Tuesday, September 30, 2014

“YEAR OF CONSECRATED LIFE 2015”

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“YEAR OF CONSECRATED LIFE 2015”
-Fr. Cedric Prakash sj

In an address to the heads of men’s religious orders participating in the 82nd general assembly of the Union of Superiors General in Rome on November 29th 2013, Pope Francis announced that 2015 will be a Year dedicated to ‘the Promotion of Consecrated Life’.

The year coincides with the 50th anniversaries of the Vatican Council and of the Decree ‘Perfectae Caritatis’ on religious life.

Unveiling the plan of the year, a few months ago, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CFCL) said, “We believe that the Council has been a breath of the Spirit not only for the whole Church but, perhaps especially, for the consecrated life. We are also convinced that in these 50 years, consecrated life has undertaken a fruitful journey of renewal — not free, certainly, of difficulties and hardships — in the commitment to follow what the Council asked of the consecrated: fidelity to the Lord, to the Church, to their own charism and to the people of today.”

The Year has three major objectives:

·         to celebrate the golden anniversaries of the Second Vatican Council and of ‘Perfectae Caritatis’
·         to live the present passionately
·         to embrace the future with hope

The year will focus on:

·         renewal for men and women in consecrated life
·         thanksgiving among the faithful for the service of sisters, brothers, priests, and nuns
·         invitation to young Catholics to consider a religious vocation

The year of consecrated life has for its theme “WAKE UP THE WORLD” and it will be launched by Pope Francis on November 29th – 30th2014 (the first Sunday of Advent) with an opening prayer vigil and Mass. It will conclude on February 2nd 2016, the World Day of Consecrated Life.

The CFCL has already issued a path-breaking document for the year entitled ‘REJOICE! A letter to consecrated men and women – A message from the teachings of Pope Francis’.  This 70-page document is a fitting initiator and backgrounder for the year inviting all consecrated persons to rejoice in their consecration. The document also provides ten very pointed questions posed by Pope Francis (in the very first year of his Pontificate) to various stages of religious life. The document is also an invitation for consecrated persons to reflect individually and collectively on these questions.

What can be done in Ahmedabad Diocese during this year?
Several programmes / activities can be undertaken, during the fifteen-months period we are invited to celebrate this year; among the possibilitiesare:

·         the Diocese could organise special programmes for the launch (November 30th 2014) and the conclusion (February 2nd 2016) of the year
·         every Deanery could organize one Seminar and at least one day of recollection on the theme
·         every Parish could organise at least two special programmes during the year to highlight the need and importance of consecrated life in the Church.  
·         the CRI of Ahmedabad could plan at least a programme a month in different parts of the Diocese
·         every congregation in the diocese should take upon themselves to organize retreats / recollections / seminars /  workshops and other related programmes on the theme particularly for youth
·         the DOOT could have three to four pages every month highlighting the charism of the religious congregation working in the diocese and also special lead articles on consecrated life.
·         religious in the Diocese should be encouraged to write articles on Consecrated Life and circulate these as much as possible
·         there are several renewal programmes that will be organized nationally and internationally, religious congregations should be urged to send the younger members of their congregation to participate in them

Some related Websites

Conclusion:
In the words of Pope Francis
*      “Today’s religious men and women need to be prophetic, “capable of waking up the world,” of showing they are a special breed who “have something to say” to the world today”

*      “The church must be attractive. Wake up the world! Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, acting, living! (Show) It’s possible to live differently in this world.”


(This Presentation was made at the Priest Council meeting of the Ahmedabad Diocese held at Bishop’s House, Ahmedabad on September 29th, 2014)


Monday, September 29, 2014

A Hundred Days Closer to Ecological and Social Suicide by Ashish Kothari (EPW September 27th 2014)

A Hundred Days Closer to Ecological and Social Suicide

Eleven Congresspersons urge President Obama to discuss protection of religious minorities with Prime Minister Modi

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Eleven Congresspersons urge President Obama to discuss protection of religious minorities with Prime Minister Modi

Increase in violence against Christians and Muslims cited as concern, while Congressional panel holds a briefing on 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, September 29th, 2014
Coalition Against Genocide (CAG), a broad alliance dedicated to justice and accountability for the Gujarat pogroms of 2002 and to defending India's secular tradition, has welcomed a letter to President Obama by eleven members of Congress, urging him to discuss "religions inclusion and the protection of religious minorities in India," during his meeting with Prime Minister Modi on Monday, September 28.

The letter draws the President's attention to the fact that "there has been an increase in violence against Muslims and Christians in the first hundred days of Prime Minister Modi's term," and that such violence "echoes the deadly 2002 riots in Gujarat, which happened while Prime Minister Modi was chief minister of the region."

