We have begun the Holy Season of Lent. The parish priest and the faithful have planned several spiritual activities fitting to the Lenten Season. We have a good custom to hold the annual retreat during the season. The Masses for the sick are being held in the houses of the sick. In some parishes the house blessings are also conducted. All the spiritual exercises will help the faithful to deepen their spiritual and prayer life. When there is slackness towards the Sacraments and family prayer, I request the pastors to give more attention to this group of people. Our Holy Father Pope Francis asks us to pay special attention to such persons. His words are to go and anoint them. As suggested at the priests council meeting this year we will have a gathering of the priests of our Diocese and the religious fathers working in our parishes instead of the consultation. It will be on 21st of March in Joseph’s Seminary. The programme of the day is found in this Internos. At 5.00 p.m Mass of the Chrism will be held at the Cathedral. I request all the diocesan and religious priests to concelebrate in the Mass and this will be a demonstration of our priestly unity, working together in the service of the Lord. 

This month of March is dedicated to St Joseph, foster Father of Jesus, Spouse of Mother Mary. He is the Patron of our Diocese. His name is inserted in the Canon of the Mass. We have a special devotion to him. It is good to cultivate devotion to St Joseph in our parishes. CODP has sent you the coupon books for the Lenten savings. Please distribute them among the faithful and tell them that in this year of Mercy to support our diocesan programme of building houses for the homeless poor. I wish you a happy and joyous Easter. Let us pray for each other specially in the Holy week and give more time to prayer. God bless you.

+ Aloysius Paul D’Souza
Bishop of Mangalore

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