Saturday, March 29, 2014

Obama and pope Frnacis

Obama:Common commitment with Holy See possible but “it doesn’t mean we agree on every issue”
Obama is struck and moved by Francis’ testimony. The President taking the possibility of a collaboration with the Holy See seriosuly
Barack Obama was visibly moved by his meeting with Francis. Before bidding the Pope farewell, the US President maintained his firm handshake with the Pope longer than protocol dictates. Struck by Francis’ message and testimony, Obama evidently wanted this meeting and is taking seriously the possibility of a common effort by the US and the Holy See in the fight against poverty and human trafficking, as well as in negotiating a solution to the conflict.
“During the cordial meetings, views were exchanged on some current international themes and it was hoped that, in areas of conflict, there would be respect for humanitarian and international law and a negotiated solution between the parties involved,” the Vatican’s official statement reads.
But thorny issues which have caused friction between the US Church and President Obama in the light of Obama’s healthcare reform were ignored. Issues such as abortion, contraception and conscientious objection.” In the context of bilateral relations and cooperation between Church and State, there was a discussion on questions of particular relevance for the Church in that country, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection, as well as the issue of immigration reform,” the Vatican statement reads.
But Obama and the Pope did not just talk about what unites them but also about matters the two disagree on. The US President said he shared the Pope’s commitment to eradicate poverty but this is no “holy alliance”.
In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, published today, Obama said the following about Francis. Obama said he was deeply grateful to His Holiness for receiving him. Francis “has been an inspiration to people around the world, including me,” the President said referring to the Pope’s efforts in the field of social justice and his message of love and compassion, aimed especially at the poor and vulnerable. President Obama commented on the fact that Francis does not just proclaim the Gospel, he lives it and said everyone, including himself have been struck by the Pope’s humility and his acts of mercy. Francis’ testimony and the simple fact that he goes out and seeks contact with the poor and those living in difficult conditions reminds us all of the responsibility we have as individuals to live righteous and virtuous lives, the President said. He added that we are all aware of the pope’s great moral authority and when the Pope speaks his words are of enormous significance. The President said this was why he mentioned Francis in his speech on income inequality.
By continuously putting pressure on us, the Pope warns us of the dangers of getting accustomed to inequality. If we get used to these kinds of inequalities we begin to accept them as the norm, the President added during the interview. And we must not make this mistake.
“One of the qualities that I admire most about the Holy Father is his courage in speaking out on some of the great economic and social issues of our time,” Obama said, according to The Washington Post. “It doesn’t mean we agree on every issue, but his voice is one that I think the world needs to hear. He challenges us. He implores us to remember the people, especially the poor, who are affected by the economic decisions we make. He invites us to stop and reflect on the dignity of man.” And as we have been able to witness first hand, his words count. He is able to focus the planet’s attention on an urgent issue in one single phrase. The Pope is able to get the people of the world to pause and reflect, the President said.