In a separate development, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission will hold a briefing on the 1984 anti-Sikh massacres in Delhi, in which over 3,000 Sikhs were killed and thousands more injured. Titled "Thirty Years of Impunity: The November 1984 anti-Sikh Pogroms in India," the hearing will be held on September 30, 2014, and will discuss "India's failure to prosecute the architects of the pogroms."

The lawmakers' letter to President Obama also comes on the heels of massive                    protests outside Madison Square Garden organized by the Alliance for Justice and Accountability, during Mr. Modi's speech to Indian Americans. These developments reflect continued concerns in the US and across the world, about the state of human rights and religious freedom in India.

In addition to the 11 member letter by Congress released today, Congressman Mike Honda had earlier written to Secretary of State John Kerry, urging him to support the inclusion of human rights and religious freedom in the US-India Strategic Dialogues where Mr. Modi is to meet with the President today. Quoting the US Commission for International Religious Freedom 2014 Annual Report, Rep. Honda had noted the increase in religiously motivated violence in India. Acknowledging that some positive steps had been taken towards religious minorities, the letter noted that "periodic outbreaks of large-scale communal violence continue to threaten the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable religious minorities in India; especially impacting women and girls."

"All of us who cherish India's traditionally inclusive society, understand the level of concern about the threats to secularism and pluralism in India, " said Dr. Raja Swamy, a CAG spokesperson. "The first 100 days of Mr. Modi's tenure as PM have shown that such concern is justified and has gained added urgency, " added Dr. Swamy.

Reflecting the growing intolerance, both in India as well as the diaspora, reports                    indicate veteran journalist Rajdeep Sardesai was assaulted by a mob of Modi supporters outside Madison Square Garden on Sunday, September 28. The provocation was Mr. Sardesai's willingness to pay attention to a protester who wished to express his views, and clarify reasons for protesting.

"India can be a strong democracy only when dissent is given its space, and the freedom of the press is respected," said Dr. Shaik Ubaid, another CAG spokesperson.

CAG appeals to President Obama to respond to the concerns expressed by the eleven Congresspersons as well as Rep. Honda, and to accept their recommendation on his imminent meeting with PM Modi. Without international attention on the growing intolerance in India, millions of Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Dalits and other minorities will continue to see a steady erosion of their religious freedom and civil liberties.

CAG is a broad-based coalition representing a diverse cross section of the religious and political spectrum of the Indian diaspora, including Hindu and other                    faith-based organizations. The coalition is committed to democracy, pluralism and to the preservation of the idea of India.
References:

Fast track to troubling times: 100 days of Narendra Modi




CONTACT:
 
1. Dr. Shaik Ubaid 
Phone: 516-567-0783

2. Dr. Raja Swamy
Phone: 864-804-0216
 
3. Coalition Against Genocide
Forward email



This email was sent to sjprashant@gmail.com by media@coalitionagainstgenocide.org  

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

WHAT A TERRIBLE SHAME FOR INDIA!!!!


 WHAT A  TERRIBLE SHAME FOR INDIA!!!!

WHAT A TERRIBLE SHAME FOR INDIA!
 A TOTAL DISGRACE FOR the WORLD's BIGGEST DEMOCRACY! 
NO STATE VISIT for the INDIAN PM!

 NO OFFICIAL WELCOME by the US! ONLY "PRIVATE" DINNERS! No STATE BANQUET or FORMAL RECEPTION!
 NO LIFTING the "BAN" on THE VISA!
 SUB-STANDARD SPEECH at UNGA with very few lower level functionaries(with plenty of EMPTY seats)present and "trying" to listen!!!
A good bit of bluff and "feku" thrown in!! ONLY "entertainment" shows NOT BEFITTING a head of State or Government!
What a climb down for the WORLDS OLDEST DEMOCRACY!
And a SPINELESS INDIAN MEDIA - most of them JUST BOUGHT UP- going ga-ga 24x7 as though the entertainment shows were the ONLY THINGS that mattered! (just find out which other head of State or Government had the time for such "tamashas"!!)
Find OUT ALSO HOW and WHERE the MONEY has come from- It will outbeat Amma a hundred times over!
And to top it ALL those who show courage TO AT LEAST listen to "another point of view" are roughed up by the fascist forces there!
CRY MY BELOVED INDIA!

It is a SAD DAY indeed for ALL of us! We need to hang our heads down in SHAME!

RUPA MODY: A WOMAN OF INDOMITABLE SPIRIT

RUPA MODY: A WOMAN OF INDOMITABLE SPIRIT
Like
It is Saturday 27th September...
It is RUPA MODY's birthday! No celebrations for her yet..Since February 28th 2002 she is waiting for her only and beloved son Azhu to return home to her loving embrace!
With terrible pain in her heart and tears in her eyes, she shared her struggle and hope with a group of young women in Ahmedabad.She would have done this sharing umpteen times before to groups and individuals before -those willing to listen and share in a mother's grief. She is relentless in her pursuit for truth and justice!

