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Newsletter. Issue 26. December 21, 2013


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India News Clips
Central government to merge OCI and PIO cards, Eduardo Faleiro says
Joaquim Fernandes,TNN | Dec 17, 2013 | Sent By:Antonio Mascarenhas - Toronto

Panaji: Former Union minister Eduardo Faleiro on Tuesday said thatPrime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has announced that OCI (overseas citizen of India) card would be provided to all PIOs (persons of Indian origin) who migrated from India after January 26, 1950 and that the OCI and PIO cards would be merged.

Briefing the media, Faleiro said that at present the PIO cards are issued to Indians who have been staying abroad for a couple of generations whilst OCI cards are given to those who are more recent migrants. The present validity of the PIO card is 15 years while the OCI card is for life. There are some other benefits that OCI enjoy which are not available to PIO cardholders, Faleiro said, adding that the bill to give effect to this assurance and to accordingly amend the Indian citizenship Act is being drafted by the government of India.

Faleiro also said that two former Indian Prime Ministers - Narasimha Rao of the Congress and later A B Vajpayee of the BJP - had agreed to granting dual citizenship to Indians but the decision could not be implemented.
A Special Day for the Church in Mangalore:
New Tomb for Servant of God Raymond F. C. Mascarenhas
Source: <

December 16th 2013 was indeed a special day for the Church in Mangalore. In St. Sebastian’s Church Bendur – the mortal remains of the Servant of God Raymond Francis Camillus Mascarenhas were exhumed, identified and transferred from its original place in the nave of the Church, to a newly erected tomb.

The meticulously prepared and long ceremony began at 8. 30 a m was presided over by Rt. Rev Aloysius Paul D’souza the Bishop of Mangalore. The select gathering present for the ceremony included Rev. Msgr. Denis Prabhu, Vicar General of Mangalore; Fr Henry Sequeira, the Episcopal Delegate; Fr. John Mendonca, the Promoter of Justice; Fr. Vincent Saldanha, the Notary; medical experts: Dr. Edward Nazareth (MS Ortho), Dr. Ronald Menezes (Dr. Ortho), Dr. Udaykumar, (M.D. Forensic) Sr. (Dr.) Jeevitha B.S. (MD) and other medical assistants; members of the Historical Commission: Fr. J. B. Saldanha, Fr. Peter Mascarenhas SMM, Fr. George Painadath; Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ the great grand nephew of the Servant of God and other special invitees.

Welcoming the Bishop, the dignitaries and other invitees, Sr. Wilberta, the Superior General of the Bethany Congregation said it was a special moment of grace not only for Bethany but for the many people from all walks of life who pray to and venerate the Servant of God. Sr Lillis, the Postulator of the Cause of the Beatification of the Servant of God then gave a brief history of Msgr. Raymond. Bishop Aloysius highlighted the virtues of Msgr. Mascarenhas and felt that all of us should try to emulate them. Msgr. Denis Prabhu then read the Letter from the Vatican approving the process of the day

The elaborate programme lasted for several hours and ended with a blessing from the Bishop and a thanksgiving hymn.

It is important to recall, that the Servant of God Raymond Mascarenhas was a holy priest who served the poor and the marginalized selflessly till his death on December 23rd 1960. He founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Little Flower of Bethany (Bethany Sisters) -who today work all over India and abroad in several fields-specially in the education of the girl child and in women empowerment programmes.

The Cause of the Canonization of the Servant of God Mgr. RFC Mascarenhas was introduced in 2008, by the Bishop of Mangalore. The newly built tomb now has greater access to the public for prayer and veneration. It is a fitting tribute to the man who built the Church in 1914 (exactly one hundred years ago) and served the parishioners there, as a compassionate pastor for seventeen long years!
Syro-Malabar Church Facing Pastoral Vacuum
Posted on December 16, 2013, 4:57 PM

The greatest concern of the Church is that the new generation will be losing the tradition dating back close to two millenia, that it claims to possess.

Kochi: The Syro- Malabar Church in India is experiencing pastoral vacuum with the increasing number of youth belonging to the congregation seeking better pastures abroad.

The spiritual leadership of the Church, which is one of the largest Christian denominations in Kerala, is intensifying its pastoral activities because of the apprehension that the next generation may altogether abandon them.

According to a survey conducted by the Laity Commission, of the 3.5 million member- strong Church, 78 per cent of its ‘sheep’ in the age group of 20-32 years are living out of Kerala or India and are unlikely to settle back in Kerala.

“It is true that the migration is affecting the social atmosphere of Syro Malabar families. At the same time we are not in a position to blame those leaving country seeking better opportunities,’’ points out V C Sebastian, Secretary of the Laity Commission.

The greatest concern of the Church is that the new generation will be losing the tradition dating back close to two millenia, that it claims to possess.

“Children of Syro Malabarians who are brought up in a different country, in a different socio- cultural atmosphere, will remain ignorant of the tradition. Even if these children are taken back home, the character formation would have happened. This situation certainly worries the Church,” said Bishop Mathew Arakkal of Kanjirappally, who is also the chairman of Laity Commission.

The Commission takes care of the pastoral affairs of members of the Church, both inside the country and abroad.

The Laity Commission has already opened Laity Centers in different countries and across India to facilitate members of the Church who live away from their home. These centers are being opened as directed by the Bishops’ Synod.

“Though the focus was on Syro-Malabar community, the flow of youth from other religions and communities is also on the rise. But this has not affected those communities much. There has not been any in-depth study on this subject,” says Sebastian.

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is an East Syrian Rite. It is one of the 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in the Catholic Church. It is the largest of the Saint Thomas Christian denominations with around four million believers and traces its origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. It is also the second largest Eastern Catholic Church in communion with the Bishop of Rome.

Source: New Indianexpress
Oscar Fernandes to hold additional charge of Labour
By PTI | 16 Dec, 2013, Post a Comment

Road Transport and Highways Minister Oscar Fernandes has been given the additional charge of Labour and Employment Ministry following the death of Sis Ram Ola.


New Delhi: Road Transport and Highways Minister Oscar Fernandes has been given the additional charge of Labour and Employment Ministry following the death of Sis Ram Ola.

Fernandes had held the Labour portfolio during the UPA 1 rule.

According to a Rashtrapati Bhawan statement, the President, advised by the Prime Minister, has directed that Fernandes shall be given additional charge of the work of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Ola, who had assumed charge of the Ministry in June this year, died in a Gurgaon hospital yesterday. The 86-year-old Congress leader from Rajasthan had been suffering from various ailments for some time. PTI SGI

The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has directed that Shri Oscar Fernandes, Minister of Road Transport and Highways shall be given additional charge of the work of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

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