Nepal Vicariate News, March 2015 - St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic

Nepal Vicariate News, March 2015
Bishop’s Message:
We are in the holy season of Lent. This is the most important season
of Church’s year. A time of purification and of spiritual clarification. It
is a time when we have to find out in the deepest sense “who we are”.
Times of denial of temptation and trial. Times when we force ourselves to discover who we are at the deepest level. So, Lent is a journey of this spiritual renewal. In this journey we try to walk with the
Lord and reflect our life in relationship with him. The Gospel readings
during the Lenten days teach us that repentance is at the heart of all
renewal. On Ash Wednesday, through a symbolic gesture of Ash on
our forehead, we declared that we all were sinners and we all need
forgiveness of God. It is to turn back to God and rediscover our faith
by the grace of God. It is a season of repentance. Repentance offers us
a new beginning and an opportunity to experience God’s grace and
forgiveness. True repentance brings joy, freedom and forgiveness. It
liberates us from the clutches of sin and allows us to experience anew
God’s love and mercy. Lent is therefore, not only the season of repentance where we focus on sin but also a time of great joy and renewal
of our faith.
Let us open our hearts to the words of Jesus, “Repent, and believe in
the Gospel” (Mk 1:15) which we will hear many times during the Lenten
season. May the journey of conversion and fidelity to the Gospel during this Lent, enable us all to realize deeply our duty to be reconciled
with God, with ourselves and with our brothers and sisters.
I conclude with Pope Francis’ words in his message for Lent 2015: “A
merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be
merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the
tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the
Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and
sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realizes its own
poverty and gives itself freely for others”.
I wish you all fruitful Lenten season and the joy of the Resurrection at
+Paul Simick
The year for the consecrated life: Wake up the world…
Gathering of the CRN Kathmandu, Women Religious
The women religious of Kathmandu valley gathered at Don
Bosco,Techo, on 17th Feb 2015. The gathering was commenced with a
prayer led by Sr.Bernard S.C. In the welcoming address she introduced
Sr.Roseline SCN, the resource person of the day.
Sr.Roseline began with the exhortation of Pope Francis to all religious
on the aim of consecrated life and she spoke about religious being
prophets and fearless people. Religious are announcers and denouncers and there is a call to guard against gossip and to synergize all our
energies into the mission. We are called to be joyful pilgrims and to
reflect on our origins and to resonate with the ideals of our founders.
We have a mission to build relationships of peace, build bridges, unify
people and be model communities to the world. Religious congregations are the charisms that enrich the dioceses and consecrated life
concerns the entire church.
Sr.Roseline ended her session by giving us two questions for reflection and group discussion.
Qn: 1
How have the women religious in Nepal enriched the Church
of Nepal?
Qn: 2
What are the limitations that you find in the church and suggestions to rectify them?
The gathering was divided into different groups for reflection and
discussion. After which a report was presented by each group for
which Rev. Bishop Paul Simick too was present. Some of the highlights
of the discussions are:
• Women religious enriching the Church by their own witnessing
personal lives and various ministries of the respective congregations.
• Some of the challenges that women religious face in the mission
field are – no fire of Christ, lack of collaboration, egoism, lack of
strong faith etc.
In order to understand each other in a better way each Congregation
presented its Foundation and Mission in Nepal through power point
In response to the whole day’s programme Bishop thanked everyone
and commended on the contribution each congregation makes to enrich the Church of Nepal. He exhorted each one to be holy so that we
witness Christ.
With this wonderful message our Bishop assured us of his constant
support and prayers.
The brain storming session that followed came up with many activities and a sister from each congregation was named for a core group
to plan for the future. The gathering suggested to include representatives of male congregations
and the vicariate to be in this
core group.
After the session everyone
moved to the chapel for a short
prayer. During the prayer, a lit
lamp was given to each community for the chain prayer that will
begin very soon where each community will be allotted a day on
which continuous prayers will be raised to God for the religious and
the church of Nepal. With the final blessings form the Bishop everyone
returned to their respective communities with hearts filled with gratitude and the souls filled with the grace of God.
It was a wonderful experience and a great platform for the women religious to come together and to bring forth their creativity and talents
in a synergized manner. We are grateful to SDB Fathers, Thecho, for
their wholehearted support throughout the day. They will always remain in our prayers.
Thanking you
Women Religious of Kathmandu.
