Bible Week, Bangalore

 

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”.

With this attitude we the young Paulines of the community of Bangalore spent our Diwali holidays, by lighting a small lamp in the hearts of all the parishioners of the Sacred Heart Church. Therefore with faith and enthusiasm we began the family visits from 18th of Oct. The Sacred Heart Church is one of the famous Parishes in Bangalore city; it consists of 2500 Parishioners, who are very active and collaborative in Church activities.

Fr. Martin Kumar is the parish priest of this huge parish, where he works tirelessly knowing the hearts of all the parishioners. He is a very well known friend of our Bangalore community. He and his team were very approachable and co-operative in our mission. We thank them for their collaboration and understanding towards us.

Indeed our visit to all the families in the parish has had a great impact on the lives of the people and we could see and feel how welcoming they were towards us. It was an enriching experience for all of us to know and understand the hearts of the people, specially their life of pain and suffering, stress and depression, loneliness and poverty. Of course, some of the families did not welcome us but it was a unique experience for us to know and understand the attitudes of the people around us. Though some of us did not know the language of the place in order to communicate, our very presence was a blessing to the people whom we encountered with the language of smile best tender looks towards them.

In the 1st week we visited all the families and invited them for the Bible week celebration in the church. In the second week we organized the various programmes for the Parishioners.

We began our Bible week on Mission Sunday with the Holy Eucharist, highlighting the importance of the Bible in our life .We had invited different preachers from other parishes who spoke well on the theme, “growing in faith with the word of God”. His grace Ignatius Pinto presided at the Holy Eucharist at 8.30a.m. At the end of the holy Eucharist we had the releasing of our new 2 MP3’s on Mary.

After the Eucharistic celebration we conducted the Bible Quiz and Bible housie for the Children. There were around 150 children present. In Tamil, we conducted the hour of adoration on Friday and helped them to trust and cling to the Lord always in prayer, for prayer is our strength and our support in life.

We concluded the Bible week on Sunday 27th Oct, highlighting the theme, Bible and family. The priests, who were invited for the celebration of the Eucharist, spoke well and encouraged everyone to build up their family life and their relationships on the word of God which is the foundation of our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

At the end of the Eucharistic celebration the Priests implored God’s blessings upon all of us and upon the holy Bibles that were carried by all the faithful in the Church and the pledge was taken in order to lead and form our Christian life on the word of God and through the word of God which is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ.

We sincerely thank God and all the sisters of our community who gave us this beautiful opportunity to do something for our people, who were in need of our presence, our smiles, our look, our words of encouragement above all the importance of the word of God that we were able to make known to them through our mission of giving Christ to the world without any boundaries and barricades.

May God bless us and all the people of Sacred Heart Church so that we may value the word of God and be transformed in our life as the Lord always wants us to be.     

Sr. Sagaya and Junior Sisters, Bangalore

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DSP Mission at Holy Family Hospital Okhla

BOOK STALL

It is a year and half since three of us started serving in Holy Family Hospital, Okhla. Two of us, Sr. Deepti and Sr. Thomasina, take turns to man the small Book Centre (Piety Stall, the name given it by the Diocese in the contract), at the entrance of  the hospital, from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm, Monday to Saturday. It is a special experience as we continuously meet the staff, patients and their relations walking in. They come to ask for our prayers and we also pray for them, sometimes, then and there. People show great trust in our prayer and blessing. In fact, we feel our lives are enriched and our faith is growing seeing the faith of the simple people of all faiths.

MEDICAL LIBRARY

The Medical Library is situated in the basement of the Private OPD and is completely cut off from all contacts or disturbances. Those who come to the library are GNM and BSc Nursing students, Lab, X-Ray and Radiology Students, Faculty members, DNB Doctors, other consultants and doctors and staff. Around 500 members use the library regularly. No outsiders are allowed in the library. There are some general, spiritual, religious books and fiction, besides the Medical books. But most of them come for medical books and some for fiction also. Other books are hardly used.

The Library is open from 9 am to 9 pm., from Monday to Saturday. There are four of us who work in the library. The other three are post graduates in Library Science. We have three timings, namely, 9 am to 5.30 pm; 10.30 am to 7 pm and 12.30 pm to 9 pm. As I stay in the campus, I am expected to take the last shift, that is, from 12.30 pm to 9 pm. As and when I have some programmes or when I take leave, someone else takes this shift.