They were asleep ... why? - Ronrolheiser, OMI


We are rarely at our best. Too often what shows forth in our lives is not what’s best in us: love, generosity, a big heart. More often than not, our lives radiate irritation, pettiness, and a small heart.
Too often, we find ourselves consumed by petty irritations, conflicts, frustrations, and angers. Each of these might be small in itself but, cumulatively, they take the sunshine and delight out of our lives, like mosquitoes spoiling a picnic. Then, instead of feeling grateful, gracious, and magnanimous, we feel paranoid, fearful, and irritable and we end up acting out of a cold, irritated, paranoid part of ourselves rather than out of our real selves.
Why do we do that? Because we are asleep to who and what we really are, asleep in a double way:
When St. Luke describes Jesus’ agony in the garden, he tells us that after Jesus had undergone a powerful drama, sweating blood so as to give his life over in love, he turned to his disciples (who were supposed to be watching and praying with him) and found them asleep. However he uses a curious expression to describe why they were asleep. They were asleep, he says, not because they were tired and it was late, but they were asleep “out of sheer sorrow”.
That says a couple of things: First, that the disciples are asleep out of depression. Depression is what is preventing them from seeing straight. But they are also asleep to what is deepest inside of them, namely, that they carry the image and likeness of God. Jesus was not asleep to that and, because of this awareness, was able precisely to be big of heart.
As Christians we believe that what ultimately defines us and gives us our dignity is the image and likeness of God inside us. This is our deepest identity, our real self. Inside each of us there is a piece of divinity, a god or goddess, a person who carries an inviolable dignity, with a heart as big as God’s.
And that great dignity is not meant to be a source of wrongful pride and a justification for making an unhealthy assertion with our lives. Sadly, too often it does and a rather simple commentary on the state of our planet might be to say that this is what things look like when you have six billion people walking around with each one of them thinking himself or herself as God.
But our great dignity, the Imago Dei inside each of us, is meant rather to be a center from which we can draw vision, grace, and strength to act in a way that, ironically, precisely helps us to swallow our pride.
We see this in Jesus. In a famous text, St. John tells us that at the last supper, Jesus got up from the table and began to wash the feet of his disciples, against their protests. That gesture, washing someone else’s feet, has classically been preached on as an act of humility. It was that, but in the context of the Gospel of John, it is something more. It was a particular kind of humility, one that requires having a huge, huge heart and swallowing a lot of pride. When Jesus washes his disciples feet in John’s Gospel and tells us he is setting an example for us to imitate, he is inviting us to have the strength to bend down in understanding and wash the feet of those whom, for all kinds of reasons, we would rather not have anything to do with. It is akin to having Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, strident conservatives and strident liberals, fundamentalists and atheists, wash each others’ feet. Normally we don’t have the strength to do that, there is too much pride and desire for righteousness at stake.
So how could Jesus do it? He could do it because he wasn’t asleep to who and what he was. In a stunning description of what is going on inside of him when he got up and took the basin and towel to do this. John writes: “Jesus, knowing that he had come from God and was returning to God, and that the Father had put everything into his hands, got up from the table and removed his outer garments.” (John 13,3-5).
Jesus took off his outer garments (which symbolize precisely all those things, including our everyday irritations and angers, which block the view of our deeper selves) to show us his deeper reality, namely, the fact that he had come from God and was going back to God. On the strength of that awareness, he could swallow all the pride that he needed to in order to reach out in understanding, forgiveness, and love, beyond wound, irritation, and moral righteousness.
When we are in touch with that fact that we too have “come from God and are going back to God” then, and only then, can we too swallow enough pride to be genuinely loving

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fr Rui Menezes sj [ 75/57]

FR. RUI DE MENEZES S. J. (75/57)


Born at Cansaulim on 24/12/1939

Secondary education: St Paul’s, Belgaum

Entered SJ 1/07/1957 at Vinayalaya

Philosphy at Pune 1962-1965

Theology at Innsbruck 1966-1970 (PhD 1970-1971)

Ordained priest on 31/08/1969 in Switzerland

Diploma in Modern Hebrew: in Jerusalem 1974-1975

Licentiate in S. Script Rome 1975-1976


Fr Rui de Menezes is no longer with us: he returned to the Father early morning on

Saturday 22 March. The news reached us at the beginning of the Community Mass in which

the Gospel relating the parable of the Prodigal Son was proclaimed. Indeed there must

have been a great welcoming celebration in Heaven with his near and dear ones around,

especially with his elder brother Fr Celso SJ who died in 1968 following a tragic road

accident not far from De Nobili College, Pune, where Rui spent most of his life. Fr Rui’s

departure was so very quick, ever since colorectal cancer (also known as colon cancer)

was detected in November 2013. whilst teaching a course in Bangalore. He underwent

surgery on November 14th

appeared that things were under control until further complications set in and he had to be

removed to Nirmala Nagar Hospital where in spite of the loving care of Charles Borromeo

Sisters his internal system gave in and he departed to the Lord.

 Born in Cansaulim Goa in 1939, Rui did secondary school at St. Paul’s Belgaum,

and joined the Society in 1957. He had a brilliant academic career beyond the regular

priestly studies: a Doctorate in Theology in Innsbruck (Austria), Licentiate in S. Scripture in

Rome and Diploma in Modern Hebrew in Jerusalem.

