Bangalore, 0ctober 29, 2019: As the Extraordinary Missionary Month is on the verge of culmination, a large number of nuns, lay people and priests attended the Mission Symposium organized by the Archdiocese of Bangalore. The program witnessed over 350 religious men and women from different parts of the metropolitan city gathered at Paalanaa Bhavana, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center where the mega event took place.
Most Rev. Dr. Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bangalore presided over the symposium and delivered the keynote address while Most. Rev. Dr. Robert Miranda, Bishop of Gulbarga as the guest speaker enriched the day’s interactions. Msgr. S. Jayanathan, Vicar general of the Archdiocese of Bangalore welcomed the dignitaries and briefed the purpose of the program.
Archbishop Peter Machado addressing the gathering said, “We must have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ to give him to others… We are minority in Bangalore and rest of India. We have to become witnesses of Christ through leading a life of virtue, through our educationand by our way of relating with others”, the prelate added.
The guest speaker of the day Bishop Robert Miranda speaking on missions and missionary life shed light on the key aspects of Jesus’ life to be an effective missionary. “Jesus was a man of prayer; he became poor, had passion for missions and was a missionary who did not compromise. We need to adopt these salient aspects of Christ’s life to be zealous missionaries”, he said.
Further speaking on the present scenario, “Though we know we are a minority in the country, we also should remember that salt is also minority among the ingredients while preparing a dish. But it gives flavor to it. Likewise, we must be exemplary in our living”, His Excellency underlined.
Rev. Fr. Anthony Prasad, the Secretary of Proclamation and Evangelization Commission delineated the origin of Catholic faith in the state of Karnataka with special reference to Archdiocese of Bangalore.
A panel discussion on mission experience was moderated by Msgr. C. Francis. The panelists working in missions participated and shared their experiences. Sr. Arokia Rosalie, SSAM, a religious nun working in Pavagadamission station narrated about the challenges faced. Mr. JX Peter, a lay preacher who conducts retreats, night vigils and Marian devotion through publishing books and leaflets gave an account of his life and 24 years of serving the Lord. Fr. Joseph Moolakara, a Claretian priestworking in rural Bangalore explained the retreat ministryfor the spread of mission. Mr. David and Mrs. Claudina, a neo-catechumenate couple narrated their story and apostolate while Ms. Divya Bhatt, a filmmaker and a Catholic animator shared her conversion story.
There were many suggestions from the participants as part of the action plan. Various issues like formation of Small Christian Communities in every parish, frequent house visits from the clergy, faith formation of children and youth, Catholic institutions to become more service oriented. Most Rev. Dr. Peter Machado and Most Rev. Dr. Robert Miranda addressed the issues and gave the concluding remarks.
The program concluded with the screening of the movie “Silence” in the afternoon session organized by Archdiocesan Communication Center.