Bishop’s Message – January 2023

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1. I wish the Clergy, Religious and Lay People of Salem Diocese, a BLESSED AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR 2023. May the Almighty be with you and bless you throughout the New Year in all your pastoral endeavours.

2. THE SPECIAL COLLECTION for African Missions (Pro Afris), taken on the Christmas Day 2022 in all the Parishes is to be remitted to the Diocesan Procurator at the earliest so that he may forward the collection to Rome.

3. It is our joy and solidarity to honour the priests who are celebrating their Silver, Golden Jubilees. Hence, the Silver Jubilarians who are celebrating their Silver Jubilee this year will be honoured on 09.01.2023 during our Clergy Monthly Recollection. Kindly come with your cassock for the Eucharistic Celebration. The day’s programme will be as follows:

09.30 a.m. – Adoration and Confession
10.30 a.m. – Conference I
11.30 a.m. – Bishop Speaks
11.45 a.m. – Coffee Break
12.00 p.m. – Mass with Silver Jubilarians
01.00 p.m. – Lunch and Departure

4. The Clergy Monthly Recollection for February 2023 will be held at the Vicariate level. The Vicars Forane are requested to convene a meeting with the Priests of their respective vicariates and
plan for the pastoral activities in the Vicariates for the whole year and especially for the Lent 2023.

5. The Day of Consecrated Life will be celebrated in Salem Diocese on Sunday, 05.02.2023 at Holy Cross Matriculation School. All the members of various Religious Institutes working in Salem Diocese are invited. The Diocesan Clergy are welcome to the function to wish the Religious on their day.

6. The Clergy Monthly Recollection is obligatory and useful spiritual exercise for all the Priests of the Diocese. All the Diocesan Priests and the Religious Priests who render their services in our Diocesan Parishes are obliged to attend the monthly recollection without fail on the First Monday of every month or other days indicated from 9.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. Fathers who wish to come to the Bishop’s House on previous evening are most welcome for the night stay. Staying overnight at the Bishop’s House and celebrating Mass in the morning together will enrich our fraternity and unity as one family. Anyone who is not able to attend the Clergy Monthly Recollection for unavoidable reasons is expected to inform the Bishop or Vicar General beforehand.

7. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity for the year 2023 is fixed from January 18 to January 25, 2023

8. The Finance Committee is obligatory for all Parishes and Diocesan Educational and other Institutions run by the Diocese. May I remind all the Parish Priests and Heads of Diocesan Institutions to allow, encourage and consult the Finance Committee in all the acts of the financial administration of the Parish / Institution. All the accounts sent to the Diocese from the Parishes and the Institutions should be co-signed by two members of the Finance Committee.

9. THE WORLD DAY OF PEACE is commemorated on 1 January every year. It can be also celebrated on any convenient the theme is from Isaiah 1:17, “Do good; seek justice.” The entire scriptural passage for the theme is Isaiah 1:12-18, lamenting a lack of justice among the People of God. Yet, it also promises redemption by encouraging acts of justice a day near to it. This is a good occasion for organizing common prayers for the world peace. The Message of the Pope for the 56 World Day of Peace, on the theme of: “No one can be saved alone” is given at the end of this Newsletter. Please read the text and bring the message of the Holy Father to the knowledge and benefit of our people.

10. Month of January is to be celebrated in Tamilnadu as ANBIYAM MONTH. Kindly take every effort to celebrate in a meaningful way. This is a good occasion to start new Anbiams and to revitalize the existing ones.

11. For the kind attention of the Parish Priests: The Marriage Preparation Course is obligatory to all Catholic Youth before their marriage. All the Parish Priests are requested to insist on it before writing of the Banns for Marriage. An immediate Preparation before the celebration of Marriage is the duty of the Parish Priests. The attending at Marriage Preparation Course does not dispense with this immediate preparation. Kindly make note and make known to the youth that the Marriage Preparation
Course will be valid for five years.

12. The list of Special Collections for 2023 in Salem Diocese is given below. Kindly mark the dates of these Collections in your Parish calendar and inform the faithful about them and encourage them to
contribute their mite to each collection accordingly.

13. The process of obtaining Permit for Mass Wine is becoming more difficult in the recent past. Hence, use the Mass Wine sparingly. All permit holders, Parishes and Religious houses, institutes, are asked to keep a register of wine stock to be checked by the concerned officials of the Government at any time. From January 2023 onwards the Sacramental Wine will be served at the cost of Rs.150/- a bottle.

14. The Stipend for High Mass is Rs.100/- only. Mass intentions should be the same all over the Diocese and any higher amount than Rs. 100/- should not be collected for Mass Intentions anywhere in
our diocese, whether be it a shrine or pilgrimage center.

+ 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