Sunday, 21 April 2019


Two men ran through the streets of the town, trying to see if the news brought by the women was true. Over the final sprint, one outran the other and arrived on the scene first. Stopping, he stooped down and looked into the space and noticed the linen cloths that had once wrapped a body. Astounded, he didn’t immediately enter. His friend, not hesitating, tucked his head and went inside. He also saw the same linen cloths, with a separate piece lying nearby. He too was dumbfounded. Then the two, staring at the empty, rock-carved tomb, came to realize that something beyond human belief had occurred.
These two men, Peter and John, were standing in the empty tomb where three days and nights earlier,the dead body of their Master and Teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, had been placed (see John20:1-10). Then they remembered what Jesus had told them while He was still in Galilee, ‘the Son of man must be handed over to be crucified and on the third day rise again.’ Could this be true? Was there hope after all?
Matthew’s account goes into detail to show that there were eyewitnesses to an earthquake and that an angel had rolled back the stone covering the tomb entrance. The guards shook with fear to the point of being frozen into inaction (Matthew 28:2-4)
Without the physical Resurrection, two thousand years of history would have gone a begging for such an enormous geographical and political event. No other event in recorded history has reached so far across national,ethnic, linguistic cultural, political and geographical boarders. During the first few centuries,Christ’s message spread with great success across the world without political or military power and prevailed against the ruthless efforts to imprison all those who spoke about the Resurrection.
Jesus was a real historical person who died, was crucified and rose again. Several manuscripts from multiple sources, including Jewish historians, describe a man named Jesus who lived and was crucified. As of today, more than 66,000 early manuscripts from multiple sources which are unaltered show a pattern of consistency in the reliability of the Resurrection account. More than just a fact, the Resurrection creates a connection to God that  has been perceived by people from all times, cultures, socioeconomic status, great personalities, across the more than 2000 years of history. Many famous scientists like Blaise Pascal, Johann Kepler, Michael Faraday, and Francis Collins have been influenced and followed our living God.
Christ’s resurrection paved the way for us to experience and to know God better and to live the abundant life He has for us (John 10:10). We have begun to think differently, and our lives now have the potential to be more than we ever imagined—for it can be what God imagines!
The Resurrection is central to the Christian hope that Christ died, was Resurrected and lives today too. This fact is absolutely necessary for us to have hope for eternal life. Today, over one billion Christians unite to proclaim that Jesus Christ is alive. Christians all over the world celebrate the proclamation of the angel, He is not here, He has risen, just as He said! Matthew 28:6
The personal experience of men and women today testifies that the power of the risen Christ has transformed their lives. We know that Jesus is alive not only because of the historical and biblical evidences but because He has touched our lives. The evidence that no one can dispute is the ongoing encounter with the living Christ that happens all over the world in every culture, to people from all kinds of backgrounds and personalities—well educated or not, rich or poor, scientists and technocrats and men and women of all ages. They testify that more than anything in their lives how Jesus Christ has changed them and given them hope of a better life hereafter. The final message is that the door is open for a direct encounter with the risen Christ.God emptied heaven to fill the manger, He emptied the Manger to fill the cross, He emptied the cross to fill the tomb and He emptied the tomb to fill our hearts.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Message for the Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola

31st July, 2018: The sixteenth century was remarkable for its colourful parade of extraordinary personalities who were destined to influence, all succeeding generations for good or evil. In that long, brilliant line of statesmen, scholars, reformers and revolutionaries, there was a short, bald-headed Spaniard. He had a small book tucked under his arm and a spirituality buried deep in his heart. The man was Ignatius Loyola, the book was the Spiritual Exercises and the spirituality was “contemplative in action” by “finding God in all things.”

   God does not work in a vacuum. God works in the real world. He deals with us as human beings. God sanctifies us through our daily actions, our fears, failures and yes, even our sins. He is the potter, we are the clay. We have to allow God to transform us and conquer us. Once St Ignatius remarked to some young religious, ‘He who goes about to reform the world must begin with himself.’ St. Ignatius wanted the Jesuits to be strong in Spirituality against the devil and explained how the rest of us needed to begin by surrendering completely to Christ our King. ‘If our church is not marked by caring for the poor, the oppressed and the hungry, we are guilty of heresy’. We need to allow Jesus to help us to be caring to the underprivileged, sympathetic to the sick, attentive to the youth and considerate and kind-hearted to all those around us. Let us pray to St Ignatius whose feast is on 31 July, to grant us these spiritual gifts so that we can live a life of a true Christian life.

