Vol.14 4th June 2011 No 6
he always lives to make intercession” for “those who draw near to God through him”
As “high priest of the good things to come” he is the centre and the principal actor of the
liturgy that honours the Father in heaven.
Immediately following this feast we have another important one - The feast of The
Pentecost on the 12 when as promised Jesus sends us the Helper or the Advocate - the
Holy Sprit which sanctifies us.
On the 13 we celebrate the feast of St. Anthony of Padua who was a witness to both
the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and a great lover of our Lady. It was on this
feast day, very popular in Portugal, that Our Lady of Fatima chose to appear to the
children of Fatima a second time, in 1917
The Holy Trinity on the 19 when we celebrate the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity
which is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life. God alone can
The Strength of Prayer in
make it known to us by revealing Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is
overcoming Evil.......................... 3
one. We do not confess three gods, but one God is three persons. The divine persons do
Mission of Lay faithful.................... 4
not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire.
WAF celebrates Fatima Day............. 5
“The Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, the Father and the
On the Way to the Centennial.......... 8
Son that which the Holy Spirit is i.e. by nature one God. In the words of the Fourth
WAF Celebrates Divine Mercy
Lateran Council (1215), “Each of the persons is that supreme reality, viz, the divine
substance, essence or nature. The Vatican Council II called on the Church to be a
The last word on evil is the
community as the Trinity is community. The Church realized this vision through small
mercy of God............................... 10
Christian communities, which then combine into large units to form a communion of
The greatest promoter of Divine
Mercy Pope J. Paul II beautified.. 12
Christianity's contribution to Indian
The feast of another great Saint - John the Baptist follows on the 24 of June.
Traditionally some people in Goa jump in the well to imitate John the Baptist who
jumped for joy in the womb of St. Elizabeth at the greeting of Mary the Mother of God.
The church does not encourage this tradition of jumping in the well. We could celebrate
THE BLESSED MONTH
this day in prayerful meditation and may be even by visiting relatives and friends
especially those we have not visited for a long time.
By Francis S. Barreto
There are altogether three feasts in the Church which owe their origin to direct
interventions of Jesus. The Feast of Corpus Christi -The Body and Blood of Jesus
The month of June is indeed blessed with so many important feasts such as Ascension of
(26 )) falls in this category. To manifest his desire for the feast of Corpus Christi, now
Our Lord (5 ), Pentecost (12 ), St Anthony of Padua (13 Second Apparition of Our
called Body and Blood of Jesus, the messenger chosen by Jesus was a Belgian nun,
Lady of Fatima (13 ), Holy Trinity (19 ), Nativity of St. John the Baptist (24 ), Corpus
Blessed Juliana who lived in the XII century. The feast was celebrated for the first time
Christi (26 ), Our Lady of Perpetual Help (27 ), Sts Peter & Paul (29 ).
in Belgium in 1244 and two years later (1246) it was extended to the whole Church by
Pope Urban IV. It was for this feast that St, Thomas Aquinas composed the beautiful
We begin the large chain of feasts, with the feast of Ascension of Our Lord on the 5
hymns some of which we still sing in the Church for Eucharustic Benediction and
when we celebrate the return of Jesus to his Heavenly Father 40 days after his glorious
Processions - Tantum Ergo, O Salutaris, Adore Te etc.
resurrection. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says in its article 662 “And I, when I
am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself”. The lifting up of Jesus on the
On the 27 we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The feast brings
cross signifies and announces his lifting up by his Ascension into Heaven; and indeed
before our eyes the iconic picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help with St. Michael the
begins it. Jesus Christ, the one priest of the new and eternal Covenant, “entered, not into
Archangel at the left carrying the spear and sponge and St. Gabriel to the right carrying
a sanctuary made by human hands….but into heaven itself, now to appear in the
the Cross and child Jesus is in the arms of Mary with His sandal falling from his foot. It is
presence of God on our behalf.” There Christ permanently exercises his priesthood, for
Contd on Pg.6
The First Saturdays, 4th June 2011_____________________________2
Benedict XVI during the Angelus in St Peter's Square
MISSION OF LAY FAITHFUL
THE STRENGTH OF PRAYER IN OVERCOMING EVIL
By Annabelle Mendonca
Taken from L'osservatore Romano dated 6th April 2011
The Christian faithful accept the call of God to be Disciples of Christ and become
What is the profound reason for this joy? Today's Gospel in which Jesus heals a man
part of the community of believers called the Church which is the People of God, Body
blind from birth tells us. The question which the Lord Jesus asks the blind man is the
of Christ and Temple of the Holy Spirit. In the People of God, there are 3 main
high point of the story: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (Jn 9:35). The man
vocations: some are called to Ministerial Priesthood (they participate in the priesthood
recognizes the sign worked by Jesus and he passes from the light of his eyes to the light
of Christ through the Sacrament of Orders towards a ministry of service); some are
of faith: “Lord I believe!”
called to Consecrated Life (through the profession of Evangelical Counsels and a life of
community); and many are called to be Lay Faithful (to be Witnesses of Christ in the
It should be noted that as a simple and sincere persons he gradually completes the
world to build a New Society).
