TO ALL OUR PARISH PRIESTS, THEIR ASSOCIATES IN THE DIOCESAN AND PARISH MINISTRY AND TO ALL THE RELIGIOUS MEN AND WOMEN
My dear Rev. Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,
There are many ways in which we can fulfill our responsibilities as members in the life of the Church. The Diocesan Commissions are groups of Catholics (priests, deacons, religious and laypeople) from across the Diocese who are appointed by the Bishop and commissioned by him to advise him in certain areas of the Diocesan Mission. They are also charged with the animation and co-ordination of this aspect of Mission throughout the Diocese. There are fifteen Commissions in the Diocese of Jalandhar which have a three-fold structure in its formation and functioning. At the parish level, we have 5 member cells for each Commission as the basic unit. Unless and until this grass root level is formed properly no commission can perform its responsibilities. Each member holds a special place in our Bishop’s and the Holy Father’s heart in this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Let’s put this bluntly: Many Catholics have been lost to the Church because of ignorance – as well as the scandal of Catholics not living up to the demands of the faith and the lure of the secular culture, to be sure. The greatest part of those who have left the Church in our local Church did so through a combination of poor catechesis and unwillingness to live according to the teachings of the Church on such issues as marriage, scholarship, and other socio-economic reasons. The best thing we can do as part of this year of Mercy is to work and pray, in an individualized way, for the return to the Church of those who have strayed. After all, the Lord tells us Himself that the Son of Man came to save what was lost. And that also is the work we are called to do. Yes, that includes prayer – but also action.
What form should such action take? It could be our willingness to talk to a fallen-away Catholic about the faith. What else can you do as a member of the Church and that of a particular commission? In order to give necessary awareness to the members of the basic unit of the commissions, a one day programme is being organized at the parish level. It will be also an opportunity for us to plan out programme for the forthcoming Diocesan Day. All the Executive Secretaries of the Commissions are requested to set proper terms and conditions (the ‘Terms and Conditions’) to choose the ‘Best Award Winner’ in their own spear of activity under the auspices of the ‘Diocesan Day celebrations’.
A programme is drawn up for some of our parishes as follows (PTO):
|1||06.2.2016||SATURDAY||AJNALA||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|2||07.2.2016||SUNDAY||ADAMPUR||2.00 PM TO 5.00 PM|
|3||08.2.2016||MONDAY||BHOGPUR||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|4||09.2.2016||TUESDAY||BHIKIWIND||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|5||11.2.2016||THURSDAY||BHOLATH||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|6||12.2.2016||FRIDAY||CHAMIARY||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|7||13.2.2016||SATURDAY||DANEWALA||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|8||14.2.2016||SUNDAY||CHOGITTI||2.00 PM TO 5.00 PM|
|9||15.2.2016||MONDAY||CHOGAWAN||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|10||16.2.2016||TUESDAY||CHUCHAKWAL||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|11||17.2.2016||WEDNESDAY||DASUYA||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|12||18.2.2016||THURSDAY||DERA BABA NANAK||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|13||19.2.2016||FRIDAY||DHARAMKOT||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|14||20.2.2016||SATURDAY||DHARIWAL||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|15||21.2.2016||SUNDAY||DHINA-PULRIWAL||2.00 PM TO 5.00 PM|
|16||22.2.2016||MONDAY||DINA NAGAR||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|17||23.2.2016||TUESDAY||FATEGARH CHURIAN||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|18||24.2.2016||WEDNESDAY||GHANIE KE BHANGAR||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|19||25.2.2016||THURSDAY||GARSHANKARH||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|20||26.2.2016||FRIDAY||GURDASPUR||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|21||27.2.2016||SATURDAY||KAKKON||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|22||28.2.2016||SUNDAY||GAKHALAN||2.00 PM TO 5.00 PM|
|23||29.2.2016||MONDAY||JANDIALA GURU||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|24||01.3.2016||TUESDAY||KAHNUWAN||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|25||02.3.2016||WEDNESDAY||KAPURTHALA||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|26||03.3.2016||THURSDAY||KARYAL||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|27||04.3.2016||FRIDAY||KHANNA||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|28||05.3.2016||SATURDAY||KARTARPUR||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|29||06.3.2016||SUNDAY||JALANDHAR CITY||2.00 PM TO 5.00 PM|
|30||07.3.2016||MONDAY||NAKODAR||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|31||08.3.2016||TUESDAY||PAKHARPURA||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|32||09.3.2016||WEDNESDAY||PATTI||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|33||10.3.2016||THURSDAY||PHAGWARA||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|34||11.3.2026||FRIDAY||PUNGE||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
|35||12.3.2016||SATURDAY||RAJA SANSI||11 AM TO 2.00 PM|
Hope to meet the 5 member cells of all the 15 Commissions in a particular parish. Parish Priests are requested to up – date the list of the members and make necessary arrangements for the scheduled meeting.
As the Holy Father Francis reminds us, “Among the several works we need to carry out during this Year of Mercy, we are called to help our neighbor, partly by our own witness to that same faith.”
