Tag Archives: Pope Francis

Indore’s martyr nun Rani Maria beatified – The Times of India

•Beatification is one step away from Canonisation, and Sister Maria is the first nun from north India to be Beatified. (From The Times of India)

(News from “The Times of India:)INDORE: “Blessed Rani Maria, pray for us,” proclaimed Vatican ambassador Cardinal Angelo Amato on Saturday. And 15,000 Christians repeated the words after him at a local school in Indore, marking the beatification of Sister Rani Maria Vattalil as a martyr.

In the audience, was seated her killer Samandar Singh. Next to him sat the Blessed Maria’s sister, Sr Selmi. “I cannot undo what happened. That was also God’s call. This, too, is God’s call. She was a saint, and now she’ll be declared one too,” said Samandar who had stabbed her viciously 22 years ago. He was sentenced to life but was released in 2002 after Sister Selmi visited him in jail and asked that he be pardoned.

Bishops attend a ceremony for beatification of Rani Maria in Indore on Saturday.

Beatification is one step away from Canonisation, and Sister Maria is the first nun from north India to be Beatified and the seventh Indian to be beatified after Sister Alphonsa, Fr Kuriakose Chavara, Mother Euphrasia, Fr Joseph Vaz, Fr Gonsalo Garcia and Mother Teresa. The ceremony was held St. Paul’s HS School in the presence of Cardinal Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for Cause of Saints (Vatican), and 45 bishops and five cardinals from India.

Just before Gloria (singing praises of God), Cardinal Amato read out the apostolic letter in Latin, announcing Pope Francis’s declaration that Sr Rani Maria be called Blessed and her feast may be celebrated every year on February 25 — the day she was martyred in 1995. The Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops arrived in the form of a procession.

•Her killer Samandar Singh, who was in the audience, said “I cannot undo what happened. That was also God’s call. This, too, is God’s call. She was a saint, and now she’ll be declared one too”.

Right after the announcement, a relic and a large portrait of Sister Maria were brought to the altar by the family members, representatives from the church in Kerala and representatives of Sr Rani Maria’s Franciscan Clarist Congregation. Cardinal Angelo Amato said, “She’s not just an inspiration to Udainagar church but to Catholics across the globe. Her sacrifice has become a beacon of light for missionaries. “

Please click here to watch a full five hours ceremony video.

PROTECT MIGRANT CHILDREN – Article by Fr. Cedric Prakash S.J.


On January 9th 2017, in an address to the members of the Diplomatic Corps from 181 countries accredited to the Holy See, Pope Francis said, “children and young people are the future; it is for them that we work and build. They cannot be selfishly overlooked or forgotten…I consider it a priority to protect children, whose innocence is often violated by exploitation, clandestine and slave labour, prostitution or the abuse of adults, criminals and dealers in death.” and further, “I think of the young people affected by the brutal conflict in Syria, deprived of the joys of childhood and youth, such as the ability to play games and to attend school”. His message was loud and clear, a necessary step for security and peace everywhere, is to invest in children and particularly those who are directly affected by the numerous wars and conflicts of our time.

Pope Francis has been consistent in his focus on the painful reality of migrant children. On January 15th 2017, the Catholic Church will once again observe the ‘World Day of Migrants and Refugees’ and in a hard-hitting message for the day on ‘Child Migrants, the Vulnerable and the Voiceless’ Pope Francis writes, “I feel compelled to draw attention to the reality of child migrants, especially the ones who are alone. In doing so I ask everyone to take care of the young, who in a threefold way are defenseless: they are children, they are foreigners, and they have no means to protect themselves. I ask everyone to help those who, for various reasons, are forced to live far from their homeland and are separated from their families”.

There are today innumerable stories on the suffering of children who are in the midst of war or are fleeing war and persecution. From Syria to Myanmar; from Congo to Colombia; from Afghanistan to Sudan – the plight of migrant children labouring long hours in sweatshops; toiling in fields; begging on streets; or just left to the vagaries of hostile environments could make the coldest hearts thaw. The dead body of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year old Syrian child, which was washed up on a beach in Turkey early in September 2015, will forever be etched in the memory and conscience of anyone who cares.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) states that, “Over half of the world’s refugees are children. Many will spend their entire childhoods away from home, sometimes separated from their families. They may have witnessed or experienced violent acts and, in exile, are at risk of abuse, neglect, violence, exploitation, trafficking or military recruitment”. Pope Francis reiterates this situation in his message also emphasizing that these children are deprived “of rights intrinsic to childhood as sanctioned by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child”.

