CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF INDIA
XXXIV Plenary Assembly, St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bengaluru, 13-19 February 2020
Sr Talisha N,CBCI Secretary for Women Council was given a grand farewell today,Saturday 22nd February 2020 in the presence of Bishop Jacob Barnabas,Chairman for CBCI Women's Council and Sr Navya,the New Secretary.
Fr Jervis Dsouza, Deputy Secretary General,CBCI spent this morning, Sunday,16th February visiting Kolbe Home Blore.A Home taking care of children who have either parent/s in prison.May God bless the efforts of Fr Francis Kodiyan,CBCI Secretary for Prison Ministry Desk,his team of Fathers,Sisters,Social Workers,Staff and Volunteers that visit prisons every Sunday,work for the release of undertrials,rehabilitation and reintegration once again in society in over 20 States of India
Today,26th January 2020,CBCI Centre played host to 20 school principals from Mumbai,consisting of priests,religious and layfaithful. After the Eucharist there was a fruitful exchange of the challenges and boys in Education in the Archdiocese of Bombay. They had come on a tour to Delhi and specially for the Republic Day Parade
Flag hoisting ceremony at CBCI Centre,New Delhi today 26th January 2020. Fr Paul Moonjely,Director, Caritas India was the Chief Guest and delivered the Republic Day Message.
Sunday 19th January 2020, felicitation and addressing all the Christian Churches in Delhi, being the Christian Unity Octave Week.
CBCI CHRISTSMAS CELEBRATIONS 2019
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) organized it’s Annual Christmas Gathering on Monday 9th December, 2019 from 6.00 pm onwards at the Diocesan Community Centre, Sacred Heart Cathedral, New Delhi.
The Chief Guest was Honourable Shri Vincent H. Pala, Member of Parliament. The Guests of Honour were His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias, President, CBCI, Bishop Joshua Mar Ignathios, Interim Secretary General & Vice – President – I, CBCI, Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas- Bishop of Gurgaon, Archbishop Anil J.T. Couto, Archbishop of Delhi, Bishop Jose Puthenveettil, Auxiliary Bishop of Faridabad. Msgr. Mitja Leskovar, First Counsellor, Apostolic Nunciature, Msgr. Robert Murphy, Counsellor, Apostolic Nunciature. This program was attended by the members of judiciary and government, bureaucrats, diplomats, Priests & Religious and people of different religious faiths. There were about 350 guests.
Ms Adlin Gonsalves, the anchor of the evening started the evening by introducing our guests to the CBCI. She shared about Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) and its mission mentioning that there were 174 dioceses with over 200 active Bishops and 64 retired Bishops. She spoke of CBCI’s contribution in nation building mentioning that there are 54,000 educational institutions which impart education to nearly 6 crore children and youth. There were about 20,000 hospitals, clinics, dispensaries and health care centres. The Catholic Church has involved itself in disaster management and calamity relief as well as social work and assistance to the poor in very remote areas of the country through the selfless services of 60,000 Priests and 90,000 Religious Nuns (Sisters) and thousands of laymen and women.
Melodious Christmas Carols were sung by the students of Convent of Jesus and Mary School, Delhi. It was indeed beautiful to sing along with 20 girls who played the musical instruments and sang in Hindi, English and in the dialect of Our Chief Guest. They sang so melodiously truly setting in the Christmas spirit.
The opening prayer was led by His Grace Anil J.T. Couto, Archbishop of Delhi and the welcome address was delivered by Bishop Joshua, the 1st Vice-President & Interim Secretary General of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.
The Chief Guest was felicitated with a shawl and a flower bouquet by Bishop Jose Puthenveetil, the Auxiliary Bishop of Faridabad. That was followed by all other guests of honour being felicitated with shawls and bouquets. His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias in his Christmas message said–“We organize Christmas Gathering to share the joy of Christmas. It is the most transforming event in the history of mankind that took place 2000 years ago in Bethlehem when Jesus Christ came to the world as God in human form forever. Jesus Christ is the dialogue of God. Jesus came to restore relationships. Jesus came to this earth to show the relationship with God and man and man to man. How much we see today that our relationship is broken in India! There is so much of violence and conflict in our society today. He challenged the people present as to how our relationships could be restored once again. Jesus came to restore the relationship. He emphasized our responsibility in this task. We are from different cultures, speak different languages, have different ideologies, different beliefs, etc. Sometimes we seem to be aliens to each other. But we need to love one another as Christ did. Christ lives in and through us. He wished everyone A Very Happy Christmas and A Bright New Year.
Shri Vincent Pala in his Christmas Message congratulated all for organizing the beautiful program. He shared three main ideas. 1. Make Christmas God Oriented and God Centred. 2. The Love that we celebrate at Christmas is to be demonstrated in action.3. Celebration of Christmas is awakening the awareness that God is with us- He is Emmanuel. “Why was there no room for Christ?” he asked. Is Christ with really us? How many times is Jesus in our life, in our thoughts, minds and works? When we celebrate Christmas in our homes and families and work place, God brings His divine life to humanity. He can fill us with His presence, peace and love. God is love and God’s word is almighty. He recognized that the contribution of Indian Christians to the nation and its progress was significant. Though the Christian community was small, its contribution through health care centres, old age homes, rehabilitation centres, education institutions etc. was significant. God is with us and He works in and through us.
Quoting Jn. 3.16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Christmas is characterized by celebrations which begin with family get-togethers, Christmas cribs, Christmas carols, Christmas tree, Christmas Cards and Christmas Cakes because God is with us. Christ became one of us. He is in us and reaches out to others through us. Thus we become part of the divine family. Problems and concerns of our society are also ours. We need to remind ourselves that God loves us and God is in us in all the realities of the world and life. Basic humanity is that journey to serve others must continue. Precious gift of Christmas is peace. Christ who is with us is true peace.
At the end of the programme, the Chief Guest was presented with a memento by Cardinal Oswald Gracias. Fr. Jervis D’Souza, the Deputy Secretary, CBCI in his own humorous way proposed the vote of thanks in which he thanked the dignitaries on Stage, the guests and participants as well as the organizing team and volunteers who closely collaborated with him and others who extended services by way of catering, decorations and security. At the end of the vote of thanks, His Eminence presented a token of gratitude to Ms Adlin Gonsalves for so very professionally anchoring the evening.
The Formal Christmas Gathering concluded with the National Anthem and the Christmas Festive dinner. It was a happy occasion which also served to facilitate further meaningful interactive fellowship and exchange of greetings in an informal way.
(Reported by Sr. Lalitha and Fr. J. Manipadam SDB)
30 participants attended the Executive Board meeting of the Xavier Board of Higher Education in India at St. John’s Medical College Bangalore. The meeting was held on the 23rd and 24th of November 2019. It was a meeting to plan and proceed with the role of the Association to guide, animate and strengthen the Catholic Higher Education in India. The presence of the Secretary, CBCI Office for Education and Culture as ex officio member is to guide the association as it is affiliated to the CBCI Education Office. Among the many topics dealt with was the “New National Education Policy 2019” regarding which Fr. J. Manipadam presented the Statement regarding the same from the CBCI Education Office which was followed by discussion and decisions. A presentation to be made to the National Commission for Educational Institutions was also drafted on the sidelines of the two days meeting. The Board members of the Xavier Board also recognised the contributions of the CBCI Office towards the Xavier Board through Fr. J. Manipadam in the course of the 7 past years as he was finishing his term of service with the CBCI.