Vellore Diocese Vellore Diocese -Pastoral Message
Pastoral Message - August 2019
 
Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,
 
The Assumption of Our Blessed Mother witnesses to the Evangelizations of our faith. Our Mother has been fully assumed into the promise of our Lord Jesus Christ. ‘Those who believe in him will also live with him in the house of his Father’. This is what is achieved by Assumption of our blessed Mother.
 
As we celebrate the assumption, the Church also remembers the ‘dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, on Monday 5 August, the sign and symbol of Mary as the Mother of the church. We will be celebrating the Cathedral feast, we dedicate our entire diocese and our people to the maternal care of Mary.
 
Further, our faith is reassured on the feast of Transfiguration of the Lord. ‘Baptized and Sent’ takes root here to establish the Kingdom of God, and that too, to make on young people the trusted disciple of Jesus. May they find in him the assurance of our faith.
 
I must also personally be grateful to the Lord and our Mother, as I complete 13 years of my Episcopal consecration. It is indeed a gratuitous gift for me. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord” that is the spirit that I accept the call of God and would like to follow in the footsteps of our Mother. I would like to thank all our priests, religious and our people for their love, support and being with me. May our Mother continue to be with us. I specially pray this year that our young boys and girls become rooted in the faith of the Church and continue to be evangelizers. I certainly remember my Mother and brothers and sisters and my relatives.
 
On 15 August once again we will remember the great day of our Nation: ‘the Independence Day’ the precious freedom that we received from our fore fathers. We thank God for this gift. We remember all our leaders both who brought us this freedom and the present leaders of our country. The nation is ready for several challenges. In the name of one nation and one election we lose the freedom we gained by shedding blood and life. The new education policy and several other regulations we are on the verge of losing our identity. Let us pray for our people and our country so that it will remain free and our country and several people and states.
 
Now I would like to accept some of the reflection of our Holy Father Francis. In this year of urgency of evangelizations, we pray to the Lord to keep the renewed youth of the spirit within us. It is the Holy Spirit who ensures that we continue to be renewed and youthful in our faith. The Holy Spirit gives us the capacity to carry our crosses. It is the Holy Spirit that renews everything. He accompanies us in life and sustains us. And calling the spirit ‘Paraclete’, The Pope explains the meaning of this strange word by saying, it refers to he who is near me and supports me so that I don’t fall, so I keep my spirit youthful. A Christian is always young, and when the Heart of a Christian begins to age, so does his Christians vocation.
 
He continues to say, sin on the other hand, ages one, thesoul ages, everything ages. In life there are difficult moments, but in these moments, we feel that the spirit helps us to move forwarded and to overcome difficulties, even martyrdom. Let us ask the Lord not to lose this renewed youthfulness, not be Christian retired and have lost their joy. ‘A Christian never retires, a Christian lives because he is young- when he is a true Christian.
 
Are not their thoughts true in our Mother. She is, especially her assumption is a witness to this way of life. I pray that she will bless us and our diocese with this youthful faith. May our mother be with us and walk with us and lead us to this Holy Spirit. May this feast bless us all.
 
+ Most Rev. Dr. P. Soundararaju, SDB
Bishop of Vellore