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We have begun the holy season of Advent on 29 November 2015. In this season we focus our attention on the birth of Jesus Christ. We remember His First Coming, being born as the son of Mary. The whole humanity rejoices at His birth. As the people of old prepared themselves for the First coming of the Lord, let us prepare ourselves spiritually. Jesus enters our life through His teaching and inspiration. The second aspect of the coming of our Saviour is His second coming. This is our faith.

On 3 December we celebrate the feast of St Francis Xavier, patron of missions and missionaries. Let us pray to him to bless our mission in SAME. On 8 December 2015, the Holy Father inaugurates Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy by opening the Jubilee Door in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. He has asked all the parishes all over the world to open the door of the Jubilee on 13-12-2015. I will open the door of our Cathedral at Rosario on 13 December 2015 at 9.30 a.m. All the Vicars Vara and Parish Priests of the City & Episcopal City and neighbouring deaneries will concelebrate; the priests who are free at that hour are requested to attend the solemn ceremony and concelebrate the mass. I will open the door of Pompei Shrine at Urwa at 5.30 p.m. on 13 December 2015. Let us make this event meaningful and memorable one and pray that the objectives of the Jubilee are fulfilled in our life in this year. The opening of the jubilee day will also be the 50 anniversary of the closing of the II Vatican Council.

The jubilee of mercy was formally declared to the Papal Bull ‘Miserecordiæ Vultus’ (Face of Mercy) issued on 11 April 2015, which emphasizes the importance of mercy and the need to “gaze” on it. The Bull also recalls the need for the church to be more open keeping alive the spirit of II Vatican council. The key scripture word for the jubilee year “be merciful, just as your father is merciful” (Luke: 6:36). More details are found in the Papal Bull - ‘Miserecordiæ Vultus’. All must procure a copy of this Bull from Mangala Jyothi. From time to time more information will be given to you regarding the celebration of the jubilee at the Diocesan, deanery and parish levels. The jubilee will conclude on 20 November 2016. The Holy Father has instructed that every parish should have the opening of the Jubilee Door ceremony. Mangala Jyothi will send you printed material regarding the celebration of the Jubilee of Mercy.

You are aware of the theft of the Tabernacle and sacred vessels of Fajir Church. Kindly ensure the safety of the Tabernacle. If you have any fear of such incident, please keep the Blessed Sacrament safe in your residence for the night with proper decorum. Precious vessels should be kept in the church office almirah. Such vessels are rarely used in the church. Please ensure that more sacred species are not kept in the tabernacle.

The seminarians will get the Christmas holidays on 4 December. I have told them that they should be in their respective parishes assisting the Parish Priests in various Christmas celebrations. The parish priests are requested to give them opportunities to take part in various activities in the parish. The Philosophy students will have Konkani course from December 6 evening to 11 evening at St. Antony’s Charity Institutes, Jeppu. No exception will be permitted. The holidays are also part of formation. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2016. May Jesus bless us all with peace and happiness during this season. Please convey my wishes and greetings to all your parishioners. Please continue to pray for me.

+ Aloysius Paul D’Souza
Bishop of Mangalore

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