Pope Francis calls upon the Christian community and the world at large to respond to the reality of the migrant children by working towards protection, integration and long-term solutions.

 He highlights the importance to adopt “every possible measure to guarantee the protection and safety of child migrants, because these boys and girls often end up on the street abandoned to themselves and prey to unscrupulous exploiters who often transform them into the object of physical, moral and sexual violence.” He does not mince words when he says, “if more rigorous and effective action is not taken against those who profit from such abuse, we will not be able to stop the multiple forms of slavery where children are the victims”.

The integration of migrant children is also essential; to have adequate policies and also the necessary financial resources to ensure for their assistance and inclusion. All are aware of how several ‘host countries’ create all possible obstacles to deny refugee children with appropriate formal education, healthcare and even with much –needed recreational facilities.

Finally, Pope Francis makes “a heartfelt appeal that long-term solutions be sought and adopted. Since this is a complex phenomenon, the question of child migrants must be tackled at its source. Wars, human rights violations, corruption, poverty, environmental imbalance and disasters, are all causes of this problem… far-sighted perspectives are called for, capable of offering adequate programmes for areas struck by the worst injustice and instability, in order that access to authentic development can be guaranteed for all. This development should promote the good of boys and girls, who are humanity’s hope”.

A visionary but strong challenge indeed! The moot point, as we observe the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, is to ask ourselves and those in power, whether enough is being done for the voiceless, vulnerable and invisible child migrant of today?  And if not, to get involved in more concerted action now!

10th January 2017 – Fr. Cedric Prakash

Fr Cedric Prakash SJ is a human rights activist. He is currently based in Lebanon, engaged with the Jesuit Refugee Service(JRS) in the Middle East on advocacy and   communications.

Contact: cedricprakash@gmail.com )             

Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ

Advocacy & Communications

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) MENA Region

Rue de L’Universitie Saint-Joseph

Achrafieh 11002150 BEIRUT  LEBANON


The full text of the Message of Pope Francis for World Day of Migrants and Refugees (January 15th 2017) can be found on https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/migration/documents/papa-francesco_20160908_world-migrants-day-2017.html

A seminar was organized by “Doot” – Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation on Love in the Family – Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love)

વડાધર્મગુરૂ ફ્રાન્સિસ ધોષિત “લગ્ન અને પરિવાર વિષયક પરિપત્ર” – પ્રેમનો આનંદ (Amoris Latetitia) ના આધાર પર, સપ્ટેમ્બરની ૧૮ તારીખે પાવન હ્રદય “દૂત”  આણંદ દ્વારા “પારિવારિક પ્રેમનું મહિમાગાન “ વિષય પર દૂત-પરિસંવાદનું આયોજન કરવામાં આવ્યું હતું. વડોદરા ખાતે આ કાર્યક્રમનું ઉદઘાટન પ્રસિધ્ધ પત્રકાર, લેખક અને બ્લોગર શ્રી. ઉર્વીશ કોઠારીના હસ્તે કરવામાં આવ્યું હતું.


“પારિવારિક પડકારો”
“લગ્નભંગ સમસ્યા”
”પારિવારિક જીવનનો અનુભવ”


ઉપર જણાવેલા મુખ્ય ત્રણ વિષય પર સમાજના વિવિધ ક્ષેત્રોમાંથી આવેલા મહાનુભાવોએ પોતાના વિચારો રજૂ કર્યા હતા. બધા જ વિચારો અને પરિવારપ્રેમ, પારિવારિક પ્રશ્નો-પડકારો-પ્રવાહ  પરની પ્રામાણિક ચર્ચા-ચિંતનથી હાજર બધા સંતૃપ્ત થયાનો અભિપ્રાય જાણવા મળ્યો હતો. આવા સુંદર પરિસંવાદના આયોજન બદલ આયોજકો ઘન્યવાદને પાત્ર છે.
Please click on the image to read.
Please click on the image to read.
આ પ્રસંગે “દૂત”ના માનદ તંત્રી ફાધર ડો. વિનાયક જાદવે બીજરૂપ વક્તવ્ય આપ્યું હતું. ગુજરાત સાહિત્ય પ્રકાશ દ્વારા આ વક્તવ્યને પત્રિકા રૂપે પ્રકાશિત કરવામાં આવી છે. આ પત્રિકા ઈમેલ દ્વારા મળી છે જે વાંચવા ઉપર ના પિક્ચર પર ક્લિક કરો.


