Making Church Participatory : Church of the people, By the people, For the people

Friday, December 19, 2014

Seminar on School Administration, Relationship Management and Empowerment

Seminar on School Administration, Relationship Management and Empowerment held on 22nd – 24th Oct. 2014, Jeevan Darsahan Vadodara, Gujarat.

The resource persons for the seminar were Dr. Fr. Davis George,

Director,(Former Principal, St. Aloysius College (Autonomous))St. Aloysius Institute of Technology, an experienced Motivator for those in Leadership Position and Fr. Jose Thankachan - National president of AINACS from Jabalpur M.P.

The Seminar was inaugurated by Rt. Rev. Bp. Godfrey de Rozario SJ, at Jeevan Darshan Baroda. There were 24 participants from different schools representing the four Dioceses of Gujarat. 

The Topics dealt were:

1. Catholic Schools in India: Prospects and Challenges.

2. Education for Transformation & Empowerment of Life: The Ultimate Gift.

3. Features of a good School.

4. Teachers: Facilitators of Learning and Agents of Social Change and Empowerment.

5. Leadership in Schools: Paradigm Shift

6. A Case Study of a school – St. Aloysius Sr. Secondary School, Jabalpur.

7. Relationship: The key to success in School Administration.

Photos and News by Rev. Fr. Royston 

0 Read More »

Consecrated life by Sr. Shilpa SMMI

Please click on the video

Sr. Shilpa SMMI is from Vaso village in Thasara Parish. She has taken final vows last month. She has been serving the people of God in Nagpur.

Sister is sharing her experience of Consecrated life with us. . Do share with all

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Santa Claus rings the bell at Bedva.

Waking up Bedva for the coming Christmas

 Waking up, Warming up and bringing joy by the team of Rev. Fr. Maxim Crasta in the villages of Anand Parish.

 Yesterday they rang the bell with the beautiful Advent and Christmas hymns at Christian Street - Bedva. Here almost people work in the fields whole day. Evening they come back and sleep and go back to the work next day. And that is the routine life here.  Today Santa Claus and the team rang the bell of every house and made the whole street vibrant and joyful. The Santa made everyone getup and dance for the coming of Baby Jesus. This vibration made people prepare for Christmas celebration.

 Let us get ready to celebrate this Christmas and share the joy and love of Baby Jesus, was the message of Fr. Maxim's team.

Please click for more photos


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sneh - Samelan for borders at Pushpavihar - Gamdi-Anand

Life is full of events, experiences and encounters. Events in human life help to remain alive and active. Experiences help human to grow in different walks of life, and encountering with situations, persons, and time help human to be realistic, reasonable and reform.keeping all this understanding we have the event of sneh- Samelan for our Boarders on 07th December 2014. and also commemorating the 18th death anniversary of our Late Rev. Sr. Maria Xavier, the foundress of the Congregation.

The Day Was began with Holy Eucharistic celebrations. "who would go to spread the word of GOD in the Land of Gujrat." was the theme of the Eucharistic celebrations. Rev. Fr. Sunil S.J. was the main celebrant and he did explain the theme with various short stories and with his own life experiences. 

The above theme was chosen for highlighting the importance of "Consecrated Life of Women and Men which has been announced on 30th November 2014 by our Pope Francis.

Girls from the different boardings had put Faith based events of Sr. Foustina and St. Puspavati Of Child Jesus. This presantation was witnessed in complete silence and reverence by the audience.

Colourfull dances were presented by the girls and boys, you would ask why boys? I would answer we have girls and boys hostel together at Little Flower Convent, Limdapura. It was full of life and encouragement for each other, good encountering of knowing each other.

At the end all were served delicious meal at their heart content. I myself experienced the real Flowers (Childern) are blooming in the open air of Pushpvihar. I thanked God for providing good opportunities to serve little childern of God 

Thank you. 
Sr. Mary Dabhi L.D.

