Catholic Bishops Assemble at Vailankanni

February 6, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Opening of CCBI 25th Plenary Assembly at Vailankanni

CCBI 25th Plenary Assembly at Vailankanni

“Your presence is a welcome sign for us as embark on a new journey” said Telesphore Cardinal P. Toppo, as he started his address to the scores of press personnel before him. The occasion was the meeting of press on the eve of the opening of the Silver Jubilee plenary Assembly of the CCBI, the episcopal body of the Roman Catholic Latin Rite Church of India.

Member Bishops around 172, along with number of experts and various CCBI Commission secretaries will prayerfully reflect and deliberate on the theme, “Pastoral Plan for Church in India.” This pastoral plan will be the Church’s response to the challenges facing us today, the Cardinal, who is the President of the CCBI, asserted with determination. Cardinal Toppo was flanked by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, a former President of CCBI and the present President of CBCI.

The venue for this CCBI General Body Meeting the Retreat Center at Vailankanni. “It is indeed providential that Our Lady of Health Shrine, Vailankanni is celebrating the golden jubilee of its elevation as minor Basilica in 1962” said the Cardianal. He also referred to the Golden Jubilee Year of Second Vatican Council, “the most important event for the Church in our times”. So it is a very solemn  and historical moment for the Church in India, gathered at the feet of the Mother of Faith in this Year of Faith. The Papal Emissary for this multi-faceted Jubilee is none other than the Prefect of the Congregation of Evangelization of Peoples, Rome, Fernando Cardinal Filoni, who will be the Chief Guest of Honour and key-note speaker. The Papal Nuncio, the Ambassador of the Pope in India, Archbishop Salvatore Pennachio will grace the occasion. Oswald Cardinal Gracias, who is the inspiration behind the initiative for a “decennial pastoral plan”,  will be the main speaker. Cardinal Telespore Toppo the President of CCBI, Archbishop Philip Neri the Vice-President, Bishop Varghese Chakkalakal Secretary General and Rev. Fr. Udumala Bala Executive Secretary along with the local host Bishop M. Devadass Ambrose of Thanjavur, Very Rev.Fr. A. Michael Rector of the Shrine, Rev. Fr .D .Amudhan Director of Retreat House and Coordinator are actively involved in organizing the event.

As a culmination of this “double jubilee”, on 10th February, the newly constructed “Morning Star” Church will be blessed by the Papal Legate Cardinal Filoni, in the presence of the Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops of India and a large gathering of the people of pilgrims.

– John Kulandai & Sebastian

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