His life as a Jesuit was characterised by distinguished academic service and by the

teaching of generations of students at the Pontifical Athenaeum, Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth,

Pune, where he taught from 1979 until his retirement in 2004. He was also visiting professor

in many seminaries like the Morning Star College, Barrakpore in West Bengal, Vidya Jyoti,

Delhi, St Peter’s Pontifical Institute, Bangalore, and the Pilar Seminary, Pilar Goa, Rachol

Seminary Goa and lectured regularly in the Archdiocesan Seminary San Luis Potosi in

Mexico, in Spanish naturally! He could speak besides in French, German, Italian,

Portuguese, Latin, English, Marathi and Konkani. In Pune he was at various times Dean of

Theological Studies, Rector Magnificus of the Athenaeum and Rector of De Nobili College

and showed himself as an effective fund raiser for the various construction and

maintenance projects that he undertook.

Fr Rui has done us Goa Jesuits proud by contributing so diligently to the formation

and education not only of the Jesuits of the Assistancy but also numerous Diocesan

Seminarians and other Religious women and men. He was truly an academician with a

heart of a pastor. As such he cared for the poor as well as for those with means but not

much else. His friendly ways and passion for life attracted many to his circle of friends.

, 2013 and then followed slow recovery at St Paul’s Belgaum. It

We the Goa Jesuits thank God for the marvels He wrought in his life and for the

marvels he wrought in the lives of many people, especially the many hundreds of students.

May God grant him eternal joy and peace. R.I.P

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pope francis invited to a joint session of US congress

<p>Picture: AFP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli</p>
Picture: AFP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli

  • Jeff Zeleny for ABC News United States March 17, 2014
Pope Francis has been invited by House Speaker John Boehner to speak to a joint session of Congress.
Boehner extended the formal invitation today in a letter to the Vatican — on the one-year anniversary of his papacy — saying the Holy Father has “awakened hearts on every continent.”.
“Pope Francis has inspired millions of Americans with his pastoral manner and servant leadership, challenging all people to lead lives of mercy, forgiveness, solidarity, and humble service,” Boehner wrote. “His tireless call for the protection of the most vulnerable among us — the ailing, the disadvantaged, the unemployed, the impoverished, the unborn — has awakened hearts on every continent.”
Boehner, a Catholic, said the pope’s message “challenges people of all faiths, ideologies and political parties.”
Since Paul VI made his first papal visit to the United States in 1965, three popes have come to America. John Paul II, who came to the United States seven times, visited with every president from Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton.
A pope has visited the United Nations four times, but one has never addressed the House and Senate during a joint session.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, also a Catholic, joined the speaker in his invitation.
“Whether inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, who cared for all of God’s creation, or by St. Joseph, protector of the church,” Pelosi said, “Pope Francis has lived his values and upheld his promise to be a moral force, to protect the poor and the needy, to serve as a champion of the less fortunate, and to promote love and understanding among faiths and nations.”
Congressional officials told ABC News they did not know whether Pope Francis would accept the invitation to visit Washington. It is an open-ended invitation, aides said.
“His social teachings, rooted in ‘the joy of the gospel,’ have prompted careful reflection and vigorous dialogue among people of all ideologies and religious views in the United States and throughout a rapidly changing world,” Boehner said, “particularly among those who champion human dignity, freedom, and social justice.

Monday, March 17, 2014

10 points of Pope Francis

Fr. Susaimanickam when he was alive

Fr V. Suasimanickam 02.1.1968 - 16.3.2014

Fr. V. Susaimanikam
(02.01.1968 - 16.3.2014)

Rev. Fr. Susaimanikam was born on 02.01.1968 to Mr. Vedhamuttu and Mrs. Mariammal at Thinaikulam of Ramnadu District in Tamilnadu. He was the fourth child of his parents. He completed his schooling at Thiruvarangam and joined St. Joseph’s seminary at Khanpur, Ahmedabad in June 1986 to be a missionary priest in the Diocese of Ahmedabad.

After one year, that is in 1987, he was sent to Karumatur to study Philosophy. Then he did his Regency in Nadiad, Khempur and Koth. In June 1994 he went to study Theology; and after the successful completion of the studies he was ordained priest on 05. 05. 1998.
Then he served as Assistant Parish priest in Bochasan, Nanakantharia, Deesa and Mirzapur; while he was an Assistant Parish Priest he also served in the Primary section of St. Xavier’s School at Mirzapur. Then he efficiently served as parish priest of Bochasan. Then looking at his missionary zeal and hard working nature, the bishop appointed him the 1st parish priest of Borsad, where he worked in commendable manner. From there he went for studies to Philipines and Pune; from Pune he has obtained a Masters Degree  in Missiology.