MAN OF A SACRED HEART – Rev. Fr. Stephen D’Souza, SJ

MAN OF A SACRED HEART – Rev. Fr. Stephen D’Souza, SJ

It is exactly after 18 years of Fr. Stephen D’Souza’s death at Catholic Ashram, Kalol, today on 16th December 2014, the Kadi-Kalol Jesuit community and the people of Kalol fondly remember once again our past Pastor. As part of the holy remembrance, the Holy Eucharist is arranged in the Kalol catholic church - Our Lady of the Perpetual Succour - Nitya Sahayak Mata Mandir. It is worth mentioning at this moment, soon after his death, a decision was taken to bury his body at the side of this Mandir. Thus, here at Kalol tomb rests his mortal body from 16th December 1996 and continues to intercede for the Christian and non-Christian communities of Kalol, for he was the real grandfather – DADA for all at Kalol. Here below let me mention my intensive enhancing encounter with such a pastor, our dear D’Souza Bapu!

After my formative study period of Bachelor of Philosophy at Pune Jnana Deepa Vidhyapeeth, I was sent to Kalol Catholic Ashram in June 1992 to shoulder an important responsibility as a Prefect to take care of the boarding boys who were from various mission stations of North Gujarat and were being educated in St. Anne School (from 1st to 4th) and St. Xavier’s School (from 5th to 12th). On my arrival I was introduced to the active Jesuit Fathers – Robert Mascarenhas (Manager and Parish Priest), Cosmas K (Principal), Fidelis and Lazarus Parmar (Teachers) and Stephen D’Souza (a senior Assistant Parish priest). Among all, Stephen was the eldest and the visible humblest person of the entire apostolic community.

As days went on, I got involved more in the boarding and school programmes, and was busy forming the boarders and others through various interesting integral activities. As a community we got clicked very well and were busy in our Faith-Justice mandate. Though I was youngest in the Jesuit community, I never felt left out, for I always had the support of the community. Among all, Fr. Stephen, though he was the eldest, still he was my available special companion to assist voluntarily in our boarding ministry. Age was not our barriers!

As my life and mission were on in the midst of such veterans, I was often spoken of Fr. Stephen’s great works in Jamnagar and his consistent long missionary and pastoral visits to the migrant Catholics in the civil regions of North Gujarat. I was happy to know from others that the construction of the Sacred Heart Church in Jamnagar city was started by Fr. Stephen. He was the first resident priest who guided the Catholic community from 1948 to 1966 and in his time it was blessed by Bishop Edwin Pinto SJ of Ahmedabad on 3rd December 1967. From our conversations it was very clear that he, besides building buildings, gradually was building human hearts to be and to become sacred!    

Here at Kalol, his heart was a sacred heart to me and many other persons. Now, let me state a few kind sacred heart activities of Fr. Stephen which I cherish even today!

·      I always noticed him getting up early in the morning and without fail joined the morning prayer with our boarding children. He would notice the absentees and personally would call and council them politely to be part of the praying community. His formation was very much non-threatening. Children could freely go and talk to him and get comforted with his grandfatherly nurturing attitude and approach.
·       As soon as the boarders leave for their morning study, he would alone spend his quality time in silence in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord and draw energy from the Blessed Sacrament. I had seen several times he alone smilingly conversing with Jesus and Mary in the chapel. We could feel how he was hungering and thirsting for God and in turn how God was at home with this child-like Stephen and was teaching him like the school Master!

·      He was very regular and particular in celebrating the Eucharist either alone or with the community in the morning itself. For he was very much aware of his forthcoming whole day involvements. He would devoutly light the candles and without much hurry, he would relish the Eucharistic celebration. All who attended his morning Eucharist would feel how the energy was being shared through Stephen Bapu and how he gently invited the mass attendants to get involved themselves for Christ and Christ alone.

·      He constructively spent his available time in reading news papers and magazines.  He used to reach my room and share the important happenings of the world and in particular used to express his great concerns for human life. He was deadly against anything that hindered life, especially he was against all forms of abortion. On this issue I had posted very many post cards which were beautifully written by him to the President of India. His pain was towards the embryos and foetuses being crushed in the wombs of the mothers! He would mention about it in his homilies and pray for all kinds of anti-social elements. His strong Faith always motivated him to fight for Justice!

