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Cir. No. 002/2019

Cir. No. 002/2019
Sagar, 21 June 2019

Your Excellency, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters, Peace and Joy!

The feast of ‘Dukhrana’, the Martyrdom Day of St Thomas the Apostle of India on 3rd July inspires us to put our full faith in the Risen Lord and commit ourselves to the cause of evangelization with full vigour and vitality. St Thomas who experienced the Risen Lord, spontaneously exclaimed, “My Lord and My God”, recognizing and accepting Jesus as God and Master. Without counting the risks involved, he came to India, preached the Gospel to the people of our country, laid foundation for many Christian communities here and shed his blood for the Lord. The celebration of the feast of ‘Dukhrana’ is a renewed invitation to all of us to follow the footsteps of St Thomas, our father in faith, in preaching the Gospel and sharing the love of Jesus with everyone around. I wish you all “A Very Happy Feast of ‘Dukhrana’!

After summer breaks we are stepping into yet another year of activities by reopening the schools and resuming all other ministries with renewed zeal and enthusiasm. I wish you very fruitful and blessed months of ministry ahead. Let us take earnest efforts to gear all our apostolic activities towards the evangelization mission of our diocese, making use of every possible opportunity for sharing the gift of faith in Christ to everyone we come into contact with.

As you plan various programmes for the schools please include input sessions/seminars for the teachers and parents also. Taking the present socio-political situation of India into consideration we have to inculcate true values of Indian Constitution, universal peace and human solidarity. There is need to combat fanatical and fundamentalist ideas spreading in the current Indian society. 2019 marks the 150th birth year of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation. It is a good occasion to drive in some of good Gandhian principles and real meaning of patriotism. It is good to form alumni associations in every school/college with the purpose of mentoring the ex-students through regular meetings, contacts and newsletters.

Prayer is mission work and a great source of spiritual strength. As I have suggested earlier let all the missionary personnel in every mission station/parish spend one hour of prayer and adoration on Fridays interceding for the needs of the particular mission and of the entire diocese.

As part of extending our missionary outreach to the peripheries let each mission station select a village and make it a model village with the collaboration of the local leaders. Through non- formal education light of knowledge can be also taken to this village through our involvement.

Monsoon is at our doorstep. It is good to plant as many trees and plants in our compounds to make our earth more liveable. Sure, this is a part of Christian spirituality.

Coming of new missionary personnel
The newly ordained Fr Briant Thekketh has joined our diocese. He is appointed assistant priest in charge, in Mohanpur. Let us welcome him wholeheartedly, wish him the very best and offer all our priestly support. Three groups of sisters have already arrived in three different mission stations of our diocese and have started their ministry. Three Dominican Sisters of Holy Trinity are in St Alphonsa Mission, Garhakota; four Missionary Sisters of Good News, are in Ashok Nagar; three Sisters of the Society of St Anne, Phirangipuram are in St Jude Mission, Kurwai. The diocese of Sagar warmly welcomes them all and wishes fruitful ministry here. Sisters from Congregation of Preshitharam Sisters and from the Congregation of the Holy Family are expected to join the Diocese in the coming months. Let us thank God for getting these missionaries to our Diocese and support them in all possible ways.

A Mission Seminar is scheduled for all the missionary personnel of our diocese on 10th September 2019. Kindly mark the date and make yourself available for the seminar.

The annual retreat for priests is scheduled from 10th to 15th November 2019 at the Pastoral Centre, Bhopal. The preacher is Rev. Fr Augustine Vellooran V.C.

Fr Anson Mazhuvanchery is appointed director of Sagar Mission Home, Kuttur. Fr Ebin Uppukandathil is appointed assistant director, Sevadham, Shampura.

Fr Babu John Chiriyankandath, is going for B.Ed in Special Education, Sneha Sadan, Angamaly. Sr Pavana SJ is appointed directress of Diocesan Commission for women.

Syro-Malabar Sabha Dinam (Church Day)

We celebrate 3rd July also as Syro-Malabar Church Day – Sabha Dinam. On that day we are all exhorted to pray in a special way for Syro-Malabar Church and for the success of her missionary and other apostolic activities. The Church collection of that day is meant for the day to day needs of the Syro-Malabar Central administration at Mount St Thomas, Kakkanad, Kerala.

Once again wishing you all A Happy Feast of Dhukhrana,

Yours sincerely in the Lord,

James Athikalam
Bishop of Sagar