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We are in the Novena of the Feast of the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary. Let us encourage children as well as elders to attend the Novena during which children will offer flowers to Infant Mary. Being a family feast let us insist upon the family reunion on that day. Individual families should have their meal together in the family itself and they remember all the members of their family those who are present for the meal or elsewhere and have a prayer for them. They also remember their departed members of the family and pray for them eternal rest. During this family reunion the members of the family are able to sink their differences if any and forgive each other if the relationship is estranged. We should encourage such a practice. This year, the Synod has taken up the ‘family’ and given the occasion we must insist upon such traditions and cultures wherein family bonds are strengthened and love and respect among the members of the family is fostered and promoted.

The 8 September is also the day of “girl child”. In our catechisms and instructions to various associations and people we should give the importance of female child. When there is anti climax to this thinking we should insist upon the role of a female child in the family and in the community at large. We should vehemently fight against the destruction of the foetus of female child.

On 14 & 15 September we will celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and of Our Lady of Dolores. These days are ever to be remembered by all of us. On these days in 2008, the enemies of the Cross of Christ had desecrated the Holy Cross and our churches. Our Christian brethren suffered under then Govt. of Karnataka and the ruthless behaviour of the Police. We salute our youth and all the persons who suffered corporal punishment, imprisonment and tortures. Our Christian community had worked for the development of this district as elsewhere. The persons who had received good things from this community had stabbed us at the back. Though we had suffered terribly we with the strength of the Holy Cross are able to forgive the evil doers.

In preparation of the feast of Our Lady of Dolores we will begin the Salve devotion. I wish every parish conducts this devotion.

We gratefully remember our departed Bishop Basil S. D’Souza on 5-9-1996. May his soul rest in peace. In the following year on the same day Blessed Mother Theresa also passed away. Let us pray to her that she may intercede for our Diocese. She had visited our Diocese a few times.

I wish all of you a happy feast of the Nativity of Our heavenly Mother and I invoke her intercession on very family. Let this feast foster our devotion to Mother Mary.

+ Aloysius Paul D’Souza
Bishop of Mangalore

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