Monthly Archives: April 2015

GOLDEN JUBILEE CELEBRATION OF PRIESTHOOD

The air wfr john dcruzas filled with great joy and thanksgiving on the morning of 29th April 2015, as Fr. John D’Cruz, sj, celebrated his Golden Jubilee of Priesthood in the presence of Bishop Lourdes Daniel, Bishop of Nashik, Fr. Bhausaheb Sansare, sj, Provincial of Pune Jesuit Province, 40 priests and a large gathering of nuns and faithful. The Mass was celebrated in Loyola Sadan Church, Shrirampur.

Born on the 8th February, 1936 in Calcutta, to a family comprising of his parents, two brothers and two sisters, moved shortly to Belgaum where he completed his schooling at St. Paul’s High School.  Hearing the call of the Lord he entered the Society of Jesus and completed his novitiate and Juniorate at Vinayalaya Bombay. His elder sister also joined the Holy Cross Congregation. From 1956 – 59 he was sent to Portugal for his Philosophy studies . Later three years of Regency in Goa and then he came to Poona for Theology. He was ordained at Holy Spirit Church in Madgaon on the feast of the Annunciation on the 25th March, 1965. A year of Tertianship and he began his missionary life in the Ahmednagar District  serving at various times in Rahata, Kendal, Ghodegaon, Rahuri, Sangamner, Shevgaon,  and Songaon. Except for three years as Parish Priest in Beed and three years in Panchgani he has served in Ahmednagar District his entire priestly life. In 2011 he was transferred to Loyola Sadan, Shrirampur, to the present date.

Fr. John treasures his union with the Lord and will not miss his daily celebration of the Eucharist, the recitation of the Rosary, his Breviary and the reading of a spiritual book. He has always been very close to his people and empathetic to their joys and sorrows. His sharp memory assists him to remember the names of the families and the individuals therein. He has a pastor’s heart and has helped innumerable youth to complete their academic and professional studies. He has been encouraging his brother and sister to contribute to his mission work and the help he received was always passed on to help the needy youngsters for their studies. He is a prolific reader and uses the time available to him to read classics and historical literature. He lives a very simple and abstemious life, straightforward in expressing his views but open to corrections.

Fifty years of priestly yeomen service in the mission is a great grace of the Lord and we thank God for having gifted us with such an exemplary priest to imitate. We pray that God may extend to him many more years of fruitful service, good health of mind and body and a peaceful and joy filled life.

AD MULTOS ANNOS

-Joe Menezes, S.J.,

BHAJAN MANDALIS (Group of devotional singing)

“Bhajan and Bhajan Mandalis to be encouraged

as an important Parish activity”  – says Fr. Ashol Ohol, S.J.

bhajan mandal 1 a The tradition of singing Bhajans (devotional songs) is an ancient one in Indian culture. The Varkari sect in Maharashtra has maintained the tradition since 13th Century till date (for eight centuries!!). The missionaries were fascinated with singing of Bhajan when they arrived in the Ahmednagar district in the mid of eighteenth century. Right from the inception of the mission, the missionaries encouraged Bhajan singing. Night long Bhajans were held whenever Fathers went for village Mass. The priest reached the village previous evening, stayed there for the night and celebrated Mass in the morning as there was no practice of celebrating evening Mass in those days. Singing of Bhajans was the main activity on the yatra night. Groups from villages travelled by bullock carts to the main mission station and after the Mass, joined in the singing of Bhajans for the whole night.

It is only in recent times, with the arrival of modern communication technology and hi tech media, Bhajans have been sidelined. As a traditional medium, Bhajan still remains as an effective means of value education, catechesis and to spread the Good News.

A Bhajan that goes:

           Ma̅za ka̅hi na̅hi re deva

           Tuzac he sa̅ra

           hya̅ srushti soundaryala̅

           mi ek ra̅khanda̅r

In this bhajan the singer tells God that he owns nothing in this world, everything belongs to Him. And, he is but only a caretaker of the creation and the beauty.

With commercialization and outburst of consumerism, the Bhajan teaches a value to be a care taker for God’s Creation and not merely to use it for his own purpose.

In another Bhajan the singer says-

           Kuni mhano Majala̅ Ka̅hi

           Mi baslo prabhucya paee

Meaning: Let anyone say anything but I have assembled at the feet our Lord. Even today’s highly materialistic world, the person has chosen to be at the feet of our Lord. This is something of great value.

