Saturday, June 21, 2014

50 Years in the Society of Jesus 2014O

Frs Varghese Paul, Hedwig Lewis, Cyprian Andrade
celebrating at Premal Jyoti.

Sr Lissi and Celine came for the celebration their brother Varghese Paul

50 years of three of  our Jesuits was celebrated at Premal Jyoti Ahmedabad on 20th June 2014.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The ambiguities of being Catholic Do we love God, or just want his attention?

By Fr Michael Kelly
Perhaps because of my visits to Tokyo I’ve been haunted by images from a film I saw some time ago. The multi-award winning Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson, displays a relationship that unfolds between two Americans – a middle-aged man and a younger woman – when they meet in Japan.

Portrayed against the backdrop of Tokyo’s metallic and Perspex landscape, Lost in Translation is the story of two people desperately searching for different things and hoping they can find them in one another.

But they don’t, and they are left at the end of the film with a lonely emptiness both had sought to escape. They are ships that pass in the night, never noticing each other apart from what they want from each other. It is the portrayal of a relationship that isn’t to be. Each is saying to the other in their own misguided way: “Look at me!” They do not engage with each other or listen, but instead just seek to attract the notice and attention of the other.

Sometimes I think Catholics are like this couple in the way we engage with God. What we want from our faith is all about ourselves rather than God or the faith community we share.

We can have, as Catholics, just as we do in our ordinary relationships every day, a single-minded focus on our needs, what we have sacrificed, what hurt we have endured or what splendid things we have done in our care or service of others.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Use modern media to spread faith: Bishop Lobo

Use modern media to spread faith: Bishop Lobo

Bishop Lobo is about to begin his service as President of the Commission for Social Communications in the Indian Bishops' Conference.

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Bishop Salvadore Lobo
The Indian Church seeks to proclaim the gospel with the media which are today a powerful means of evangelization in Indian society: said Bishop Salvadore Lobo of Baruipur.

Bishop Lobo is about to begin his service as President of the Commission for Social Communications in the Indian Bishops' Conference.

Faith and the Christian message are appreciated in India, "although there is sporadic violence against the faithful by extremist groups," he said. "To carry out a good service, in such cases, is to tell the truth without exaggerating with episodes of violence," he explained.

"We live in a world that has dramatically increased the speed of communication. The Church can be present in the agora of the media in order to make Christ known, who is the Way, the Truth and Life", says the Bishop explaining the guidelines of his new service.

The Church is present in India "with enormous efforts regarding social services to people of all religions", says the Bishop, announcing his commitment to improve communication in the media, Catholics and non-Catholics, in all the dioceses of the vast nation.

Source: Agenzia Fides

Sr.Vijaya ( Dominican sister) has gone to be in her internal joy and peace.

3.Sr.Vijaya ( Dominican sister), sister of late Fr.Arvind Parmar expired in the morning(17 June 2014) and the funeral will be held on Friday (20 June 2014) in Baroda.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Dream- Fr.A.Moonnu

A Dream- Fr.A.Moonnu

Xavier Green School,                                                             Waghodia Road,  ANKHOL,P.O.   
 On the morning of June 1st, 2014, I was walking hurriedly to the Baroda railway station. On the   road side, just opposite to our Rosary school, [Vadodara, Gujarat, India] I saw something that halted my steps for few moments. On a mat spread on the ground, was a beautiful baby, a replica of Baby Jesus in Egypt. A little girl, certainly much younger than Mother Mary in Egypt, was fondly mothering the tiny one. Their parents, I guessed, must have gone to find casual labour.
 Such scenes of the children of the migrant workers flash across  my mind most frequently  ever since I came to Khatamba. Almost every morning at sun rise, I take a walk on the highway. I see the migrant families with the little ones sleeping on the road side or under the over bridge. Once I counted eighty families under the bridge. In such occasions, I look at them all, pray for them and bless them. We have in our XAVIER GREEN SCHOOL two hundred such children attending classes from K.G. to X in the OPEN SCHOOL.
 In Gujarat, the vicissitude of migrant labourers, do not seem to be as acute as in Kerala. There every month at least fifteen migrant workers commit suicide out of despair. Recently, a body of a migrant worker was fished out of my relative’s well and there was no one  to claim for it.    
 I have not heard of any such tragic incident in Gujarat. Yet, I suggest that ministry among the migrant casual labourers be made a prime programme of the Gujarat Jesuit Province and of the Gujarat Catholic Church.
 Our immediate target group should be the numerous replicas of the “Child Jesus of Egypt” found in all the cities of vibrant Gujarat. An initial important step is that the city Communities take note of their presence, become aware that those are our own little brothers and sisters, and, seek ways and means of educating them. In earlier days Fr. Joe Braganza and Fr. Erviti had given us some example and methodology. At present Fr. Jolly Nadukudyil has organized the Xavier Green School in Khatamba.
 Those who are inspired must go into it in the old missionary style and start the work, knowing that God provides for His work. Br. Alu and I started Hingoria just that way. Some thirty years ago, there was only a small mud walled chapel in the village plot. That shanty structure served as our weekly Mass centre, hostel, class room and later, the convent for the Little Daughters.
 Though we did not have enough money in those years, as St. Joseph did not leave Jesus in Egypt uncared; we continued to care the new mission at Hingoria. Within six months, Felli Seth, a Parsee gentleman, gifted us a large property and  we have today the parish, the hostel, and the school. Soon Mr. Patel was ready to sell the adjoining land to build a convent and a girls’ hostel. I mention this, in order to tell you not to wait for resources and for much planning.
Today my wish is to start a small boarding for the children of migrant workers.  The children of the migrant workers will never see a school unless we take  initiative. The initiative taken by Fr.Jolly to run XAVIER GREEN SCHOOL of Khatamba  is indeed a very special one.
             May THE HOLY FAMILY OF EGYPT guide us.
Fr.Anthony Moonnu, S.J.                     
Xavier Green School,                                                             Waghodia Road,  ANKHOL,P.O.   
 Gujarat, 390 019, India                                              
 Mob. O9879804971      
Migrant worker's children after the school

