Bishop’s Message – May 2023

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1. WORKERS’ DAY: May 1 is celebrated as Worker’s Day all over the World. The Pastoral Care of all types of Workers, especially the care of the unorganized and domestic workers is a serious concern for us all, as we see many instances of violation of human dignity, human rights and spiritual values in our own days. Let us all creatively design new methods in every parish/institution for the pastoral care of these vulnerable people. Let us make every effort to recognize and value their contributions to the Church. I entreat all the parish priests and the heads of institutions to take serious efforts to dignify our domestic workers in our premises.

2. Month of May is dedicated to the Popular Devotion to our Blessed Virgin Mary. The Parish Priests are requested to encourage different forms of Marian Devotion in the Parishes. Kindly take every effort to develop and inculcate special devotion to Mother Mary by praying personal and family Rosaries.

3. VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL(VBS) is a very useful Programme to bring the Word of God close to our Children. I exhort all Parish Priests to organize VBS during the summer holidays in your parishes. Kindly, Contact Fr. A. Joseph Lazer, the Secretary, Bible Commission, Salem for your assistance in this regard.

4. Celebration of Confirmation may be arranged in the parishes during May 2023, the Parish Priests are asked to book your dates early with the Bishop.

5. For Reflection and Action about Temporal Goods of the Parish / Institution:

a. The temporal goods of the parish are administered by the Parish Priest or by the Head of the Institution, as the case may be, under the supervision of the Bishop

b. All legal transactions with regard to the temporal goods of the Parish / Institution shall be done in concurrence with the Diocesan Financial Administrator.

c. All the valuable documents concerning the temporal goods of the Parish/ Institution should be submitted in original to the office of the Diocesan Financial Administrator for safe custody and the copies of the same should be preserved in the parish archives.

d. The book of Inventory is to be updated and maintained by the Parish Priest / Head of the Institution regularly. The Secretary of the Parish Finance Committee can help the parish priest in updating the Inventory.

e. No priest is permitted to take any loan for Parish / Institution from any person or financial institution. No priest is permitted to lend money to any one from the funds of the Parish / Institution without prior written permission of the Bishop.

f. No priest is permitted to invest personal money by way of advance or loan for the works of the Parish / Institution without the prior written permission of the Bishop. The amount thus invested without permission will be treated as a gift by the priest to the Parish / Institution.

6. Instructions to the priests on Transfer in Salem Diocese please take note of the following:

a. All Parish Priests and Priests in charge of diocesan Institutions, who are on transfer, please invite the Incoming Priest and your Vicar Forane to your place earlier to study and scrutinize the official Records, Accounts and Inventory of the Parish or Institution and clear all doubts well in advance. Do not wait for the last moment.

b. The Final Statement of Accounts before the transfer has to be signed by the members of the Parish or Institution Finance Committee, before it is signed by the Vicar Forane.

c. The handing over of the charges should take place in the presence of the Vicar Forane who will sign the Record of Accounts in the presence of both the out-going and the incoming priests.

d. The fact of the handing over and taking charge of the Parish / Institution should be recorded in the Chronicle Register of the Parish or Institution and signed by both priests concerned and the Vicar Forane.

e. The Vicar Forane is requested to verify the state of affairs of the Parish or Institution in every detail at the time of the handing over of the charges. The Vicar Forane, who signed the registers, will be personally responsible to settle any discrepancy that surface later.

f. When the Vicar Forane is on transfer and for the transfer of the Secretaries of Diocesan Commissions, the Vicar General will do all that is to be done by the Vicar Forane at the moment of transfer. Please fix the time with him early.

g. No large payment or expenditure is to be done after the announcement of the transfer.

h. No one is to leave a debit balance or any other form of loan or liabilities for the Parish or Institution at the moment of transfer, as no one can spend if there is no credit.

i. As you move out of the Parish / Institution kindly prepare a Statement about the Parish / Institution indicating all the activities, pending works and balances of various accounts including deposits and liabilities if any. Please have it signed by the V.F. and by the incoming priest and send one copy of it to the Bishop for files. This provision is new. Please cooperate.

j. When the transfer of the President or Secretary of a Society / Trust (like SSSS, SDS, NSSS or LRRC) takes place, the handing over of the charges will be done during the meeting of the members of the Governing Body of the concerned Society.

7. After a priest is transferred from a parish / institution and goes to a new office, it is not proper for him to interfere in any way with the affairs of the previous parish / institution. This will jeopardize the incoming priest in his administration. Let us all observe it.

8. Mr. S. Selvanathan aged 68, the elder brother of Fr. S. Emmanuel, the Regional Secretary for the Liturgical Commission on 2 April,2023. His funeral was held on 3 April, 2023 at Naranampalayam Pudur Parish. The diocese of Salem expresses its heartfelt and prayerful condolences to Fr. S. Emmanuel and his family members. May his soul rest in peace!

+ Most Rev. Dr. Arulselvam Rayappan
Bishop of Salem


JULY 2022

1.THE FEAST OF ST. MARY MAGDALANE will be celebrated at Mathiampatti on 22.07.2022 with usual programmes. Priests are requested to be available for confessions and blessing of the pilgrims on the Feast Day and the day before.

2. SPECIAL COLLECTION FOR THE PETER’S PENCE is to be taken on the Second Sunday (10.07.2022) in all the parishes of Salem Diocese. Kindly make known to the people about this collection and encourage them to contribute their mite to this noble cause. Parish Priests are requested to remit this special collection to the Diocesan Procurator as early as possible so as to help him for the onward transmission of the amount to Rome.

3. THE 56 WORLD COMMUNICATION DAY is celebrated in our Diocese on 24.07.2022 Fourth Sunday of this month. Special collection is to be taken in all the parishes in our diocese for the Communication Activities in Tamil Nadu Church. The Parish Priests are invited to announce to the people the purpose of this collection and motivate them to contribute generously. Please do make this celebration more meaningful and impart in the minds of the faithful the right use of the Mass Communication for the spread of the Word of God. The collection is to be sent to the Director of Salem Diocesan Commission for Social Communication.

4. THE CLERGY MONTHLY RECOLLECTION IN THE MONTH OF JULY, 2022 will be held at the Vicariate Level. The Vicars Forane are requested to arrange for the meetings at their convenience for the conduct of the meeting. Rs.1,00,000/- is allotted to each vicariate per year in the diocesan budget for Common Pastoral programmes at the vicariate level. Hence, kindly plan how to effectively utilize this allotted fund for common activities at the vicariate level for the benefit of the whole vicariate.

5. PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL AND PARISH FINANCE COUNCIL: As I informed you earlier, I entreat all the Parish Priests to pay special attention to form Parish Pastoral Council and Parish Finance Council in all the parishes. They are mandatory; kindly do constitute them at the earliest in all the parishes. The Finance Council is to be constituted in all the parishes and institutions run by the Salem Diocese. All your accounts which are sent to the procure should be duly endorsed with the signature of the Finance Council Secretary. It is urgent, act immediately

6. The Next Clergy Monthly Recollection will be held on 04.08.2022 (Thursday) at Bishop’s House, Salem. The details of the programme will be communicated later.

+ Most Rev. Dr. Arulselvam Rayappan
Bishop of Salem