·      He was the man of the poor. All the poor neighbourhood persons found solace in his company. The poor never needed any mid-persons to approach him. He was easily met at the entrance of the Ashram and they could have heart-to-heart conversations. He was aware of the Society of Jesus’ OPTION FOR POOR slogan. Well. Besides he opted for poor, he opted to be poor and to be with the poor. When people were going for electric heaters and solar systems to heat the water, he used to fill four empty wine bottles with water and would leave them on the terrace in the morning. In the afternoon he would collect them to have warm water path. He loved to be simple and creative. He, on his own, appreciated the wealth of God’s nature and was inter-dependent with them. He embraced poverty as an evangelical value. His life was touched by the neighbourhood rickshaw drivers and they joyfully assisted him in his short travels in the city and suburban area. They never demanded money from him instead they bowed their heads to receive blessings from this spiritual leader.  

·      His evening hours were filled with various kinds of visits. He loved to visit the sick of the town. He would listen to them and hear confessions; and if needed he would even give communion to them. Besides Christian families, he would assist me by taking the sick children of the boarding to Dr. B.H. Sanghani, MD, Consultant physician in Kalol. This polite Dr. Sanghani has been our family doctor since starting of his profession in Kalol. In the picture we can see his beloved wife Dr. Padma and his mother who are the real back bone of his service. After these many years of Fr. Stephen’s death, even now he affectionately remembers him and his unassuming services to the poor children and other needy persons. He often speaks to me of the SACRED HEART of Fr. Stephen. Today, Dr. Sanghani is the living witness of Fr. Stephen’s unconditional love for the poor and needy. Having seen and experienced such humble services of Fr. Stephen, long back Dr. Sanghani had decided not to charge any consultation fees from our Catholic institutions of Kadi, Kalol and Mandali. Amazing! Besides not charging any money from us for health consultations, recently he has come forward and communicated to me to assist the poor students in their educational journey too. Truly, Dr. Sanghani’s heart had been touched long back by the life and mission of our dear service-minded Stephen Bapu! Thanks to our eternal living Fr. Stephen and thanks to our earthly living Dr. Sanghani to all of us here in God’s Mission. Real edifying persons to be admired always!

Yes. The great missionary of Jamnagar built long back in the city – THE SACRED HEART CHURCH. Later, in the town of Kalol and around, by his presence, perseverance and pastoral care he kept on sharing his Sacred Heart with the poor, needy and marginalized persons of our human society. Truly, at the end, in and around Kalol, this ‘Sacred Heart’ was at home with the persons of all denominations and religions without any discrimination. His was a Sacred Heart which embraced all with love and service! May he bless us to love and serve all! Amen.

Girish Santiago, SJ

RIP - Late Fr. Peter Fernandes

Rev. Fr. Peter Fernandes
( 29/06/1943 - 12/12/2014)

Dear Rev. Fathers/Brothers/Sisters,

This is to inform you that Rev. Fr. Peter Fernandes passed away on 12th December, 2014. He had a massive heart attack.

Fr. Peter Fernandes was a man of vision. He worked to empower laity and went out of his way to share responsibilities upon their shoulders. He was a man of prayer who loved the poor.

He is from Honavar, Karnataka State. After his priestly ordination he started his ministry in Gomtipur parish, Ahmeadbad. From there he was sent to Umreth parish where he served for almost 18 years. There he worked hand in hand with laity for faith formation and introduced various cooperative societies for the upliftment of the poor. He succeeded through his interventions with the government in starting government supported boardings in Umreth, Thasra and Limdapura. A great achievement! From Umreth he was transferred to Nadiad as parish priest where he served for five years. He was sent to Jesusnagar-Jitodia parish and from there to Limdapura parish.

He did well in all these parishes where he planned programmes very systematically keeping in mind the collaboration with the laity and the religious. Late Bishop Charles Gomes SJ had sent him to Rome for studies. He had the experience of serving parishes in the USA too.

After late Bishop Charles Gomes SJ took over the Diocese, he worked hard for good vocations. Rev. Fr. Peter Fernandes being a senior priest, he became instrumental in bringing a number of vocations who are today senior priests of the diocese. During the bifurcation of Ahmedabad Diocese, he preferred to serve
Gandhinagar Archdiocese. Later on he asked for incardination in Belgaum Diocese which was granted to him.

