Bangalore, December 1, 2019:“Involvement of the religious in the pastoral mission of the archdiocese”,the theme that was reflected by the local religious superiors and Most Rev. Dr. Peter Machado, the shepherd of Bangalore Archdiocese. The meet is organized once a year and sponsored by the archdiocese to appreciate, to support and to listen to all the religious superiors and vice versa. Rev. Msgr. Xavier Manavarth, the espiscopal vicar for the religious and the Bangalore CRI were successful to bring all the superiors on to one platform.
Msgr. Manavath in his welcome address said that through these annual meets the archbishop of Bangalore expresses his gratitude, appreciation, love and support to the religious communities for the wonderful work that they do all over the vast archdiocese. He also briefed the superiors about the day’s proceedings and later gave the guidelines as to how to take the discussion points further to the deanery level and to the parish level.
Bengaluru Archbishop in his address, spoke on the various issues as to how the religious can take forward the mission and evangelization of the Church in their own local neighborhoods. He also pointed out through his own personal experiences that how the religious can make a huge difference through their service and accompaniment. This has to be done through by being more frequently participating in their local parish celebrations, be it Eucharist as well as other activities.
Very importantly, he proposed to the religious to observe the year 2020 as the year of the poor. He starkly remarked, “though we may not able to solve the problems of poor or cannot eradicate poverty but at least a small difference can surely be made to the poor around us.” He proposed a background understanding to revisit the vocation of the religious, to be aware of the poor among us and to lighten their burden. He also made the following suggestions:
1. Simple life style
2. Avoid culture of waste
3. Visit the poor
4. Educate the poor
5. Heal the sick
6. Visit the Imprisoned
7. Provide Shelter for homeless
8. Welcome the immigrants
9. Make at home the specially abled
At the morning sessions, Rev. Dr. John Abraham spoke on his expectations from the religious as a parish priest while Sr. Josephine Hoover SJT, highlighted on the expectations of the religious from their parish priests in the pastoral involvement.
It is important to note that the religious superiors met in their respective zones to look deeper into the issues and challenges they face in collaborating with their parish clergy also proposed new and creative ideas for an active pastoral ministry.
Report: Rev. Fr. Cyril Victor Joseph
Director, Archdiocesan Communication Centre