Vellore Diocese Vellore Diocese -Pastoral Message
Pastoral Message

Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

May God who has blessed us abundantly continue to bless us. Let our Lady of Lourdes bring us all close to this God.

We, as the Diocese are infinitely grateful to God for having blessed us with seven new priests. It was indeed a wonderful gift. We welcome these young priests and wish them all the best for their life of ministry. In a special way we thank their parents and relatives for their sacrifice and generosity.

Month of May is going to be month of Confirmations. Hundreds of children will be confirmed. In the Year of Youth, celebrations of this Sacrament will strength the faith of our people. This also goes well with the celebration of Marian devotion in several of our parishes. I do pray for all the Parish Priests who are fully engaged in preparing the people and the children.

The most important festival in May is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes at Chetpet. The entire Diocese is grateful to the presence and accompaniment of our Blessed Mother with us. 1 and 2 May, 2018 will unite us all at Chetpet. Let us as a diocese, come together and thank the Lord and receive all the blessing awaiting us. The Chetpet parish and the Parish Priest and Vicar Forane has put up hard work and prepared all the events. We congratulate them and we assist them with our prayer.

At this juncture, it is good to remember the call to Holiness by Pope Francis. He has given us an Apostolic Exhortation ‘Rejoice and be Glad’, Jesus tells this to those persecuted and humiliated for His sake. This is the call of the Holy Father for the present world. He wants the Church, especially the young, not just be a Christian in the name sake but in active participation in faith. For this he calls the entire Church to holiness, i.e., “Walk before me and be blameless” (Gen: 17:1). The Lord has chosen each one of us to be holy and blameless before him. Holy Father proudly includes our own mothers, grandmothers or other loved ones as people lived in holiness. He asserts that even amid their faults and failings they kept moving forward and proved pleasing to the Lord.

Infact, according to him ‘Holiness’ is the most attractive face of the Church. He reminds us that the witness to Christ borne even to the shedding of blood has become a common inheritance of Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and Protestants.

With this call to Holiness the Lord addresses to each one of us. At the same time we should not grow discouraged before examples of holiness that appear unattainable. Each believer must discern his specific path that the Lord has in mind for us. The important thing is that each believer discerns each of his or her own paths, that they bring out the very best of themselves, the most personal gifts that God has placed in their hearts, rather than hopelessly trying to initiate something not meant for them.

This is where our Blessed Mother stands unique before us the Immaculate Conception! Her call to holiness is a model for us. From the hill of Chetpet she gives us this call, to bearing witness to the risen Christ by being holy and bear the fruits of holiness in our lives, parishes and the situation where we live.

The young are given special invitation to become part of this holiness and share it with everyone we meet. May our Blessed Mother walk along with us and lead us to this holiness.

Let us pray for each other.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

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