At present he was serving as Spiritual Director to the minor seminarians in St. Michael’s Seminary, Machhe, Belgaum. It is here that God called him to heaven.

His funeral Mass will be in Honavar on Thursday, 18th December, 2014 at 4.00 p.m. We pray that God may give him eternal rest. May his family members be consoled.

-Bishop Thomas Macwan

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Funeral Service of my eldest Sister

Please click on the video for the funeral service of Late Savita K. Parmar - my eldest sister and mother of Sr. Shobhana Parmar, CCV - Vedruna

 We thank Rt. Rev. Bishop Thomas Macwan, Rev. Fr. Vinayak Jadav, Rev. Fr. Ervin Lazardo, Rev. Fr. Snehal Parmar, Rev. Fr. Sunil Macwan and Sr. Annu CCV - Karnataka, Sr. Pushpa CCV, Sr. Suha CCV, Vedruna Sisters - Vidhyanagar and all Vedruna Sisters and Vadtal sisters and a vote of thanks to the Christian community of Rajnagar and our relatives for the prayers and support. Once again thank you all for joining the Last journey of my sister.

- Vijay BBN

For more photos, Please click on the below red given link

Funeral service photos

Prayer Service will be held on 14-12-2014 Sunday

Time: 9: 45 am
Place: St. Joseph's Street, Rajnagar, Nr. Vadtal, Gujarat.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Ignas Bapu: Remembered on his 2nd Death Anniversary

Ignas Bapu: Remembered on his 2nd Death Anniversary

It was on 8th December 2012 our beloved Ignas Bapu passed away from this earthly life to eternal life by saying gently bye to all of us at Unteshwari. Immaculate Ignas entered into the eternal abode on the Feast of Immaculate Conception of our blessed and benevolent Mother Mary. On the same evening very meaningfully we bid farewell to him at the side of Unteshwari Mata Mandir. From the assembled congregation many shed tears for him, for he was a holy person and a noble Jesuit missionary and an inspirational icon for many of our Growing Gujarat Church.

Having heard about the death of their beloved and respectful Fr. Ignacio Ordoñez, his brothers, cousins, nieces, nephews and relatives sent email messages expressing their heartfelt grief and gratitude to all of us. We too kept them informing about the happenings of the death, funeral and the post-funeral events. At different intervals his loving brother Fr. Santiago, compassionate cousin sister Mari Jose and nice niece Beatriz expressed their and their family members’ sorrows and sentiments. His family’s always available Alvaro, the youngest bachelor brother, cried many times while talking with me over the telephone. Every time they all emotionally expressed in different words, “on our behalf, please offer flowers and candles on our beloved Ignas’ tomb”. Faithfully we (the Fathers, Sisters and the Parishioners) continue to light candles and agarpatis, place flowers on his tomb as and when we feel moved. Almost there is a growing custom created by his close associates and the children of our Unteshwari residents to bow to the tomb first and then to enter into the Shrine of our Lady of the Camels. Yes. He was set apart to permeate God’s unconditional love to all persons without any calculations. Praise be to God for the GIFT of our dear Ignas Bapu in our midst!

Soon after the 1st death anniversary, the family of Ignas at Torres del Rio, the native land of his in Navarra – Spain, was well pleased to receive the compiled and edited book on him by me – “Inspirational Icon – Fr. Ignacio Jose Ordoñez, SJ 1928 – 2012”.  Having gone through the book they were overwhelmed with joy to see how Ignas was made alive once again through this book by various admired and inspired persons from the globe. According to them this was the right and apt tribute for they believe that by this kind gesture their Ignas will ever remain to inspire many more to follow the path of Jesus and Mary. So, they expressed: “We are content with all that was done to our dear Padre Ignacio!”

Again we are at the 2nd death anniversary. On this 8th December, 2014 once again we fondly remember our pleasant and precious Ignas Bapu. We are very well aware, these are the days thousands and thousands of Christians and non-Christians throng to Bom Jesu, Goa to venerate the Saintly body of our ever moved and moving Missionary San Francisco Javier, one of Our Founders of the Society of Jesus. When such venerations are taking place in Goa of the Navarra origin Saint, here at Gujarat we fondly remember another simple and humble Navarra origin missionary, a saint-like person! Let the flame of Ignas Bapu continue to burn in the hearts of all pilgrims who arrive here at Unteshwari and may their lives be filled with the spirit with the ‘darshan’ of his holy grave!

