Vellore Diocese Vellore Diocese -Pastoral Message
Pastoral Message

Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus!

May the coming of Christmas be an occasion of blessings and gifts from our Father in heaven. May the Holy Trinity revisit us. May the love and communion of Jesus, Mary and Joseph be with our priests, religious and families of our diocese. May He shower us with blessings of good health.

We need to thank for the pleasant retreat we had at Poondy. The atmosphere was very much conducive to our prayer life. The preacher Rev. Fr. Lawrence Amalraj SJ did an excellent ministry. May the Lord bless him and the Jesuit community. The accommodation and food was more than expected and the diocese is grateful to the director Rev. Fr. Kulandairaj, his co-priests and workers for their hard work and their availability. We also thank the parish priest and the Shrine community. We wish Most Rev. Dr. Antonysamy the Bishop of Kumbakonam for his generosity and acceptance. May this Christmas bless the diocese of Kumbakonam and the faithful.

For the first time in the recent past we were able to gather about 20 catholic advocates of Vellore diocese under the leadership of Rev. Fr. S. A. S. Clement Rosario. The advocates were generous and cooperative and ready to help us whenever their service is requested. I bless them and their families. Here I would like to congratulate Rev. Fr. K. Arockiaraj for organizing Tamil Nadu level Laity Council meeting. There were about 100 people participated in it. The Secretary to the TNBC Laity commission Rev. Fr. Devaraj and Rev. Fr. S. T. Selvaraj were present and animated them well. We congratulate everyone. We congratulate and thank Rev. Fr. P. Gnanasekar for organizing Youth meetings and in a special way for organizing the Black Day March on Dalit Sunday.

We will be very happy to receive the CRI members for the Christmas celebration on Saturday, 09 December 2017. The Vicariate wise CRI and diocesan priests’ meet went on very well. We thank the CRI president Sr. Glorina, executive members, Vicar foranes and our Parish Priests. I think some new blood has been injected. I hope and pray that there be better understanding of pasturing our people as all of us part of one and same mission and evangelization of Church. Let us sacrifice each other and shed all our inhibitions so that we form one family, one Church.

I take this opportunity to thank all curia fathers and their various departments for helping me running the pastoral ministry in Vellore diocese. All our workers are very precious; we pray and bless all their families and children. A very special thanks to the Council fathers, Vicar foranes, Commission secretaries and the only woman secretary of the women commission for their sacrificing availability in ministry. Certainly a special thanks to the Vicar General, Procurator, Chancellor and VSSS director for their communion with me and taking care of the diocese with love and concern.

This year the Holy Father invites us all to celebrate the Christmas with his beautiful message “Let us love, not with words but with deeds”. This dictum is to be fulfilled the words of Psalm 34:6 the poor man cried and the Lord heard him.

The Holy Father announced this initiative as an occasion and an opportunity for grace. This is an opportunity for the Church around the world not to only celebrate and assist and be with those who are poor, but also to change our attitudes about poverty. It is so beautiful because it is nothing about power, it is nothing about anything else but reciprocity, giving and receiving. We are all poor in some way and all of us got something to give, something to offer and this day can serve to open our minds and hearts, our attitudes towards the poverty that exists every day of the year. He invites the whole Church to turn their gaze on all those who stretch out their hands and plead for our help and solidarity that are our brothers and sisters, created and loved by the one Heavenly Father. If there are poor people where we live who seek protection and assistance, let us draw close to them: it will be a favourable moment to encounter the God we seek. Finally our Holy Father says that the poor are not a problem, they are a resource from which to draw as we strive to accept and practice in our lives the essence of the Gospel.So, let the poorest of the poor be the Christmas message of and for the church of Vellore and all who are the true followers of Christ.

May this Christmas bless all our faithful, poor marginalized, downtrodden and all people of our land with peace, joy and happiness.
A Very Happy Christmas to all!

Yours in Christ Jesus,

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