Pastoral Message

Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus!

May the presence and blessings of our Lady of Holy Rosary bring peace and joy to all of us, in a very special way to all our families.

Month of October certainly reminds us of the call of our Lady of Lourdes and of Fatima to pray the Rosary and especially in our families. Our Holy Father Francis again and again, especially at the Centenary of Fatima emphasized upon the Catholic World,in particular way the young people to pray the Rosary.

In follow up of this, there is a consciousness within the Church in India, to consecrate our entire India, our Mother Land to Immaculate Heart of Mary. As we are facing lots of problem within and outside the Church, it may be the appropriate time for us to consecrate ourselves to our Lady. There is so much of uneasiness with in the nation, relationship with in the states, a vast difference of misunderstanding based on caste, religion, region, thoughts, economy, and the development of the nation.

There is anger growing among our people, especially among the youth because of unemployment, so many barriers for the poor and the marginalized to fulfill their dream through education, so much of violence on women etc. There is a drama in the name of one nation, one language, one culture and one people etc. The nation or the leaders of the nation seem to take the place of God and bring about new creation. We need special intervention of God and we need to achieve this by our incessant prayers and dedication of our Country to our Blessed Mother.

It is also the month where we rejoice and thank the Lord for the gift of the priesthood and the Silver Jubilarians. We are happy to wish our two great men Fr. J. Irudayaraj and Fr. A. Rayappan. They have been faithful to their call and faithful to the mission entrusted to them. I am happy, in the name of the diocese, presbyterium, religious and people of God to congratulate them and to pray for them.

Another great gift has been given to our diocese by God and Mother Church. The Institute ‘Sisters of Sacred Heart of Jesus’ which is so far our diocesan Congregation has become the Congregation of Pontifical Rights. Our Holy Father Francis has found it fit to elevate their Congregation suitable to become a gift to the Universal Church. At the outset we, the Church of Vellore must be honoured at this wonderful gift. Most Rev. Anthony Muthu, our former bishop in 1970s brought a group of committed women from Kottar and set them up in Vellore (At Jawadhu Hills) with the view to make it a Congregation. He slowly worked at it and nurtured it. After his demise, it was His Grace Michael Augustine (Archbishop Emeritus of Pondy- Cudallore) the then bishop of Vellore supported it and gave shape to become a diocesan Congregation. But the acceptance of such a stand came during the period of His grace A. M. Chinnappa (Archbishop Emeritus of Madra-Mylapore) the then bishop of Vellore who declared it as the diocesan Congregation of Vellore. From there on it has grown, and grown well, so that today our Holy Father has declared it a Papal Congregation. I congratulate the Mother General and every Sister of that Congregation. Congratulations and God’s blessings. May the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary continue to be with them and the Congregation. A special word of thanks and congratulations to Sr. Annamma,SHJS., the former Mother General for her generous hard work. We will have a thanksgiving Mass on 25 October 2017 in the Assumption Cathedral, Vellore at 5.30 pm. His Grace Antony Pappusamy, the Chairman of TNBC, His grace George Antonysamy, the Archbishop of Madras- Mylapore, His grace A. M. Chinnappa the Archbishop emeritus of Madras-Mylapore and several other bishops will be coming. We welcome them whole heartedly.

Finally we thank the Holy Father and the Church for this gift. We pray for the Congregation and entrust them to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

May the Holy Rosary bless the diocese, the families especially the young.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

 

†Most Rev. Dr. P. Soundararaju, SDB., DD.,
Bishop of Vellore