The Catholic Medical Guild of St Luke
Online Certificate Course for Eco Ambassadors 2021
The CCBI Commission for Ecology and the Archdiocesan Office for Environment (Archdiocese of Bombay) will be conducting an online Certificate Course for Eco Ambassadors in October-November 2021. This Certificate Course will put into perspective the spiritual, technical and practical aspects of the ecological challenge, with its overall objective being to create ambassadors of transformative change who will take forward the ecological mission of the Church in India and in the Archdiocese of Bombay.
Four online sessions will be conducted over two consecutive weekends on October 23, 24, 30 and 31 from 5 pm to 7 pm on Zoom. Project work and an assignment will be undertaken by participants in November 2021. For course-related enquiries, kindly email: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Fr Luke Rodrigues SJ on 91673 03002 (WhatsApp messages only).
To join, please register online (the course brochure and registration link may be availed from https://www.aoebombay.org/news-events) and complete the payment of Rs 1000/- in course fees by NEFT on or before October 20, 2021. The bank account details will be emailed on registration, and are included in the brochure. Kindly email the transaction reference ID to email@example.com with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org on paying the course fees.
Bishop Allwyn D'Silva
40-Day Prayer Campaign: Laudato Si' Action Platform
The Archdiocese of Bombay announces its co-leadership of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development's 40-day campaign of prayers based on the Laudato Si' Goals, for communities joining the Laudato Si' Action Platform (LSAP).
The prayer campaign supports the seven sectors joining the LSAP with a dedicated day of prayer for each, connecting each sector with a Laudato Si' Goal. Thus:
The full set of prayers may be downloaded from the Archdiocese of Bombay website along with the invite letter from Cardinal Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The prayer campaign began on October 4, the Feast of St Francis, and concludes on November 14, the World Day of Prayer for the Poor.
November 14 will occasion the next phase in the Laudato Si' Action Platform. On that date, members of the universal Church will be invited to make a firm commitment to creating their own Laudato Si' Plans. While the next phase in the platform had been planned for 4 October, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development sees a need to continue building on the dynamic conversations taking place with the Archdiocese of Bombay and nearly 200 additional partners. Extending the date from October 4 to November 14 helps ensure that the LSAP will truly serve the needs of its sectors.
The Archdiocese of Bombay has been an integrally important co-leader of efforts to build the Laudato Si' Action Platform. Serving as a member of the Dioceses and Parishes working group, Bp Allwyn D'Silva has assisted in shaping both the model and the content of the platform. He has been joined in this initiative by 22 persons in the diocese who began an ongoing discernment process, facilitated by Mr Leslie D'Souza and Ms Pearl D'Souza in July 2021. The aim is to co-create and implement a Laudato Si' Plan which will enable the Archdiocese of Bombay to become a Laudato Si' Diocese. The discernment team will meet again on October 17, 2021.
All eligible Catholic sectors are warmly invited to review the existing resources on laudatosiactionplatform.org and to discern their commitment to creating a Laudato Si' Plan. Those wishing to know about our diocesan discernment process, being coordinated by Ms Shawna Nemesia Rebello on behalf of Bp Allwyn and the Archdiocesan Office for Environment, may email: email@example.com.
Professional Courses at Nirmala Niketan
Nirmala Niketan Polytechnic is offering the following private professional courses for boys and girls:
3 Years Diploma in Commercial Art (Eligibility: Std X Pass)
2 Years Diploma in Fashion Designing (Eligibility: Std XII Pass)
1 Year Certificate in Fashion Designing (Eligibility: Std X Pass)
3 Years Diploma in Interior Designing (Eligibility: Std X pass)
For further details, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 022-22076503.
Address: Nirmala Niketan Polytechnic, 49 New Marine Lines, Churchgate, Mumbai 400020.
There are a few seats available for FYJC at the College of Home Science, Nirmala Niketan. For details, contact email@example.com or +91 9820513799.
Make your Job Search more effective
The Archdiocesan Commission for Labour and e2elinks are organising a free webinar specially designed for job seekers to learn techniques to get better responses in their job hunt. The webinar is being conducted on October 23, 2021 from 10:30 am to 11:30 am on Zoom. The resource speaker is Ms Ravina Timms, HR Manager and Consultant, and the webinar will be moderated by Dr Ruth D'Souza, MD - InteGreat People. Please register for the event in advance by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom meeting link.