As I started, we, the staff of the library met together, and they told me, it was for the first time they were ever having a meeting or being asked their opinion or suggestion about anything. They felt so relieved and happy and they were open. In fact, they wanted some changes urgently, as some of the ways were not acceptable to them but could not express this, out of fear. So, together we introduced a lot of changes that were urgent for a better and effective functioning, starting with rearranging the shelves, the books, and the counter;office, and issue–return and membership procedures. The readers, staff and management are happy and appreciative of the changes.

ASHA BHAWAN

We three stay in the hostel, named Asha Bhawan. We are 11 religious sisters from 7 Congregations and 36 staff nurses. Sisters occupy the ground floor and others first and second floors. We have a Chapel inside the hostel campus, which is enclosed, where we have Mass only once in a way. The daily Mass is in the Hospital Chapel. We have our prayer, common Visit etc in this Chapel. We have our food in the Hospital Cafeteria, where all the staff eats. I am in charge of this hostel. My main work here is to take care of the maintenance, as the staff nurses are attached to the Nurses Hostel Warden, or Nursing Superintendent, for their permissions. As this hostel had no one in charge for some time, it was a gigantic job to get it cleaned up and to put things in order and make it what it is today. So in the process, I was able to clean up two go-downs along with the helpers who are always provided when needed, and do some renovation and make them habitable and so four more persons could be accommodated.

We go to the community at least once a month and for special meetings and celebrations. Sr. Lilly is always available to help us out in whatever way she can.

OTHER ACTIVITIES

We help out for daily and special occasion liturgical celebrations, in teaching and selecting hymns; preparing prayers and readers. The Diamond Jubilee Celebration, for the inauguration in 2012 and conclusion this year, kept me very busy in the preparation of Liturgy. Besides, I also took care of arranging weekly or fortnightly Confessions, as Confessions were arranged earlier, only twice a year; and other areas pertaining to spiritual life. As a whole, anything to do with spiritual life, the director and others approach me. Thus in many small and big ways God is using us, here in this hospital. We feel happy and fulfilled that we are useful in many ways, and our presence is much appreciated. Thanks to all our sisters in the community and to all of you for your prayerful support.

Sr. Mary Sebastian, New Delhi

YPC Planning and Programming 2013

100_9373On 24th February, 11 of us including 6 YPC members, 3 new recruits, Saleh DSP pre-postulant, and myself spent the day in prayer, planning and relaxation. The place chosen was my family’s holiday house at Gorai.  Right from 7:45 a.m. onwards the beautiful experience of togetherness began from Borivli station itself, waiting for each other and then welcoming the 3 new recruits, from Jeri Meri parish, Valentina, Jacklin and Remita, studying in the 11thStd at Divine Child Junior College, Andheri  east. Beginning with the Lenten Recollection talk which I gave, we went into an active mental and spiritual state of reflecting on passages from the Bible, where God tells us “Do not Fear”. I based the talk on the Lenten reflection from our congregational site www.paoline.org, by Rosario Carello.  They wrote instances from their life where there were difficulties, and they were afraid, until they had surrendered to God and it passed by.  After this there was a time of silence as I gave them the sheet with the talk for a deeper assimilation of Carello’s reflection, “A Slow-moving bike and race”.  The recollection, concluded with a sharing of their experience of the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness in their lives.

After the recollection we began planning for the year 2013.  Before anything else, in view of the new recruits, we explained in simple terms who the Young Pauline Collaborators were and what was their vision and goal. The members also reiterate in short an informal report of all the activity carried out in the past year, since June 20, 2012, when we began.  I also shared with them informative bits about our Provincial Chapter, specially about the discussion regarding the YPC. I also informed them of the new name, “Young Pauline Collaborators” and the possibility of there being a chance of having other such groups in different parts of the country where we had communities.  It was a time for rejoicing and enthusiasm and of course thanksgiving to the Lord.

We had carried calendars with us, and we went from month to month, planning formative and service-oriented programmes.  A recruitment drive was also planned. In the course of the planning we felt the need to have a set of guidelines which would help us to present ourselves to other youth and parish team members in a clearer light.  We planned programmes for animating youth in parishes and vulnerable groups of society.   The group felt the need to have at least one common service-oriented programme in collaboration with the Senior Pauline Co-operators. There was also an interest to insert themselves in the actual apostolic programmes of the Daughters of St Paul, specially helping in the Parish Displays on Sundays  and at the stall which is put up for one week, during the Mt Mary feast at Bandra. A brochure needs to be prepared where we could also ask for funds to carry out our projects.  A strong desire to have a session on the Year of Faith was felt.

