We have already started the Novena for the feast of the Nativity of Mother Mary. Unlike other feasts this feast has lot of fascination and devotion among all the family members. The parents are eager to send the children for the Novena with plateful of flowers. We should encourage the children to attend the Novena. Since parents also come along with the children, they also get into the mood of venerating Mother Mary. This is also a family feast in our coastal region. The scattered family members gather in the parents’ house to celebrate the feast. There is a custom in some places to call the neighbouring families to participate in the noon meal. The blessed corn is brought devoutly from the church to home and it is an age old custom that the head of the family mixes the powder of the new corn in the milk or coconut milk and after the prayers to the Mother Mary he would distribute it to all the family members. This good custom should not be replaced by any other function either in the ward or in the parish. This is the part of the family meal once a year taken, with all the rituals.

Immediately after the feast we have the seven salve of Our Lady of Sorrows. Let us try our best to keep up this devotion in the parishes. Please take a theme fitting to the year of mercy for the sermons during the salve.

A special feature of the year is the canonisation of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata on 4 September. Please announce it to the people in your parishes. She visited Mangalore few times. Now we can list four saints to have visited Mangalore.

1) St Joseph Vaz
2) St Mary of the Jesus Crucified OCD,
3) St John Paul II and
4) St Teresa of Kolkata.

They certainly remember us before the throne of God. Let us cultivate a habit of praying to these saints. We are happy that we have a shrine and 3 sanctuaries dedicated to the saints.

1) St Joseph Vaz Shirne in Mudipu,
2) St Mary of Jesus Crucified OCD at Cloistered Carmel & St Ann’s Convent, Bolar,
3) St John Paul II at Bajpe and
4) the Parish of St Teresa of Kolkata at Paldane.

It is good to visit these holy places and pray to them for our personal needs and our Diocese.

At the last senate meeting it was unanimously decided to make a collection on Monthi Fest day in all churches and chapels for the construction of St Zuze Vaz (Senior Priests’) Home. I request the parish priest to take much interest and announce in the parish about the collection. We had sent the project to aid giving agencies, the same is returned with no support. Therefore we all should try to support. Thank you.

Let us remember and pray for the repose of the soul of Late Bishop Basil S. D’Souza whose death anniversary is on 5 Sept.

I will be away from Mangalore from 6 September to 4 October 2016. I will be visiting our Mangalore community in Bahrain, in UK and visit Holy Father Francis. Please pray for my good health. I will be praying for you at the holy places when I visit Rome. I wish you a happy Monthi Fest. May Infant Mary shower upon us her blessings.

+ Aloysius Paul D’Souza
Bishop of Mangalore

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