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Circular - August 2023

To all the Parish SCC Coordinators, Archdiocese of Bombay

My dear Collaborators,

The month of August will surely keep us busy with organizing a lot of activities and programmes at the parish level. This month brings with it the Feasts of St Alphonsus Liguori (Founder of the Redemptorists on August 01); St Peter Julian Eymard (Founder of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers on August 02); St John Mary Vianney (Patron Saint of the Pastoral Clergy on August 04); The Transfiguration of the Lord on August 06; the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Independence Day of our country on August 15, and St Pius X (Patron Saint of the Archdiocesan Seminary on August 21). I am sure the SCCs will felicitate their priests, and pray to God for the selfless services our priests render to their parishioners in and through their priestly ministry.

As I write these lines, my mind goes back to what is happening in Manipur – the loss of lives, our own brothers and sisters being killed, women not being respected, vandalism of property, etc. May I earnestly request you to think of creative means of how best we can restore peace and stability in Manipur and other parts of our beloved country. Let us not forget that we are celebrating the anniversary of our country’s Independence on August 15. Can we truly say, “India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters?” I am confident that our SCCs will do some activity, keeping Manipur in mind.

It has been our practice to send you a Reflection Paper together with the Circular. This month, we have requested Fr Simon D’Souza, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Kalyan (West), and a person who has a keen interest to keep the SCCs functioning to prepare the attached paper, which he has done very cheerfully. May I request you to disseminate the Paper and get one and all – the Core Groups, Cluster families, etc. to reflect on it. (Click here to download the Reflection Paper) I am confident of your support and collaboration. Fr Ajit Tellis, Priest in-charge, St Anthony of Padua Church, Kalwa has been kind to translate the paper into Marathi for the benefit of our Marathi speaking families.

Here are some important points to be kept in mind and implemented:

Cluster Families Parish: One of the proposals that came up during the Archdiocesan SCC Evaluation in 2018 was the formation of clusters and meeting in cluster families. I am happy to inform you that a large number of families are meeting in their clusters. This, for me, is a good sign. I am happy, and I want to encourage those parishes that do not have meetings in their clusters to do so at the earliest. You may take the assistance of your predecessor, if you are a new Parish SCC Coordinator. (Ideas for Cluster meetings are on the SCC website.)

Steering Committee Meetings: A significant number of our parishes are having their Steering Committee meetings (either once a month or once in two months or once in three months). Those parishes that have not yet started having regular Steering Committee meetings are requested to do so immediately. A copy of the Minutes of the meeting may be sent to bombayscc@gmail.com.

Deanery SCC Rally Day: Last year, a number of parishes had Parish SCC Rallies. This year, we will be organizing the Deanery SCC Rally Day: an evening of about 3-4 hours in a central parish of the Deanery. What is essential and of extreme importance is that one needs to plan for this Rally; details of the date, timing and programme will be communicated to you by the Deanery SCC Coordinator. I am making a special request to the Deans to support and collaborate with the Deanery SCC Coordinator to have the Deanery SCC Rally by February 11, 2024 (before the Season of Lent).

SCC Quarterly Reports: SCC Quarterly Reports are a good indicator of what is happening at the grass-root level. All SCC Coordinators are requested to keep a notebook and write the significant points being reported at the monthly Core Group meeting. This would definitely help in completing the SCC Quarterly Reports. A video to help the new SCC Coordinators prepare the Quarterly Report is available on www.mumbaiscc.in.

As Parish SCC Coordinator, you are requested to collect the soft copies of ALL the Community Reports, make a summary (Covering letter), obtain the signature of the Priest in-charge of the SCCs in your parish, and request the priest to send the Covering letter and all the Quarterly Reports to bombayscc@gmail.com from the parish email address, as follows:

Reports for July to September 2023 - to be sent by October 15, 2023 Reports for October to December 2023 - to be sent by January 15, 2024 Reports for January to March 2024 - to be sent by April 15, 2024

Prayer for the Synod: I am very happy to note that a number of our parishes and the SCCs are praying for the success of the Synod (first session in October 2023). Please continue to pray the enclosed prayer, so that all of us, filled with the spirit of communion, may participate in the Church’s ministry and become missionaries of evangelization.

NO ONE IN WANT: May I earnestly request you to keep your eyes wide open to ensure that no one is in want in your SCCs. This for me is the hallmark of a Catholic – to be at the service of our brothers and sisters, so that all of us live as brothers and sisters united as one big family. Hence, if there is anyone in need of food, education, medicine, please make it a point to reach out first within the community, and then approach the Parish Priest who will take the matter forward.

Archdiocesan Meeting of Parish SCC Co-ordinators: The first Archdiocesan meeting of the newly appointed Parish SCC Coordinators will be held on Sunday, August 13, 2023 at Our Lady of Salvation Church Hall (Ground Floor), Dadar from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. followed by lunch. All the Parish SCC Coordinators are expected to attend. Those who cannot attend for genuine reasons are requested to send a representative to the meeting.

I take this opportunity to thank you immensely for your dedication and commitment as you work selflessly for the smooth functioning of the SCCs in your parish. I assure you of my prayers. May the Lord continue to accompany you, and protect you and the members of your families, so that we become a caring and witnessing community to those around us.

God bless you.

With every good wish,

Barthol Barretto Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay & Bishop in-charge of SCCs, Archdiocese of Bombay

July 31, 2023

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