At the start of the month of August we remember our National Feast, the Independence Day on 15 August. We will complete 69 years of our independence. We remember on that day all our forefathers and freedom fighters who brought us freedom. Let us pray on that day for our country and  our  political leaders that they may lead the country towards peace, harmony and progress. Let us commend our country to the protection of Mother Mary whose assumption we celebrate on the  very day.

67 priests have made their retreat in I batch, the rest of the priests should attend the retreat in the II batch. From August we will have inservice formation programmes of priests. All the Fathers are expected to attend these deanery programmes. In  case some find it difficult to attend one session of the I round, they should join the II session of the I round. Please inform the Director of Pastoral Institute about your arrangement. The ongoing formation programmes should be considered as compulsory part of our curriculum.

The new Pastoral Parishad will begin to function from 1 Jan 2017. Please go through the constitution of Parish Pastoral Parishad and conduct the election accordingly. They should be done before Christmas 2016. On this depends the Varado Council and Diocesan Pastoral Council. Please begin the process with good preparation well on time. Since the constitution of Parish Councils was prepared in 2010, it may need some changes. If you have any observations to make in the constitution, please discuss it with your parish/varado councils and send the observations to the Chancellor before the end of September 2016.

We are happy that we have 2 legislators in Karnataka Assembly & Parishad. Of late Mr. Ivan D’Souza MLC has been elevated to the office of Chief Whip in the legislative council. We congratulate him. He was greeted at the Bishop’s House on behalf of Our Catholic community. Since he holds an important office of a cabinet rank, he has promised to help community in  all our needs. Please contact Mr Ivan in any of your concerns  and he will help you. Similarly in whatever parish needs or that  of the community, please contact the MLA and seek his assistance. Mr Marcel Monteiro is appointed by the Govt. of Karnataka as an only Christian member to the minority commission in the state. We have many difficulties as regards our schools. Please contact him. Please support these and few others who are recognized by the Government of Karnataka and encourage them. They have done lot of good to our Christian community. Please make use of their services in the days to come. I thank God that we as a Christian minority are recognised by the Govt. We thank God. May God bless you all.

+ Aloysius Paul  D’Souza
Bishop  of Mangalore

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