On his return from Pune in June 2012 he was assigned to Tarapur Parish as the first parish priest. As there was no proper accommodation in the first few months he resided in the Rectory of Amod Parish and did up-down to perform his responsibilities. Within a short period he not only won the heart of his parishioners and his neighbours but also built up the mission in an exemplary way.

On 16.03.2014, on the day of Holi, he was playing in a Volley Ball Tournament along with the youth of Tarapur in a village called Nar at 7.30 pm; and at 9.30 pm he had a massive heart attack and fell on the ground and went to his heavenly home to receive his eternal reward from God.

The diocese of Ahmedabad has lost a simple, down to earth, committed and hardworking missionary priest. He lived an austere life. He proved to be a good shephered to his flock. The diocese is deeply shocked at the loss of Rev. Fr. V. Susaimanikam. We express our sincere condolences to his grieved parents and family members.
May his soul Rest in Peace.

Yours devotedly in Christ
+ Thomas Macwan
                                                                                                           Bishop of Ahmedabad

-The funeral service will be held at Tarapur on Tuesday, 18th March, 2014 at 11 a.m.
Priests are requested to come with alb and stole.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Gamit Dantkadhao by Raymund Chauhan sj as textbook

 Dantkadhao as textbook

Pro. Vikram Chaudhari, from Bardoli, South Gujarat, gave good tidings to Fr. Raymund A. Chauhan sj, at 12.39 pm on 08.03.2014, on his mobile, “Father Raymund, your book - Gamit Dantkathao - has been selected by Surat University as textbook for the fourth semester of M. A. from the next academic year, 2014-2015. Congratulations!” Indeed, this good news delighted me immensely.

Gamit Dantkathao is a book of Gamit mythology. As part of my Gamit-research, I   collected, compiled and translated these myths from Gamit Language into Gujarati. This book is bilingual in the sense that it narrates the myths into Gamit (as narrated by the Gamit elders – women and men) and provides a simultaneous translation into Gujarati.

There are altogether 19 myths orally narrated by the uneducated elders of Gamit from Vyara and Songadh Talukas and with the help of educated Gamit Youth, compiled and translated into Gujarati.

Dr. Ganesh Devi, who is the Director of Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, Baroda, and was conferred with a Padma Shri for his work with the languages of India on January 26 this year, had invited  me   to present an assignment for publication in 1998 to a project “Indian Literature in Tribal Languages”. I responded to this invitation by preparing a collection of Gamit mythologies, which was published in 2002 by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi.  

Fr. Raymund A. Chauhan sj


Book Release " Premni

On the Wings of LOVE
An Anthology of Poems by Fr. Shekhar sj

Fr Francis Parmar releasing the book

Publisher Raghuvir Chaudhari

Gujarati Nusarjak Raymund Chauhan sj

Original English poet Shekhar Manickam sj
On the Wings of Love – an anthology of poems written by Fr. Shekhar Manikam - has been translated into Gujarati by Fr. Raymund Chauhan sj under the title “Premni Pankhe”.   
પ્રેમની પાંખે 
This book was released on 9th of March, 2014, at St. Xavier’s Loyola Hall, Golden Jubilee Auditorium.

 Fr. Francis Parmar sj, the Provincial, while releasing the book, called it a process of passing through 5 palaces, like that of St. Teresa of Avila, in Spain, and being merged into the Author of Life – Love,  

Other eminent critics from Gujarati Literature such as Mr. Raghuvir Chaudhari, Poet Yosef Macwan and Prof. R. R. Parmar too highly appreciated “Premni Pankhe”. Indeed it was a superbly planned program with a fantastic use of audio visual media.
Grishma Manoj Macwan - Prayer dance

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lent -Talks by James B Dabhi in Gujarati.

A DVD containing talks on Ash Wednesday and 5 Sundays of Lent is released by Gurjarvani.
These are excellent Biblical reflections on the readings of Sundays and Ash Wednesday.
Good material for teaching and sermons.