After breaking for lunch at around 2:30 and about half the year of planning done, we decided to unwind a bit and took a nice walk down the beach, dipped our feet in the sea waters and walked back via the village glancing at the simple lifestyle of the inhabitants who are mostly fisher folk. We paid a visit to the parish church and prayed a few minutes as we admired the beautiful and ancient architecture which was still so well-maintained from pre-British, i.e. Portuguese colonial times.  After a hot cup of tea at one of the families, we trodded back to complete the planning. Soon it was time to say good bye to good old Gorai. So we waited until we could hire a ‘tonga’ as we call it in the local language, which is but a horse carriage so that all of us could fit in and also enjoy the ride back to the Gorai creek. Once again we crossed the ferry, which had brought us to this side in the morning. It was parting time, and soon we said our goodbyes but no less enthusiastic about making concrete all that we had absorbed during the beautiful day that had passed, recollection, planning, fellowship and all.

Sr. Joeyanna, Bandra

Symposium on the Year of Faith – Pauline Family enterprise

A symposium on the “Year of Faith” was organized by the Pauline Family and the Diocesan Catechetical Centre on the 24th Oct 2012, at Alberione Hall, St Paul’s Media Complex, Bandra (W), Mumbai. Bishop Percival Fernandez was the chief guest of the symposium and the main speakers were: Fr Terence Murray, Director of the Diocesan Catechetical Centre,  on the apostolic letter “The Door of Faith”,  Dr Pauline Chakkalakal DSP, on the Biblical Faith with special reference to St Paul, Fr Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on Communication Media for Faith Formation. There was also sharing of Faith experience by Smitha Anthony and Bhisham Chandiramani. Dr Marie Fernandez, Principal of St Andrews’s College was the moderator.

The programme began with an invocation dance by the postulants of PDDM.  Sr Caroline Duia DSP gave a warm welcome address, followed by the lighting of the Lamp. After a short inaugural message by Bishop Percival Fernandez, Fr. Terence Murray skillfully presented the Apostolic letter “The Door of Faith” by Pope Benedict the XVI.

This Year, we recall to mind three significant events of Faith: first, the 5oth anniversary of the Vatican II, in which the Universal Church calls us to update ourselves so as to read the signs of the time. Secondly, the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which holds the content of our Faith, the summary of what we believe. Thirdly, the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “New Evangelization” which is “joyful living”.

Sr Pauline DSP, spoke on the “Biblical Faith” with reference to St Paul. She said, “The Bible considers Faith as the source of all religious life or spiritual life.  In other words, life of wholeness or holiness. Quoting several passages from Deuteronomy, Exodus, Hebrew and the Letters of St Paul, where the word Faith occurred 200 times, Sr Pauline carefully explained the various meanings and implications of Biblical faith connected to the words justification, fidelity, loyalty, belief, conviction of things unseen etc in relation to God and his people.

The third speaker Fr Joe SSP spoke on the Communication Media for Faith Formation. Fr Joe began by giving a brief sketch of the three major initiatives that shaped and enhanced the Churches Faith formation or Evangelization.

  1. Mother Angelica of the Poor Clare , who  in her humble effort to reach out to God’s people began writing her reflections in books  which were gradually  produced and distributed by her sisters in forms of talks in CDS and VCDs . No one ever thought it would one day grow to become The Eternal Word TV network (EWTN) the largest religious TV network presently in the world.
  • In the 1980’s, a small group of young men from Kerala, in their effort to bring peace to families and Society prayed and were inspired to use  the Communications Media. Now under the leadership of Mr Benny, Shalom Times, Shalom TV, Shalom internet ministries, cover all the corners of the world.
  1. James Alberione a young seminarian of 16 years, prayed, reflected and studied much to bring God to humankind and humankind to God. Thus, nearly 100 years now, the Pauline Family he founded has 10,000 members dedicated to evangelizing and using the Mass Media. They are present in all the five continents. Pope Paul VI called Alberione “A marvel of our time”.

Finally, the Sharing of Faith experience (Their journey from Hinduism to Catholicism) by Smitha Anthony and Bhisham Chandiramani was truly inspiring. It shows us how the Holy Spirit works actively in the midst of God’s people and the importance of the witness of our Christian Faith in our world today. There was also a lively interaction of questions from the audience and answers by the speakers.

 Sr. Salome, Mumbai

Pauline Book Fest 2012, Bangalore

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The Pauline Book Fest 2012 was inaugurated at the famous Pauline Book and Media Centre, Museum Road, Bangalore, on Saturday, the 10th of November 2012 by Rev. Fr. Celestine Serrao SJ, Principle – St. Joseph’s Boys High School, amidst well-wishers and the Daughters of St. Paul, Bangalore Community.

