11/25/2013, 00.00
INDIA
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Bishop of Karnataka : Our Catholics ' living witnesses ' of Year of Faith

by Nirmala Carvalho
The Diocese of Mangalore has organized a three-day rally to celebrate the closing of the Year proclaimed by Benedict XVI. More than 20 thousand laity, 186 priests and thousands of nuns participated. For Msgr . Aloysius Paul D' Souza it was a moving occasion, " the enthusiasm of the people , a sign of their faith and how they put it into practice ." In 2008, 24 churches in Karnataka were destroyed by Hindu extremists .

Mangalore ( AsiaNews) - "To be living witnesses of the faith , to follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ and to proclaim the Gospel in everyday life": according to Msgr. Aloysius Paul D' Souza, Bishop of Mangalore ( Karnataka ), these are the lessons that the faithful of his diocese have drawn from the Year of Faith that ended yesterday More than 20 thousand laity, 186 priests and thousands of nuns participated in the celebrations organized by the Church of Mangalore to mark the end of the Year convoked by Pope Benedict XVI on 11 October 2012, the day of the 50th anniversary of Vatican II and 20 years after promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Msgr. D'Souza has organized a three-day event (22-24 November) , alternating moments of prayer , discussion and Eucharistic adoration . It ended with a special Mass concelebrated by Msgr. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios , bishop of the Syro- Malankara Catholics in the diocese of Puttur .

"Every corner of the diocese - said Msgr . D'Souza AsiaNews - was involved in this rally. There are two Deaneries that are located in remote areas and a special seminar dedicated to the Year of Faith was organized. All the faithful of all ages and walks of life participated".

The most exciting aspect of the celebrations, said the bishop, "was the enthusiasm with which the people of Mangalore responded to this event.  It is a sign of the faith of these people, of how they put it into practice and their willingness to learn the teachings and the catechism of the Church. "

In September 2008, ultra-nationalist Hindus attacked 24 churches in Karnataka , many of which belonged to the diocese of Mangalore own . The extremists accused the Christians of carrying out forced conversions. What happened , however , noted the bishop, " has revived and strengthened the faith of the people , giving value to their belief in Christ and in the Church ."

 

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