BIRD Course Alumni Day 2021
The Archdiocesan Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue celebrated the BIRD (Basics of Inter-Religious Dialogue) Virtual Alumni Day on Sunday, October 3, 2021 on Zoom. It is an annual gathering of all those who have graduated from the BIRD Course and are engaged in inter-religious activities in our parishes and schools.
The compere, Edelweiss Quadros, began the proceedings, and Fr S. M. Michael SVD, Director of the Commission, warmly welcomed the fifty-odd participants. The highlight of the morning was a reflection on the theme 'Dialogue for Climate Futures'. Since we were in the 'Season of Creation', this theme gripped the attention of everyone, especially with the enriching, eye-opening thoughts of the two guest speakers.
The first was Fr Luke Rodrigues SJ, Director of the Retreat house at Vinayalaya and Head of the Archdiocesan Office for Environment (AOE), who spoke on the efforts of the Church in India to follow the Pope's call to protect our common home, the Earth. He spoke about the Laudato Si' Action Platform and its seven goals that the universal Church is launching. We in India have chosen five focus areas—Spirituality, Education, Engagement in concrete action, Networking and Personal lifestyles—to bring about a change in the way we look at Nature and nurture it. The AOE, CCBI's Commission for Ecology and Prithvi Parivar (a Pan-India ecological movement) are initiatives taken by the local Church to make us more eco-friendly. Fr Luke concluded by saying that we all need to take a pledge of making our lives a blessing on the Earth and for the Earth.
Our second speaker, Mr Stalin Dayanand, an environmentalist affiliated with the Mumbai-based environmental NGO Vanashakti, interpreted the Sixth Assessment Report of the Working Group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on August 9, 2021, and its implications for us in the city of Mumbai. He expounded on the agonising depletion of the environment in Mumbai. He spoke about the possibility of religions being used as a vehicle for conservation. He urged religious leaders to unite and use their spheres of influence. He opined that inter-religious initiatives involving people of different faiths would be a good start.
After a few clarifications, there was time for discussions in break-out rooms to the proposed question - How can I help contribute in making the changes required in our city of Mumbai more environmentally sound and friendly? The responses included creating local Bio-diversity registers, taking small initiatives to save water, recycling of plastic bottles, tetrapacks, etc., and most of all, taking up the issue in the upcoming Municipal elections.
An important part of the programme was the presentation of certificates to the last batch of BIRD students 2019-2020 (in 2020-21, the BIRD Course could not be held because of the pandemic). 21 participants from various parishes and schools who graduated were congratulated and sent out empowered to carry on with inter-religious activities.
The event was brought to a close with Mr Brian D'Souza, a member of the Bombay Archdiocesan IRD Commission, thanking one and all, and inviting everyone to become faithful collaborators in the Church's mission to safeguard the environment.
Melissa Nair Member, IRD Commission
Samanvayam – Sadhbhavana Divas
'Samanvayam' is the name of the new Inter-Religious Dialogue Cell founded by Fr Lawrence A. D'Souza at Gloria Church, Byculla. He was inspired to begin this IRD Cell after reading Pope Francis' encyclical Fratelli Tutti. 'Samanvayam' in Sanskrit means "to synergise and blend in social harmony with the sisters and brothers of all faiths, to bring about inter-religious harmony and unity."
The first meeting of the Cell was held on September 26, 2021. The guest speakers – Fr S. M. Michael (Secretary, Bombay Archdiocesan Commission for Inter-Religious Dialogue) and Fr Aniceto Pereira (Member of the Commission & Rector of St Pius X Seminary, Goregaon) attended this meeting to guide the Cell in its new venture. They gave a foundational session which was very interactive and brought clarity to the Cell about its Purpose and Mission. During this meeting it was decided to organise an inter-religious event on October 2, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, calling it "Sadbhavana Divas".
"Sadhbhavana Divas" was held at the ANZA Church Hall. The enthusiasm of the members was reflected by their efforts in creating an ambience with the samai decorated with colourful rangolis and flowers. A huge portrait of Gandhiji was revered with a beautiful garland and decorated with flowers.
