The Papal Intention: Pope Francis invites us to pray for the small and medium-sized business people in the midst of economic and social crisis. The small-scale business people are greatly challenged to continue operating their business amid the tough competition multinationals and hypermarkets offer. Many of the petty shopkeepers and small retailers are finding it difficult to make both ends meet. Let us earnestly pray for them in these times of economic and social crisis that they may earn the daily sustenance of their family.
The Plenary Indulgence on the occasion of the Feast of Portiuncula: An indulgence is not the forgiveness of sins but the remission of punishment due to sin. August 2 is a special day in the Church’s Calendar, a day chosen by St Francis of Assisi asking the Supreme Pontiff to grant Plenary Indulgence to those who visit the “Portiuncula” (little portion) in the Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels, Assisi. It was here, by Divine Providence, he started the Order of Friars Minor, inaugurated the Order of the Poor Clares, and completed his earthly journey. The Plenary Indulgence is now extended to other churches, shrines and minor Basilicas. The practices prescribed for obtaining the indulgence are a devout visit to a church and the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer and the Profession of Faith (Creed), in addition to the Sacramental Confession, Holy Communion and prayer for the intention of the Pope. This visit may be made from noon of the previous day (August 1) until midnight of the day itself. The fruit of the indulgence could be applied to the souls in purgatory who are prevented from the vision of God so that they may find salvation.
Platinum Jubilee of the Independence Day: August 15 is a red-lettered day in the history of India, and 75 years ago, India experienced political freedom. Freedom has to be continuously earned by constantly working for it, not merely from the political slavery but above all from all that is preventing us from becoming our true selves. Let us pray for our nation, which is still struggling in many types of shackles. May the leaders of our Country fill in great hope in our countrymen by their wise decisions and may the fundamental rights of everyone be upheld as enshrined in the Constitution.
Bodily Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven: The Church gratefully remembers this singular gift given to Mother Mary for her special role as the Mother of Our Lord, true God and true Man. Pope Pius XII in Munificentissimus Deus (November 1, 1950) has a beautiful thing to say regarding Mary: “She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result, she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body” (n. 5). The Church believed in this dogma and an “outstanding agreement of the Catholic prelates, and the faithful,” (n. 12) urged the Pope to define it. The Church foresees a similar destiny, at the end of time, for every believer in Christ, who has promised that he will raise us up and take us to live with him, and that our mortal bodies will experience immortality. What Mary is, we will be, destined to live for eternity with Our Lord, through the resurrection of the body. May this faith strengthen us to live our daily lives as pleasing to God.
Communio: The Collection made during the Mass on August 15, is earmarked for Communio, which is a new initiative of the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), to help the poor dioceses and institutions. Whatever we gather on this day of obligation is to be sent to the Account of the Diocese of Mangalore to be forwarded for the cause of Communio. Kindly make known to the People of God that this contribution is our share for the fellowship with the poor brethren.
Ongoing Formation of the Clergy: In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis invites the Pastors to accompany and integrate the wounded families with great care. He writes, taking his inspiration from Pope John Paul II, “When faced with difficult situations and wounded families, it is always necessary to recall this general principle: ‘Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations’ (Familiaris Consortio, 84). The degree of responsibility is not equal in all cases, and factors may exist which limit the ability to make a decision. Therefore, while clearly stating the Church’s teaching, pastors are to avoid judgments that do not take into account the complexity of various situations, and they are to be attentive, by necessity, to how people experience and endure distress because of their condition” (n. 79). In order to equip us, the ongoing formation on 16 and 17 August will deal on the Art of Accompanying the Wounded Families. Fr Cajetan Menezes from the Diocese of Bombay is the resource person. Please do not miss this important occasion of formation which would be beneficial to our families. The distribution of the deaneries is as per the practice of past years.
Visit to Rome: The newly nominated Bishops are invited to participate in the renewal programme in Rome, and I will be going to Rome from August 31 till 19 September 2022. Thereafter, there will be some official meetings in Bangalore for another four days. I will return to the Diocese on September 24. Msgr Maxim Noronha, the Vicar General, will take care of the Administration of the Diocese.
Wish you all a Happy Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. May Mother Mary intercede for India and for each of us.
Peter Paul Saldanha
Bishop of Mangalore