Thursday, 23 February 2017

Archbishop's Programme: February 2017

St. Xavier’s secures the highest NAAC Grade in India

Kolkata: The NAAC Peer Team visited St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Kolkata on the 9th & 10th of January 2017 to conduct the 3rd Cycle of intuitional accreditation. The NAAC website has published the accreditation results today, January 24th 2017 and St. Xavier’s College has secured the highest Grade A++ with a CGPA score of 3.77 out of 4.
It is the highest grade awarded by the NAAC in the 3rd cycle in India. Only two other colleges have secured A++ with 3.76 CGPA, Cotton College in Assam and St. Joseph’s College in Kerala respectively.
Fr. Principal thanked the staff, students, parents, alumni/ae, benefactors and friends for their wholehearted cooperation. He congratulates all stakeholders and appreciates the success as the fruit of a collective effort.
Father Raj reiterated that this achievement is yet another milestone in our pursuit of our motto "Nihil Ultra" (Nothing Beyond).
The NAAC Peer Team handed over the final report to the Principal, Fr. Felix Raj on January 10th evening at the Exit meeting.

India's rich-poor gap challenges the church

New Delhi: The gap between India's rich and poor is increasing rapidly according to a recent study which has led to church leaders to look again at their efforts to help the poor. Anti-poverty advocacy group
Oxfam recently found that just 1 percent of India's population owns 58 percent of the nation's wealth. In their report, released Jan. 16, Oxfam said that 57 billionaires in India have the same amount of wealth as the bottom 70 percent of the country's 1.2 billion people. " India is hitting global headlines for many reasons,
but one of them is for being one of the most unequal countries in the world with a very high and sharply rising concentration of income and wealth," said Nisha Agrawal, head of Oxfam in India, said in a statement.
However, India's budget for 2017-18 provides a major opportunity to reverse the trend "and to put in place policies that will raise taxes in a more progressive way and to spend those on basic education and basic health care to create a more equal opportunity country," Agrawal said.
A global issue The 48-page report titled "An Economy for the 99 Percent" showed that the world wide gap between rich and poor is far greater than had been feared.

The non profit said that new and improved data on the distribution of global wealth — particularly in India and China — indicates that the poorest half of the world has less wealth than had been previously
thought. Eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, said Oxfam about the report's findings. Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said
that it is "obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than US$2 a day."

She added that inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty, fracturing our societies and undermining democracy.

India needs to respond Christians leaders in India said the repor t challenges their various denominations over their efforts to help the poor. "The report indicates that new economic globalization has not addressed the concerns of the poor. The Indian government needs to acknowledge and respond to the growing inequality," Samuel Jayakumar of the National Council for Churches in India, an umbrella body of Protestant and Orthodox churches.

He told that the churches in India need to do more work in the field of education and in the rural sector."Even though the various churches have been doing work in these fields, the current situation comes as a challenge," said Jayakumar.

John Dayal, a Catholic lay leader and member of the Indian government's National Integration Council, said that the church has failed in keeping the larger social audit. It is an interlocutor of the poor and has failed in its role. "It is a dereliction of duty for any religious group if it does not speak for the ordinary people. The large disparity is only a measurable index. The agony is immeasurable and the church needs to understand the agony and not the numbers," said Dayal who is also a member of's board of directors and an occasional oped contributor.
Expressing concern over the implications of the inequality between the rich and the poor, Dayal said the consequences of this situation would be "very grave."

"These few rich people not only control the resources but they control the governance, future allocation of resources, policies and law. We are just looking at the statistics. We also need to see the implications," he said.
"All religion and religious groups ,particularly the Catholics, are the conscience keepers. The church in India has a twin role of keeping the moral audit of the administration and to be able to tell the government where to direct its energy," he said.
Dayal added that the church only goes to court when its own rights are violated but does not approach the law when the basic rights of people are impacted. A.C. Michael, coordinator of the United Christian Forum and a Catholic, told that India has always lacked a policy for the poor.
"Not only the government but all of us, including the church, has to be answerable for this inequality," he said.