Her only son Azhar was cruelly snatched away from her  on that fateful day when the muderous Hindu mobs attacked Gulbarga Housing  Society in Chamanpura, Ahmedabad(where she resided) and  killed, raped, burnt, looted and brutalised innocent people.More than 70 persons including a former member of Parliament Eshan Jafri were either murdered or missing
While she was sharing- the one who presided over  the Gujarat Carnage was waxing eloquent and once again trying desperately to bluff the world with words against "terror"
In 2005 Rupa's story was immortalised in a film' PARZANIA.'
Rupaben is TRULY A WOMAN OF INDOMITABLE SPIRIT ! Her courage  and  struggle for truth and justice will never go in vain!

Pope's Address to Jesuits on Restoration. Rome (Sept 27th 2014) from AMERICA magazine

Pope Francis hands Adolfo Nicolas, SJ, the Book of the Gospels at the end of the Vespers service. Photo by Gerard O'Connell, America.
From the Vatican:
"Jesuits 'brave and expert rowers' in barque of Peter...Row then!  Row, and be strong, even in the headwind!"
Pope Francis celebrated a special liturgy of thanksgiving in the Church of the Gesรน in Rome on Saturday, to mark the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Society of Jesus. Please find, below, Vatican Radio's English translation of the prepared text of the Holy Father's homily for the occasion.
Dear brothers and friends in the Lord,
The Society under the name of Jesus has lived difficult times of persecution. During the leadership of Fr Lorenzo Ricci, “enemies of the Church succeeded in obtaining the suppression of the Society” (John Paul II, Message to Fr Kolvenbach, July 31, 1990) by my predecessor Clement XIV. Today, remembering its restoration, we are called to recover our memory, calling to mind the benefits received and the particular gifts (cf. Spiritual Exercises, 234). Today, I want to do that here with you.
In times of trial and tribulation, dust clouds of doubt and suffering are always raised and it is not easy to move forward, to continue the journey. Many temptations come, especially in difficult times and in crises: to stop to discuss ideas, to allow oneself to be carried away by the desolation, to focus on the fact of being persecuted, and not to see the other. Reading the letters of Fr Ricci, one thing struck me: his ability to avoid being harnessed by these temptations and to propose to the Jesuits, in a time of trouble, a vision of the things that rooted them even more in the spirituality of the Society.
Father General Ricci, who wrote to the Jesuits at the time, watching the clouds thickening on the horizon, strengthened them in their membership in the body of the Society and its mission. Here it is: in a time of confusion and turmoil he discerned. He did not waste time discussing ideas and complaining, but he took on the charge of the vocation of the Society.
And this attitude led the Jesuits to experience the death and resurrection of the Lord. Faced with the loss of everything, even of their public identity, they did not resist the will of God, they did not resist the conflict, trying to save themselves. The Society – and this is beautiful – lived the conflict to the end, without minimizing it. It lived humiliation along with the  humiliated Christ; it obeyed. You never save yourself from conflict with cunning and with strategies of resistance. In the confusion and humiliation, the Society preferred to live the discernment of God's will, without seeking a way out of the conflict in a seemingly quiet manner.
It is never apparent tranquility that satisfies our hearts, but true peace that is a gift from God. One should never seek the easy "compromise" nor practice facile “irenicism.” Only discernment saves us from real uprooting, from true "suppression" of the heart, which is selfishness, worldliness, the loss of our horizon. Our hope, is Jesus; it is only Jesus. Thus Fr Ricci and the Society during the suppression privileged history rather than a gray “little tale”, knowing that love judges history and that hope - even in darkness - is greater than our expectations.
Discernment must be done with right intention, with a simple eye. For this reason, Fr Ricci comes, precisely in this time of confusion and bewilderment, to speak about the sins of the Jesuits. He does not defend himself, feeling like a victim of history, but he recognizes himself as a sinner. Looking at oneself and recognizing oneself as a sinner avoids being in a position of considering oneself a victim before an executioner. Recognizing oneself as a sinner, really recognizing oneself as a sinner, means putting oneself in the correct attitude to receive consolation.
We can review briefly this process of discernment and service that this Father General indicated to the Society. When in 1759, the decrees of Pombal destroyed the Portuguese provinces of the Society, Fr Ricci lived the conflict, not complaining and letting himself fall into desolation, but inviting prayers to ask for the good spirit, the true supernatural spirit of vocation, the perfect docility to God's grace. When in 1761, the storm advanced in France, the Father General asked that all trust be placed in God. He wanted that they take advantage of the hardships toward a greater inner purification; they lead us to God and can serve for his greater glory. Then, he recommended prayer, holiness of life, humility and the spirit of obedience. In 1760, after the expulsion of the Spanish Jesuits, he continued to call for prayer. And finally, on February 21, 1773, just six months before the signing of the Brief Dominus ac Redemptor, with the utter lack of human help, he sees the hand of God's mercy, which invites those, who submit to the test, not to confide in anyone but God. Trust must grow precisely when circumstances throw us to the ground. Of importance for Fr Ricci is that the Society, until the last, is true to the spirit of its vocation, which is for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls.
