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.
- 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.
- 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