With prayerful wishes for a successful and fruitful meeting of the Commissions,
Yours in Jesus, Son of the Merciful Father,
Fr. Michael Ani,
Episcopal Vicar for Commissions, Diocese of Jalandhar
TO ALL THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARIES AND THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSIONS IN THE DIOCESE OF JALANDHAR, AND IN A SPECIAL WAY TO OUR PRIESTS, THEIR ASSOCIATES IN THE DIOCESAN AND PARISH MINISTRY AND TO ALL THE RELIGIOUS MEN AND WOMEN
My dear Rev. Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,
On March 13, 2015, the second anniversary of his election as the Successor of St. Peter, Pope Francis announced the Jubilee Year of Mercy. This is the first Holy Year to celebrate the attribute of God the Father which is most exalted in both the Old and the New Testaments: His Mercy. In fact, in the Bull of Indiction – Misericordae Vultus – Pope Francis tells us that mercy is not an abstract term but mercy is, “… a love that forgives and expresses itself in the gift of oneself. Consequently, wherever the Church is present, the mercy of the Father must be evident. In our parishes, communities, associations and movements, in a word wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy” (MV 12).
To prepare us in the Extraordinary Jubilee Year and to celebrate the Holy Year of Mercy, this began, providentially, on Dec. 8th, the major Marian Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. If you’re wondering what more you can learn about Divine Mercy, after the yearlong celebration of the Consecrated, we need to turn our attention to the revelations and teachings of Sts. Margaret Mary, Alphonsus Liguori, Thérèse of Lisieux, Maximillian Kolbe, Faustina and John Paul II together. Starting with the Sacred Heart’s merciful revelations to Margaret Mary up through the realization of Mary’s merciful love that reflected God’s own mercy, as Maximillian Kolbe realized — shows the need for a synthesis of Divine Mercy and Marian consecration brought by St. John Paul II.
Two words often heard in the discourses in the Synodal documents were closely related to mercy. The first was “accompaniment”; the second was “discernment”. “Accompaniment” presumes we’re on a journey. The God who is “with us” leads us on our journey. Like Abraham, we’re given no road-map by the God who calls us to take a new road and then accompanies us on the way. Instead, we’re asked to keep our eye on the God who is with us, because He alone knows where we’re going and how to get there. That’s one reason why prayer is crucial. “Discernment” means that we have an eye that sees where and how God is with us on the journey. The process of discernment can be messy, even unsettling. Road-maps and rule by decree are clearer and quicker. But they may not be what we need now. We walk by faith – which means that we don’t look for the clear and the quick to discern how and where God is leading us, step by step, into the future He has promised.
The question isn’t abstract. It’s very practical: what do we have to do to be a more merciful, hope-bearing Church, a Church that really does accompany everyone on the journey, especially the stragglers? There are many others things we’ll be called to do through this Year of Mercy, which will be a challenge to our imagination and our generosity. If we’re all talk and no action, then we may feel pangs – but they’ll be the pangs of death not the pangs of birth. My hope is that our journey through the Year of Mercy will be just as physical, just as real, as we travel the road together.
Let us consider a ‘road map’ to some key moments on our journey through the Year of Mercy in the Diocese of Jalandhar. It could be started with “walking into mercy’ pilgrimage to St. Mary’s Cathedral Jalandhar Cantt:
- Pilgrimage to the Cathedral where like Churches around the world, a Holy Door of Mercy was opened officially marked the beginning of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. Pilgrims are invited to enter through the Holy Door after proper preparation, preferably on Fridays when devotees come to experience “The Five glorious Wounds of Christ.”
The pilgrimage from the parishes under various deaneries for Experiencing the Five Precious Wounds of Christ at our St. Mary’s Cathedral on every Friday, during which the pilgrims will participate the Holy Rosary in the Rosary Villa, Holy Hour in the Adoration Chapel, Way of the Cross on the Calvary Marg, the Office of the Dead at Our Lady of Peace Cemetery and finally enter through the Holy Road of Mercy for the Holy Mass in the Upper Chapel. A programme is drawn up for the parishes under various deaneries as follows:
|FEROZEPUR||APRIL||DHARIWAL, MUKTASR, LUDHIANA||SEPTEMBER|
|JALANDHAR||MAY||AMRITSAR, GURDASPUR, TARN TARAN||OCTOBER|
- Other Jubilee Churches in the Diocese have opened Holy Doors of Mercy. In response to the Holy Father’s special call to spent time in prayer and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, parishes are encouraged to hoist a prayer vigil locally or in the Deanery Churches where there will be moments of prayer, music and reflection.
- On Saturday after Easter there will be the diocesan level celebration organized by the Commissions as “Diocesan Day” with the special theme: “Merciful like the Father”. There will be various celebrations across the diocese on Divine Mercy Sunday.
- Workshops could be organized in the parish/deanery/diocesan levels with the themes: “Creating a Culture of Mercy in Public lives”, “The Medicine of Mercy”, “Mercy and Truth: Healing Alienation in our Church and World”, “A Spirituality of Mercy: Living the Joy of the Gospel in Parish life”
- We could also organize a gathering and “walking rosary” on the weekends especially in the month of October with the theme: “Mary as a Model of Mercy”
- Parish Councils could organize meetings as a conclusion of the Year of Mercy and reflect its impact and plan the way forward with the theme: “The Parish as a Centre of Mercy”
- A gathering could be organized on the diocesan level to mark the Conclusion of the Year of Mercy with a special focus on our community’s “mercy makers”: focus on our “Dhaya Sagar Project”
There’s no special formula to work out or to live out this jubilee year, except that we Catholics already have that road map. We have the sacraments, the spiritual tools; we have what the Church requires of us to give to support the Church and the community. Basically it’s time to go into our spiritual tool chest, turn the light on, and start using them again diligently. Dust all of off those spiritual tools that we have at our disposal, and that’s what the jubilee year should be for.
With prayerful best wishes for a fruitful celebration of the Holy Year of Mercy,
Yours in Jesus, Son of the Merciful Father,
Fr. Michael Ani,
Episcopal Vicar for Commissions,
Diocese of Jalandhar