The Society, even faced with its own demise, remained true to the purpose for which it was founded. To this, Ricci concludes with an exhortation to keep alive the spirit of charity, unity, obedience, patience, evangelical simplicity, true friendship with God. Everything else is worldliness. The flame of the greater glory of God even today flows through us, burning every complacency and enveloping us in a flame, which we have within, which focuses us and expands us, makes us grow and makes us shrink.
In this way, the Society experienced the supreme test of the sacrifice unjustly asked of it, taking up the prayer of Tobit, who with a soul struck by grief, sighs, cries and then prays:  “You are righteous, O Lord, and all your deeds are just; all your ways are mercy and truth; you judge the world.  And now, O Lord, remember me and look favorably upon me. Do not punish me for my sins and for my unwitting offenses and those that my ancestors committed before you. They sinned against you,  and disobeyed your commandments. So you gave us over to plunder, exile, and death, to become the talk, the byword, and an object of reproach among all the nations among whom you have dispersed us.” It concludes with the most important request: “Do not, O Lord, turn your face away from me. (Tb 3,1-4.6d).
And the Lord answered by sending Raphael to remove the white spots from Tobit’s eyes, so that he could once again see the light of God. God is merciful, God crowns with mercy. God loves us and saves us. Sometimes the path that leads to life is narrow and cramped, but the tribulation, if lived in the light of mercy, purifies us like fire, it gives us much consolation and inflames our hearts, endearing prayer to it. Our brother Jesuits in the suppression were fervent in the spirit and in the service of the Lord, rejoicing in hope, constant in tribulation, perseverant in prayer (cf. Rom 12:13). And that gave honour to the Society, but certainly not the praise of its merits. It will always be this way.
Let us remember our history: the Society “was given the grace not only to believe in the Lord, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29). We do well to remember this.
The ship of the Society has been tossed around by the waves and there is nothing surprising in this. Even the boat of Peter can be tossed about today. The night and the powers of darkness are always near. It is tiring to row. The Jesuits must be “brave and expert rowers”(Pius VII, Sollecitudo omnium ecclesiarum): row then! Row, be strong, even with the headwind! We row in the service of the Church. We row together! But while we row - we all row, even the Pope rows in the boat of Peter - we must pray a lot, "Lord, save us! Lord save your people." The Lord, even if we are men of little faith, will save us. Let us hope in the Lord! Let us hope always in the Lord!
The Society, restored by my predecessor Pius VII, was made up of  men, who were brave and humble in their witness of hope, love and apostolic creativity, that of the Spirit. Pius VII wrote of wanting to restore the Society to "support himself in an adequate way for the spiritual needs of the Christian world, without the difference of peoples and nations" (ibid). For this, he gave permission to the Jesuits, which still existed here and there, thanks to a Lutheran monarch and an Orthodox monarch, "to remain united in one body." That the Society may remain united in one body!
And the Society was immediately missionary and made itself available to the Apostolic See, committing generously "under the banner of the cross for the Lord and His Vicar on earth" (Formula of the Institute, 1). The Society resumed its apostolic activity of preaching and teaching, spiritual ministries, scientific research and social action, the missions and care for the poor, the suffering and the marginalized.
Today, the Society also deals with the tragic problem of refugees and displaced persons with intelligence and industriousness; and it strives with discernment to integrate service to faith and the promotion of justice in conformity with the Gospel. I confirm today what Paul VI told us at our 32nd General Congregation and which I heard with my own ears: "Wherever in the Church, even in the most difficult and extreme situations, in the crossroads of ideologies, in the social trenches, where there has been and there is confrontation between the deepest desires of man and the perennial message of the Gospel, there you have been and there are Jesuits. "
In 1814, at the time of the restoration, the Jesuits had a small flock, a "small Society," but which knew how to invest, after the test of the cross, in the great mission of bringing the light of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. This is how we must feel today therefore: outbound, in mission. The Jesuit identity is that of a man who loves God and loves and serves his brothers, showing by example not only that in which he believes, but also that in which he hopes, and who is the One in whom he has put his trust (cf. 2 Tim 1:12). The Jesuit wants to be a companion of Jesus, one who has the same feelings of Jesus.
The bull of Pius VII that restored the Society was signed on August 7, 1814, at the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where our holy father Ignatius celebrated his first Mass on Christmas Eve of 1538. Mary, Our Lady, Mother of the Society, will be touched by our efforts to be at the service of her Son. May she watch over us and protects us always.