journey of faith. In the beginning he thinks of Jesus as a “man” among others, then he
As disciples of Jesus Christ and members of the Church, Lay Faithful are called to
considers him a “prophet” and finally his eyes are opened and he proclaims him “Lord”.
seek the kingdom of God by engaging themselves in the temporal affairs and ordering
In opposition to the faith of the healed blind man is the hardening of the hearts of the
them according to the plan of God. (LG 31)
Pharisees who do not want to accept the miracle because they refuse to receive Jesus as
Through the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation & Eucharist), the Lay
the Messiah. Instead the crowd pauses to discuss the event and continues to be distant
Faithful participate in the threefold mission of Jesus Christ: Prophet, Priest, and Pastor.
and indifferent. Even the blind man's parents are overcome by the fear of what others
i) Prophetic Mission: The Lay Faithful have the ability and responsibility to
accept and proclaim the Gospel; and to announce the Good News and denounce evil by
And what attitude to Jesus should we adopt? Because of Adam's sin we too are “blind”
word and deed. (LG 35)
but in the baptismal font we are illumined by the grace of Christ. Sin wounded humanity
ii) Priestly Mission: The Lay Faithful offer themselves to God through daily
and destined it to the darkness of death, but the newness of life shines out in Christ, as
life activities (LG 34)
well as the destination to which we are called. In him, reinvigorated by the Holy Sprit,
iii) Pastoral Mission: The Lay Faithful strive to build a society of justice,
we receive the strength to defeat evil and to do good.
charity, devoid of evil by the example of their Christian life based on Gospel values.
In fact the Christian life is a continuous conformation to Christ, image of the new man,
Hence with the Ministerial Priesthood and Consecrated Religious, the Lay Faithful
in order to reach full communion with God. The Lord Jesus is the “light of the World”
share the dignity of equality as Disciples of Christ because all have received the
(JN 8:12), because in him shines “the knowledge of the glory of God” (2 Cor 4:6) that
Sacraments of Initiation, all partake in the same Mission of Christ, all are members of
continues in the complex plot of the story to reveal the meaning of human existence.
the same Church of Christ, all are striving to establish the kingdom of God, and all are
pilgrims journeying towards the same goal. The Lay Faithful are marked by their
In the rite of Baptism, the presentation of the candle lit from the large paschal candle, a
Secular Character. The world is the ordinary place and means to exercise their vocation
symbol of the Risen Christ, is a sign that helps us to understand what happens in the
and mission. They are in the world without being of the world.
Sacrament. When our lives are enlightened by the mystery of Christ, we experience the
i) Salt of the Earth (MT 5:13): They are called to be imbibed with Values,
joy of being liberated from all that threatens the full realization.
Principles, and Precepts.
ii) Light of the World (Mt 5:14-16): They are called to be a Witness,
In these days which prepare us for Easter let us rekindle within us the gift received in
Example/Model in the world.
baptism, that flame which sometimes risk being extinguished. Let us entrust our Lenten
iii) Leaven in the Society (MT 13: 33): They are called to a life of Action in
journey to the Virgin Mary. Mother of the Church so that all may encounter Christ,
order to achieve and accomplish the building of the New Society.
Saviour of the world.
The Lay Faithful are called to a life of Holiness in and through the world by their
involvement in temporal affairs and participation in daily activities as an occasion to
I offer a warm welcome to all the English-speaking visitors present for this Angelus
live the life of God. Holiness means embracing the beatitudes, listening to Word of God
prayer. I especially greet the students from the Oratory Preparatory School. Woodcote,
and conscious participation in the liturgy and sacraments, personal, family and
and a group of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians studying in Rome. In today's
community prayer, hunger and thirst for justice, and a life of love and charity.
Gospel Jesus, the light of the world, gives sight to the man born blind. May the light of
There are various areas and ways in which the Lay Faithful can participate and
Christ, received in Baptism, always guide us through this life to the splendour of divine
collaborate in the pastoral life of the Church/Parish.
glory. Upon you and your families I invoke God's Blessing of joy and peace! I wish
--- In the celebration of the Sacraments i.e. Mass, Marriage, Baptism: by giving
everyone a nice Sunday.
catechesis, singing in the choir, being animators, doing readings (lectors), as
extraordinary ministers for distribution of communion. . .
Contd on Pg.7
The First Saturdays, 4th June 2011______________________________3
The First Saturdays, 4th June 2011______________________________4
WORLD APOSTOLATE OF FATIMA CELEBRATES
e a c h w o r d c o m i n g
straight from her heart.
