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Solemnity of All Saints: The month of November opens with the Solemnity of all Saints to tell us that we are marching in “to be in that number”. It is a special day wherein God plants seeds of great hope in us. Though Paul addresses Christians as those “called to be Saints” (cf. Rom 1:7), we are deeply aware that we are imperfect and in need of continual purification and that each one of us is a mixture of sanctity and sinfulness. Since God is at work to carry out our salvation, we do not lose hope. May the Blessed and Saints in heaven and “our next-door neighbours, those who, living in our midst, reflect God’s presence” (Gaudete et Exsultate, n. 7) intercede for us.

Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed: The Church provides from the treasury of the merits of Christ and of those united with him to help us through the indulgences. What we receive as the remission of temporal punishment, we offer for the salvation of those who are in the state of purification. We express our solidarity in prayer, so that God may lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need of his mercy. I request Priests to explain to the faithful the significance of indulgences so as to apply them to the souls in purgatory (Manual of Indulgences, n. 29). The Catechism of the Catholic Church has a wonderful teaching: “Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective” (CCC 958).

Young Clergy Meet 2021: The Regional Commission for Vocations, Seminaries, Clergy and Religious has organized a three day Seminar on 16-18 November 2021 at the Pastoral Centre, Shimoga Diocese, Sannidhi. The Seminar begins at 10.00 a.m. on 16th and will conclude with lunch on the 18th. The Seminar is organized for the Priests ordained from 2011 to 2021. I request the young clergy to draw benefit from this Seminar which has relevant topics. Kindly contact Rev. Fr Richard Britto, the Regional Secretary and the Rector of St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary and Institute. His email Id is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Annual Retreat: We have organized the Retreat in two batches at the Pastoral Centre, Bajjodi. Kindly register your names with the Director of the Pastoral Institute well in time - at least a week before the Retreat begins - to make adequate preparations for your stay. The first batch begins on 28 November 2021, and will conclude on 3 December 2021. The second batch begins on 12 December and ends on 17 December. The Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Tellichery, Most Rev. Joseph Pamplany, will be the preacher for both batches. The Bishop is a wellknown theologian and retreat preacher. Participation in the Annual Retreat will nourish us to give our whole self in the Lord’s service. Against a practice that tends to empty man of everything that smacks of interiority, the priest must find God and himself by taking spiritual breaks in order to immerse himself in meditation and prayer. For this reason, Canon law stipulates that clerics “are obliged to make spiritual retreats, in accordance with the provision of particular law” (Can 276, § 2, 4°; cf. cann. 533, § 2; 550, § 3). It is necessary for days of recollection and especially annual retreats to be lived as times of prayer and not as updating courses in theology and pastoral work. When you come for Retreat, please do not forget to bring your Personal Mass Diary to submit to the Bishop for his perusal.

Civil Services Course: St Aloysius College has been organizing coaching classes for the Administrative Service. This year the applications are invited so that young people with aptitude and suitable disposition benefit from the course. With their service, the nation and the community will find great benefit. Therefore, kindly encourage our young men and women to enrol their names for the Civil Services Course.

Discussion and Discernment on Synodality: We had the initial input session on 21 October 2021 on the Synod on Synodality. “Journeying together” and mutual listening should become the regular dynamism in each parish and institution. Pope Francis invites us to inculcate humility to learn from the poor and marginalized. Special care should be taken to involve those persons who may risk being excluded: women, the handicapped, refugees, migrants, the elderly, people who live in poverty, Catholics who rarely or never practice their faith, etc. Creative means should be found in order to involve children and youth. Kindly use the services of the youth to use innovative ways to interact with these people so that we reach out to everyone and help them express what the Spirit has been telling the Church through them. Tools like social media, virtual platforms, and interactive technology could be used to reach out to more people and collect responses. Two months are at our disposal, and by the end of December, your synthesis must reach the office of the Vicar General through the Vicars Forane.

Season of Advent: We begin the season of Advent on Sunday, 28 November 2021, ushering in a new year of the life of the Church and prayerful preparation for the coming of the Lord. This brief but holy season of four weeks mixes memory and desire. We prepare for the annual celebration of the birth of Jesus, recalling what happened two millennia ago. Our waiting for Christmas somehow links us with those who waited long for that day, and some missed it when it happened. And Advent reminds us that we wait for Christ to come again and raise us and all creation to his Kingdom. So let us preserve the spirit of the season. In our celebrations, such as weddings and jubilees, we are expected to tone down the festivities and extravagance, and maintain the spiritual environment suited to the season. Encourage the faithful to approach the Sacrament of Penance, have family devotions and promote traditions such as advent wreath, preparing crib, and using traditional advent hymns.

A Word of Gratitude: We experience a great loss with the sudden departure of Fr Mathew Vas. I am grateful to all those who paid their respects and prayed for him. Furthermore, I sincerely thank each and everyone who helped in organizing the funeral service so well. May the Lord grant Fr Mathew eternal reward, and may he intercede for us.

+Peter Paul Saldanha
Bishop of Mangalore

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