Bishop’s Message

Dear Fathers, Sisters and Brothers,


The month of September reminds us of the liturgical feast of the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary (Marymas) on Sept 8, nine months after the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on Dec 8. When a mother has birthday, it is normal that children send their loving greetings and get her special blessings. So also we, as the children of Mother Mary, our beloved Mother make sure to do the same thing on the feast of her Nativity. The feast of her Nativity is one of the most ancient Marian feasts which, as it is known, probably began to be celebrated in Rome in the 8th century with Pope Sergius I. As we know, the Gospels neither provide any evidence to the birth of Mary nor do they give the names of her parents. However, the feast, as it is believed down the centuries, is based on a tradition that stems from the second century Protoevangelium of the gospel of James which presents a vivid description of Mary’s birth.

On the same day, the Catholic Church in India has been commemorating as ‘Girl Child Day’ since 1997 to express the Church’s concern for the neglected girl children. Designating the birthday of the Blessed Mother to be the Day of the Girl Child, the CBCI said: “Such a day celebrated every year will remind us how precious to the world and society are the girls born to us in the providence of God.” The Bishops of the Conference further wished that we need every parish, school and hospital to carry out some programme or another to help families root out evils like female infanticide from the country. Adhering to the voice of the Church in India, let us also work out the possibilities of creating awareness in our parishes, defending human rights, restoring human values and establishing a just society. May this day also inspire us, individually and collectively, to devise ways and means to appreciate and affirm every girl child in the home, the community and the parish!

The month of August brought a great joy to my heart as I could visit some of our diocesan priests rendering their pastoral ministry in the USA, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. My joy was indeed doubled when I came to know about their committed priestly service from their respective bishops and parishioners. I was all the more happy to note that some of them are placed in important parishes and a few others, in the diocesan high portfolios as the bishops count on their pastoral skills and administrative abilities. While appreciating them for the laudable priestly ministry, I wish to place on record their availability and accompaniment during my visit over there.

By the grace of God, the assiduous efforts on the part of the diocese for the past two years have borne fruits as the Tamil Nadu Government has granted permission to commence St. Antony Nursing College and St. Devasahayam Institute of Fisheries Science and Technology (DIFST). First and foremost, the Diocese of Kottar is much indebted to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Also, I am pleased to place on record the proactive intervention made by the Minister for Fisheries and his personal secretary, Minister for Milk and Dairy Development, Hon’ble M. Appavu, Speaker and Hon’ble

S. Peter Alphonse, the Chairman of State Minorities Commission in obtaining the needed permission. Without fail, I also acknowledge the contribution of the Curia members, then and now, and all others who were some way or another instrumental in this regard. At this juncture, I thank all of you sincerely for your solidarity and valuable prayers and at the same time, request your cooperation towards the growth of our diocese.

May God, in his mercy, continue to bless us and the intercession of the Blessed Mother be with us always!