By Francis S Barreto
The final talk of the day
F a t i m a D a y - 9 4
“Pope John Paul II - The
Anniversary of the First
Pope of Fatima” was
Apparition of Fatima
delivered by Francis S.
was celebrated with great
Barreto. It was time for
devotion and pomp at
spending an hour with
Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lord in the Blessed
Shrine Don Bosco's
Sacrament. Rev Fr. Bento
Panjim, on 13 May
D'Souza exposed the Blessed Sacrament at 4.30pm and the Holy Hour was led by
Raynor Viegas. At 5.30pm the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary were led by Erasmo
The celebration began
with an introduction by
The Solemn Mass began at 6pm after Most Rev Alwyn Barreto the Bishop of
the Chairman Francis S. Barreto at 10.00am highlighting the importance of the day.
Sindhudurg and other celebrants namely Rev. Fr. Avinash Rebelo Spiritual Advisor,
Prior to that, opening prayers were recited by the Secretary Julius Fernandes and Joyful
Rev. Fr. Peter da Gama, Rev. Fr. Miranda, Rev. Fr. Domnic Savio, Rev. Fr. Bento
Mysteries of the Rosary were led by Asst. Treasurer Celine Caldeira. The first talk of the
D'Souza, Rev. Fr. Clive and Rev. Fr. Alex were welcomed by the Chairman Francis S.
day “Message of Fatima and The World Apostolate of Fatima” was delivered by Francis
Barreto with bouquets of flowers.
S. Barreto, highlighting the importance and urgency of the Message of Fatima. Dr.
Celcio Dias Co-Ordinator was next with his talk on the First Saturdays. Consecration
After the Mass candle-lit procession followed on the grounds of Don Bosco with the
was the next talk by Julius Fernandes.
Statue of Our Lady beautifully decorated and mounted on a jeep. At the end of the
procession Rev. Fr. Clive led the gathering into an Act of Consecration to The Sacred
At 11.40am the Luminous Mysteries were led by Anabelle Mendonca. Vice Chairman
Heart of Jesus and The Immaculate Heart of Mary, at the end of which the entire
Anthony Viegas then followed with his talk on WAF Pledge and Membership. It was the
gathering came in Q to venerate the Statue of Our Lady.
turn of Dr. Celcio Dias, once again, to talk on an interesting topic Don Bosco and Our
Lady. Francis Barreto spoke on Blessed Joseph Vaz particularly explaining to the
Daphne Sequeira, Solano and Cheryl Cardoz, Deolinda Fernandes and Anthony Viegas
gathering the various things that you find on his picture. The morning session came to an
kept the gathering fully interested in the service with their enchanting voices and music
end with the recitation of the Angelus led by a young girl and preceded by a brief talk on
throughout the day. We can only say “Thank you, God bless you”.
the Angelus by Francis S. Barreto, who highlighted the importance of reviving the
traditional devotion of the Angelus. The grace before meal was led by Anabelle
Our sincere thanks to Rev Fr. Romulo Noronha and all the Salesian Priests of Don
Bosco's Panjim for their help and cooperation. We also thank William and Beulah and
all the Don Bosco Past Pupils led by Eddie for their help and cooperation. We thank “All
Everyone disbursed for lunch which was taken in a spirit of fellowship.
Contd from Pg.2
The afternoon session at 1.50pm began with
believed that child Jesus had a vision in which He saw the instruments of his suffering
sharing/testimonies when members testified
and crucifixion in the hands of the archangels and frightened Jesus runs into the arms of
what Our Lord and his Blessed Mother has done
His mother for comfort. In this age of going away from Church and Our Lady, this
for them. The first talk of the afternoon session
devotion of our Lady of Perpetual Help teaches us that if Jesus the son of God found
was by Maria Purificacao Almeida on Divine
comfort in the arms of his mother how much more should we run to her for her comfort
Mercy. 3'Oclock prayer and Chaplet of Mercy
and assistance especially in times of peril and temptations.
was led by Ann Mendonca at 3.00pm. A 20-
minutes tea break then followed. At 3.30pm
On the 29 we celebrate the Feast of the two solid pillars of the Church - Sts Peter &
Sacramenta D'Mello led the gathering into the
Paul - the apostles. Jesus said to Peter “You are the rock upon which I will build my
Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. Celine
Church”. Our popes are the successors of Peter the First pope. St. Paul the great
Caldeira then spoke about Rosary in her life,
persecutor of Christians became one of the greatest evangelizers of the Church.
The First Saturdays, 4th June 2011______________________________5
The First Saturdays, 4th June 2011______________________________6
MEMORIES FROM A PILGRIMAGE TO FATIMA
ON THE WAY TO THE CENTENNIAL
Joy and Gratitude
Taken from Fátima Luz e Paz Dated 13/02/2011
Taken from Fátima Luz e Paz Dated 13/02/2011
Written by Fr. Virgilio Antunes, Rector
I am the millionth humble pilgrim who left for Fatima, on September 10,
2010 from my City of Massafra (TA), Puglia, Italy with my spouse Carmela, my
“In seven years you will return here to celebrate the centenary of the first visit made by
beloved daughter Olga and a group of pilgrims from the Diocese of Castellaneta/TA.
the Lady 'come from heaven' (…) May the seven years which separate us from the
There I stopped in adoring and silent prayer at the Little Chapel of Apparitions,
centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy of the triumph of the
meditating on that statue and reflecting on the mystery of human life, its birth and
Immaculate Heart of Mary , to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity”. So spoke Pope
development in an atmosphere of affection, understanding, acceptance and love.
