Monday 11 May 2015

Archbishop William D’souza, S.J., will be travelling to Europe from 18th May to 28th June, to meet our Benefactors. The Samachar wishes him safe and fruitful journey. It requests all the readers to keep the Archbishop and his intentions in your prayers.

Appointment: Fr. Christuraj is appointed to Biharsharif Parish. He will help out in teaching and extracurricular activities in the school and assist the Parish Priest in the pastoral activities of the parish.

Patna Archdiocese Reflects on the National Catechetical Directory
Patna, April 18:-The Archdiocese of Patna organized two day seminar on National Catechetical Directory at Navjyoti Niketan, Regional Pastoral Centre, Patna from 16th to 17th April, 2015. The seminar was attended by 52 priests, both diocesans and religious – 40 priests from Patna Archdiocese and 12 priests from the dioceses of Buxar, Muzaffarpur and Purnea. The main objectives of the seminar were to introduce the National Catechetical Directory, to know the context of the region, its heritage and challenges and to have recommendations to implement the Directory and to initiate catechetical renewal. Inaugurating the seminar Archbishop William D’Souza SJ said, “If we, priests, understand the National Catechetical Directory we will become good pastors, because the Directory calls the priest ‘to be pastor, friend, leader, guide, shepherd, animator, healer, source of inspiration and encouragement (no. 236).” He further reminded the assembly, “The fundamental ministry of the pastor is to catechize the faithful.”
Fr Laurence Culas, Executive Secretary, CCBI Commission for Catechetics introduced the Directory in seven elaborate sessions: Process of Formation and General Introduction, The Context (part 1), The Mission (part 2), The Message (part 3), The Pedagogy (part 4), The Pilgrim People (part 5) and Our Organization (part 6). The interaction and group discussion of the participants brought in an awareness of the context and challenges of catechesis in the region in general and dioceses in particular and significant recommendations to implement the Directory and to initiate catechetical renewal in the region as well as in the dioceses.
The assembly felt that the region of Bihar poses a lot of challenges to catechesis: the tendency of dividing the people on the basis of caste, the presence of communal oppression, absolute poverty, illiteracy, poor political administration and economic imbalance. Moreover, our catechists are not properly educated and trained; they show the inability to cope up with social, moral, political and economic issues. In the midst of these challenges, the participants shared that, to foster the faith of our pilgrim people, they involve in the ministry of catechesis. The children are catechized through school and parish catechism, Bible reading programmes, teaching basic prayers, involving them actively in the liturgical celebrations and presenting biblical themes through drama. The young people are given faith formation through meaningful liturgical celebration, especially, the Holy Eucharist, youth gatherings, seminars, catechism classes, biblical competitions, youth retreats and youth pilgrimage. The adults are catechized through faith renewal courses, biblical festivals, holy mass, retreats and regular family visits.

To further strengthen the catechetical ministry, the assembly came forward with the following recommendations:
1.      Formation and strengthening of catechetical team in the regional level and making it visible through various catechetical activities of regional centre, Patna
2.      Constituting Commission for Catechetics in the dioceses of Bihar Region and making it functional through coordination with other commissions
3.      Training young priests, pastoral sisters and catechists through short-term catechetical courses to engage them effectively in the Pastoral Ministry of the diocese
4.      Translating the National Catechetical Directory into Hindi and contextualizing the content of the directory in the dioceses of Bihar Region
5.      Conducting study sessions on the National Catechetical Directory for the diocesan catechetical secretaries and to their collaborators
6.      Having a short-term and long term plan for catechesis in the diocesan-denary-parish level
7.      Providing resource materials for catechesis in the regional and diocesan level, in collaboration with biblical, liturgical, youth, family and media commissions
8.      Making liturgical celebrations, especially the Holy Eucharist, more meaningful through liturgy catechesis
9.      Strengthening the Basic Christian Communities, Bible Study Groups and Lay Movements to become true venues and occasions of adult catechesis
10.  Training and engaging the catechists in real catechetical and pastoral work and showing them due dignity and respect as lay missionaries

The priests lauded the initiative of Archbishop William to have a seminar on Catechetical Directory. The participants appreciated the scholarly presentation of Fr Laurence Culas who opened the treasures of National Catechetical Directory. Fr Prem Prakash, Vicar General, Fr James Shekhar, Secretary to the Archbishop and Fr Rajendran Francis SJ, Regional Secretary for Catechetics, took the lead in organizing the seminar.