Much preparation had gone into making the Book Centre wear a festive look, not just with an array of important books, but also with loving pink princess curtains, “Book of the Day” stand, special theme counters and the decorated traditional lamp placed majestically before His Holy Word…

2012-11-10 10.29.26At 10:30AM Rev. Fr. Serrao prayed for the success of the Book Fest and then cut the ribbon at the entance following which, Rev. Sr. C. L. Clare, dsp from the Community of Bangalore, Directress of the Archdiocesan Catholic Enquiry Centre (CEC) Bangalore, led the group of people gathered through a short and meaningful programme.  This included a formal welcome by Rev. Sr. Marisa, dsp Sister-in-charge Pauline Book and Media Centre, when she apprised everyone present on the Pauline way of sharing Jesus Christ – our Divine Master, the Way, the Truth and the Life.  “As our Founder Blessed Alberione says” she explained, “our Book Centres are not mere Book shops where we are merely engaged in selling books and CDs, but it is a place where we can help people encounter the person of our Lord Jesus through our daily interaction with our visitors.”

2012-11-10 10.35.35As the gathering sang the hymn “Light of the world Christ called us to be” the lamp decorated with strings of jasmine was formally lit by Rev. Fr. Serrao – Guest of honour; Rev. Sr. Teresina – Superior, Community of the Daughters of St. Paul, Bangalore; Mrs. Shashi Minz – Commissioner (Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax); Ms. Parimala Selvaraj and Mr. Francis Abraham – Pauline Collaborators.

After Rev. Fr. A. Hrudayaraj, Assistant Parish Priest St. Patrick’s Church read from the scripture (Mt 5: 14 – 16) Rev. Fr. Serrao shared his thoughts regarding the Pauline Mission, especially highlighting their evangelical role in the Book Centres.  Explaining how important our calling is to share Christ who is the Light of the world, he drew a parallel to the untiring efforts of the Pauline Sisters in taking this Light to the people, through their Mission.

A song of praise and thanksgiving for the Pauline Mission was portrayed through a prayerful dance performed by Sr. Anisha a Junior Sister from the Community of the Daughters of St. Paul Bangalore.  She thanked God for all the gifts and graces bestowed on the Daughters of St. Paul and the related Pauline Family of collaborators in a graceful recital which also represented a feeling of oneness with the gathering.2012-11-10 10.42.45

A testimonial to the living, growing essence of the Pauline Mission, Mrs. Shashi Minz, explained how the Daughters of St. Paul, having reached the little corners of our country, have touched the young and old through their noble Mission.  She joyfully shared her experience during her education in Ranchi, when the Pauline “Better yourself” books played an important role in helping her grow as a person.  At every stage in her education and during her life’s journey thereafter, she was in constant touch with the Pauline Book and Media Centre in different parts of the country.  Her first articles were published in well-known magazines “Teenager” “Charisindia” etc., and together with her family, she is even now in touch with the Pauline Mission, which she very enthusiastically recommended to all.

2012-11-10 10.57.22Sr. Teresina then proposed a heart-warming vote of thanks to all present, to those who contributed in a very special way especially those who assisted with preparatory activities behind-the-scene and all those involved in prayer and partnership in making the event a success and the Book Fest an important event to remember.  She then invited one and all to a short fellowship after the programme which was a curtain-raiser to the 10 day mission at the Pauline Book Fest 2012.

Ms. Parimala Selvaraj (Pauline Cooperator),
Bangalore

Vocation Work in Uttan

– Joeyanna , Bandra

Right from January 2012, Vocation Sunday, we have been working in Uttan, which is part of the Marathi speaking belt of the Bombay Archidiocese. At that time, Fr. John Lopes had given us the permission to speak to the Junior College Students later in the year. Not wanting to miss this opportunity, Sr Stella and myself made the appointments necessary and in November, spent half a day at St Joseph Junior College, Uttan.

100_7860This college belongs to the Parish of Our lady of the Sea , Uttan. With the help of a powerpoint which was already prepared, and the use of some prayer song videos Sr Stella animated the young women and spoke to them about our congregation. It was an interactive session and they were given a chance to talk about the visuals they saw. In conclusion we informed them about the various opportunities availing them for making a recollection in the coming year, at our place in Bandra or at Vasai.  Those who were interested in these gave us their names and mobile numbers. Let us hope the Lord has in store for us some vocations from Uttan.