Fr. Dominic Gomes, VG

Thursday, 3 May 2018

True devotion to Mary

“Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day will be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sign with my blood.” said Saint Louis de Montfort. When we “hail” Mary, our Mother utterly courteous and pleasant, immediately greets us. Let us greet Our Mother more meaningfully when we say the “Hail Mary” as Mother Mary is waiting to converse with us. We live in tumultuous times. I hardly need to elaborate the multitude of sadness and cruelty that fills the world. Many are being swept away by this flood of swaying the
wrong way and are succumbing to a great amount of perturbation and despondency. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not lose confidence, hope and faith. On this note we must pray the Rosary earnestly with a living faith and a firm credence—that there is no better way to do this than by praying the Holy Rosary!

Praying the Rosary, together as a family, wards of evil and unfurls peace, stability and unity. Through Mary and her Magnificat, i.e. her “yes” to God, we open ourselves to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have our salvation, if we choose to accept it. When we recite the Rosary, we see the life of Jesus in the Mysteries through the eyes of Our Mother. A mother’s perception of her children is very different and unique from any other individual’s perception, a perception of care like no other. Many miracles have been performed by Our Mother Mary for those who have been praying the Rosary. During this Month of May which is dedicated to Mary, Our loving mother, I urge everyone to pray the Rosary more fervent and earnestly.
Fr. Dominic Gomes
{Vicar General}

Monday, 5 March 2018

SCC Mandatory Policy Empathized

- Dominic J & Sybil Azavedo

Kolkata: In continuation of the Calcutta Synod 2017 and Archbishop Thomas D’Souza’s exhortation at the Synod that SCC is mandatory in all the Parishes of the Archdiocese of Kolkata, Fr. Dominic Gomes, Vicar General and SCC Coordinator for the Kolkata Archdiocese told the 30 participants of the Diocese Service Team (DST) that they had a heavy responsibility to work more than the animators in their Deaneries/Parishes and get the SCC moving efficiently. Fr. Dominic said at this DST meeting in Archbishop’s House on 10th February, 2018 to give him the names of the Facilitators/Animators who are active and passive and where the groups are stagnant in the Parishes and not reaching out to other areas of the Parishes to empower lay leaders to form and take charge of new SCC groups in the Parishes.

Repeating the resolutions taken at the Synod, Fr. Dominic emphasized that SCC will have to make families wanted as a community to be a participatory Church. For this it is necessary that a survey is taken of families and leaders identified; train the leaders in the methodology of the Seven Steps and Gospel Sharing; prepare and circulate guide-books for the proper conduct and functioning of SCC Cells and area units The dates given at the Synod were: for Parishes’ sur-veys to have started by 1st Janu-ary, 2018, the Parish animation training to ha ve be gun from 1st February, 2018 and the Guidebook to be launched by 23rd March, 2018.

Besides, providing help at Christmas functions and providing gifts and entertainment to the poor, needy and in old people’s homes, two successful stories, where a big number was involved from November, 2017 till January, 2018, were: 1. In Our Lady Queen of Peace, Tollygunge where a group found that the lonely and poor Mrs. Jutika Gomes’ house was surrounded with stagnant dirty drainage water all around – a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Her financial condition being not good, the group informed Fr. Piter Pradhan, the Parish Priest and other SCC groups. Fr. Piter even made announcements in the Church and so money was collected, the low land with debris was cleared and soil put, thus solving the problem. In November, 2017, the SCCs provided rice, dal, oil, potatoes, sugar, tea and soap for 50 families. This was reported by Mrs. Juliet Karak and Mr. Pius D’Mello to the SCC Coordinators for Zone IV. 

2. In Liluah Parish, Mrs. Jacinta Lakra and Mrs. Jyoti Kerketta reported that the SCCs distributed umbrellas to the needy and supported a widow who was thrown out of her house.

An hour was spent by the participants discussing Deanery-wise: the Parishes that do not have SCCS; the fruitfulness of SCCs and the areas that need to work on, the problems faced, the regular training and refresher courses required to make the SCCs effective and persevering; training in Gospel Sharing method, doing the 6th Step effectively by getting groups involved like in Tollygunge and Liluah, - in short: making SCCs, self-propagating, self-administering and self supporting communities.

