FROM THE BISHOP’S DESK – OCTOBER 2021

1. The Month of October is dedicated to Our Lady of Holy Rosary. Let us revitalize Family Rosary Devotion during this month. Preaching and insisting on Family Rosary are very important for the wellbeing of the Christian Families. You may make use of a beautiful little book containing 39 chapters written by Rev. Fr. D. Alphonse to instruct the faithful. I have rendered this book titled ‘Avar Peyar Maria’ in audio. Kindly make use of it.

2. During this month a Plenary Indulgence may be gained by those reciting five decades of the Rosary in a Church, as a Family at home, as a religious community, or as a pious fraternity, or in general whenever several persons have gathered together for a good purpose.

3. MISSION SUNDAY is celebrated this year on 24.10.2021. Let us make special efforts to celebrate this day meaningfully. Each parish can fix its own convenient day for the celebration of Mission Sunday. A SPECIAL COLLECTION is to be taken on MISSION SUNDAY in all the Parishes and Institutions. Special fund raising activities are to be organized in the Parishes and Institutions to contribute our might for the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Rome. All collections are to be immediately remitted to the Diocesan Procurator for onward transmission to Rome.

4. May I kindly remind you to remit the Bible Sunday Collections (September 2021) to Fr. Benjamin Sandanaraj, Secretary of the Bible Commission early and help him to settle accounts with the Tamil Nadu Regional Bible Commission.

5. Seminarians Fund for Salem Diocese is constituted to meet the expenses of the Formation of Future Priests of our Diocese, including their stay in Minor Seminary, College studies and Major Seminary. I appeal to all the Clergy, Religious and Lay Faithful of Salem Diocese to contribute regularly and generously for the Salem Diocesan Seminarians' Fund and participate in the formation of priests for our diocese. It is a good practice that diocesan priests themselves from out of their meagre savings contribute regularly their might for this noble cause.

6. Bination Mass Offerings to the Seminarians' Fund: All Priests who binate Masses for pastoral needs may remit the offering amount to the Diocesan Procurator for the Seminarians’ Fund of our Diocese. Those priests who do not receive any offering from the people for a binated Mass, may offer Masses for the intentions of Ad Intentionem Dantis of the Diocese and inform the Diocesan Procurator from time to time in writing the number of Masses offered, so that the stipend for those Masses may be credited to the Diocesan Seminarians' Fund. Kindly follow this.

7. Surplus Mass Intentions. Extra Mass intentions received in the Parishes should be promptly forwarded to the Diocesan Procurator with the attached Stipends together with the list of the donors for redistribution. This will ensure that Mass intentions received from the people are duly celebrated with in the year.

8. Salem Diocesan Clergy Annual Retreat is arranged this year from November 07 Sunday to 12 Friday 2021 at Poondi Madha Retreat Centre. Please do mark on your diaries these dates to attend the retreat without fail.

9. Holy Father's message for Mission Sunday 2021 is given at the end of this Newsletter. Kindly read it and share the message with our people to rekindle their missionary spirit.

10. The Synod of Bishops: We are all aware that Pope Francis will open, this October, a two-year synodal journey which will unfold itself in three phases – diocesan, continental and universal of consultations and prayerful discernment, culminating with the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2023 in Rome. The theme of the 2023 Synod is, 'For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.' This synodal journey will commence both in the Vatican and in the Local Churches. The official Inauguration of the Synod will be presided over by the Holy Father in Vatican, on October 9-10, 2021, with a time for reflection, prayer and celebration of the Eucharist. Thereafter the local diocesan bishops will open the synodal process in their respective diocese at a convenient date. Let us prepare for the synod and pray for its success.

+ Most Rev. Dr. Arulselvam Rayappan
Bishop of Salem