Monday, 5 March 2018

AICUF Organizes seminar on Tribal Integration

- Vandana Bilung

Kolkata: AYCM (Adivasi Yuva Chetna Manch), AICUF unit of St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, West Bengal organised a Seminar on 6th of February, 2018 with the theme "Tribal Integration: Issues and Invisible Constitution". The prime aim of this Seminar was to bring to light, and provide remedial measures on the various issues which plague the tribal population of our nation.

The Seminar commenced at 2pm with the welcoming of the guests and lighting of the Sacred Lamp. The guests were duly felicitated by Vandana Bilung, Convenor of AYCM. followed by an introductory speech by Richa Bara, the Joint Secretary of AYCM.

The first speaker of the day Fr. Ashok sj spoke about "The Tribal perspective of life" by beautifully explaining how the Tribals have always been close to the nature and how important they are for the sustainability of human life.

The second speaker Mr. Innocent Soren, General Manager of Reserve Bank of India spoke about "Tribal Self-Reliance" . He dwelt on the dwindling tribal population and highlighted the need to bridge the gap between backwardness and advancement. The third speaker Mr. Sirjius Minj, emphasized on the importance

of information and Self Confidence, which can go a long way in overall integration. The main speaker for the day Daya Bai, a renowned Social Activist shared her personal experiences with tribals and how she has come a long way in helping them in their hardships.

SCC Mandatory Policy Empathized

- Dominic J & Sybil Azavedo

Kolkata: In continuation of the Calcutta Synod 2017 and Archbishop Thomas D’Souza’s exhortation at the Synod that SCC is mandatory in all the Parishes of the Archdiocese of Kolkata, Fr. Dominic Gomes, Vicar General and SCC Coordinator for the Kolkata Archdiocese told the 30 participants of the Diocese Service Team (DST) that they had a heavy responsibility to work more than the animators in their Deaneries/Parishes and get the SCC moving efficiently. Fr. Dominic said at this DST meeting in Archbishop’s House on 10th February, 2018 to give him the names of the Facilitators/Animators who are active and passive and where the groups are stagnant in the Parishes and not reaching out to other areas of the Parishes to empower lay leaders to form and take charge of new SCC groups in the Parishes.

Repeating the resolutions taken at the Synod, Fr. Dominic emphasized that SCC will have to make families wanted as a community to be a participatory Church. For this it is necessary that a survey is taken of families and leaders identified; train the leaders in the methodology of the Seven Steps and Gospel Sharing; prepare and circulate guide-books for the proper conduct and functioning of SCC Cells and area units The dates given at the Synod were: for Parishes’ sur-veys to have started by 1st Janu-ary, 2018, the Parish animation training to ha ve be gun from 1st February, 2018 and the Guidebook to be launched by 23rd March, 2018.

Besides, providing help at Christmas functions and providing gifts and entertainment to the poor, needy and in old people’s homes, two successful stories, where a big number was involved from November, 2017 till January, 2018, were: 1. In Our Lady Queen of Peace, Tollygunge where a group found that the lonely and poor Mrs. Jutika Gomes’ house was surrounded with stagnant dirty drainage water all around – a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Her financial condition being not good, the group informed Fr. Piter Pradhan, the Parish Priest and other SCC groups. Fr. Piter even made announcements in the Church and so money was collected, the low land with debris was cleared and soil put, thus solving the problem. In November, 2017, the SCCs provided rice, dal, oil, potatoes, sugar, tea and soap for 50 families. This was reported by Mrs. Juliet Karak and Mr. Pius D’Mello to the SCC Coordinators for Zone IV. 

2. In Liluah Parish, Mrs. Jacinta Lakra and Mrs. Jyoti Kerketta reported that the SCCs distributed umbrellas to the needy and supported a widow who was thrown out of her house.

An hour was spent by the participants discussing Deanery-wise: the Parishes that do not have SCCS; the fruitfulness of SCCs and the areas that need to work on, the problems faced, the regular training and refresher courses required to make the SCCs effective and persevering; training in Gospel Sharing method, doing the 6th Step effectively by getting groups involved like in Tollygunge and Liluah, - in short: making SCCs, self-propagating, self-administering and self supporting communities.