A Get-together of the Senior Priests and Religious of Patna Archdiocese was held in the main hall of Navjyoti Niketan on 11 April 2015. Sixty of the senior Sisters, Brothers and Priests in the age group of seventy plus participated in the gathering. Most of them were from Patna itself while a couple of them were from outstations like Barauni and Jamalpur. The program began at 9:00 am with a Bhajan led by Fr. Kuldeep, as the Archbishop William D’Souza SJ and representatives lit the lamp. In the introductory talk the Archbishop acknowledged the sacrifice and contribution of the seniors as he welcomed the great missionaries of the Archdiocese to the first ever such gathering in the Archdiocese. Later five of the participants – Fr. Joseph Mattathilani, Sr. Anima SND, Sr. Lydia CJ, Sr. Amanda AC and Fr. Philip Manthara SJ – shared their personal experience as missionaries in Bihar. The session concluded with Sr. Sharan SND and her group of Notre Dame Seniors leading the group into singing two songs titled “My Favorite things” and “I have got that Joy down in my heart”. After the tea break, there was sharing in small groups. The Archbishop was the main celebrant for the Holy Eucharistic Celebration, and expressed his gratitude to all the seniors for their invaluable contribution to the growth of the Church in Bihar. Fr. Devasia Mattathilani thanked the Archbishop for organizing this event, the organizing committee. The participants gratefully acknowledge and appreciated the initiative and thoughtfulness of the Archbishop in organizing such a memorable experience for them. The program concluded at 1:15 p.m. with a fellowship meal for all the participants at Sewa Kendra. Thanks to Fr. Amal Raj for the delicious lunch, keeping in mind the taste of the Seniors.
Catholic Church, Barbigha: The month of March and April were a time of spiritual renewal for the Parish. They had three days of healing charismatic retreat guided by Rev. Fr. Irudayaraj.  Almost 250 parishioners actively participated in this spiritual journey.  Most of them have experienced the healing power, love and forgiveness of Jesus.  Thanks to Fr. Irudayaraj for his availability and generosity.  The community too had a wonderful prayer experience.  This retreat has helped the faithful to prepare themselves to witness the passion, the crucifixion and the resurrection of our Lord. The church was full with the faithful during the holy week services. They were blessed with the gracious presence of Archbishop Willian D’souza, S.J and Mrs. Christine, a donor from Germany. The new academic year has begun in the school with a new spirit and vigour. The school building construction is progressing smoothly.  Congratulations to Fr. Pradeep kumar, S.J, the Parish Priest, all the Fathers and Sacred Heart Sisters for their hard work.
Celebration of Catholic Women’s Day in Gaya Deanery: Under the able-leadership and thoughtful initiative of Fr. Anthony Osta, the Dean of Gaya Deanery, the Catholic Women’s Day was celebrated  in a grand way on 12th April, Sunday in Jehanabad Catholic Church premises. 100 women from Gaya Deanery participated in this significant celebration. Sr. Scholastica HC, of Masaurhi Parish with her animation skills made the participants feel proud of the fact that as mothers they are all co-creators with God Almighty, with games and skits filled with fun and laughter. Fr. S. Lawrence S.J. from Bodhgaya shared the liberating aspects of our Catholic Faith and urged them to practice them so that their children can receive Faith-Education through mothers’ life-examples. Sr. Monica SSH dealt with Health and Cleanliness. Fr. Prem Prakash, the VG, in the concluding Mass inspired all women to be active in their respective Parishes. Congrats to the Dean, Fr. Anthony Osta and Fr. Robert the Parish Priest of Jehanabad. 
Presbytery Blessing at Bariarpur parish: Newly constructed Presbytery at Bariarpur Parish was blessed by Archbishop William D’ Souza, SJ on 25th April, 2015. 36 children and adults received the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Parishioners had organized a fellowship meal for all. Congratulations to Fr. Raksh Roshan, and SRA Sisters.
Church Blessing at Harnaut Parish: On 1st May, 2015 the historical event took place in the history of Nalanda with the blessing and dedication of newly erected St. Joseph’s Church at Harnaut. The blessing and dedication ceremony was presided over by Archbishop William D’ Souza,S.J in the presence of Bishop Kurian of Bhagalpur Diocese, Bishop Sebastian of Buxar Diocese and Bishop Cajetan of Muzaffarpur Diocese. 42 priests concelebrated with the Archbishop. The ceremony began with a magnificent reception of Bishops with the Band. The whole ceremony of blessing and dedication of the Church was a kind of admiration and marvel for the people, for majority of them witnessed it for the first time in their life so far. During the ceremony Archbishop declared Harnaut Mission as the full fledged Parish and Fr. Jose Edavazhy, as the first Parish Priest of Harnaut Parish. There was also blessing of the newly built Boys’ Hostel in the same campus by the Archbishop together with other three Bishops. Thanks to Fr. Josef Renner, and his friends in Germany who sponsored the construction. Congratulations and big thanks to Fr. Jose Edavazhy and his Team for their hard work to complete the Church construction within two years.       
The foundation stone laying ceremony at Rajauli, Nawada: A new chapter has been added to the progress of Patna Archdiocese at Rajauli, a part of Nawada Parish till now, but which will gradually emerge as a new mission station in Magadh deanery. On 2nd May, 2015 at 10.30am, Most Rev. William D’ Souza, in  the presence of 3 priests from Nawada, 2 priests from Roh, the religious, the school teachers and supportive staff of St. Joseph’s School, Nawada, a few parishioners, Mukhiya of Rajauli, Mr. Vinay Singh (who gave us his own land  and  encouraged others to do so), other dignitaries friends and well-wishers, performed the “Bhoomi pooja” and laid the foundation of the primary  school.