Valmikis - A seminar at HDRC

Dear All,

Valmikis – especially those engaged in scavenging work - are by far the most oppressed and

marginalized community in the Indian sub-continent today. This scavenging work is

predominantly done by Valmiki women. Unfortunately, while the general Dalit situation and caste

ideology has been researched quite comprehensively, the plight of the Valmikis (who are referred

to as Safai Karmacharis if they are salaried employees of municipalities or wage laborers with

contractors) have not been understood adequately. When it comes to the situation of Valmiki

women the knowledge deficit is even more pronounced.

In terms of direct action, the scenario has been more encouraging. HDRC has engaged with

the Valmiki communities in the rural areas since 1988, resulting in the formation of Antyodaya

Vikas Shikshan Centre, in the Khambhat region. Many other organizations like Navsarjan also

have made significant contributions towards highlighting the plight of manual scavengers and

sewage workers. Janvikas and Manav Garima have addressed serious issues of the Valmiki

communities since over a decade. HDRC currently has been trying to reach out to Valmiki women

in ahmedabad city through efforts to organize them and build leadership and capacities to break

out of bondage.We believe that social interventions based on social research and scientific

assessment of the situation of communities have tremendous potential to trigger transformation. In this context we are organizing a one day seminar on the 19th of July, 2014, bringing together

civil society organizations, academics and the people from the valmiki community to understand

socio-economic and human rights situation of the community here in the city. This is a

collaborative effort of the civil society organizations SXSSS, Janvikas, Manav Garima and

Prashant working in the the city.

It is our pleasure to invite you to this seminar, to share your experience of working with

the Valmiki community. Your participation and contribution will help us to understand the

community better and engage with it in a more meaningful way.

Kindly confirm your participation or participation of a colleague from your organization on the

following email id or phone numbers: 079-263-04928, 079-263-03577

See overleaf for a tentative schedule of the seminar. Looking forward for your confirmation,

Warm regards,

Priyanka Christian

Research Associate, HDRC

(On behalf of)

Dr. Jimmy Dabhi Vijay S. Parmar Parshottam Vaghela

Research Director, HDRC CEO, Janvikas Director, Manav Garima

Prasad Chacko Fr. Rajeev Fr. Cedric Prakash

Director, HDRC Director SXSSS Director, PrashantTentative Time schedule of the Seminar

Sr.No Timing Details

1 9.30 to 10.00 Registration and Tea

2 10.00 to 10.15 Welcome and Overview

3 10.15 to 10.30 Study

4 10.30 to10.45 Presentation of Pilot study of the community in Ahmedabad

5 10.45 to 12.00 Valmiki Community - Raju Solanki

Situation of Valmiki Women of Ahmedabad City - Manjulaben

Involvement of Valmiki women of Ahmedabad city in

keeping Ahmedabad clean - Parshottam bhai

Possibilities for valmiki women of Ahmedabad city, to

change their socio-economic life - Ms.Gurjar

6 12.00 to 1.00 Open Forum and discussion

1.00 to 2.00 Lunch break

7 2.00 to3.00 Inputs by participants

8 3.00 to3.45 Action Plan

9 3.45 to 4.00 Conclusion

10 4.00 to 4.10 Vote of Thanks

Venue: Human Development and Research Center

St. Xavier’s College Campus

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Monday, June 9, 2014

News Updates

News Updates:
1.Sr.Francis Theres Mendonca, the former superior General of LD Sisters passed away on 07 June 2014 and the funeral was held on 08 June 2014 at St.Xavier's parish. Anand. (She is the Sister of our late Fr.Mendonca)

