On 4 January 2015, the Annual Diocesan Eucharistic Procession was held from Milagres Church to Rosario Cathedral. Nearly 10,000 people participated in it. I thank all the parish priests, religious priests, deacons and brothers and sisters, hundreds of volunteers and all our lay leaders for making the procession a devout one. This has been a manifestation of our faith in the Eucharistic Lord. Let us continue our piety towards our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
On 14, 15, 16 January, at Mudipu, we celebrated sainthood and the feast of St Joseph Vaz with lot of devotion and fervour.Every day thousands of pilgrims visited the Shrine and honoured St Joseph Vaz, who was at one time the missionary of Ullal Panir and neighbouring parishes. We are indeed fortunate to have a Saint in heaven who has walked the land of Canara and exercised his ministry from our Cathedral, the Church of Our Lady of Most Holy Rosary, Mangalore. We have confidence that he prays for us. He has already become a popular saint among the faithful of our Diocese. The holy places and shrines of saints should inspire us to lead a life worthy of our calling and deepen our faith in Christ and thereby become the messenger of the gospel to people around us. I congratulate the parish priest and all his collaborators for having worked hard untiringly for the success of the celebraions of St Joseph Vas at Mudipu.
On 11 February, the feast of our Lady of Lourdes will be celebrated. Let the day be kept up as a day for good health. Suitable devotion may be held in parishes before the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and special services to the sick people may be held.
The Holy Childhood association is in our Diocese in some parishes. I request you to give attention to it and to start the association in parishes for smaller children. The Holy Childhood day is celebrated on 8 February and the collection made during the Mass is sent to the National Office and the amount is spent for the welfare of poor children.
On 18 February the Holy season of lent will begin with Ash Wednesday. I request you to kindly to go through the instructions given in the Ordo regarding lent. The lenten season is kept up with prayer and penance by the faithful. The law of abstinence starts from the age of 14 years, whereas the law of fasting starts from the completion of 18 years and ends at the completion of 59 years. The meat is avoided on all Fridays of the year and specially in lenten season. However a substitute penance could be chosen in case of inconvenience. The usual spiritual practices be held in parishes. I wish that all the pastors are available in the parishes to the faithful all through the lent. Please don’t go on leave from the parishes. The special services to be provided to the aged and sick persons in their homes.
I wish you a fruitful lenten season and a good spiritual preparation for Easter.
+ Aloysius Paul D’Souza
Bishop of Mangalore