Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh apologizes to Archbishop Anil Couto;



Singh apologized when a 10-member delegation, led by Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto, met him.

Police attack Dalit Christian protesting in New Delhi on Dec. 11

By Anto Akkara for CNS
New Delhi : 

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apologized to church leaders for the police beating of protesters — including priests and nuns — during a march to Parliament advocating for rights for low-caste Christians.

Singh apologized Dec. 12 when a 10-member delegation, led by Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto, called on him to press for the Christian demand for end to discrimination against Christian dalits, or members of the low castes.

Archbishop Couto was among six Catholic bishops and about a dozen of different denominations detained with 400 protesters during the march the previous day. Hundreds of the protesters from across India broke through police barricades and marched to Parliament shouting “We want justice.”

In 1950 the Indian government established a quota system in education and government jobs as a type of affirmative action for Hindu dalits.

Though these statutory privileges were later extended to Sikh dalits in 1956 and Buddhist dalits in 1990, the repeated requests of the Christian dalits — who account for two-thirds of 27 million Christians in India — have gone unanswered.

During the Dec. 11 march, police with batons charged and beat up several protesters. Undeterred, the protesters, including Catholic priests in cassocks, knelt on the road with crosses in hand, and a police truck mounted with water cannons sprayed them with muddy water several times. Church leaders alter courted arrest and were released.

“We are not going to tolerate this injustice (to the dalits) any longer, said Father Devasagayraj Zakarias, secretary of the Dalit Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. “We have made our stand clear, and the prime minister has promised to try to build consensus on our demand.”

The priest said Catholic leaders were happy that the prime minister apologized.

“Even nuns were beaten up,” said the dalit priest, who had his cassock muddied by spray from the water cannons.

Source: CNS

Dalit , Police Attack , Prime Minister , Quota

English: Manmohan Singh, current prime ministe...


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 


Goa Church to host SCCs national convention

Registration forms are available at all parish offices or can be downloaded from the website of the Archdiocese.



The Goa Church is gearing up to host the first national convention of small Christian communities (SCCs) next month in front of the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa.
The registration for this three-day event from November 19 to 21 is in full swing and will end on October 8.
Registration forms are available at all parish offices or can be downloaded from the website of the Archdiocese.
There will be no on-the-spot registrations on November 19.
Fr. Anthony Fernandes of the diocesan organizing team said the event would see around 8,000 delegates from all over India, besides a few international delegates.
“The inaugural mass on November 19, will be celebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio, Salvatore Pennacchio, while Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India ( CBCI), will celebrate the concluding mass on November 21,” said Fernandes.
He added, “The concluding mass will also be a grand finale to the ‘Year of Faith’ that began on October 11, 2012.”
The first and last days of this three-day event will be in the pandal in front of the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa, while the second day will be in different deaneries of the Archdiocese.
The program for the three days includes community prayers, talks by accomplished speakers, testimonies, talk shows, cultural exchanges and sharing of spiritual experiences.
Small Christian communities is a grassroots movement of the Church that endeavors to build caring and serving neighborhood communities, thus paving the way for the establishment of small human communities and bringing about national integration.
Goa Church ,Panaji ,SCCs National Convention 


Media speculate on Pope’s visit next year, at St. Francis Xavier’s Exposition:



The Pope is expected to attend the exposition of St Francis Xavier’s remains in Goa.




New Delhi: 

Speculation is rife in Indian media over a possible visit of Pope Francis to India by the end of next year.

The Jesuit pope “might visit India” in November 2014 and is expected to attend the exposition of St Francis Xavier’s mortal remains in Goa, said

The site based its report on unmanned “sources in the Catholic Church.” It also said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) says it is “not aware of any such plan” of papal visit.

Quoting Archbishop of Bombay Cardinal Oswald Gracias some Malayalam newspapers are saying that the Pope may visit India.

Cardinal Gracias is also the President of Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) and a part of the Pope’s advisory counsel.

In April and July some newspapers quoted officials of Bom Jesu cathedral to say that pope could visit the Goa cathedral, where Jesuit saint’s mortal remains are kept.

The exposition of St Francis Xavier is also happening in Nov 22, 2014 to Jan 4, 2015. The dates were announced on Wednesday.

Next year also marks 50 years since Pope John VI, who had addressed a ‘Eucharistic Congress’ in 1964 in Mumbai.

The last Pope to visit India was the Pope John Paul II. He made two official visits to India during his papacy.

India has about 20 million Catholics, whose supreme religious leader is the Pope.

The earlier visits of the Pope to India were opposed by the right wing Hindu groups like the RSS and VHP.

Source: UCAN News


Pope Francis , Xavier Exposition , India Visit , Bom Jesu 



The Vision of St Francis Xavier

The Vision of St Francis Xavier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





Indian Church mourns death of former official

Published: 1:53 pm, September 10, 2013 Story By: reporter
Fr. Sequeira

Fr. Sequeira

New Delhi: Fr. Thomas d’Aquino Sequeira, a Scripture scholar and Church historian who advocated interfaith dialogue at grassroots, died of cancer early today in the United States. He was 60.

Fr. Sequeira had served as the Deputy Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) for six years until May 31, 2012. He then left to the United States for his doctoral studies while helping in St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, Tracy, California.

A press note from the CBCI headquarters in New Delhi that the Goan priest once headed said he was diagnosed with colon cancer in advanced stage two months ago. He then underwent surgery and chemotherapy. The end came at 1:20 pm Monday local time (1:50 pm on Tuesday in India), said the press note issued by Fr. Sequeira’s successor Fr. Joseph Chinnayan.

The note said the Indian Church received the news with deep sorrow. “The CBCI Centre community deeply mourns the sudden demise of Fr. Thomas d’Aquino Sequeira, whose fond memories, this community cherishes with love and gratitude,” it added.

The funeral details are yet to be finalized as the body is to be flown from the US to Goa in coming days.

Fr. Sequeira’s mother died on August 18 at the age of 92.

The priest was a promoter of interfaith faith dialogue at all fronts, especially at parish level. He considered it as a blessing to be a minority in India and used various forums to urged Indian Christians to shed their minority complex.

According to him, the minority status was an invitation to join the majority community for nation building.

The Church, he used to assert, had to engage all its pastoral structures to form human communities where people of all religions work together for common good.

He disapproved limiting interfaith dialogue to occasional meetings of religious leaders, and encouraged such dialogue at village councils where people come together to resolve common problems.

Fr. Sequeira was concerned about increasing attacks on Christians in India, but often told Church groups instead of getting discouraged they should try to remove general misconception about the community.


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