2. Mrs. Mariamben, the Mother of Fr.Francis Macwan expired around 1.00p.m  on 09 June 2014. The date of the funeral is yet  to be decided.
 Lawrence Dharmaraj sj

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sannidya - audio album by Raymund Chauhan , Music arrangement by Appu from Gurjarvani

Appu and Raymund Chauhan in Disha Studio, Ahmedabad on 5th June 2014
"Sannidhya" means the Divine presence in our lives.
This songs sung by two upcoming artists will be released soon by Gurjarvani.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

world communications day June1 2014

Prashant Dio

May 28 (8 days ago)
to Cedric, bcc: me
Dear Bishops, Sisters, Brothers,Fathers, Friends,

The Church in India has decided to observe World Communications Day together with the Universal Church from this year(2014) onwards
So it will be on SUNDAY JUNE 1st 2014 instead of the Sunday before the Feast of Christ the King.

We request that you ensure the observance of this day in an appropriate way.
warm wishes and prayers,
Fr Cedric

Fr. Cedric Prakash sj
"PRASHANT"   (A Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace)
Hill Nagar, Near Kamdhenu Hall, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad - 380052,Gujarat, INDIA
Tel :+91 (0)79-27455913/66522333
Cell : 9824034536
Fax:+91 (0)79-27489018

(1st June 2014) 
                                                                                   -Fr. Cedric Prakash sj*
“Today we are living in a world which is growing ever “smaller” and where, as a result, it would seem to be easier for all of us to be neighbours.  Developments in travel and communications technology are bringing us closer together and making us more connected, even as globalization makes us increasingly interdependent.  Nonetheless, divisions, which are sometimes quite deep, continue to exist within our human family.  On the global level we see a scandalous gap between the opulence of the wealthy and the utter destitution of the poor.  Often we need only walk the streets of a city to see the contrast between people living on the street and the brilliant lights of the store windows.  We have become so accustomed to these things that they no longer unsettle us.  Our world suffers from many forms of exclusion, marginalization and poverty, to say nothing of conflicts born of a combination of economic, political, ideological, and, sadly, even religious motives.”

A powerful opening paragraph indeed from our Holy Father Pope Francis for the 48th World Communications Day which the Universal Church observes on Sunday 1st June, 2014! The theme this year is ‘Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter’. 

The message of the Pope is not merely inspiring but also challenging “the walls which divide us can be broken down only if we are prepared to listen and learn from one another”.  “A culture of encounter demands that we be ready not only to give but also to receive.   It is very symbolic that a new Government in India takes charge in the very week that World Communications Sunday is being observed. The run-up to the elections, the campaigning, the advertisements, the media onslaught for several months were truly on a high. The paid media in the country became “cheer leaders” and “flag bearers” for a particular school of thought. The big corporates of the country justified this with terminology like ‘market savvy’, ‘branding’, ‘hard-sell’, etc. They did triumph in their aggressiveness and a fairly large portion of the credit has surely to go to the print, electronic and to social media!

It is in this context that Pope Francis minces no words when he says “whenever communication is primarily aimed at promoting consumption or manipulating others, we are dealing with a form of violent aggression like that suffered by the man in the parable who was beaten by robbers and left abandoned on the road”. 

Pope Francis poses challenges to the Christians: to be a bruised Church which goes out to the streets “where people live and where they can be reached both effectively and affectively”. “The digital highway” he says “is one of them,  a street teeming with people, who are often hurting, men and women looking for salvation or hope.”  He questions whether the Church is capable of communicating that it is the ‘home of all’.  “We need a Church”, he emphasizes “capable of bringing warmth and of stirring hearts”. “We are challenged”, he continues, “to be people of depth, attentive to what is happening around us and spiritually alert.”

In the context of the increasing divide that is taking place all over the world, Pope Francis hopes and prays that “our communication be a balm which relieves pain and a fine wine that gladdens hearts”. He encourages all Christians “not to be mere passer-bys on the digital highways” but to ensure that our authentic encounters help in every possible way to create a more loving, just and truthful world. “Therevolution taking place in communications media and in information technologies represent a great and thrilling challenge; may we respond to that challenge with fresh energy and imagination as we seek to share with others the beauty of God”.

As we in India observe ‘Communications Day’, let us truly commit ourselves to ensure that our communication too is at the service of an authentic culture of encounter.

(* Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ is the Director of PRASHANT, the Ahmedabad-based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace and the Secretary for Social Communications of the Western Region Catholic Bishops Council)

Address: PRASHANT, Hill Nagar, Near Kamdhenu Hall, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad – 380052 Phone: 79 27455913, 66522333    Fax:  79 27489018