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    » 06/15/2012, 00.00

    INDIA

    Sacred Heart inspires our mission among Dalits, Karnataka bishop says

    Henry D’Souza*

    For Mgr D'Souza, the Diocese of Bellary bases its apostolate on education, health care, and human dignity. Bishop bears witness on the occasion of the celebration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

    Bellary (AsiaNews) - The Catholic Church today celebrates the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. For the occasion, Mgr Henry D'Souza, bishop of the Diocese of Bellary (Karnataka), spoke to AsiaNews about the "love and compassion of Christ" the local Church shows through its apostolate of education and health care, especially to women and children.

    The love and compassion of Christ entreat us to serve the poorest of the poor, Dalits, the illiterate, the jobless and the homeless, abused women and girls, who live in the Diocese of Bellary. All of them are close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

    The latter's love helped the diocese make great stride towards the empowerment and development of people who are mostly Dalits. Three of our districts (Bellary, Koppal and Raichur) are among the poorest in Karnataka.

    The Church has many challenges. Its actions seek to promote the health of women and children, eliminate child labour, empower women, raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, eliminate poverty and promote education.

    Our sisters are especially involved with women living with HIV-AIDS, helping them in their medical treatment and social reintegration.

    The local population is extremely backward from and an economic standpoint. Women and children are the most vulnerable groups, from a social point of view as well.

    The expansion of mining,** often in violation of the law, has made matters worse.

    More recently, a drought has hit the region, creating even more dangerous health conditions.

    The apostolate of education is the most important thing for the Church in Bellary. It helps empower the poor, especially children, and brings changes to their live. As part of its action, the diocese offers vocational training and skill development courses. This increases self-esteem and the helps youth find dignity and courage.

    Families have always been close to the Sacred Heart of Christ. Last month, in the parish of Hirenaganoor, 21 couples got married in a mass ceremony. When the families are poor, the diocese pays for the cost.

    This was the parish's second mass wedding. More than 5,000 people joined in the celebration and banquet. The generous contribution by some donors helped meet the expenses.

    In these districts, the need for interreligious dialogue is felt very much. As religious leaders, we must work together to promote respect for one another's beliefs and places of worship.

    There is no place for violence in the name of religion. Only an India that is at peace with itself can guarantee dignity and prosperity to all its citizens. Violence and hatred can only drain our energy and reduce our resources.

    Our efforts must therefore go to sustain the country's religious pluralism, its unity in diversity. May God, the Father of all, bless this great nation and its people!

    (Nirmala Carvalho contributed to this article)

    *Bishop of the Diocese of Bellary.


    **A Human Rights Watch report found that mining companies have a poor tract record when it comes to respect for environmental laws, indifferent to water pollution and labour exploitation. The situation is especially bad in Karnataka and Goa.

     

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    See also

    09/06/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: The Sacred Heart of Jesus, the mercy of God gives life to man, it raises us from the dead
    At the Angelus Pope Francis recalls the popular devotion, but with a biblical basis, to the Sacred Heart, typical of June. The Sacred Heart "is not an imaginary symbol, it is a real symbol, which represents the center, the source from which the salvation for all humanity flowed." A greeting to the pilgrims from Mumbai (India). Yesterday, the pontiff telephoned 100 thousand pilgrims from Macerata at Loreto. "All of life is a pilgrimage.What is important is our encounter with Jesus in our life’s journey, our encounter with Him."

    02/04/2010 THAILAND
    Chieng Rai, Sisters of the Sacred Heart promote a camp for 150 Thai youth
    The camp was held in the northernmost province of Thailand, part of the Golden Triangle and a crossroads of drug trafficking. The week involved youth between 6 and 18. Sharing experiences, reading the Gospel and lessons of moral catechesis the themes addressed.

    19/06/2009 VATICAN
    Pope: May the pierced heart of Christ inflame the heart of every priest
    Benedict XVI inaugurates the Year for Priests with Vespers of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Chris’s heart contains the revolutionary novelty of Christianity. Priests must contemplate his Heart in order to be his witnesses, and to learn the “pain of sins”. Veneration of the relics of Saint Jean Marie Vianney, the Curè d’Ars, to be imitated this year also in his devotion to Mary.

    01/06/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: June the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to encounter the infinite in the finite
    Benedict XVI asks all Christians to rediscover this "centre" of faith, love, and hope, of life and of the world. A prayer for the populations of China and Myanmar, marked by natural catastrophes, and for those who suffer.

    07/06/2015 VATICAN
    For the pope, the Eucharist is a source of love for the life of the Church, a school of charity and solidarity
    During the Angelus, Pope Francis explained the sense of the feast of Corpus Christi, which makes "Jesus present” and invites us to take part in his "message of solidarity". For the pontiff, “Christ, who nourishes us in the form of consecrated bread and wine, is the same one who comes to meet us in the daily events,” i.e. the poor man, the sufferer, the brother, and the child. The lack of daily bread "is a growing problem." He mentions the upcoming World Day Against Child Labour and the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.



    Editor's choices

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