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)



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 


No grants for Goa’s English schools

Church schools to have English

Cathedral of St Catherine, Goa


PANJIM: The Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE) has decided to continue with English as the medium of instruction at the pre-primary level even as the government has decided to give grants to only Konkani or Marathi medium schools.
The ABE has many schools with pre-primary section.
That the government’s decision has not gone down well with the ABE, can be surmised from the strongly worded communiqué that it has sent to the Department of Education (DoE) Wednesday, that states that pre-primary is the base for primary education and since most of the constituents under the ABE impart education in English at the primary level, it “will continue to impart education in English at the pre-primary level as well.”
The Goa government’s circular states that grants will be given to pre-primary schools where the medium of instruction is in Konkani or Marathi is likely to hit the Church-run schools in Goa considerably.
The ABE has asked the Education Department to give it a month’s time to reply to the circular issued in this regard and has urged that the respective ADEIs not to press for information about its pre-primary schools at this juncture.
Fr Joe Rodrigues, Secretary of ABE when contacted by Herald refused to comment but confirmed that ABE has written to the Education Department on the two issues ~ grants to pre-primary if education is imparted in Konkani or Marathi and on appointment of counsellors in schools.
While the ABE has appreciated the intentions of appointment of counsellors in schools and considers it as the need of the hour, it has impressed on the Education Department to allow it to appoint its own counsellors, rather than they being thrust upon their institutions by the government.
According to ABE, it has already appointed counsellors who are well qualified for its Church- run schools wherever requested.
It further points out that Article 30 (1) of the Constitution gives minority-run institutions the right to appoint its own teachers and likewise should be the case with counsellors. It also impresses on the Education Department that while exercising this right it should not be deprived of grants towards payment of salaries for the counsellors appointed.
On the issue of the midday meals and extension of school timings, the ABE has not yet reacted but we are told that management of Church-run schools have been given the choice to take appropriate decisions after consulting PTAs and teachers.
The ABE governing council met recently and deliberated on a host of education-related issues and accordingly decided to convey its sentiments to the Education Department. The ABE is hoping that the government will consider giving grants to registered pre-primary schools imparting education in English too.

Basilica to remove volunteers posted to check indecently dressed

The word has gone out through the guides and others that one needs to dress modestly when entering the Basilica, said the rector.

Panaji:  The Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa is planning to withdraw volunteers posted outside the historic church to offer a shawl to the ‘inappropriately’ clad. Since they were first posted two years ago, volunteers seem to have achieved the desired result and will now be withdrawn shortly, according to the Basilica’s guardians. “Volunteers do not need to stand there anymore as a rule every day. The word has gone out through the guides and others that one needs to dress modestly when entering the Basilica,” said Fr. Savio Baretto, rector of the Basilica. “The tourists know about the shawls. The needed awareness has been created and tourists now prefer to come modestly dressed to avoid being given a shawl later. The volunteers will be withdrawn soon as the necessary purpose has mostly been achieved,” said the priest. He said when officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) raised fears that posting of the volunteers may affect the inflow of tourists, Basilica officials had made it clear that the arrangement was only a temporary measure. “We have orally conveyed to ASI as well that it is not a permanent feature. I am happy now that we do not get the kind of skimpily-dressed tourists, mostly foreigners, as before,” said the Basilica rector. “I am not comfortable with the giving of shawls myself. But then no other church gets people dressed like that,” he added. He admitted that the volunteers posted were often from parishes in villages of Goa and what they had to say was often lost-in-translation when handing out a shawl to a foreign tourist. The move of posting the volunteers had received wide appreciation from Goans from across the religious spectrum and the Basilica had been heaped with such mails in 2011, the Basilica rector added. “It wasn’t a code as such, as everyone called it. The main aim behind handing out the shawls was to create awareness that one needs to come appropriately dressed as we have the blessed sacrament preserved in the church and it is the presence of God for us, which needs to be respected,” he said. The church officials said the decision was not implemented overnight, as it might seem to many, but the church had been considering ways of curbing skimpily-dressed visitors from entering the sacred home of God for five years before the volunteers were posted. Source: times of india

Basiica Of Bom Jesus , Old Goa , Volunteers , Fr. Savio Baretto 

Laity to head Church commissions in Udupi diocese

Bishop Gerald Lobo appointed four laity members to head commissions which were earlier reserved for clergy.

(Photo Courtesy: DNA)


The Udupi diocese has appointed laity members to head commissions in the Catholic Church, a step seen as bridging the gap between the laity and the clergy.

Bishop Gerald Lobo appointed four laity members to head commissions which were earlier reserved for clergy.

For the first time in India, laity has been admitted into the administration and financial matters of the church, which has been seen as a first step towards ending the century old feud between the two groups for their roles in church administrations.

Bishop Lobo headed a silent revolution towards empowerment of laity through the Canara Organisation for Development and Peace (CODP) in many forms.

His experience in social work came handy in including laity in Church administration, which might raise a few eyebrows in the neighboring Mangalore diocese.

“It was a tribute to the golden jubilee of the second Vatican council,” said Fr. Chetan of the diocese.

After starting a movement in 2011 by motivating the laity to raise demands with the clergy to share the power of church with them, reformist leaders from Bangalore, Panaji, Chennai, Ernakulam, Hyderabad and Mumbai converged in Mangalore on January 26, 2012, to impress up on the clergy the need for sharing economic and administrative powers of the church.

“This is being done to bring equality between the two classes of Christianity. There were already glaring differences in the management and administration of the church between the laity and the clergy, especially in economic powers,” said Patrick D’Sa, vice-president of the Federation of Concerned Catholic Christians.

“But the Udupi diocese has shown a light and this spirit should spread all over India,” he said.

Reformist leader Gordon Jacobs from Mumbai felt this could be a new beginning and said the Federation would be happy if the laity were allowed to participate in every facet of the church administration.

“The clergy manages the wealth properties of the church in accordance with the Cannon law. But we feel it should be managed as per the law of the land. The Bombay High Court order of 1960 had instructed the church to have more than one trustee, but in many states, there is only one trustee in the committee, which is either the bishop or the parish priest of the church. But, with Udupi diocese appointing members of the laity to four important commissions, a new order is on the making,” he said.

Source: DNA

Laity , Catholic Church , Udupi Diocese , Bishop Gerald Lobo 
Spring Dosa at Udupi Palace

Spring Dosa at Udupi Palace (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



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