The event began with Fr Lawrence welcoming the guests and attendees. There were 50 people from our vicinity attending the function. He highlighted the purpose of the function which was to build inter-religious social relations in Byculla to promote harmony. This function was compered in English by Mr Anthony Rathnakumarr and in Hindi by Dr Geeta Rathnakumarr.
The Guest of Honour, Mr Premshankar Tiwari (Representative of Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal), along with his aide Mr Laxman Gore, and the religious heads - Dr Parvez Bajan (Head Priest of Byculla Agiary), Mufti Safwan Ahmed (Imam of Masjid E Khazra), Mahesh Kumar Maharaj (Head Pujari of Byculla Temple), Ven. Bhikkhu Thero (Buddhist Monk) and Fr Dennis Gonsalves (Parish Priest, Gloria Church) were led to the dais, introduced and greeted with bouquets. They were then invited to light the samai with the chanting of the Upanishadic invocation, Asato ma – a symbol of Shantirjyoti, the 'Light of Peace'.
The attendees were then led in prayer for friendship and peace among all religions. This prayer included elements of Silence (Mauna), Listening (Shravana), Sharing of experience (Swadhyaya), which were the core values of Gandhiji that influenced people.
Mr Tiwari and Mr Laxman Gole shared their experiences and the influence of Gandhiji's values that impacted their lives. Mr Gole shared the testimony of his life from being a law-breaking teen to becoming a law-abiding citizen, owing his transformation to Gandhiji's book 'Experiments with Truth'. He is now a motivational speaker, guiding others on the path of truth.
Then each of the religious heads enlightened the attendees about their religious teachings concerning working for Social Harmony among all religions.
This was followed by the intentions offered for 'The World and Our Beloved Motherland India' in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati. The entire event was interspersed with soulful Sanskrit shlokas and Hindi bhajans sung by Fr Lawrence. Then there was a meditative silence, after which Fr Lawrence gave the Vote of Thanks and appreciated the attendees for sharing their valuable time. The function ended with the singing of the National Anthem.
Patrick and Christina Mathewson, Byculla
Holy Magi Church responds to COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic affected every strata of society and every sphere of human life. In the midst of this crisis, assessing and responding to the situation was the major task before Suryodaya Samaj Kendra, the Community-based organisation of Holy Magi Church, Gorai. In the first phase of relief intervention, the Centre was actively involved in distribution of dry rations and providing medical kits to the needy, through the kind support of various Governmental and non-governmental organisations. In the second phase of intervention, the Centre focused on providing income generating platforms, especially for those who were left jobless due to the pandemic. The Centre (with the support of Centre for Social Action) was successful in linking the local farmers and fisherfolk community with buyers in urban areas, thus helping them find markets for sale. Another major intervention of the Centre was counselling people infected and affected by the pandemic; it helped people express and cope with their concerns.
We were glad to be a part of the Immunity Booster Powder programme of the Health Promotion Trust. It was distributed to 150 senior citizens in our area, in keeping with the idea of building individual immunity against various ailments through natural sources.
Realising the importance of mobilising and encouraging people for vaccination to protect themselves and curb the spread of the virus, the Centre geared all its attention towards this cause. Fr Edward Jacinto, Parish Priest of Holy Magi Church, in collaboration with the MCGM Health Department of Borivli, under the guidance of Assistant Municipal Commissioner Mrs Bhageshrie Kapse, and the support of MLA Mr Sunil Rane, Corporator Mrs Shweta Korgaonkar, and former Corporator Mr Shivanand Shetty organised a vaccination drive at the premises of Holy Magi Church from July 1, 2021 onwards. Since then, the Centre has successfully mobilised 15,000 people who have received their first dose of vaccination. The Centre began encouraging people for their second dose from October 4. This venture of Suryodaya Samaj Kendra (in collaboration with BMC) was availed by people of all faiths. We are sincerely grateful to our local government authorities who vested their faith and trust in us and the Parish Pastoral Council members, Suryodaya Samaj Kendra personnel for their tireless efforts of mobilising the community for the vaccination drive.
Sr Cristal SRA, Suryodaya Samaj Kendra, Gorai