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Circular - November 2023

To all the Parish SCC Coordinators, Archdiocese of Bombay

My dear Collaborators,

We begin a new month, November, with the celebration of ALL SAINTS DAY – a day when the Church reminds us of the universal call to holiness. The day was instituted to honour all the Saints, both known and unknown, and (according to Pope Urban IV) to supply any deficiencies in the faithful’s celebration of the Saints’ Feasts during the year. On November 02, we will remember all those who have passed away from our midst – from our own families, SCCs, priests, religious men and women, significant people who have made a deep impact on our lives, and yes, all those souls who have no one to pray for them. It is my sincere request to each one of you to remember and pray for the souls in Purgatory, that they be liberated and enjoy the bliss of the heavenly glory where there will be no more weeping, but only joy and happiness in the Risen Lord.

We will also celebrate the 7th World Day of the Poor on Sunday, November 19 – a day when I am earnestly requesting you to organize programmes where the poor, irrespective of caste, colour or creed are treated as our brothers and sisters. The Liturgical Year comes to an end with the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the Universal King on Sunday, November 26. It is on this day that we must reflect on our leadership role as baptized into the Body of Christ: do we exercise our leadership role as servants of Christ, or as Lord and Master? The world needs more and more people like St Teresa of Kolkata who is our role model, reaching out to the poorest of the poor in acts of joyful service. Could we rise to the occasion, and become witnesses of the Lord Jesus who taught us “not to be served, but to serve” ensuring NO ONE IN WANT in our homes, in our SCCs and our society at large. Sr Rena Rodricks, DHM, a member of the ART (Archdiocesan Resource Team) for SCCs has prepared the attached reflection for us to be reflected upon in our Core Group and cluster families. May I request you to ensure that the paper is discussed by all during the monthly Core Group meetings and cluster family meetings. (download English paper here) The Marathi translation has been done by Fr Ajit Tellis, Priest in-charge, St Anthony of Padua Church, Kalwa (download Marathi paper here). Special thanks to Fr Ajit Tellis.

Here are some important points for our consideration:

SCC Quarterly Reports: Those parishes that have not yet sent in their Quarterly Reports (July 2023 to September 2023) are requested to do so immediately, but not later than November 10, 2023.

Archdiocesan Meeting of all the Parish SCC Coordinators: As already mentioned to you, an Archdiocesan meeting of all the Parish SCC Coordinators is being arranged, this time, on Sunday, November 19 at St Michael Church, Mahim in the Auditorium on the third floor starting from 10:30 a.m. and ending with lunch. There is a lift service to reach the third floor. Attendance at the meeting is mandatory, and I will be happy to interact with you. I am aware that we are celebrating the World Day of the Poor on this day; please appoint a substitute in your place at the parish level, and make it a point to attend the meeting.

Celebrating Community: As is the practice, we are going to bring out the SCC Newsletter, entitled Celebrating Community on the occasion of Christmas. Please note that we will not be printing hard copies, as we are a community who want to “care for Creation and make it our home”. Those wanting to write articles and/or reports (max. 400 words) on SCC-related activities and programmes are requested to send the same with high resolution photographs to bombayscc@gmail.com latest by Sunday, November 26, 2023.

Prayer for the ongoing Synod: A few people have been asking if we can stop praying the Synod Prayer. May I inform here that the first session of the Synod is over. According to Pope Francis, the Synod: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Mission and Participation is not an event, but a process. The Synod will culminate in October 2024. With this in mind, may I request you to continue to pray for the success of the Synod deliberations during your family prayer, Core Group meetings, Cluster meetings and Steering Committee meetings.

Funerals in the SCCs: A couple of years ago, I had sent some Prayer Services that could be organized in the event of a death of someone in our own families and/or in the neighbourhood. Praying the Rosary is a good healthy practice; this should be continued. There are other prayer services which could be conducted on the occasion of a death in the SCC. May I request you, as Parish SCC Coordinator, and the Community Coordinator and all the SCC Animators of the particular Community to assemble in the home of the deceased, and to conduct the prayer service. I will send the Prayer Service after a couple of days.

Steering Committee meetings and Cluster meetings and activities: May I request you to organize the Steering Committee meetings and to send the Minutes of the meeting regularly to bombayscc@gmail.com. Also, you are requested to conduct and/or organize the Cluster meetings/activities regularly, and report the same in the SCC Quarterly Reports.

I thank you for all the cheerful service you are rendering in your parish community. A number of you are working and have families, and despite all the challenges that you face, you are offering a helping hand in your SCCs. Keep up the good work you are doing, and I believe that the Lord is blessing you and the members of your family.

Together, we work to ensure that NO ONE IS IN WANT in our SCCs.

With every good wish.

Yours in Christ,

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

October 31, 2023

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