Vellore Diocese Vellore Diocese -Pastoral Message
Pastoral Message

Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus!

May the New Year 2018 shower you all with peace and prosperity. Let all the people receive God’s blessings and protection. Our Mother and Mother of God keep us all close to her throughout the year 2018.

We have been fortunate to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Salvation. Holy Family is the symbol of that redemption. It is also fortunate that we begin the New Year with the feast of Holy Family. Let us entrust our family to God that He will journey with us.

On the very first day, our Holy Father Francis invites us to be the symbol of peace. The world is in great turmoil with war, hatred, violence, greed and avarice. In a more specific way he guides our attention towards migrants, refugees: men and women in search of peace. In fact he reminds us of the words used by our Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, “My beloved predecessor spoke of them as men and women, children, young and elderly people who are searching for somewhere to live in peace”. Is it not the same situation when Mary was looking for a place to give birth to her Son? Hence he encourages us to embrace all those who fleeing from poverty, hatred, violence in one way or another from war, hunger or forced by discrimination, persecution those who fled their homes etc.

At home we have people who suffered from cyclone, especially our brothers and sisters in Tuticorin, Kottar dioceses. Their suffering and loss is enormous and unbearable. We are happy to share their suffering and come to their assistance in a small way.

We know that the assistance from the official sources has not been sufficiently given. In fact, we have a feeling that they have been properly uncared and neglected. This is where our faith demands that we recognize that our God lives in their houses, and in their streets. We must foster solidarity fraternity and the desire for goodness, truth and justice.

For their world of suffering and the sick, Holy Father proposes Mary, the Mother of God as the Hope of the World. He once again reminds us of Mother of the Church (Mater Ecclesia) and brings to our consideration of Jn 19: 26-27 “Behold your Son… Behold your Mother. And from that hour the disciple took her into his home”.

Let us bring ourselves before the gaze of our Mother. Mother of God and Mother of the Church will certainly take us to her Son, so that He will bless us with peace, joy and solidarity. Mary’s maternal vocation for all humanity, especially the Mother of her Son’s disciples caring for them and their journey through life.

Let us on this first day of the year 2018, entrust our diocese, our bishop, priests, religious and the believers to the maternal care of Mother of God and the Mother of Church. May her protection remain with us throughout the year.
A Very Happy New Year 2018!

Yours in Christ Jesus,

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