Message f o r World Day of Communications: Communicating Hope and Trust in our Time

( Vatican Radio) The Vatican has released Pope Francis’ Message for the 51st World Day of Social Communications.The theme of this year’s message is "Fear not, for I am with you": Communicating Hope and Trust in our Time.
The World Day of Social Communications is celebrated in almost all countries on the Sunday before Pentecost. The message is being issued on 24 January, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of journalists. Please find the full text of the message below:

"Fear not, for I am with you» (Is 43:5):

Communicating Hope and Trust in our Time” Access to the media – thanks to technological progress – makes it possible for countless people to share news instantly and spread it widely. That news may be good or bad, true or false. The early Christians compared the human mind toa constantly grinding millstone; it is up to the miller to determine what it will grind:
good wheat to worthless weeds. Our minds are always “grinding”, but it is up to us to choose what to feed them (cf.SAINT JOHN CASSIAN, Epistle to Leontius).

I wish to address this message to all those who, whether in their professional work or personal relationships, are like that mill, daily “grinding out” information with the aim of providing rich fare for those with whom they communicate.I would like to encourage everyone to engage in constructive forms of communication that reject prejudice towards others and foster a culture of encounter, helping all of us to view the world around us with realism and trust.

I am convinced that we have to break the vicious circle of anxiety and stem the spiral off ear resulting from a constant focus on “bad news” (wars, terrorism, scandals and all sorts of human failure). This has nothing to do with spreading misinformation that would ignore the tragedy of human suffering, nor is it about a naive optimism blind to the scandal of evil. Rather, I propose that all of us work at overcoming that feeling of growing is content and resignation that can at times generate apathy, fear or the idea that evil has no limits.
Moreover , in a communications industry which thinks that good news does not sell, and where the tragedy of human suffering and the mystery of evil easily turn into entertainment, there is always the temptation that our consciences can be dulled or slip into pessimism.


Friday, 17 February 2017

Bible Convention 2017

Kolkata: The Calcutta Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services
(CCCRS) organized a three-day Bible Convention for Healing and Deliverance from 21st to 23rd January, 2017 at the Don Bosco Nitika grounds Kolkata from 9.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The main preacher of the convention  was the well-knownand anointedpreacher Fr. Paresh Parmar and his team of three namely, Brother Fredrick Fernandez, Moksha & Nitin. The hall was filled to a capacity of around 650 on the 1st day and going beyond 1000 on the final day. The convention started each day with the recitation of the Holy Rosary,thus surrendering the day to Our Lady. From the beginning to the end there was a group of intercessors praying in the chapel and did really add to the blessings of the day. We were fortunate to have on the first day the main celebrant for the Eucharistic celebration Most Rev.Thomas D’Souza, Archbishop of Kolkata, the second day Fr. Nirmols db, the Salesian Provincial and the third day the preacher himself. Confessions were also arranged on the 2nd and 3rd
days enabling the faithful to prepare themselves for deliverance and healing. The Archbishop right in the beginning welcomed this convention as the first of all charismatic events in the
golden Jubilee programs on the agenda for the Archdiocese and in his homily invited all to
welcome the Spirit in a more powerful way in their lives.
The healing and deliverance session on the third day witnessed mighty power and the laying of hands were done by several priests and all were deeply touched and moved at the end of the convention and returned home filled with in the Holy Spirit. Great numbers of people requested the CCCRS
Members to hold more often this kind of convention. At the end Fr. A.C. Jose expressed his sincere thanks to God for his powerful presence and help, to the anointed team of animators
for their anointed and powerful sessions, to the provincial of Don Bosco Nitika for making their premises available and their hospitality for this great event and finally to all the participants, volunteers and donors for their great generosity in making this event a great success. Finally, Mr.
Raymond Baptist, the chairman and coordinator of the CCCRS activities thanked the Spiritual Director, the CCCRS members, the preacher and his team and all the people for joining hands in this great venture for the glory of God.