All the Empowered Groups should meet and discuss beforehand a common action plan (Common Minimum Programme in political parlance!) to avoid duplication of proposals and widely divergent cost estimates.

      Proposals to the Government with emphasis on safe drinking water and sanitation should be based on facts and be well-documented. According to Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh poor sanitation is the one “significant failure” of Indian society. In this connection Sulabh Complex and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which are renowned for water-saving sanitation projects, should be consulted. Tenders are to be floated on low-cost and eco-friendly housing (taking care of ventilation, rainwater harvesting, natural light and solar/wind energy and use of local expertise including Community-led Total Sanitation – CLTS, an innovative methodology approved by United Nations Development Programme for mobilising communities to completely eliminate open defecation). Open tenders (should be restricted to Indian bidders as the money will then circulate in India without costing the exchequer for remittance in foreign currency) will attract competitive bidding from the best in the business and also maintain transparency. The Laity which is the co-partner and backbone of the Church should be invited through church announcements and notification, for participation and suggestion. Indian Laity is rich with talent and this is the time it can be utilized provided it is handled with care and due respect.

      For the above exercise to be effective, diocese-wise and state-wise parishioners’ data on each parish would be necessary to arrive at state-wise all-India requirement. Therefore creation and updation of a well-structured database of each parish would come in handy for correct assessment of housing needs of each state. The same database could be used for parishioners’ information on other areas e.g. higher education, health, profession, percentage of youth, talents, etc.

      Jesus told Peter “Take care of my sheep”. This actually means no Christian should be without food and shelter. But the reverse is the reality. Can the Indian Church produce any credible statistics on how many Christians are homeless? Therefore, the resolution for the “Shepherds of the Church” i.e. Cardinals, Bishops and Archbishops including stalwarts of the Laity at the conclusion of the Year of Faith should be “Let us take care of our sheep”.

      Isaac Gomes

    Roney Corriea said,

    November 14, 2013 at 11:53 am · Edit

    Not a single reply from him is satisfactory. He along with the politician out here made fools of the villagers asking them to withdraw the dumping ground agitation on 3 grounds. 1) it would be shifted within a year 2) cases would be withdrawn 3) monitoring committee would be set up to see that villagers are not troubled by the stink in that year. All his promises have become false and he has left the sheep and run away by seeing the wolves coming.

    I met him on Jan 2013 and he said that if your local politician had lied to you all what can I do. I mentioned that you had asked the people from the pulpit to withdraw the agitation and solve it amicably and when the politician has cheated us, please announce from the same pulpit that because the NCP/Congress have betrayed the Christians, no one will vote for them. And he said he cannot do this. Here when I asked him are you working for Congress, he said YES. Matthew 23:5 “They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them”
    Now I have left everything in the hands of Lord Jesus Christ (Emmanuel) who has come again in flesh. He will judge the world truly and have no partiality. He will separate the goats from the sheep. For he said: Matthew 15:13 “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted”.

    In HIM I remain
    Roney Corriea


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