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Ever since Pope Francis started his Pontificate, it is said that he has spoken more about the priesthood and he had shed light on the life of the priest than any other, tirelessly speaking with the words of challenge and encouragement was on to be true to our call allowing grace of ordination to flow through our lives into the lives of those we serve. The message has been received with great enthusiasm by some who are experiencing a sense of renewal in their priestly ministry, while others are feeling discounted as they struggle to meet the constant demands of their faith community and the diocesan structure in which they serve. The Bishops too are instructed to be close to the clergy and to support them in times of difficulty and fatigue. He invites us all to be both pastors and zealous missionaries who live in constant yearning to go in search of lost, never settling to simple administration. Indeed his message is challenging. We are pastors taking care of our flock entrusted to us by the Lord. At the same time there are so many ordained like us working tirelessly in the missions in our own country and abroad. They are facing threats every moment not knowing from which angle the danger is looming. However it is due to the prayer support of all of us and our faithful helps them to accept the challenge courageously.

The same thing could be said of our missionaries working in Africa. But I am happy to tell you that our priests have taken their mission work as a special call from the Lord and a challenge. They have many areas of mission work. One of them is the education apostolate. Through this they try to transform the present youth to be good citizens and also god willing the followers of Christ. Let us continue to pray for our missionaries and if possible support their work financially too. I am happy with the work they are doing in Same mission. I just returned from my visit to Same.

On the 1 October being Sunday, the memorial of St Theresa of Child Jesus is not celebrated. However we pray to her being the patroness of missions and missionaries. On 2 October, we celebrate Gandhi Jayanthi, the father of the nation. Let us remind ourselves that among many things that he taught us is to make our country clean. When the Prime Minister started the Swatch Bharath Campaign our diocese had joined hands with others to create a sense of cleanliness in the minds of the people by carrying on this campaign. We should continue this and remind ourselves to live in clean and green environment. On the 22 October, we will keep up the Mission Sunday and pray for the evangelization of people. In view of this, the pastors are requested to catechize the faithful to make sacrifices and to pray for the missions As every year, the parishes have been having various activities of raising funds for the missions. I wish the parish priests and youth of the parish every success in their endeavour to raise funds.

The month of October is dedicated to our Lady of Rosary. The rosary should be recommended as a family prayer to the people and its nature and importance explained. A plenary indulgence may be gained by those reciting 5 decades of the rosary in the church, as a family at home, as a religious community, or as a pious fraternity, or in general whenever several persons have gathered together for a good purpose, and if other circumstances a partial indulgence. Let us begin this rosary prayer in; our rectories and religious communities. Let us remember that our Lady of Fatima appeared for the last time on 13 October and she said that she is the Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. Our Cathedral is dedicated to the Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. The feast will be celebrated on 7 October. It had been the first church (Chapel then) in the Diocese of Mangalore & Udupi. In 2018, this Cathedral Parish will be celebrating 450 years. The Parish has many plans for the year. We wish them success in building up a witnessing community.

Before the next issue of Internos reaches you, we will keep up the solemnity of All Saints on 1 November. From noon onwards the remembrance of souls in Purgatory begins. In many parishes, the custom of tolling of the bells is kept up reminding the faithful to pray for the souls in purgatory. On 2 November the commemoration of all the souls of the faithful departed is held. A plenary indulgence, application only to the souls in purgatory to be granted to any of the faithful who (1) on one of the days from 1 to 8 November, visit devoutly a cemetery or who simply pray mentally for the dead, (2) on all souls day, visit the church or chapel with devotion and then recite the Our Father and the Creed. All priests are permitted to celebrate 3 masses on 2 November provided these take place at different times. The stipend is accepted for one mass only. The second mass is for all the faithful departed and the third for the intention of the Pope. Please exhort the faithful to offer masses for the departed so also to their families. The intentions thus collected may be forwarded to the Procurator of the Diocese to send them to the needy priests and the needy dioceses.

October 1 is the International Day of Senior Citizens. For more details, please read the front page article in Raknno of 22-28 September. Please make use of the associations in the parish to include in your programmes the care for the elderly and senior citizens.

I invoke the blessings of our Lady of Most Holy Rosary and all the faithful of our diocese. Let us make efforts to keep up the family rosary and other devotions during this month in a special manner. I wish to tell you that our missionaries in Same have sent their greetings to all of you. May God bless you.

+ Aloysius Paul D’Souza
Bishop of Mangalore

 

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