Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Building the Body of Christ. This will be the Episcopal motto of Msgr. John Rodrigues, appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Mumbai on May 15 by the Pope. In an interview with AsiaNews, the bishop speaks of the challenges and hopes for this new mission: "I am happy and I thank God for this gift, which allows me to carry on His ministry with greater force."
is currently the coordinator of the Archdiocese for the Year of Faith:
"This is a happy moment for everyone, because the appointment of a bishop
is also an opportunity to renew their faith in God. It's also a time to trust
in God and I trust that God will give me the strength, with faith I take up
this responsibility. I haven't really thought about my motto but I think it
will be to build up the body of Christ in the work of service. The whole church is called to be the body of
Christ and continue to do the work of Jesus inspired by his spirit. "
In Mumbai the Year of Faith is lived with particular spirit: "The Church in this year of faith needs to get back to its roots. Faith is a personal aspect of each person and it is also shared in the community. As we share our faith experiences we strengthen each other's faith. In Mumbai there is a need for adult faith formation. There are many who want to know more about the faith and have a great interest also in the scriptures and church's teaching".
For this, the Archdiocese has
chosen a particular road: "Instead of having a centralized system, each commission plans something.
For this month there is a vigil for the parishes planned by the
liturgical centre, for June there is a Triduum, in August it is faith in the
Indian context. In September we have the children's novena at the cathecatical
centre. In October we will
focus on missions. "
But one of the most important moments will undoubtedly June 2: "The festival of Corpus Christi we will have Eucharistic adoration in communion with that of the Holy Father in St. Peter's. It is significant that we will be in union with the universal church as it is also a sign of our union with Pope Francis and with all the other churches of the world, each going through different situations, some are struggling, some moving forward. To remind us that Christ is here with us, that we form the body of Christ in the world. The sense of unity which comes through this prayer is very important".
Corpus Christi and the Year of Faith have a particular relevance in India, where religious intolerance is on the rise: "It's a joy that we share the good news of Christ with others. We have the right to do it and we continue doing it. While we pray for the people who are intolerant towards the Good News - either because of misinformation, suspicion or any other false propaganda - we continue to share the Joy of the Gospel with our lives, our service and through preaching the Word of God. While we continue to pray and work with Spirit of Truth and Faith to build the Body of Christ, we also speak up for the right of religious freedom. "