MUMBAI Archdiocese gets two more Auxiliary Bishops;

Grassroots worker priests ordained as bishops

Fr Allwyn D’Silva and Fr Barthol Barretto said “I do” to ten questions before being ordained auxiliary bishop by the archbishop of Bombay Oswald Cardinal Gracias.

| TNN | Updated: Jan 28, 2017, 09.49 PM

MUMBAI: Approximately 10,000 Catholics assembled in the grounds of Don Bosco School, Matunga, Saturday evening to watch two priests take a very special vow. Fr Allwyn D’Silva and Fr Barthol Barretto said “I do” to ten questions before being ordained auxiliary bishop by the archbishop of Bombay Oswald Cardinal Gracias.

“The gospel was placed above our heads, and we received the bishop’s ring, mitre (cap) and staff which symbolises the shepherd herding his flock,” Fr Allwyn said.

The appointments were announced by Pope Francis December 20. Both Fr Allwyn and Fr Barthol are grassroots workers who have earned the respect and love of their people. Both will continue to serve their respective parishes at St John the Baptist Church, Thane, and Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Borivli, until May 31.

Fr Nigel Barrett, spokesman of the archdiocese of Bombay, said, “Cardinal Gracias was principal consecrator at the ceremony while Bishop Bosco Penha and archbishop Vincent Concessao were co-consecrators. We hosted 10 bishops from the western region. Around 10,000 spectators arrived not just from Thane and Borivli but from places where Fr Allwyn and Fr Barthol have served previously.:”

Fr Allwyn with 21 years of work in Mumbai’s slums is a champion of environmental causes. He is secretary of the FABC Climate Change Desk. His chosen motto is ‘Care for Creation’. His parishioners hired 12 buses to reach the venue Saturday.

Parishioners of I C Church and neighbouring localities led a caravan of 19 buses to cheer Fr Barthol Barretto. Born September 16, 1961, Fr Barthol studied at St Michael’s School, Mahim, and went on to graduate in history.

“I am grateful to God for giving me this fresh opportunity to serve the people. More so, my parishioners and the people of our archdiocese are happy and pleased. My chosen motto is ‘Love in Action’,” said Fr Barthol. Once he leaves Borivli in May, his people will be sorry to lose the priest with “golden heart and silver hair.”

 

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Cardinal Gracias denounces acquittal of nun’s alleged rapists

“this acquittal once again brings to our attention the problem of violence against women. It is a huge setback for all of us working for the rights and dignity of women, in particular victims of violence.” ….Cardinal;

Protest against rape - AFP

Protest against rape – AFP

Courtesy: Radio Vatican
The acquittal of the alleged rapists of a Catholic nun in India’s Chhattisgarh state “is a grave injustice, not only for our consecrated, but also for all women who have suffered a similar trauma”, said Card. Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay.   The prelate who is also president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) was commenting to AsiaNews on the release of the two criminals accused of having drugged, tied up and gang raped the 48-year old sister of the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate (SMMI), ‎at the nuns’ medical centre in the state capital, Raipur, in June 2015.The accused, 19 year-old Dinesh Dhurv, and 25-year old Jitendra Pathak, were released by a fast-track court on January 5 because of lack of evidence.  Cardinal Gracias believes that investigations were compromised beyond repair by the “half hearted attitude of the police,” who failed to protect the crime scene and did not collect the traces of the attackers from the victim’s body.  According to Card. Gracias, “this acquittal once again brings to our attention the problem of violence against women. It is a huge setback for all of us working for the rights and dignity of women, in particular victims of violence.”  “India’s Catholic Church will demand justice from a higher court. We will challenge the verdict on appeal,” the cardinal stated.

The state representatives of the Congress party and the Chhattisgarh Christian Forum have called the incident a “systematic attack against minorities in the State”. For its part, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has reported  that such incidents raise serious questions about the safety and protection of minorities in India.  Since the beginning, the Christian leaders have complained about serious shortcomings in the conduct of enquiry by investigators, who had not collected blood, urine and other fluid samples to determine the hallucinogenic substance used to dope the missionary.  Cardinal Gracias warned that their acquittal would bring serious social consequences and could create problems of public order. “The worrying fact is that low conviction rates inflict damage and represent a danger for the victims and for society as a whole,” he said.

