FROM THE BISHOP’S DESK – NOVEMBER 2021

1. We proclaim in the Creed our belief in the communion of saints. We are pilgrims on earth while the blessed are those in heaven. The dead are being purified and all together we form one Church. Especially during the month of NOVEMBER, let us encourage our people to pray for the dead, offer Holy Mass for their repose and perform charitable acts in their memory. Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them but also of making their intercession for us effective. Those who visit the cemetery during this month and pray for the dead obtain Plenary Indulgences.

2. Preparation for the forthcoming Synod of Bishops in October 2023 is in full swing in our diocese. My genuine appreciation and gratitude to all those involved in the solemn inauguration we had thon the 24 October at Infant Jesus cathedral. Kindly collaborate with the whole Church in this great endeavor of the Holy Father Pope Francis to revitalize the living and manner of acting of the Church. The Synodal team appointed for the purpose will assist the vicariates and parishes/institutions with the necessary inputs and guidelines. Let us promote communion, participation and mission in our diocese. 2. The Special Collection, taken on MISSION SUNDAY in all the Parishes and Institutions, is to be immediately remitted to the Diocesan Procurator for onward transmission to Rome.

3. All the diocesan priests are obliged to offer ONE mass for the intentions of the Donors of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Rome. Let us fulfill this obligation and record it in the Mass Diary.

4. All the priests of Salem diocese who are in active ministry shall contribute to the ELDERLY CLERGY MAINTENANCE FUND (ECMF) of Salem Diocese by offering 20 Masses, which our Diocesan Procurator will distribute to each one. These Masses can be celebrated also as bination and are to be marked in the Mass Diary. Please respond to the communication of the Diocesan Procurator immediately.

5. Those priests who have pastoral need to binate often are requested to offer those bination Masses, for which no stipend is offered by the people, you may have to inform the Diocesan Procurator in writing from time to time the number of Masses thus celebrated. The stipend of these Masses will be used for the priestly formation of the seminarians of our diocese. Please do cooperate.

6. Gentile Reminder Parish Mass Register. All parish Priests and others in–charge of parishes or Institutions in Salem Diocese are reminded of the new obligation to register in a notebook all the masses received from people in that place, indicating the details of the date of receipt, the donor, the intention, the date of the celebration of that mass and to whom it is given, if it is not celebrated in the place of the receipt. Where the priests of the place are not able to celebrate individually all the Masses, they should not give them to any other priests directly. All extra Masses are to be given to the Diocesan Procurator, together with the stipend, to ensure the individual celebration of the Masses by our priests. Even where only a few Masses are received, please ensure that they are celebrated immediately and enter in the register and update it daily.

7. All the Parish Priests are requested to remit their respective Parish Contributions to the Procure from November 2021 onwards.

8. SALEM DIOCESAN CLERGY ANNUAL RETREAT is arranged this year from November 7th Sunday to 12th Friday (1.00 p.m.) , 2021 at Poondi Matha Retreat Center, Poondi. Please note that we will start our retreat journey on 07th October 2021 Sunday, sharp at 2.30 p.m. from the Bishop's House, Salem. All the priests who are journeying by Bus are expected to be at the Bishop's House before 2.30 p.m. to avoid any delay. Lunch will be provided for those who want, at the Bishop's House Refectory at 12.15 p.m. 07.11.2021 Sunday and it will be precede by the blessing of the Priests' Cemetery.

9. Kindly note the following regarding the Diocesan Clergy Retreat:

a. It is obligatory for all the Diocesan Priests to attend the Diocesan Annual Clergy Retreat. Anyone who is not able to attend the Retreat for valid reason should get prior permission from the Vicar General in writing.

b. Please bring your MASS DIARY to the Diocesan Clergy Retreat to present it to the Bishop for verification and signature. Kindly write in your Mass Diary the date and the number of the Mass Receipts from Procurator and the date of the return of the Exoneration Slip to the Procurator. The Bishop will have to verify these in the Mass Diaries and in the Mass issue Register of the Diocese.

c. Please bring your cassock to be used for the liturgical celebrations.

10. The Next Clergy Monthly Recollection will be on 20.12.2021 Monday. On that Day we shall have the Christmas celebration for the Clergy (both Diocesan and Religious working in our Diocese) and Seminarians of Salem Diocese. Kindly make yourself available on this day.

+ Most Rev. Dr. Arulselvam Rayappan
Bishop of Salem