On the foundation blessing day, in the presence of the august gathering, the Archbishop very systematically and beautifully explained the background of the strategic Rajauli mission land at Bihar-Jharkhand border in the Naxal affected area and dwelt on the significance and necessity of the Christian presence in the rural area to establish human community, to touch the lives of the simple and common people. Other speakers on the occasion were Rajauli Mukhiya, Rajauli forester and District Parshad, thanked the Archbishop, the priests, who worked tirelessly with others in procuring the land and expressed the hope that the long awaited dream of this area will be fulfilled in the form of a school at the national level. They assured the Archbishop, the priests and the builder Mr. Sabir, of all their support and help for a smooth and speedy work which was welcomed with big applause from all those present. A sumptuous meal was sponsored, prepared and served to all by the builder-contractor, Mr. Sabir. The Samachar thanks the Nawada Parish Team and School Team for this memorable day and wishes them all the best.

Mokama: Rev. Fr. Andrews Raja was installed as Parish Priest of Mokama by Most Rev. William D’souza, S.J.,. The Samachar thanks Patna Jesuits Province for their wiliness to render their services. It wishes all the best for Frs. Andrews Raja, Irudyaraj, and Anselam.

High School Boys’ Hostel at Maner was blessed and formally inaugurated by Archbishop William D’Souza, SJ in the evening on 6th May 2015 during the Holy Eucharist with Vicar General Fr. Prem Prakash, the Parish Priest Fr. Augustine Kadukanmakal, the Hostel in charge Fr. Dinesh Kumar and Fr. Amalraj as concelebrants. The 14 boys who are the first entrants of the hostel and the two Religious communities of Sisters participated in the celebrations which were concluded with a fellow-ship meal.