To make the SCCs self-supporting at the Archdiocese’s level, Mrs. Sybil Azavedo organised the Breakfast and Lunch for the 30 members with the help of the Bramblebee family:Edward and Juana; and Mr. Sumit Singh with Mrs. Roselyn Miles, Mrs. Lidwina Alphonso, Mrs. Silvie D’Mello and Mrs. Cheryl Johnstone helping in the distribution.

Mother Yvonne Reungoat, the 9th Superior General of FMA visits Kolkata

- Sr. Stella P

Kolkata province of Mary help of Christians was at the Zenith of joy as the 9th successor of their co-foundress St. Mary Mazzarello, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat paid her maiden visit to Kolkata. The occasion of this mega event was the Triennial Evaluation carried out by PCI (provincial conference India). The provincial conference India for the Triennial Evaluation consisted of seven provincials across the country, two sister delegates and one laity and one young person from each province, Mother General Yvonne Reungoat, 4 General councilors, Sr. AlaĆ­de Deretti - Councillor for the Mission, Sr. Runita Galve Borja - Councillor for Youth Ministry, Sr. Lucy Rose Ozhukayil - Visiting Councillor and Sr. Phyllis Neves - Visiting Councillor.

On 24 January 2018 was a memorial day in the annals of the province, the commencement of the Triennial Evaluation. It commenced with a well prepared Morning Prayer and the solemn Eucharistic celebration presided by Most Rev. Thomas D’Souza, the Archbishop of Calcutta. In his homily he highlighted the tenderness an compassion so much desired by St. John Bosco our father and founder, drawing his inspiration from the life of St. Francis de Sales whom he gave as the patron. The inaugural welcome by the host province was indeed breathtaking and mesmerizing. 

The participants were escorted to the auditorium around 700 students of Auxilium School depicted the culture of West Bengal through various art forms that attracted the attention of all.The representation of leaders and luminaries like Swami Vivekanada, Rabindranath Tagore and Mother Teresa, the Saint of the Gutters stirred our hearts. After the ceremonial welcome done by the three schools of Bandel, Barasat and Dum Dum beloved Mother General enthralled the audience with her affectionate message. She had great appreciation for the artists and staff for such a wonderful performance. Mother General spoke to the participants about the beauty of our vocation as believers. She said that we need to ‘let ourselves be found by the Lord Jesus’. Only an encounter with Jesus can help us encounter others. This was followed by group discussions which helped the participants to deepen their reflection on her talk.

Archdiocese Annual Meeting

Kolkata: Archdiocesan annual meeting of priests began on 15th Jan 2018 at 6.00 pm. The coordinator of the diocesan priest's welfare committee (DPWC), Fr. Albert Sahayaraj presented the events of the meeting. Archbishop Thomas D’Souza at the very outset exhorted all the priests to actively participate and to keep the bond of brotherly unity and togetherness.

Sr. Inigo, Former Superior General of St. Anne’s of Chennai, the resource person spoke on panoramic view of the dioc e sanpriestly life, inviting the priests to walk in the presence of Christ in human and divine nature”. Fr. Mohandas updated all of us with do’s and dont’s with regard to LITURGY.

It was also a happy occasion to celebrate the Silver jubilee of the Priestly Ordination of the three jubilarians Frs. Albert, Gregory Monteiro, Mark Pitchai. The Presbyterium organized a thanksgiving Mass to thank the Lord for the gift of the three priests and felicitated them on reaching this great milestone of their Priestly life in a simple cultural program.

During these three days of meeting various areas of concerns matter s and events of Pastoral, Finance, Education and various Projects were  discussed and analysed. Archbishop in his address instructed on living for Christ and people through service with responsibility. He felt encouraged and experienced the joy and warmth of the diocesan clergy coming together as one presbyterium.

Fr. Anthony Paul, Secretary, of DPWC thanked all specially Archbishop Thomas D’Souza for convoking the Annual Priests meeting, Fr. Dominic VG for his ready help and co-operation, Fr. Albert (DPWC), Fr. Shyam Director of Proggalay for his hospitality and care, Fr. Neethi for Media & Sound system and Fr. Rodney for coordinating the Liturgy & choir, he also thanked all the priests present for their active and valuable participation.

Monday, 19 February 2018