To all the Parish SCC Coordinators, Archdiocese of Bombay
My dear Collaborators,
We have just begun a new Academic Year. My prayer is that June 01, 2021 to May 31, 2022 be a year filled with blessings of peace, joy and happiness. I am aware that many of us were gripped by fear, and continue to experience feelings of anxiety and anguish due to COVID-19; some of our SCC Animators and Coordinators and a number of our brothers and sisters passed away due to the pandemic. May those who became victims of the coronavirus find peace in the Risen Lord; my prayerful support goes to the members of the bereaved families
Some of our parishes will have a new Parish Priest and/or changes in the Clergy Team – a warm WELCOME to each one of them. May their priestly ministry be an occasion for them to shepherd God’s holy people entrusted to their care with utmost love and good will.
May I request you, as Parish Coordinator of the Small Christian Communities (SCCs), to telephone and/or meet your new Parish Priest or Priest in-charge of the SCCs. Please inform him of the exact status of the SCCs in the parish. This will surely enable him to guide you so that the SCCs continue to become ever more vibrant and alive. In those cases where the Clergy Team continues to remain the same, please meet the Priest in-charge of the SCCs and see how best you can revive regular monthly Meetings with all the Coordinators and Animators; pay attention to those SCCs that have not had virtual meetings to date, and encourage them to meet. Also, enthuse the SCC Animators to keep in contact with their respective cluster families. This is an essential component of the SCCs.
As Parish SCC Coordinator, you have an extremely important role to play viz. to see that ALL the SCCs in your parish meet regularly every month via Zoom/Conference Calls/Google Meet/WhatsApp, etc. The ongoing pandemic enthuses us to action, to ensure that NO ONE IS IN WANT, irrespective of caste or creed. My desire is to see that no one is deprived of food, medicines, education and other basic needs. Please pay careful attention to those living alone at home, our senior citizens, and most importantly, the sick and homebound. A telephone call and/or a visit to such people (using masks and maintaining social distance) will surely help boost their sagging spirits.
One of the means that we can use to ensure that all the SCCs are functioning in our parish is to have regular Steering Committee meetings. These meetings (attended by all the Community Coordinators) are a good opportunity to share the latest updates on the situation of each SCC; this can then be followed up (as required) by the Parish SCC Coordinator and the Priest in-charge of the SCCs. In the current situation, some parishes are having short (virtual) monthly Steering Committee meetings; you may decide to have the meetings monthly or bi-monthly. Please send the Minutes of these meetings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am proposing that each SCC sends a brief report on its specific situation, in addition to the regular Quarterly Report. Further, to help those who require it, a list of activities that can be done at the SCC level will be shared for the next quarter (July to September) to enable our SCC Animators to make the best of the current situation. I shall send you a format for the Situation Report and a list of activities with the July Circular to disseminate to all Community Coordinators.
The month of June is an important month when the Church of Bombay celebrates Laity Sunday. This year, Laity Sunday will be celebrated in our Archdiocese on Sunday, June 27. The Laity Sunday event will be broadcast on the Archdiocesan YouTube Channel on Tuesday, June 29 at 6.00 p.m. As Bishop in-charge of the SCCs in our Archdiocese, I thank each one of you, our SCC Animators and Coordinators, for your wholehearted support and collaboration towards the functioning and growth of the SCCs. Your presence as an Animator or Coordinator is a clear indication that you are ready to make your Community a reflection of the early Christian Community as indicated in the Acts of the Apostles. You have my support and good wishes. May the Lord continue to bless you and the members of your families, as you take your vocation and mission in the Church seriously.
Please find enclosed a reflection paper, titled ‘Responding to our Call to Holiness as Laity’ by Ms Rohini D’Souza of the OLCM (Office for Lay Collaboration in Ministry). May I earnestly request you to circulate the paper to all the SCC Animators and Coordinators; they, in turn, must forward the same to the cluster families. We must ensure that the Reflection papers that are sent to you every month are studied and reflected upon by all the families. Please remind your Animators from time to time about circulating and reflecting on the monthly papers.
As we journey ahead, we trust in the goodness of the Lord. May the Lord Jesus continue to inspire us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. May the new Academic Year continue to help us to identify those people from our SCCs who are in want, so that through our outreach, there may be NO ONE IN WANT.
God bless you and the members of your family.
Yours in Christ,
✠Barthol Barretto Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay & Bishop in-charge of SCCs, Archdiocese of Bombay
June 7, 2021