We have already started the novena of Maria Bambina – Infant Mary. I know year after year you display lot of creativity in making the novena relevant to our children and people in general preparing them for the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady which is for us the family feast. Please insist more on the family apostolate. Please know your people familywise and that will give you real picture of the family in your parish and their situation. The world’s biggest crisis today is the breakdown of families. In the bargain the children suffer when the family is disintegrated. At the same time the selfishness and the love for comforts makes the couple not to welcome a new child into the family. We see the effect in the parishes. This will affect the entire society about which you are well informed. Let us pray for the families oftener and make use of Small Christian Communities to disseminate the theology of the family and the concern of the Holy Father Francis. I wish you and all your parishioners a happy Monthi Fest. Please note that whatever our traditional customs followed in the families be not repeated in the churches, such as novem etc. unless you find true value.

St Zuze Vaz house is occupied by 16 priests. The three missionary sisters of Jesus are at the service of the priests. The work is well begun. Rev fathers are comfortable. Still whatever facilities and services are needed are being taken care of. The people of goodwill and generosity are requested to unburden our financial commitment. Please visit the Fathers who are taking rest after their superannuation. We are putting a grotto of Our Lady in the campus. You are welcome to sponsor. The cost is Rs.1.5 lakhs.

We had the second Diocesan Pastoral Parishad. The proceedings went on as usual with more enthusiasm. The Coordinators of various committees gave their reports. They deserve our appreciation. They had called the meetings and followed the formalities and prepared a plan for the 3 years to come. I thank the Secretary of the DPP who keeps on reminding the various committees and makes the pastoral work more active and with zeal. I wish him and all members well. The committees could be expanded with the people who are interested in such apostolates at your parish level. The parish committees are expected to implement what the diocesan committees have planned for the parishes. Your cooperation is very much needed.

On 17 August at the end of the DPP, we felicitated Mr Ronald Colaco who had been declared the man of the year by Times Now and to have participated in the breakfast with honourable Donald Trump President of USA. It is a rare opportunity given to a Indian and we are very proud of this great philanthropist and a charitable man who tries to build bridges between communities and political parties. According to the statistics made known to us, he has given more than 200 crores for various causes. Most of the beneficiaries are of our own community. A colourful felicitation was given to him. He expressed that we should build up leaders of our community from among the young people who have to get involved in all spheres of life. The main catalyst in this regard is the parish priest and the clergy who have to give impetus and encouragement to our budding youth.

As soon as the feast of the Nativity is celebrated we will begin the Salve of Our Lady of Dolours. It is an age old devotion in our Diocese. This is an opportunity both in the past and now to catechize the people in various aspects of Christian life and on the teaching of Jesus Christ and the role of Mother Mary in our salvation. Therefore, please give lot of catechesis to the faithful to participate in the Salve devotion. Revised edition of book on Salve is available at Mangala Jyothi.

On 5 September we gratefully remember our former Bishop who passed away to eternal life in 1997. Previous year on the same day St Theresa of Kolkata had passed away. Let us pray for eternal reward to our former Bishop.

There will be a regional charismatic convention in Mangalore on 9, 10, 11 and 12 of November. I request all the parish priests to give a suitable publicity to it to make the people attend the convention. Fr Onil D’Souza is the Chief Coordinator and he has begun to meet the parish priests personally. Unless our people attend they will not profit anything from the programme and the efforts put therein. There will be a special renewal programme for spiritual leaders for priests, religious and lay leaders in ministry from 1 October 2017 (6 p.m.) to 6 October Friday (2 p.m.). This will be conducted in English in Divine Retreat Centre, Potta (for more details contact: Fr Augustine Valluran VC, Director, Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor P.O. Chalakudy, Kerala 680 309). The Parashuram Express starting at 5 a.m. from Mangalore Central reaches Potta Divine Nagar at around 1 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. This retreat is really worth attending. Those who do not get opportunity to make their retreat during the year kindly attend this retreat. You will be spiritually enriched and empowered. Please encourage the lay leaders to participate in this retreat. The cost is low.

I thank all of you for your cooperation in our pastoral ministry. I do appreciate and thank God for the sacrifices you are making for the sake of your flock. A lot of developmental works are taking place in our diocese. Let us remember if at all we are able to do it our ability comes from God and to Him be praise for ever. I do remember you and pray for you.

+ Aloysius Paul D’Souza
Bishop of Mangalore


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