Benedict XVI during his pilgrimage to Fatima last May. To fulfill the Pope's wish, we
In Fatima one breathes the perfume of the Blessed Mother, who gives us Jesus,
began, at the beginning of Advent 2010, a period of seven years of celebrations, all the
who leads us to Jesus, Who teaches us that our life is called to be a great Annunciation.
way to 2017, the Jubilee Year. During them, we will walk the itinerary of the Apparitions
Our entire pilgrimage was a marvelous experience, for it was faced with the proper
of the Angel of Peace and those of Our Lady, under the motto: “My Immaculate Heart
Spirit of humility and fraternity.
will lead you to God”.
At Fatima the Virgin Mary manifested sadness; at Syracuse She weeps for days; at
other places She sheds tears of blood and always asks for penance, conversion and
During the first year, the one we are in, we chose, as the event of the history of Fatima,
prayer. The “Civilization of Love”, fervently hoped for by Pope Paul VI, is late in
the three Apparitions of the Angel to the little Shepherds, in Spring, Summer and Fall of
coming. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina called the Holy Rosary the “Weapon” against all the
1916. As preparation for the later meetings with Our Lady, the Angel invited them to
attacks of the Evil One. His spiritual testament was simply this: “Love and make Our
adore God, Most Holy Trinity. He taught them some prayers, which they used to repeat
Lady loved; pray and make others pray the Rosary”.
constantly: My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love you; Most Holy Trinity, Father,
At the end of this pilgrimage, it is true that our feet walk away from your gates, O
Son and Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly… He invited them to prostrate themselves
FATIMA, but our hearts depart full of what we longed for: MARY
before the Blessed Sacrament and awoke in their hearts an immense love for God and
This meeting has left inside us a mark that nobody can ever erase. We rejoice,
neighbor, specially poor sinners.
knowing that we will never separate ourselves from Mary: She is and always will be
with us; with Her we will always stay.
The entire pastoral ministry of the Shrine of Fatima and of the organizers of pilgrimages
I end these reflections of mine with fear and trembling, in the words of St. Paul,
ought to, this year, be focused on awakening, in pilgrims, the attitude of adoration of
entrusting myself to Most Holy Mary, the Virgin of FATIMA, asking Her to look after
God. To recall the Apparitions of the Angel, his words and gestures, the prayers he
our families, after the world of work, after those who have strayed away from their
taught and the acceptance they had in the hearts of the Little Shepherds will constitute a
school of adoration for everybody. To that end, the Shrine has prepared the Itinerary of
Contd from Pg.4
the Pilgrim, which the Shrine invites everyone to walk through this year. It starts at the
--- In the Spiritual Activities: Help in organizing/conducting or attending retreats, Holy
shrine itself, continues through the Way of the Little Shepherds up to Loca do Cabeço
hours , prayer services in the church/chapel or at the graves or homes of deceased . . .
(Hilltop Grotto), and Poço do Arneiro (Arneiro's well), the sites of the Apparitions of
--- In the Formation Programs: supporting and encouraging people to join in seminars,
the Angel and ends up at the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament , in the Complex of Most
talks, attend Bible/Theology courses in and outside the Parish. . .
Holy Trinity Church. A leaflet, available in six languages, will be the guide for the entire
--- In the Pastoral Activities: by getting involved in the Apostolate, become members of
course and for the different activities.
PAT, CAT, PPC, SHC, Associations/Movements, . . . and using their talents and gifts
from God to tackle massive social needs. The Lay Faithful are called upon to work with
The Messenger of God invites us to adore God; Mary walks with us on this as well as on
competence, honesty and a Christian spirit in order to establish God’s Kingdom, to
all the itineraries of our lives; She Herself teaches us how to adore and She Herself
reach out to others and help one another grow in holiness. Hence all Lay Faithful
adores with us Her Son Jesus Christ.
who must live out their vocation in a secular context – where they must constantly
struggle against values and attractions of the world – can look to Mary, their model, as
We wish that in Fatima, or in any part of the world
the best exemplar of a Christian’s total openness to God’s will and plan. Mary lived her
where the Message has arrived, this year may
life in the world, as a spouse and mother, yet not one of her values was of the world. She
constitute a school of adoration of God, the school
is the paragon of the lay vocation, being the first and the greatest lay collaborator of the
of Mary, in response to the invitation of the Angel
Redeemer and so truly the model. She was completely oriented towards and governed
of Peace. This is the great contribution Our Lady of
by the will of God. From her example we the Lay Faithful today, can draw inspiration
Fatima offers to the Church for the new
for our own lives. Let us entrust our lives to Mary and commit to bear witness to Christ
evangelization of the world.
in all circumstances and to animate the world with the spirit of Christianity.
May our Blessed Mother bless our efforts and help us achieve our goal.