To make the SCCs self-supporting at the Archdiocese’s level, Mrs. Sybil Azavedo organised the Breakfast and Lunch for the 30 members with the help of the Bramblebee family:Edward and Juana; and Mr. Sumit Singh with Mrs. Roselyn Miles, Mrs. Lidwina Alphonso, Mrs. Silvie D’Mello and Mrs. Cheryl Johnstone helping in the distribution.

Mother Yvonne Reungoat, the 9th Superior General of FMA visits Kolkata

- Sr. Stella P

Kolkata province of Mary help of Christians was at the Zenith of joy as the 9th successor of their co-foundress St. Mary Mazzarello, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat paid her maiden visit to Kolkata. The occasion of this mega event was the Triennial Evaluation carried out by PCI (provincial conference India). The provincial conference India for the Triennial Evaluation consisted of seven provincials across the country, two sister delegates and one laity and one young person from each province, Mother General Yvonne Reungoat, 4 General councilors, Sr. AlaĆ­de Deretti - Councillor for the Mission, Sr. Runita Galve Borja - Councillor for Youth Ministry, Sr. Lucy Rose Ozhukayil - Visiting Councillor and Sr. Phyllis Neves - Visiting Councillor.

On 24 January 2018 was a memorial day in the annals of the province, the commencement of the Triennial Evaluation. It commenced with a well prepared Morning Prayer and the solemn Eucharistic celebration presided by Most Rev. Thomas D’Souza, the Archbishop of Calcutta. In his homily he highlighted the tenderness an compassion so much desired by St. John Bosco our father and founder, drawing his inspiration from the life of St. Francis de Sales whom he gave as the patron. The inaugural welcome by the host province was indeed breathtaking and mesmerizing. 

The participants were escorted to the auditorium around 700 students of Auxilium School depicted the culture of West Bengal through various art forms that attracted the attention of all.The representation of leaders and luminaries like Swami Vivekanada, Rabindranath Tagore and Mother Teresa, the Saint of the Gutters stirred our hearts. After the ceremonial welcome done by the three schools of Bandel, Barasat and Dum Dum beloved Mother General enthralled the audience with her affectionate message. She had great appreciation for the artists and staff for such a wonderful performance. Mother General spoke to the participants about the beauty of our vocation as believers. She said that we need to ‘let ourselves be found by the Lord Jesus’. Only an encounter with Jesus can help us encounter others. This was followed by group discussions which helped the participants to deepen their reflection on her talk.

Archdiocese Annual Meeting

Kolkata: Archdiocesan annual meeting of priests began on 15th Jan 2018 at 6.00 pm. The coordinator of the diocesan priest's welfare committee (DPWC), Fr. Albert Sahayaraj presented the events of the meeting. Archbishop Thomas D’Souza at the very outset exhorted all the priests to actively participate and to keep the bond of brotherly unity and togetherness.

Sr. Inigo, Former Superior General of St. Anne’s of Chennai, the resource person spoke on panoramic view of the dioc e sanpriestly life, inviting the priests to walk in the presence of Christ in human and divine nature”. Fr. Mohandas updated all of us with do’s and dont’s with regard to LITURGY.

It was also a happy occasion to celebrate the Silver jubilee of the Priestly Ordination of the three jubilarians Frs. Albert, Gregory Monteiro, Mark Pitchai. The Presbyterium organized a thanksgiving Mass to thank the Lord for the gift of the three priests and felicitated them on reaching this great milestone of their Priestly life in a simple cultural program.

During these three days of meeting various areas of concerns matter s and events of Pastoral, Finance, Education and various Projects were  discussed and analysed. Archbishop in his address instructed on living for Christ and people through service with responsibility. He felt encouraged and experienced the joy and warmth of the diocesan clergy coming together as one presbyterium.

Fr. Anthony Paul, Secretary, of DPWC thanked all specially Archbishop Thomas D’Souza for convoking the Annual Priests meeting, Fr. Dominic VG for his ready help and co-operation, Fr. Albert (DPWC), Fr. Shyam Director of Proggalay for his hospitality and care, Fr. Neethi for Media & Sound system and Fr. Rodney for coordinating the Liturgy & choir, he also thanked all the priests present for their active and valuable participation.