Bishop’s Message – January 2022

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1. I wish the Clergy, Religious and Lay People of Salem Diocese, a Joyous and a Prosperous New Year 2022. May the Star of the East guide you throughout the New Year in all your pastoral endeavours.

2. THE SPECIAL COLLECTION for African Missions (Pro Afris), taken on the Christmas Day 2020 in all the parishes is to be remitted to the Diocesan Procurator early so that he may forward the collection to Rome.

3. The Day of Consecrated Life will be celebrated in Salem Diocese on Sunday, 06.02.2022 at Cluny School, Salem. 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.

4. The Clergy Monthly Recollection in January will be at the Bishop’s House on Monday, 03.01.2022 with the following schedule:

09.30 a.m. – Adoration and Confession
10.30 a.m. – Talk on Synod
11.30 a.m. – Coffee
11.45 a.m. – Discussion on Synod
12.30 p.m. – Bishop Speaks
01.00 p.m. – Lunch and Departure.

5. The Clergy monthly Recollection for February 2022 will be held at the Vicariates. I request the Vicar Forane to call a meeting with the priests to discuss on the particular laws of our diocese and for the pastoral activities in the Vicariates for the whole year and especially for the Lent 2022

6. Let us remember that 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 in-charge of parishes in Salem diocese are obliged to attend the monthly recollection without fail on the First Monday morning, or other days indicated, from 9.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. Fathers are most welcome to come to the Bishop’s House on previous evening and for the night stay. Staying overnight at the Bishop’s House and celebrating Mass in the morning together will enhance our being together as one family. Anyone who is not able to attend the Clergy Monthly Recollection for unavoidable reasons is expected to inform Bishop or V.G.

7. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity for the year 2022 is fixed from January 18 to January 25, 2022 with the following theme: we saw the star in the East, and we come to worship him. (Mt 2:2).

8. A gentle reminder that 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 a member 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 day near to it. This is a good occasion for organizing common prayers for the world peace. The Message of the Pope for the 55th World Day of Peace, on the theme of: Education, work and dialogue between generations: tools for building lasting peace 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 arrange to celebrate md;gpakhjk; in a meaningful way. This is a good occasion to start new Anbiams and to revitalize the existing ones.

11. Marriage Preparation Course is obligatory to all Catholic Youth before their marriage. All parish priests are 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 of Marriage Preparation Course does not dispense with this immediate preparation.

12. The list of Special Collections for 2022 in Salem Diocese is given below. Kindly mark the dates of these Collections in your parish calendar.

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.

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.

15. Masses will be given from the Procurator’s Office only to those who return the Exoneration slips of previously received Mass Intentions. Please attach the Mass Exoneration slip while applying for new Mass set.

16. Mrs. Hilda, aged 75, elder sister of Fr. A. Charles, parish priest of Thirumanur, passed away on 22.11.2021. Her funeral was held on 23.11.2021 at Infant Jesus Cemetery, Arisipalayam, Salem. The diocese of Salem offers its heartfelt condolences and prayers to Fr. A. Charles and his family.

17. Mrs. Francis Mary, aged 69, sister-in-law of Fr. A. Peter Francis, parish priest of Shevapet, passed away on 01.12.2021. Her funeral was held on the same day. The diocese of Salem offers its heartfelt condolences and prayers to Fr. A. Peter Francis and his family.

+ Most Rev. Dr. Arulselvam Rayappan
Bishop of Salem