The First Saturdays, 4th June 2011_____________________________7
The First Saturdays, 4th June 2011______________________________8
WAF CELEBRATES DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY
The pope to participants in the Course on the Internal Forum organized by
By Francis S Barreto
the Apostolic Penitentiary
The World Apostolate of Fatima, is
THE LAST WORD ON EVIL IS THE MERCY OF GOD
perhaps the only recognized
Taken from L'osservatore Romano dated 30th March 2011
Association with promotion of
Divine Mercy Devotion in their
On Friday, 25 March, on the last day of the 22 Annual Course on the Internal
statutes. For this reason WAF
Forum, organized by the Apostolic Penitentiary, which began on 21 March, the
members would normally spread
themselves in their own parishes to
Holy Father spoke to the participants in the Vatican's Hall of Blessings.
spread this Devotion and the
Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli, major Penitentiary, who presided at the course,
celebration of the feast. This year, a
gave a detailed update on the penitential discipline, on the administration of the
decision was taken to have our own
sacrament of Penance and on the specific functions of the Tribunal. Reports
celebration in our normal place of
were given, among others, by Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, OFM conv., Regent of
meetings i.e. Institute Nossa
the Penitentiary, by Bishop Fuan Ignacia Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru and by
Senhora de Piedade, Panjim.
Fr. Fán Ďačok, SF, respectively canonist and theologian of the Tribunal. The
following is a translation of the Pope's Address, which was given in Italian.
At 2.30pm Chairman Francis S.
Barreto started with words of
welcome and introduction to a
I am very glad to address to each one of you my most cordial welcome. I greet Cardinal
packed gathering of members
Fortunato Baldelli, Major Penitentiary, and I thank him for his courteous words. I greet
hailing from all over Goa,
Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, Regent of the penitentiary, the personal, the co-workers and
highlighting the importance of the
all the participants in the Course on the Internal Forum which has now become a
feast and pointing out that The Feast
traditional appointment and an important occasion for deepening the knowledge of
of Divine Mercy is one of the three
topics linked to the sacrament of Penance. I would like to reflect with you on an aspect
feasts requested by Heaven. Rev Fr.
not sufficiently through about but which is of great spiritual and pastoral importance:
Peter da Gama and Rev Fr. Avito Almeida were in the confessionals well in advance,
the pedagogical value of sacramental Confession.
since everybody wanted confession because of the promise of complete forgiveness of
Although it is true that it is always necessary to safeguard the objectivity of the
sin and punishment made by Jesus through St Faustina.
effects of the sacrament and its correct celebration in accordance with the norms of the
Rite of Penance, it is not out of place to reflect on how much it can educate the faith of
The altar and the Divine Mercy Image were well decorated by Peggy Pereira and others
both the minister and the penitent. This faithful and generous availability of priests to
and everyone came with their own Divine Mercy pictures. Procession carrying the
hear confession - after the example of the great saints of the past from St John Vianney to
Divine Mercy pictures and reciting the Chaplet of Mercy began at 2.40pm. This was
followed by Holy Hour imploring God's Mercy. The Holy Hour included 3'Oclock
St John Bosco, from St Josemaria Escrivá to St Pius of Pietrelcina, from St Joseph
prayer and the Chaplet of Mercy, meditation on the Devotion, Act of Surrender to the
Cafasso to St Leopold Mandić - shows all of us that the confessional may be a
Divine Mercy of God and intercessory prayers for world peace and conversion of
real “place” of sanctification.
sinners. The Holy Hour closed to the tune of “Tantum Ergo”.
How does the sacrament of Penance educate? In what sense does its
Before the Mass the Divine Mercy image was honored with incense and Holy water was
celebration have pedagogical value, especially for ministers? We may start by
sprinkled over the large congregation raising their pictures of Divine Mercy. After the
recognizing that the mission of priests is a unipue and privileged observation point,
Mass the faithful venerated the image of Divine Mercy to the tune of “Kakutichea
from which it is daily granted to contemplate the splendour of divine Mercy. How often
Deva”, beautifully sung by Solano, Cheryl, Eutemia and Daphne Sequeira.
in celebrating the sacrament of Penance the priest witnesses real miracles of conversion
which, in renewing “the encounter with an event, a person” (Deus Caritas Est, n. I
Everyone felt that the celebration was well organized. However, the place was too small
reinforces his own faith!
for the large congregation that had gathered. It was strongly felt that it should be held in
Basically, hearing confession means witnessing as many professiones fidei as
a bigger place in the future.The Celebration ended with tea and cake in a spirit of
there are penitents, and contemplating the merciful God's action in history, feeling
fellowship and joy of celebration.
tangibly the saving effects of the Cross and of the Resurrection of Christ, in every epoch
and for every person.
The First Saturdays, 4th June 2011______________________________9
The First Saturdays, 4th June 2011_____________________________10
We are often faced with true and proper existential and spiritual dramas that
THE GREATEST PROMOTER OF DIVINE MERCY
find no answer in human words but are embraced and taken up by divine Love, which
POPE JOHN PAUL II BEATIFIED
pardons and transforms: “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as
(The following is the introduction by Francis S Barreto on the occasion of
snow (Is I:I8).