Please click on the below image to read the entire Pope Francis’ new apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), released April 8, 2016 to Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Consecrated persons persons, Christian Married couples and all the lay faithful on LOVE IN THE FAMILY.  
Please click on the image to read.
Please click on the image to read.


Please click on the below image to read the summary Pope Francis’ new apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), released April 8, 2016 to Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Consecrated persons persons, Christian Married couples and all the lay faithful on LOVE IN THE FAMILY.  
Please click on image to read.
Please click on image to read.

World Meeting of Families 2015 – Love is Our Mission – The Family fully alive


The Diocese of Metuchen, NJ has made arrangements for bus transportation to the Papal Mass on September 27, 2015 in Philadelphia from various locations throughout the diocese. A number of parishes/groups are also running bus trips to the Papal Mass (check with your parish). The Papal Mass is scheduled for 4:00 pm on Benjamin Franklin Boulevard, Philadelphia. Once we have a clear picture of the number of people who want to participate from each site, we will assign bus coordinators and send confirmation materials with precise details. Prayer and reflection resources will also be provided to enable pilgrims to share a common experience as the Diocesan Church in preparation for and on the day of this special event.


The round trip bus reservation and pilgrimage package will be $55. per person. Each participant is responsible for their own meal costs on that day and also any train/shuttle expenses from the parking lot to the event site and back. Pilgrims should be physically fit and prepared to walk several miles. Reservations for bus seats are limited and will be accepted on a “first-come first-served” basis. For those interested in reserving a bus seat, you may do so starting on July 8, 2015 using the preferred online method by visiting: www.diometuchen.org/WMOF


You may also register via phone by calling 732-562-1990 ext. 1543 during the hours of 10am -1 pm, Monday thru Friday starting on July 8, 2015. All payments will be by credit card only. Space is limited. There will be no refunds. Once the seats are filled, a waiting list will be formed. All participants must make payment and agree to the Trip Terms and Conditions before reservations will be confirmed. Additional details regarding the Pilgrimage will be sent out at the end of the summer.


Bus Trip Pick-Up Locations:


*       Immaculate Conception, Annandale


*       St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Bridgewater


*       St. Bartholomew, East Brunswick


*       St. Cecelia, Iselin


*       St. Augustine of Canterbury, Kendall Park


*       St. Thomas the Apostle, Old Bridge


*       St. John Neumann Center, Piscataway


*       St. John Neumann Center, Piscataway


*       Our Lady of the Mount, Warren


*       St. Joseph, Washington


Thank you Sr. Ruth Bolarte I. H. M., Director for the above information.



Schedule: 2015 Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to the United States of America



Here is the schedule for Pope Francis’ September 2015 Apostolic Journey to the United States of America as released by the Vatican on June 30, 2015.  All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time.

tuesday, september 22 (washington, dc)

  • 4:00 p.m.    Arrival from Cuba at Joint Base Andrews

wednesday, sePtember 23 (washington, dc)

  • 9:15  a.m.  Welcome ceremony and meeting with President Obama at the White House
  • 11:30 a.m. Midday Prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew’s Cathedral
  • 4:15  p.m.  Mass of Canonization of Junipero Serra, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

thursday, september 24 (washington, dc, new york city)

  • 9:20  a.m.  Address to Joint Session of the United States Congress
  • 11:15 a.m. Visit to St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
  • 4:00 p.m.   Depart from Joint Base Andrews
  • 5:00 p.m.   Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • 6:45 p.m.   Evening Prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick’s Cathedral