Ever since Ignas left us, since then his native people are in touch with a few of our Gujarat missionaries. I am one among them who was privileged to visit their homes on my last visit to Europe in August 2014. With the permission of my Provincial Fr. Francis Parmar, after the completion of the Frater Intercontinental Conference with the Persons with Disabilities at Celja, Slovenia, I went for my personal, official and sentimental visits to Netherlands, Rome-Italy and Spain.  In Spain, on 9th and 10th August I had my condolence visit to the family of Ordoñez at Torres del Rio, Armañanzas and Los Arcos which are close to Logroño.

Whomever I met, after my initial sharing, they all felt sad; eyes were filled with tears and a few closest persons shed tears. I sincerely felt that they were comforted by my visit and they felt like participating in the holy Eucharist.  So, we together celebrated and participated in the holy Eucharistic at the Church of Los Arcos and fondly we re-membered Ignas in the midst of the gathered family. We really REJOICED for the gift and task of Ignas Bapu to humanity. Rev. Fr. Videgain of Logroño was the main celebrant, the past benefactor Missionary from Japan and an admirer of Ignas. After the Mass we were in an Easter mood and shared the meal together.
Besides meeting the family of Ignas, I was also introduced to meet Mr. Juan Luis, the Mayor of Torres del Rio, the birth place of Ignas. He really rejoiced with me for the gift of Ignas and fondly remembered the given award “THE BEST SON OF THE SOIL” by him to Ignas in the year 2008 at his village. He also expressed his gratitude how we Indians take care of Spanish Missionaries in Gujarat.

Then I was joyfully taken by him to visit his village museum in an upper room. After visiting, I was given the visitors’ book. This is what I wrote on 09.08.2014 in that book:

Fr. Girish Santiago, SJ
Unteshwari Sammilitalayam,
P.B. 9, Irana Road, Kadi –
382715, Gujarat, India.

I am really well pleased to visit the native place of my best Jesuit Missionary companion Rev. Fr. Ignacio Ordoñez, SJ who is from this same place. To me he is the best native person, the son of the soil from this Torres del Rio who really shared his faith which was received from here with the persons from Gujarat Mission.  Since his faith was strong, he could build the Church of Gujarat in a beautiful manner.

Today, though he is no more with us, still his spirit is alive in me and others in Gujarat. I am grateful to the family of ORDOÑEZ of Torres del Rio. I appreciate the people of Torres for treating all pilgrims, guests, friends and persons of all kinds with an open heart and sharing their faith through prayers and financial support. I wish you all for a Christ-filled life. Pray for us. We shall pray for you.
Prem ane Prarthana (in Gujarati)
With love and prayers,
Sd. Girish, SJ

 The above mentioned words of mine summarize in short who Ignas was for his native persons and to all of us in Gujarat. Today he is no more with us physically. But, he very much lives in us and moves with us in guiding us to serve MORE for God and His peoples in an unassuming way. That’s how he lived and that’s how he continues to inspire the missionaries in Gujarat.

Thank you Ignas Bapu for your earlier earthly life and the current heavenly blessings!

Girish Santiago, SJ


Friday, December 5, 2014

Feast of Venerable Mary Veronica Of The Passion at Carmel Cote-Khanpur- Ahmedabad

Please click on the video 

On 04-12-2014 the feast of Venerable Mary Veronica Of The Passion was celebrated at Mount Carmel - Carmel Cote -Khanpur- Ahmedabad. The cultural program and a skit on the life of Venerable Mary Veronica Of Passion was put up by the students of the Mount Carmel Primary School. the presence of Rt. Rev. Bishop Thomas Macwan - Ahmedabad Diocese made the program vibrant. Sr. Meeta A.C. helps us to understand the life of Venerable Mary Veronica Of Passion in the above given documentary.