(Source: AsiaNews)

Serve after death: Christian priests lead the way….

As priests in the city preach organ donation, more community members open up to donating their bodies and organs to hospitals after death.

“They cleared any doubts people had. There is some apprehension about organ donation in the community which needs to be addressed,” Bishop Agnelo Gracias;

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Published:January 1, 2017 2:22 am
Courtesy: The Indian EXPRESS

bandra, bandra church, father francis, organ donation, priests organ donation, priest organ donation, organ donation after death, humanity, mumbai priests, mumbai news, india news, indian express news

BISHOP AGNELO GRACIAS
Bishop Agnelo Gracias says there is growing awareness among his parishioners to not spend money to destroy trees for coffins, but to be able to serve after death.It was December 24, 1996. The gathering at a church in Bandra saw Father Francis Miranda’s body taken away not in a coffin to the cemetery where it would have been laid to rest, but to JJ Hospital. The priest had wished to be “of service to mankind” in some form after death. In the nineties, it was still early days in India for organ transplants. And so Father Miranda had pledged his entire body to the JJ Hospital’s medical college for academic research.

Two decades later, the trend has grown enormously in the Christian community. Led by the priestly class, more and more members of the faith are now willing to pledge their organs in the eventuality of brain-stem deaths, a condition mandatory for cadaver organ transplant under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994.

At 77, Bishop Agnelo Gracias is passionate about his decision to donate every possible organ. On September 9, 1982, he visited JJ Hospital to meet the dean.

“The dean showed me where my body would be kept if I decided to donate it after death. And I thought I would like to be of help to mankind. I told my family about my intention to donate after I die,” he says.

Attached with the Archbishop’s House in Colaba, Gracias recently also pledged his organs for transplant if he suffers a brain-stem death. “If someone can see through my eyes, or use my kidney to live longer, that would be service to God,” he adds. He has written about organ donation in parish magazines to encourage the community, spoken about it during mass or during interaction with people to make them understand its importance. According to him, there is growing awareness on not spending money to destroy trees for coffins but to be able to serve after death.

The intention echoes. Since October 2014, after Pope Francis spoke about organ donation as a “testimony of love”, Gracias has been using those words to spread the message. Like him, the Archbishop of Mumbai, Oswald Gracias, has also pledged his organs after death.

In 2016, the city witnessed 58 cadaver organ donations, the highest so far, that helped 91 kidney failure patients, 58 chronic liver failure cases and 34 heart patients. With community leaders including priests promoting the cause, the numbers look set to rise further in 2017.

On August 23, when Jacarine Alex suffered a brain haemorrhage immediately after leading a prayer in Saki Naka, her son Father Ryan Alex decided to donate her organs. “I studied the church’s stand on it. My family did not know much about organ donation when I shared the idea,” says Alex, from Our Lady of Fatima Church in Vidya Vihar.

Not only did the priest donate his mother’s organs at Fortis Hospital in Vashi, he even invited a team of transplant specialists to her prayer meet to raise awareness.

“They cleared any doubts people had. There is some apprehension about organ donation in the community which needs to be addressed,” he adds.

Christians are increasingly tilting towards the idea that after death, the soul finds salvation while the body returns to dust. “We are preaching that if we can better the life of others, why not do it,” says Father Nigel Barrett, spokesperson for the archdiocese.

It was during one such awareness programmes that Alisha Nazareth, attached with a production house on Veera Desai Road, learned about organ donation.

When her grandfather B E Mendes passed away in Goa at the age of 89, the Nazareths donated his entire body for medical research at Goa Medical College in Bambolim. As he suffered a cardiac arrest, his organs could not be donated. “He was a freedom fighter in Mumbai during Independence. After his death, even my grandmother has decided to donate her organs,” Nazareth (23) says.

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