To all the Parish SCC Coordinators,Archdiocese of Bombay
My dear Collaborators,
We have just entered the New Year 2024 – a year that is new, bright, and filled with promises galore. I take this opportunity to wish you and the members of your family a Happy New Year 2024. May the Good Lord continue to accompany us as we march forward courageously. We do not know what is in store for us, but we believe that the New Year will bring many blessings on each one of us, as we strive to build stronger and vibrant SCCs in our parishes and in our Archdiocese. May we ensure that no one is in want (our Archdiocesan SCC vision statement) in our SCCs, irrespective of caste, colour or creed.
The year 2023 is now history. All of us worked enthusiastically to ensure that we form clusters in the SCCs, conduct our Steering Committee meetings, organise activities and programmes to get the families of our SCCs bonded together. May I request you to continue to work in the same spirit in 2024, so that by the end of our tenure, people ought to remark about us: ‘See how they love one another.’ My prayerful wishes accompany you.
Pope Francis has already announced that the Church will celebrate a Jubilee Year in 2025, with the theme, ‘PILGRIMS OF HOPE’. In preparation for the Jubilee Year 2025, Pope Francis is motivating each one of us to prepare ourselves by spending time in the following manner: Study the documents (four Constitutions) of the Second Vatican Council (early 2024) and Focus on Prayer (2024). Keeping the timelines in mind, I requested one of our newly ordained priests, Fr Sunil Godinho, presently Assistant to the Parish Priest at Sacred Heart Church, Vashi to take up the first Constitution - on the Church: Lumen Gentium for our study and reflection. Fr Sunil has prepared the attached summary for our reflection. May I request each one of you to use the Reflection Paper for the Core Group Meetings, Steering Committee Meetings and cluster meetings. (Download the Reflection Paper here) This will help us appreciate what the Council Fathers have handed over to us. Fr Ajit Tellis, Priest in-charge, St Anthony of Padua Church, Kalwa has prepared the Marathi translation. Please disseminate the Reflection Paper to all the SCC Animators and Coordinators so that it reaches all the cluster families
May I remind you of the following points:
Formation of Clusters: For those parishes that have not yet started cluster meetings and activities, may I earnestly request the concerned Parish SCC Coordinators to form the clusters in the respective SCCs and to get started with the meetings and activities. This is a recommendation that was proposed during the SCC Evaluation of 2018. I am happy to inform you that a large number of parishes have already started cluster meetings and activities.
Quarterly Reports: The SCC Quarterly Reports for the period of October to December 2023 must be sent via email to email@example.com by January 15, 2024.
Meetings: All the Steering Committee meetings, Core Group meetings and cluster meetings/activities should be held on a regular basis; the Minutes of the Steering Committee meetings should be maintained and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strengthening the System: As you receive the Quarterly Reports from the SCC Coordinators, please identify those SCCs that need help – either in terms of increasing core group members (Animators), in organising regular events for their SCCs/clusters, or even in terms of understanding the functioning of the SCCs. This training is best done at the Steering Committee meeting at the parish level, rather than at the deanery or diocesan level. Additional help (if required) may be requested from the Archdiocesan SCC Office; email details with the subject line ‘Support required’ to email@example.com.
Jubilee Prayers: The Holy Father has composed a Prayer for the Jubilee Year 2025 which is enclosed herewith. May I request you to recite the prayer either at the start of the SCC meeting OR at the end of the meeting. Please note that the Jubilee Year 2025 is an experience of Faith and a profound encounter with the Lord. The official Prayer allows pilgrims from all over the world to use the same words to express gratitude to God for the Jubilee experience and request the grace of forgiveness. (View or download the Jubilee Prayer here)
Finally, I ask for your prayers as I prepare for my new role (announced on December 30, 2023) as the Bishop of Nashik. I wish to be a shepherd in the mould of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. I want to thank all those who have worked with me to achieve the Bombay Archdiocesan SCC Vision of ‘NO ONE in want’ and I know we shall achieve it, with the grace of God.
God bless you and the members of your family.
Yours in Christ,
✠Barthol Barretto Bishop-Elect of the Diocese of Nashik
January 01, 2024