If, on the one hand knowing and, in a certain way, visiting the depths of the
The Feast of Divine Mercy 1 May 2011)
human heart, even its darkest aspects, test humanity and the faith of the priest himself,
on the other, it fosters within him the certainty that it is God who has the last word over
Today is a great day. It is not just the Feast of Divine Mercy but it is also by Divine
human evil and history, it is his Mercy which can make all things new (cf Rev 2I:5).
Providence the beatification of Pope John Paul II - the Pope of Fatima.
Then, how much the priest can learn from exemplary penitents: through their
life, the seriousness with which they carry out their examination of conscience, the
On the 7 day of the Novena of Divine Mercy we pray for the promoters of Divine
transparency with which they admit their sins and their docility to the Church's teaching
Mercy. The Lord says
and to the confessor's instructions.
From the administration of the sacrament of Penance we may draw profound
“Today bring to me the souls who especially venerate and glorify my mercy, and
lessons of humility and faith! It is a very strong appeal to each priest for knowledge of
immerse them in my mercy. These souls sorrowed most over My Passion and
his own identity. We will never be able to hear the confession of our brothers and sisters
entered most deeply into My Spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate
solely by virtue of our humanity! If they approach us, it is only because we are priests,
Heart. These souls will shine with an special brightness in the next life. Not one of
configured to Christ the External High Priest, and enabled to act in his Name and in his
them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the
Person, to make God who forgives, renews and transforms, truly present. The
hour of death”
celebration of the sacrament of Penance has a pedagogical value for the priest, as
regards his faith, as well as the truth and poverty of his person, and nourishes within him
When we think of people who promote Divine Mercy Devotion, undoubtedly the
an awareness of the sacramental identity.
greatest name that stands out in our minds is that of the late Pope John Paul II.
What is the pedagogical value of the sacrament of penance for penitents? We
should state beforehand that first and foremost it depends on the action of Grace and on
Thousands of people and priests requested the Holy Father John Paul II to establish in
the objective effect on the soul of the member of the faithful. Of course, sacramental
the Church a Feast in honor of Divine Mercy. Pope John Paul II canonized Sr. Faustina
Reconciliation is one of the moments in which personal freedom and an awareness of
and ordered that a Feast in honor of Divine Mercy be established in the Church. I don't
self need to be expressed particularly clearly. It is perhaps also for this reason, in an
think it is a mere coincidence but God's providence that on this Feast Day that
epoch of relativism and of the consequent attenuated awareness of one's being, that this
Pope John Paul II is being beatified with great fanfare in Rome. These are his
sacramental practice is also weakened.
famous words: “There is nothing that man needs more than Divine Mercy. The
Examination of conscience has an important pedagogical value. It teaches us
Divine Mercy has always been near and dear to me”. It was also on this feast day that
how to look squarely at our life, to compare it with the truth of the Gospel and to evaluate
Pope John Paul II had canonized Sr. Faustina.
it with parameters that are not only human but also borrowed from divine Revelation
Comparison with the Commandments, with the Beatitudes and, especially, with the
Divine Mercy Devotion was started by a Polish
Precept of love, continues the first great “school of penance”
Nun Maria Faustina Kowalska to begin with in
In our time, marked by noise, distraction and loneliness, the penitent's
her own country. It was Jesus himself who
conversation with the confessor can be one of the few - if not the only - opportunities to
directed her to write everything that was
be truly heard in depth.
happening in her life in a Diary.
Dear priests, do not neglect to allow enough room for the exercise of the
ministry of Penance in the confessional: to be welcomed and heard is also a human sign
This Feast was requested by Jesus himself
of God's welcoming kindness to his children.
through Sr. Faustina.
Moreover the integral confession of sins teaches the penitent humility,
recognition of his or her own frailty and, at the same time, an awareness of the need for
Earlier in the 12 Century Jesus had requested a
God's forgiveness and the trust that divine Grace can transform his life. Likewise,
feast in honor of his Body and Blood (Corpus
listening to the confessor's recommendations and advice is important for judging
Christi) through St. Juliana. Pope Urban IV gave
actions, for the spiritual journey and for the inner healing of the penitent.
this feast to the whole World.
Let us not forget how many conversions and how many truly holy lives began
in a confessional! The acceptance of the penance and listening to the words “I absolve
After that in the 17 Century Jesus asked
you from your sins”, are, lastly, a true school of love and hope that guides the person to
through St.Margarida Mary Alacoque a feast of
his Sacred Heart. This feast was granted to the
Contd on Pg.13
The First Saturdays, 4th June 2011_____________________________11
The First Saturdays, 4th June 2011_____________________________12
Universal Church by Pope Pius IX in the year 1856.
Benedict XVI to Syro-Malankara Bishops on their visit 'ad limina
Hence you will see that this feast that we are celebrating today is the 3 feast requested
by Jesus himself. In the diary of St.Faustina we find at least 15 times the mention of the
CHRISTIANITY'S CONTRIBUTION TO INDIAN SOCIETY
feast. Therefore this feast is a very important celebration.