In addition, Bhajan is also an effective means of Catechesis as it relies complete on Biblical themes using simple words that a common man can easily understand. Moreover, Bhajans are sung in open where people from other faiths also come forward and take interest in listening. Thus, it is an effective medium of spreading our faith to others who are interested.

bhajan mandal 2 aSmall Christian Communities, Women’s groups and youth groups have been encouraged in every parish. Much time and resources are spent for conducting various activities for these groups. Bhajan Mandalis (Bhajan Groups) being so effective and important also need to be treated as one of the Parish activity. It is heartening to see that in more and more parishes, Priests are now taking keen interest in Bhajan Mandalis. Bhajan Mandalis should be an important part of the parish activities. With collaborated efforts let us bring our people more closer to God, I am sure it will soon be. Amen

Rev. Fr. Ashok Ohol, SJ, is a Jesuit Priest
of the Poona Province.  He has been
instrumental in organizing the

Bhajan Groups in the Diocese of Nashik.

INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC EXHIBITION

On the 6th April 2015, in the morning at 10, Bishop Lourdes Daniel, inaugurated the Vatican International Exhibition on the “Miracles of the Eucharistic Presence” in St. John’s Church, Bhingar Camp, Ahmednagar to a packed crowd who attended an Adoration Service. A Procession then left the church for the venue of the Community Hall where the Miracles exhibition was inaugurated by the cutting of the ribbon. The exhibition ran from 10 in the morning to 8 pm at night. Among the 2000 miracles approved by the Vatican, just twenty three significant ones went on display for the public.

bingar exhibition

Bishop Lourdes while speaking to reporters said, “Eucharist is nothing but the “Living Jesus Christ” for our Christian brothers and sisters. Jesus is really present in the Eucharist who spiritually feeds all the faithful in good and bad times. He is the “Bread of Life” and He stands-by with His faithful in all the days, time, and events. He further said, what is needed today is to have strong faith in Eucharist – that is Jesus is present in the Holy Bread and who is also present with us always. In his concluding message Bishop said, “Living Human life today is very difficult, yet Jesus Christ strengthens us to live HOLY LIFE..!

 

On all three days between three to five thousand people from all walks of life came in to know and learn and were inspired and convinced of the reality of Jesus present in the form of Bread as real flesh and Wine as real blood. The number of visitors touched more than a thousand each day and everyone was spiritually touched by the mystery of the Eucharist.

 

The exhibition was a spiritual experience for all who came, saw and cleared their doubts.

The Silver Jubilee Celebration of Priesthood

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The Silver Jubilee celebrations of Priesthood on Tuesday 21st April 2015, of Fr. Michael Waghmare and Fr. Andrew Jadhav at St. Francis Xavier Church Rahata were attended by 30 priests from the diocesan and religious fraternity. It was a great occasion and the celebrations were attended by the family members of the two Priests and over more than 800 faithful gathered at the Church grounds.

The celebration began with the Holy Eucharistic celebration presided by Most Rev. Lourdes Daniel, Bishop of the Diocese. He preached the homily that stressed the importance of priesthood as participation in the life of Christ that was sacrificed for others.

After the Eucharistic celebration the two priests were felicitated by the Bishop, Priests and the faithful.

A meaningful life account of the jubilarians was presented on this occasion.  Both Fr. Michael and Fr. Andrew hail from the Rahata parish although from different villages.  The Priestly formation studies of Frs. Andrew and Michael were in St. Pius Mumbai and St Charles Nagpur respectively.  They were ordained by the late Bishop Thomas Bhalerao, SJ, in Rahata.  – Fr. Michael Waghmare was ordained a Priest on 21.04.1990 and Fr. Andrew Jadhav on 23.04.1990.

The program ended with a meal served to all present.

The Diocese celebrates ordinations………….

The Diocese of Nashik witnessed the ordination of three new priests.

During a solemn Eucharistic service held on the grounds of the St. Philomena Convent School, Nashik, and in presence of the candidates’ families and friends, the Bishop of Nashik, the Most Rev. Lourdes Daniel, laid hands on and anointed these men.

Reflecting on the ordination, Bishop Lourdes in his homily said: “It is a great encouragement to me and to the Church at large, God has made me His instrument in ordaining three new priests. These are men who have answered God’s call and who are making great sacrifices to be a sign of hope and encouragement to all of us”.  He also cautioned the newly ordained by saying “be aware of your sacred priesthood”.   To the faithful he said “to accept his priests as they are; some with enormous talents, others with few and may be some with nothing.  But the greatest among all qualifications is the call to Priesthood.  Every other qualification overrides if Priesthood is preserved and nurtured.” He welcomed the newly ordained Priests into the Presbyterium as “Servants of Christ.”

The following were ordained priest (Saturday 18 April 2015):

  • John Guldeokar
  • Sanjay Pathare
  • Santan Rodrigues

Elaborate arrangements were made to make this event a meaningful and pious ceremony.  Rev. Fr. Ravi Tribhuvan, Vicar General of the diocese, Rev. Fr. Peter D’Souza, Procurator, Rev. Fr. Allwyn Kalaghatgi, Liturgist, Rev. Fr. Kishore Vidhate, the compere of the day and Sr. Lucy Bhoye FHIC, Superior of St. Philomena Convent were the chief organizers of the ordination programme.  About 120 Priests + Religious and over 1000 faithful from all over this diocese and from three neighboring diocese were present to witness the ordinations.