  • 8:30  a.m. Visit to the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly
  • 11:30 a.m. Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center
  • 4:00  p.m.  Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem
  • 6:00  p.m.  Mass at Madison Square Garden
  • Tickets will not be sold and they will be extremely limited. Tickets will be primarily distributed to parishes within the Archdiocese of New York, with a limited number distributed to the other dioceses in New York State. Other Catholic organizations and institutions throughout the archdiocese of New York will also receive tickets, who will then extend invitations to their members. You can contact your own diocesan chancery office after July 1 for more information. There will be no tickets available publicly through any other means, if you live in New York, we suggest that you reach out to your parish after July 1. 

saturday, september 26 (new york city, philadELphia)

  • 8:40  a.m.  Departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • 9:30  a.m.  Arrival at Atlantic Aviation, Philadelphia
  • 10:30 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia
  • 4:45  p.m.  Visit to Independence Mall
  • 7:30  p.m.  Visit to the Festival of Families Benjamin Franklin Parkway

sunday, September 27 (philadelphia)

  • 9:15   a.m.  Meeting with bishops at at St. Martin’s Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
  • 11:00  a.m. Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
  • 4:00  p.m.   Mass for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • 7:00   p.m.  Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families, Atlantic Aviation
  • 8:00   p.m.  Departure for Rome

Pope Francis’ ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ “Praise be to you, my Lord”.

Dear Friends,


I have just finished reading the internet copy of Pope Francis’ ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ “Praise be to you, my Lord”. At the Encycle ends with two beautiful prayers, which I have translated into Gujarati. Here below please see A PRAYER FOR OUR EARTH both in Gujarati and in English.


With love & regards, Fr Varghese Paul, SJ
PopeFrancisPope Francis’ ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDAT SI’“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”.
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
hat we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.


Fr.VarghesePaulધરતી માટેની પ્રાર્થના 
(પોપ ફ્રાન્સિસના “સ્તુતિહો તારી, મારા પ્રભુ” પરિપત્રમાંથી)
અનુવાદક : ફાધર વર્ગીસ પૅાલ
સર્વશક્તિમાન પ્રભુ, સમગ્ર સૃષ્ટિમાં તમે હાજર છો.
અને નાનામાં નાના સર્જનમાં તમારી હાજરી છે.
તમારા કરુણામય પ્રેમમાં તમે સૌને આલિગંનમાં લો છો.
તમારા પ્રેમની શક્તિ અમારા ઉપર વરસાવો,
કે જેથી અમે જીવન અને સૌંન્દર્યને રક્ષણ કરી શકીએ
અમને તમારી શાંતિથી ભરી દો કે,
કોઈને કંઈ નુકશાન કર્યા વિના
અમે સૌ ભાઈબહેનો તરીકે જીવી શકીએ.
હે ગરીબોના ઈશ્વર પ્રભુ, આ ભૂતળ પર તરછોડાયેલા અને ભૂલાઈ ગયેલા સૌને
બચાવી લેવામાં અમને મદદ કરો.
તેઓ બધા તમારી આંખો આગળ ખૂબ કિંમતી છે.
અમારા જીવનમાં સાજાપણું લાવો કે,
અમે દુનિયાની લૂંટફાટ કરવાને બદલે એને બચાવી શકીએ.
વિનાશ અને પ્રદૂષણને બદલે અમે સૌંદર્યનું બી વાવીએ
ગરીબો અને ધરતીના ભોગે
ફક્ત પોતાના લાભ શોધતા લોકોના
હૃદયને સ્પર્શ કરો, પ્રભુ.દરેક વસ્તુનું મૂલ્ય શોધવામાં અમને શિખવાડો,
જેથી ધ્યાનચિંતન અને અહોભાવથી ઉભરાઈ જઈને
અમે એ વાત ઉંડાણથી સ્વીકારીએ કે,
તમારા અનંત પ્રકાશ તરફની અમારી મુસાફરીમાં
દરેકેદરેક સર્જન સાથે
અમે અગાધ રીતે સંકળાયેલા છીએ.
દરેક દિવસે અમારી સાથે રહેવા બદલ
અમે તમારો અભાર માનીએ છીએ.
અમારી પ્રાર્થના છે કે,
ન્યાય, પ્રેમ અને શાંતિ માટેની અમારા ઝઝૂંમવામાં
અમને પ્રોત્શાહન આપતા રહો.
From Facebook page of Fr. Varghese Paul S.J.