More on Bombay new auxiliary bishops

May 20, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Savio Dominic Fernandes to serve, by the grace of God

Mgr Savio Dominic Fernandes

Mumbai, May 16, 2013: “I feel God’s love poured onto me and my response to it will be service with love in response to God’s love,” Mgr Savio Dominic Fernandes said. “Christ called me to serve as a priest, and with His Grace, I shall serve him as a bishop,” he told AsiaNewsafter Pope Francis yesterday appointed him and Mgr John Rodrigues as auxiliary bishops of Mumbai.

“It came as a complete surprise,” the new bishop said. “I feel very humble. I never expected to be a bishop. I remember the days when I felt called by God to the priestly vocation.

The two bishops-elect were also given respectively to the titular sees of Cozila and Deulto.

Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Mgr Fernandes was also in charge of the Women Commission of the Archdiocese of Mumbai. Now his priority will be “to serve God by serving the most vulnerable, the weakest, the needy and downtrodden.”

“In our country,” he explained, “women and girls are the most vulnerable. Regrettably, the patriarchal mindset does not consider women as equal, beginning with the sanctity of the home. This mindset has to change and doing so will be a significant part of my service. I shall defend the sacredness of life, teach values, and teach the dignity of girls.”

For him, “Parents must learn that girls and boys are equal in dignity and should have equal rights and opportunities.”

The new auxiliary bishop wants to focus on the religious sphere. “I find,” he said, “that spirituality has been relegated to the background and it has all become materialistic.”

“I plan to increase my personal holiness and through that, people may also be affected and gain holiness. I plan to be a good spiritual leader. This is what, according to me, Bombay and the whole country need”.

From a large family of five children, Mgr Fernandes lost his father a few years ago. His 92-years-old mother is still alive. “It never dawned on her that I could become a bishop,” he said, but “she always prayed for me, ever since I entered the seminary, that I might be a good priest.”

John Rodrigues: “Building the Body of Christ in the Year of Faith”

Bishop John RodriguesMumbai, May 17, 2013: Building the Body of Christ. This will be the Episcopal motto of Msgr. John Rodrigues, appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Mumbai on May 15 by the Pope. In an interview with AsiaNews, the bishop speaks of the challenges and hopes for this new mission: “I am happy and I thank God for this gift, which allows me to carry on His ministry with greater force.”

Msgr. Rodrigues is currently the coordinator of the Archdiocese for the Year of Faith: “This is a happy moment for everyone, because the appointment of a bishop is also an opportunity to renew their faith in God. It’s also a time to trust in God and I trust that God will give me the strength, with faith I take up this responsibility. I haven’t really thought about my motto but I think it will be to build up the body of Christ in the work of service.  The whole church is called to be the body of Christ and continue to do the work of Jesus inspired by his spirit. ”

In Mumbai the Year of Faith is lived with particular spirit: “The Church in this year of faith needs to get back to its roots. Faith is a personal aspect of each person and it is also shared in the community. As we share our faith experiences we strengthen each other’s faith. In Mumbai there is a need for adult faith formation. There are many who want to know more about the faith and have a great interest also in the scriptures and church’s teaching”.

For this, the Archdiocese has chosen a particular road: “Instead of having a centralized system, each commission plans something. For this month there is a vigil for the parishes planned by the liturgical centre, for June there is a Triduum, in August it is faith in the Indian context. In September we have the children’s novena at the cathecatical centre. In October we will focus on missions. ”

But one of the most important moments will undoubtedly June 2: “The festival of Corpus Christi we will have Eucharistic adoration in communion with that of the Holy Father in St. Peter’s. It is significant that we will be in  union with the universal church as it is also a sign of our union with Pope Francis and with all the other churches of the world, each going through different situations, some are struggling, some moving forward. To remind us that Christ is here with us, that we form the body of Christ in the world. The sense of unity which comes through this prayer is very important”.

Corpus Christi and the Year of Faith have a particular relevance in India, where religious intolerance is on the rise: “It’s a joy that we share the good news of Christ with others. We have the right to do it and we continue doing it. While we pray for the people who are intolerant towards the Good News – either because of misinformation, suspicion or any other false propaganda – we continue to share the Joy of the Gospel with our lives, our service and through preaching the Word of God.  While we continue to pray and work with Spirit of Truth and Faith to build the Body of Christ, we also speak up for the right of religious freedom. ”

– asianews

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