The Extraordinary Visitation began this morning, with Fr Maria Arokiam greeting the parishioners at the end of the 7.00 a.m. mass at Don Bosco. He then went over to Satpur, where he concelebrated the Eucharist. At the end of the Eucharist he was given a satkar, after which he planted two trees near the grotto of Our Lady. After this he had a meeting with the parish council. The members made two requests: (1) that Dominic Savio be erected into a parish; (2) that they be given mass on Wednesdays so that people can make the Perpetual Succour novena.
Fr Maria Arokiam, SDB, General Councillor for South Asia of the Salesians of Don Bosco, has already arrived at Divyadaan, where he has begun the Extraordinary Visitation. He will visit our parish on Sunday, 19 September 2010, and the school on 20 September 2010. The program is as follows (those involved in the various meetings please take note):
Bro Velasli gave an opportunity to the Sunday School children last Sunday to make their confessions. While the children were being prepared in their respective classes, Fr Nelson and I were available to hear their confessions. Almost all the children seem to have made their confessions. A very good experience, something which Bro Velasli hopes to repeat at least every three months. And perhaps, on some occasions, he might invite also the parents to participate...
Lorraine and Cecil Goveia celebrated their Silver Wedding on 14 September 2010. Raul and Ryan had come down; Royston could not as he is away in the US on training. The mass was presided by Fr Luis Heredia, parish priest of Todiwala Road parish, Pune, who is Lorraine's cousin. Congratulations to the silver couple!
Fr. A.U. Jose's mother Mariam passed away on 16 September 2010 at the age of 98. Fr A.U. Jose, who teaches at Divyadaan, has just left for Kerala to attend the funeral. RIP and our sincerest condolences to Fr A.U.
A three day workshop on Economics is being held at Divyadaan from 9 to 11 September 2010. Prof. Philip McShane from Canada will be conducting the workshop, and he will be happy to interact with economists, industrialists, and people involved in business and management from Nashik and around. Those interested please contact Fr Robert Pen, Principal, Divyadaan, at firstname.lastname@example.org. A notice has been put up on the parish notice board.
Bro Velasli has just completed the list of Catechism children of Zone A, and has been busy sending SMS reminders to the parents regarding the Sunday Catechism class. He will soon do the same for Zones B and C. So you parents might be getting regular such SMS's (from my number, really, since Velasli does not have a cell phone), reminding you to send your children...
If anyone has problems of reaching the children to the parish, please let us know. This is a problem we have to tackle. I am sure ways can be worked out to remedy the situation.
There are other who have problems with tuition classes. Parents, try dialoguing with the tuition teachers, see if some adjustment is possible. The Sunday Catechism is important, since most Catholic schools in Nashik do not have Religious Instruction during school hours. And of course the Sunday Mass: we really cannot afford to have our children missing Sunday mass the whole year - and I think this is happening!
3 youth - Nikhil, Rephan and Delvin - turned up for the youth meeting.
We read and commented on the shortest book of the whole Bible - St Paul’s Letter to Philemon. Finding this 'postcard' was the first thing - it is sandwiched between Titus and Hebrews. After reading the letter, we commented a bit on it. Philemon is written by Paul from jail at Ephesus.
Jail (not prison) was for undertrials, and the one jailed had to even sometimes pay his own rent for the jail (as Paul seems to have certainly done in Rome), and his relatives and friends had to provide him with food, clothing, money, etc.
This sheds light on the situation of Onesimus, a slave belonging to Philemon. Older exegetes thought that Onesimus was a runaway slave, and that Paul was sending him back to his master, with exhortations to kindness. Now some scholars tend to think that he was actually sent by Philemon to help Paul in jail. In jail, Onesimus was converted to Christ and baptized by Paul; but Paul, not wanting to detain him, was sending him back to his master, with exhortations that he be received no longer as a slave but as a brother in Christ. Paul even adds that he is ready to make up for whatever financial loss Philemon might undergo.
Great example of Christian authority: though Paul has the authority to command Philemon, he prefers to appeal to his faith and to his love for Christ, for him, Paul, and for Onesimus.
It is possible that this is the same Onesimus mentioned by Paul in Colossians 4:9; and that this Onesimus went on to become bishop in Colossae.
The rest of the meeting was dedicated to discussing the forthcoming picnic to Sinnar, and the Interparish Football and Throwball Tournament. It was suggested that one of our youth be contacted to organize the Don Bosco team.