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The Call to the Priesthood

A Vocation camp for students who have appeared 10th or 12th standard was organized in the Bishop House, Nashik Road, from 15 to 18 April.

Young Boys from the parishes of Shevgaon, Ghodegaon, Harigaon, Rahata, Babhaleshwar and Manmad attended the camp.  A total of 30 boys from these parishes came forward to know about the Priesthood.

Rev. Fr. Nolasco Gomes and Rev. Fr. Vishal Tribhuvan who are the newly appointed as Vocation Promoters for the diocese organized this camp in a friendly and jovial atmosphere.1a  “In the modern world vocations declining and Priesthood is becoming ever more challenging; so how does the young listen to the call of the Lord.” said Fr. Nolasco.

Fr. Ravi Tribhuvan gave a complete picture of the diocese in terms of the geographical and pastoral organization. He said “There are over 110 Priests in our diocese (both Religious and Diocesan) who are engaged in various ministries in the missions of the diocese.  “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” – Matthew 9:37.  This is evident in our diocese.  We need more priests to look after the religious needs of the faithful”.

Fr. Peter D’Souza provided inputs that helped the young boys to understand the importance of the Church in the life of every baptized person. He explained to the young boys the relevance and 1breverence of a Priest. He also made them aware of the responsibility of every Christian towards the Church and its pastors. The Lord called upon the Apostles to be fishers of men. We too are called to build the society based on His commandments; Love of God and Love of neighbor.

Time spent in prayer is not time wasted. It is the most fruitful time of all. No one would say that prayer is easy, but it is certainly rewarding. We live such busy lives that sometimes we might not 1ceven be aware of what is really going on deep within us. We only become aware when we take the time to calm down and pray. Fr. Kishore Vidhate while giving an input on the theme “Importance of Prayer Life” guided the young boys to devote a particular time for daily prayers.

 

Bishop Lourdes Daniel took out some time and spent with the youn1dg boys.  The Bishop was pleased to see the enthusiasm among these young boys and assured them his pastoral care and prayers in all their endeavors.

Blessing and Inauguration of the new St. JOHN KINDERGARTEN building at Rahata

RAHATA KG FINAL


On Saturday 11th April 2015 at 11.00 a.m. the inauguration and blessing of the new St. John Kindergarten building was held.

Bishop Lourdes Daniel inaugurated and blessed the new building during the solemn Eucharistic celebration. After the Holy Mass a short cultural programme was presented by the little children of the kindergarten and the higher class students.

The Bishop in his speech appreciated Principal Fr. Dominic Rosario and Manager Fr. Xavier Athaide for their meticulous planning and hard work in completing this project.

We thank the Students, Teachers, Parents and the generous donors for their kind support and cooperation.

A SEMINAR ON TRUST & SOCIETIES

A seminar to orient Priests on matters related to Trust and Finance was organized by the Bishop’s House on Wednesday 18th March 2015.  Rev. Fr. Oscar Pereira, SJ, a priest of the Bombay Jesuit Province was invited to guide the Priests.  Fr. Oscar drew the attention of the participants through his electronic presentation.  He elaborated on many important aspects such as the Societies Registration Act, FCRA Act, Filing of Change Reports and Amendments procedures of Rules and Bye-laws.  He also briefly explained the various taxation procedures those which are mandatory and of serious nature. The Bishop along with 32 Priests from all over the diocese were present for the entire day.

 

Bhajan-Kirtan Mandals

IMG_6744ChrIMG_6744istianity in Ahmednagar district wears a distinct culture; particularly when it comes to community devotion. Individuals come together on their own to form a Mandali (a group) and sing Bhajans (devotional songs) with accompaniment of music created by playing harmonium, Mmridang ( a drum prepared by fixing treated animal skins on the ends of hollow wood), a Kadi ( an iron rod made into triangular shape. A sound is produced by rhythmically banging a piece of iron rod on the triangle) and taal, a pair of cymbals. Such Mandalis are ubiquitous in the district. It is interesting to know that the groups compose their own devotional songs and set them to their own tunes. In view of preserving the valuable cultural tradition, enhancing its growth and development, a directory of Bhajan Mandalis have been prepared so that people can contact the Mandals and invite them to the occasions special with the traditional devotional singing. The directory also helps Parish Priests to know the number of Bhajan Mandals in each parish.  With the support and encouragement of parish priests’ from across the parishes in the district, Bhajan Mandal Melava (gatherings) are held in every parish. There has been a very good response for the Melava. A list of guiding norms for the Mandal has been repapered and published the Shubhvarta issue of March, 2015. In view of holding Bible and catechetical classes for the Mandals and to make the members of the Mandals more responsible, parish Bhajan coordinators have been assigned.

As we request your prayers, we solicit you active support and encouragement for this work.

Fr. Ashok Ohol, SJ