Please click on the below given red link for more beautiful photos

My sincere thanks to our Bishop Thomas Macwan for his presence this evening and for his encouragement in all our works. I also owe my sincere thanks to all our staff members particularly to miss Rochelle, Daina, Treasa, Oreen, Sonia,Sonica, Mr. Cedric, Seena Paul, Sr.Laveena, Sr. Silvia, Leena & Manisha who were actively involved in putting up this play. I cannot, but thank Mr. Irashad Shaikh ‘The Star Decorators’ who has been very generous in not only in beautifying the stage, providing chairs but also sponsoring the snacks. May God be gracious to him. Last but not the least my deep gratitude to Mr. Vijay for coming all the way from Anand to cover the event ‘The grain of wheat’ for BBN network channel. Hats off to all our students who took pain to learn and perform well.

We pray God’s Blessing on all those who helped us in any way. May our foundress Mother Veronica receives the honors of alter.

- Sr. Meeta A.C.

Know more about Venerable Mary Veronica Of The Passion

British convert and foundress declared Venerable

By Ann Marie Foley - 10 July, 2014
Mother Mary Veronica of the Passion founded the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel, a Discalced Carmelite Third Order for women based in India.
veronica mother
A British convert to Catholicism, who founded a religious order in the 19th century, has just been declared Venerable by the Church.
On Tuesday, Pope Francis authorised the promulgation of a decree concerning the Servant of God, Mary Veronica of the Passion (who was known as Sophie Leeves prior to her profession as a religious Sister).
She established the ‘Apostolic Carmel’, a Congregation of Sisters in India in 1870.
In a private audience with the Pope, Cardinal Angelo Amato SDB, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, put forward the name of Mary Veronica and six others who have lived lives of ‘heroic virtue’.
That means, not that they were without sin but that they tried their best to improve themselves spiritually and to grow in holiness. They will all be declared ‘Venerable’.
The next step on the road to sainthood is the approval of one miracle after which Mary Veronica could be beatified. If a second miracle were approved, it would open the way for her canonisation.
Mary Veronica began life as Sophie Leeves in 1823 in Istanbul. She was the daughter of Marina Leeves and Rev Henry Daniel Leeves, a military Chaplain to the British Ambassador.
She was well educated and had skills in writing and music. However, as a teenager she became very prayerful. She felt drawn to the Catholic Church, especially the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion.
Her mother and others were not pleased, especially when she broke off her engagement to young and handsome naval officer.
She was received into the Catholic Church in February 1850 in Malta where her father was stationed.
The following year, she went to France where she entered the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition, and became a professed as a member in 1851 and received the name Sr Mary Veronica of the Passion.
Having worked in several schools in Europe, she was sent to Calicut, India in 1862.
She showed a special love for the less fortunate. She wanted both the rich and the poor to enjoy all the ‘goods of the land’ – God’s gift for his people. She learnt the local language Malayalam.
In 1867, she returned to France to start what became the Apostolic Carmel. She trained three sisters and sent them to India. Shortly after their arrival, the Sisters opened St Ann’s School for Girls.
In 1873, Mother Veronica herself returned to the cloistered monastery, the Carmel of Pau, from there she prayed for her Apostolic Carmel in India for decades until she died in 1906 at the age of 83.
Mother Veronica’s cause of canonisation was taken up by the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel in 1997.

Pope Francis also authorised the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:

- Servant of God Antonio Ferreira Vicoso, Portuguese Bishop of Mariana (1787-1875).
- Servant of God Saturnino Lopez Novoa, Spanish diocesan priest, co-founder of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Elderly (1830-1905).
- Servant of God Joseph-Auguste Arribat, French professed priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco (1879-1963).
- Servant of God Elena da Persico, Italian lay foundress of the Secular Institute of the Daughters of the Queen of the Apostles (1869-1948).
- Servant of God Gaetana of the Blessed Sacrament (nee Carlotta Fontana), Italian superior general of the Poor Daughters of St. Cajetan (1870-1935).
- Servant of God Marcello Candia, Italian layperson (1916-1983).
Servant of God Mary Veronica of the Passion (nee Sophie Leeves), British professed nun of the Order of the Descalced Carmelites, foundress of the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel.

Blogger Widgets

Join BBN Mailing List


Email *

Message *

BBN Archive

Recent Comments