Taken from L'osservatore Romano dated 30 March 2011
In our times we see a lot of fear in people and sin has increased. Therefore the Devotion
On Friday morning, 25 March, The Holy Father received members of the
to The Divine Mercy is very important. In this connection I am happy to note that this
Devotion is spreading rapidly throughout the World including Goa. Many lay and priest
Catholic Bishops' Conference of India of the Syro-Malamkara Rite on the
Apostles are working to spread this Devotion.
occasion of their visit “ad limina Apostolorum”. The following is the text of the
Pope's Address, which was given in English.
The great benefit of today's feast to mankind is a special promise of Mercy. Our Lord's
promise to grant complete forgiveness of Sins and Punishment on the feast of Mercy is
Dear Brother Bishops,
recorded 3 times in the Diary of St.Faustina, each time in a slightly different way:
I want to grant a complete pardon to the Souls that will go to Confession and
I welcome all of you here today on the occasion of our pilgrimage ad limina
receive Holy Communion on the feast of My Mercy. (1109)
Apostolorum. I thank His Beatitude Beselios Cleemis for the devoted sentiments which
Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted
he has addressed to me in your name. Through you, I extend greeting to all the priests,
forgiveness of Sins and Punishment (300)
religious and lay faithfully of your eparchies, and I wish to assure them of my prayers for
The Souls that go to Confession and receive Holy Communion will obtain
their spiritual and material well-beings. This time together is a privileged occasion to
complete forgiveness of Sins and Punishment (699)
deepen the bonds of fraternity and communion between the See of Peter and the Syro-
With these few words let us all devote a couple of hours praying for Peace in the World
Malankara Church, happily promoted to Major Archiepiscopal Church by the
and for conversion of sinners.
Venerable John Paul II in 2005.
The apostolic traditions which you maintain enjoy their full spiritual
fruitfulness when they lived in union with the Church universal. In this sense, you
DATES TO REMEMBER - JUNE 2011
rightly follow in the footsteps of the Servant of God Mar Ivanios, who led your
predecessors and their faithful into full communion with the Catholic Church. Like your
forefathers, you too are called, within the one household of God, to continue in firm
fidelity to that which has been passed down to you. All Catholic Bishops share a proper
Ascension of Our Lord
concern for faithfulness to Jesus Christ and are desirous of that unity which he willed for
his disciples (cf. Jn 17:11), while preserving their legitimate diversity. So it is that “the
St. Anthony of Padua
Catholic Church wishes the traditions of each particular Church or rite to remain whole
Holy Trinity / WAF Meet
and entire, and she likewise to adapt her own way of life to the various needs of time and
Nativity of St. John the Baptist
place” (Orientalium Ecclesiarum, n .2). Each generation must confront the challenges
The Body & Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
to the Church in accordance with its capacities and in harmony with the rest of the
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Mystical Body of Christ. I encourage you, therefore, to foster an affection among your
Sts. Peter & Paul - Apostles
priests and people for the liturgical and spiritual heritage that has come down to you,
while steadfastly building upon your communion with the See of Peter.
The deposit of faith handed down from the Apostles and faithfully transmitted
Contd from Pg.11
to our times is a precious gift from the Lord. It is that message of salvation which has
been revealed in the person of Jesus whose spirit unites believers of every time and
full trust in the God Love, revealed in Jesus Christ, to responsibility and to the
place, giving us fellowship with the Father and with his Son so that our joy may be
commitment to continuous conversion.
complete (cf Jn I:I-4). You and your priests are called to promote this fellowship through
Dear priests, our own prior experience of divine Mercy and of being humble
word and sacrament, and to strengthen it by a sound catechesis, so that the Word of Life
instruments teaches us an ever more faithful celebration of the Sacrament of Penance
Jesus Christ, and the gift of divine life - communion with him - may be known
and profound gratitude to God who “gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:I8).
throughout the world (cf. Verbum Domini, n. 2).Due to its ancient roots and
I entrust to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mater misericordiae and Refugium
distinguished history, Christianity in India has long made its proper contribution to
peccatorum, the fruits of your Course on the Internal Forum and the ministry of all
culture and society, and to its religious and spiritual expressions. It is through
Confessors, as I bless you all with great affection.
Contd on Pg.16
The First Saturdays, 4th June 2011___________________________13
The First Saturdays, 4th June 2011____________________________14
How Do I Start the First Saturdays?
Contd from Pg.14
On July 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared for the
determination to live the Gospel, “the power of God for salvation to every one who has
third time to the three children of Fatima and showed
faith” (Rom I:I6), that those whom you serve will make a more effective contribution to
them the vision of hell. In this vision Our Lady said that
the entire body of Christ and to Indian society; to the benefit of all. May your people
'God wishes to establish in the world devotion to Her
continue to flourish by the preaching of God's word and by the promotion of a
Immaculate Heart and that She would come to ask for the
fellowship based on the love of God.
Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays . . .
