I wish every one of you a happy and joyous Easter.  May the Risen Lord bring in us new zeal, strength and fervor to extend the Kingdom of God and increase our life of faith to greater heights.  Life of Jesus is lived by us every day.  As He suffered as per the rule of God and died for all of us in order to lead us to the love of the Father.  Let His passion and death help us daily to live our Christian life faithfully.

I thank Rev. Fathers who attended the mass of the Chrism on 22 March.  I thank the preacher Rev. Fr Dionysius Vaz, Rector of St Aloysius College who has given us good points to our recollection.  The holy oils are kept in the reception of the Bishop’s House; please collect them from 2 April.  We maintain a list of those who take the holy oils.  Those who have forgotten to take them last year, please take them this year instead of reminding you of it.  

In this month, the seminarians of our diocese as last year will have some courses.  This is part of their formation.  The parish priests are requested not to ask for their services.  They will miss time.  This year all their activities during the summer vacation end on 14 evening excepting those who have gone to Gulbarga mission.  Brothers are at home for more than one month.  Please make use of their services.  Parish Priests, please promote vocations for Mangalore Diocese.  We too need good vocations.  If there are boys who show the signs of joining the seminary, please send them for vocation camp conducted by Fr Jagdish Pinto, Vocation Director, on 7 & 8 of April.
This is a season of marriages also.  You are once again reminded to follow the rules in our diocese – pre-marriage preparation, 3 months interval before marriage – a period to know each other and families as far as possible.  Please encourage them to follow the above rules in their own interest.  Quite a number of marriages get broken because of lack of knowledge of the partners and their families.  It is very painful and sad to hear the woes of the couples who either married hurriedly not knowing the age, education, profession, the nature of the person etc.  Let us try our level best to safeguard the marriages of our faithful.  We need good families.  You have read in the Internos the number of marriages come for annulment.

The marriages of different religions with a catholic are not to be celebrated with usual solemnity.  It is only a contract akin to that of taking place in the civil registrar’s office.  It is only the parents to their prestige make you restless and irritate you to invite priests to make solemn. They also quote that in some parishes such marriages are solemnly held.  The religious priests attend such marriages and they indulge in doing the ceremonies which they are not allowed in our diocese.  By doing such things are we encouraging marriages of our Catholics with non Christians?  At the same time people are disturbed that the priests are encouraging such marriages.  As per canon law there cannot be 2 marriages to the same couple except the civil marriage as per the requirements of law of the country.  While the Catholics knowing that they are happy to marry in a non Christian rite still they insist upon a marriage in the church with a Catholic rite.  Please take this matter seriously and tell the catholic party the consequences of such marriages.  For us marriage is a sacred institution; it is a domestic church and people living in this institution further the church and the Catholic community at large.  

I thank you for your cooperation and good will towards me.  I do pray for you.  Please remember me in your prayers.  May the Risen Lord make your lives happy and joyful.  May God bless you.

+ Aloysius Paul D’Souza
Bishop of Mangalore