Vellore Diocese Vellore Diocese -Pastoral Message
Pastoral Message
December - 2018
Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters!
May the Birth of Our Lord Jesus bring Peace and Joy in the New Year – 2019. May the Holy Family consisting of Jesus, Mary and Joseph be with our Priests, religious and families of our diocese.
I wish to thank all our Priests for their prayers during the retreat at Poondy. The atmosphere was very much conducive to our prayer life. The preacher Rev. Fr. S. J. Antony Samy, the former Vicar General of Madras – Mylapore did an excellent ministry. May the Lord bless him. I am well pleased about the accommodation and food. Our 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 Shrine community. We wish Most Rev. Dr. F. Antonysamy, DD., the Bishop of Kumbakonam for his generosity and acceptance. May this Christmas bless the diocese of Kumbakonam and the faithful.
It is our privilege to invite CRI members for the Christmas celebration on Saturday, 15 December 2018. We congratulate and thank the new CRI president Rev. Fr. Maria Joseph Mahalingam, SJ for his acceptance. And also thank all the executive members, Vicars Forane and our Parish Priests. I hope and pray that there will be better understanding of pasturing our people as all of us part of one and same mission.
The Holy Father gives us the message of inner joy. “Christmas is a Joy, religious joy, an inner joy of light and peace.” The joy of Christmas is possible to the whole humanity. Therefore the psalmist invites us to start the celebration. “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. For the LORD Most High is awesome, the great King over the earth. He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet.” psalm 47: 1-3. The only requirement of Christmas is to feel joy forever in a special way our Holy Father invites us our Parish youth to be Holy as our Mother was.
As we are also going to celebrate the feast of Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Mother, Pope Francis beautifully narrates the joy of Mother Mary when she heard about the conception of Lord Jesus in her womb. Mother Mary was a happy woman, and this is because she replied generously to God and she opened her heart to God’s plan for her. When God has a proposition for us, like the one he had for Mary, they are not intended to extinguish our dreams, but to ignite aspirations. They are to make our lives fruitful and to produce many smiles and happy hearts. To respond to God positively is to make a first step towards being happy and towards making many people happy. Even more courageous in following the word of God and receiving the tender embrace of her son Jesus, an embrace that gives us life, hope and peace.
The same joy must prevail in our diocese and the parishes by the active role in the Church. The role of youth is highly needed in the forth coming New Year – 2019. Pope highlights the words of Mother Mary to the youth that “I am the servant of the Lord. May it to be done to me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38). Her words are a brave and generous “yes”. It is the positive reply of one who understands the secret of vocation: to go beyond oneself and place oneself at the service of others. Our lives only find meaning in service to God and to other people.
May this Season of Advent help us all to prepare ourselves to receive this Child in our hearts and in our homes. May the year 2019 be filled with love and blessing of this Child – Emmanuel. Our blessed Mother certainly shows us her Child in our hearts and blesses our New Year.
A very Happy Christmas and a Joyful New Year!
Yours in Christ Jesus,
+ Most Rev. Dr. P. Soundararaju, SDB
Bishop of Vellore