I note the particular challenges to many of your parishes in providing proper
pastoral care and mutual support, especially there is not always a parish priest at hand.
What Do I Have To Do?
And yet, smaller parishes, bearing in mind the social reality Christians face in the
The devotion of First Saturdays, as requested by
broader cultural context, present their own opportunities for truly fraternal up building
Our Lady of Fatima, carries with it the assurance of
and assistance. Small Christian communities have often, as you know, given
salvation. However, to derive profit from such a great
outstanding witness in the history of the Church. Just as in apostolic times, the Church is
promise of Our Lady, the devotion must be properly
our age will surely thrive in the presence of the living Christ, who has promised to be
understood and duly performed. The requirements as
stipulated by Our Lady are as follows:
with us always (cf. Mt 28:20) and to sustain us (cf. I Cor I:8). It is this divine presence
(1) Confession, (2) Communion, (3) Five decades of the Rosary, (4) Meditation on
which must remain at the centre of your people's life, faith and witness, and which you
one or more of the Rosary Mysteries for fifteen minutes, (5) To do all these things in
their Pastors are called to watch over so that, even if they must live far from their
the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and (6) To observe all these
community, they will not live far from Christ. Indeed, it is important to remember that
practices on the first Saturday of five consecutive months.
Christian communities are “the proper setting where a personal and communal journey
based on the word of God can occur and truly serve as the basis for our spiritual Life”
A reparative confession means that the confession should not only be good (valid and
(Verbum Domini. n.72)
licit), but also be offered in the spirit of reparation, in this case, to Mary's Immaculate
One of the way in which you exercise your role as teachers of the faith to the
Heart. This confession may be made on the First Saturday itself or some days before
Christian community is through the catechetical and faith formation programmes
or after the First Saturday.
taking place under your direction. Since “instruction should be based on Holy
Scriptures, tradition, liturgy, and on the teaching authority and life of the Church
The communion of reparation must be sacramental (under one species, or two as in
(Christus Dominus, n I4), I am pleased to note the variety and number of programmes
the case of the Oriental Rites), duly received with the intention of making reparation.
that you currently employ. Along with the celebration of the sacraments, such
This offering, like the confession, is an interior act and so no external action to
programmes will help ensure that those in your care will always be able to give an
express the intention is needed. The Communion must be made within the 24
account of the hope which is theirs in Christ. Indeed, catechesis and spiritual
hours of the First Saturday. For justifying reasons, approved by a priest, a person
development are among the most important challenges which pastors of souls face, and
may receive the communion the next day, the Sunday following the First Saturday (a
concession granted by the Child Jesus Himself).
so I warmly encourage you to persevere along the path you have chosen as you seek to
(3) The Rosary
form your people in a deeper knowledge and love of the faith, aided by God's grace and
The Rosary mentioned here was indicated by the Portuguese word 'terco' which is
by your humble trust in his providence.
commonly employed to denote a Rosary of five decades, since it forms a third of the
With these thoughts, I renew my sentiments of fraternal affection and esteem
full Rosary of 15 decades. This too must be recited in the spirit of reparation.
for you. Invoking the intercession of St Thomas the Apostle, India's great patron, I
(4) Meditation for Fifteen Minutes
assure you of my prayers and willingly impart to you and to those entrusted to your care
The meditation may be either on one mystery alone for 15 minutes, or on all 15
my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of grace and place in the Lord Jesus Christ.
mysteries, spending about one minute on each mystery, or again, on two or more
mysteries during the period. This can also be made before each decade spending three
This newsletter is FREE except for postal deliveries for which the subscription rates are given
minutes or more in considering the mystery of the particular decade. This meditation
elsewhere in this issue. These monthly issues have no source of income; except from readers donations. Your
has likewise to be made in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart.
prayerful support and donations - however small - is greatly appreciated. Your offerings by local cheque or
demand drafts should be drawn on any Panjim Bank favouring ‘The First Saturdays’(A/c No. 1855, Catholic
The idea of the Five First Saturdays is obviously to make us persevere in the
Syrian Bank, Panjim). Please address all your offerings and Correspondence to :
devotional acts for these Saturdays and overcome initial difficulties. Once this is
THE FIRST SATURDAYS, C/o Strike Rich Investments, Athaide Mansion-B, Shop No. 5, Behind
done, Our Lady knows that the person would become devoted to Her Immaculate
Shiv Sagar, Opp. Unitech City Center, M. G. Road, Panjim, Goa.403 001.
Heart and persist in practicing such devotion on all First Saturdays, working thereby
Phone : 2420342/2422160/9822151468 Email:email@example.com
for personal self-reform and for the salvation of others. Our Lady has assured us that
Printed and published by the Executive Committee of the World Apostolate of Fatima
She will obtain salvation for all those who observe the First Saturdays for five
Editor: DR. CHRISTOPHER DIAS Asst Editor: ANNABELLE MENDONCA
consecutive months in accordance with Her conditions.
-Adapted from an article by by Fr T. O'Mahony
For Private Circulation
The First Saturdays, 4th June 2011____________________________15