Summer camp for matric girls was organized by Sewa Kendra, Patna, from 26th April to 16th May 2015. Forty three girls from different parishes of Patna and Buxar dioceses attended the program. The camp provided them holistic development, along with Spoken English skills. The intensive program began with the Holy Mass presided by Archbishop of Patna Most Rev. William D’souza along with two concelebrants Fr. Amal Raj, the director of Sewa Kendra and Fr. Mariam Lal. The Archbishop in his sermon encouraged girls to make best use of opportunity given to them. He further inspired them to work hard with one goal and one mind then no one can stop them from speaking, reading and writing English. The students welcomed the Archbishop by a singing welcome song and with a bouquet of flowers.
On the same day, after the lunch Sr. Valsha, H.C. conducted an orientation program which was full of games, activities, and interactive sessions. The ice-breaking session helped the students to come to know each other. They had daily mass, prayers and singing in English which enhanced their faith formation. They also had the opportunity to visit important institutions, churches, and historical places in Patna on Patna Darshan.. On the final day all the students worked hard to exhibit their hidden talents through the colorful cultural program. Congratulations to Fr. Amal Raj, the Director of Sewa Kendra for organizing this summer camp for the girls. Thanks to Fr. Mariam Lal and all the Sisters who guided our girls during this summer camp.
 Fr. Michael Ignatius was admitted in Ruben Memorial Hospital, Patna on16 April to undergo prostate gland surgery. Surgery was successful. Please pray for his speedy recovery. He has gone back to Ranchi and then home for his holidays.

RIP: Mrs. Anna Packiam, the mother of Fr. Alex V., passed away on 10th May. Fr. Alex was at home for his holidays. Let’s pray for the departed soul.

Your Attention:
An Appeal: Together with the Church in India, expressing our solidarity with the people of Nepal and offering our prayers and condolences to all those who lost their lives and property in the recent devastating earthquake, Archbishop William D’Souza SJ on behalf of the Catholic Church in Bihar appeals to all the members of the hierarchy and the leadership to encourage the community of faithful, institutions and people of goodwill to generously contribute to this humanitarian call and support the people in Nepal in time of this disaster. Keeping in mind the urgency of the need, you may send your contribution to ‘Sewa Kendra A/C no.18950100001625 (UCO Bank, Digha Ghat, Patna). A detailed letter dated 29 April 2015 with this appeal has been dispatched to all the people concerned including the parish priests/heads of institutions etc.

Jyoti Bhawan, Mokama is organizing a Catechetical Camp for the children of class Seven, from 23 May to 28 May, 2015. Parish Priests are requested to take initiative to send Catholic children from your parish. The Archbishop expects the boys and girls of every parish to attend this camp. The Samcahar requests the Parish Priests to encourage the boys and girls.
Youth Commission announces the forth coming Deanery level programs and requests all the parish priests of Gaya, Nalanda and Magadh Deaneries to send the catholic boys and girls to attend the seminar. While the program of Gaya Deanery will be at Catholic Church, Jehanabad from 12 May (4:00 p.m.) to 14 May (1:00 p.m) 2015, the program for Nalanda Deanery is scheduled for 22 May (4:00 p.m.) to 24 May (1:00 p.m.) at Catholic Church, Harnaut. Magadh Deanery will have the program at Catholic Church, Nawada from 12 June (4:00 p.m.) to 14 June (1:00 p.m.) 2015.
Navjyoti Nikatan, Patna is conducting the Scripture Course from 5 June to 12 June, 2015. This course will follow a 5 year cycle covering the whole Bible. This course is very useful to the lay people, especially to catechists, teachers and youth. Encourage your people to join the course. For further details contact the office by phone-9122744927 or email: or
Admission Forms are available for Bachelor of Engineering (BE), Diploma and Master in Computer Application (MCA) at St. Aloysius Institute of Technology, Jabalpur. For further details feel free to contact at: Website:, or Email: or  

Archdiocesan Pastoral Council Meeting: The Archbishop is calling for the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council meeting on 24-25th August 2015 to commemorate the Year of the Consecrated Life and prepare for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. On 26th we will have the “Archdiocesan Days 2015”. More information will follow.