News from the Parishes and Missions:
Aamghachi Mission:
It was a great joy for the people of Aamghi and Tulachand, sub-stations of Immaculate Conception Parish, Damak, to welcome their
Bishop along with their Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Benjamin and Associate
Parish Priest Rev. Leo D’Souza on the 2nd of February 2015. The parish-
ioners of these two sub-stations welcomed and honored the Bishop
by garlanding and ceremonial washing of feet and hands. With melodious cultural singing and colorful dancing they led the Bishop to
their old village chapel. The Bishop prayed with the people thanking
God for the gift of faith and the marvel He has done to his people.
Bishop in his short speech encouraged the parishioners to live their
Christian faith by following Jesus faithfully to become like Jesus himself.
thanked People of both sub-stations for their love and respect. In the
the end there was a fellowship high tea in one of the families.
Damak: Bhutanese Refugee Education Program:
It’s a time of joy and thanksgiving for the JRS members. God has listened to our prayers. Hence, we join with the JRS members all over the
world, especially with those of JRS South Asia and raise our hands and
hearts in gratitude to God for all those who intervened in a powerful
way for the release of Fr. Prem SJ.
This is what the JRS Nepal Team would like to convey to you, dear Fr.
“God has sustained you in ways we cannot fathom, all those months.
You were all alone, lonely, and perhaps in fear of what is to come.
What that experience meant, only you can share with us.
Deep down in our hearts we believed that you were not alone.
God is with you all along.
The whole Church was with you. The Society of Jesus was with you,
The whole JRS and Caritas family was
with you.
You have an experience of faith to share
with us.
You have a story of resilience to tell us.
You will surely tell us what strategies you
adopted to keep going and not giving up.
You will share with us all this some day.
Meanwhile we want you to relax, take good rest,
recuperate from fatigue, and regain your energies.
This is our wish and prayer for you.
The Pre-Board Examinations (Trial Examinations) were conducted for
the students of Class X and Class VIII from 28th January to 6th February
2015. The Board Examinations for Class X and Class VIII are scheduled
to respectively commence from 19th and 20th March 2015. The Annual
Examinations for Classes Pre-primary to VII and IX will commence
from 2nd March 2015. The academic year 2014 – 2015 will come to a close
with conclusion and announcement of Annual Examination result.
The Child Play Centers (CPCs), Upper Section with 346, having 163 boys
and 183 girls; the Lower Section with 455, 224 boys and 231 girls, cater
to 801 children between the age groups of 3 - 5 years. These children
come to the CPCs in 2 shifts for 2 hours daily. They spend their time in
useful developmental activities, enjoying, learning and playing in
groups. The out-door play activities are geared where children express themselves spontaneously, and learn the meaning of give and
take. The CPCs were supported in a big way for almost 10 years – by
JRS Singapore and St. Ignatius Parish, Singapore. The funding program
by Singapore will come to an end this year in July, but not the emo-
tional bond. The good that was done by Singapore JRS/St. Ignatius Parish to the children will
last their life time.
As many as 144 persons with disability (PWD) were
referred to BPKIHS, Dharan for medical check up
and certification. Of those referred, 89 underwent
medical check up and were medically certified. Vocational training for
persons with disabilities started on 6th February. As many as 32 persons with disabilities are undergoing vocational training - 14 in Tailoring, 6 in Basic Computer Course, and 11 in
The last batch of Vocational Training for local women supported by UNWFP started the
courses in the first week of February 2015
with 55 trainees in Basic Tailoring, 15 in Advanced Tailoring, and 30 in Basic Painting
and Boutique. 131 trainees were selected under UNHCR funding and
the courses have commenced for the first half of this year – Light Vehicle Driving (34), Beautician (16), House Keeping & Care giver (23), Hotel
Catering (20), Electrical House Wiring & Plumbing (13), Basic Electronic
Goods Service (17), and AC & Fridge Repair (8).
The enrollment in the spoken English Centers (SECs) is gradually decreasing as the camp population is shrinking in size. The 21st Batch
has 391 adult learners in the 3 SECs – 86 in Beldangi – I (12 male & 74
female), 203 in Beldangi – II (22 male & 181 female), and 102 in Sanischre
(07 male & 95 female).Though the number is on the waning side, not
the enthusiasm of the learners and that is very encouraging to carry
on with SECs knowing fully well that the learners are helped in some
ways to cope up with new situations in the resettled countries.
YFC started its activities beginning with the selection of mentors and
mentees in the month of January. The nominations and orientation for
the Core Committee members of YFC was completed between 10th and
11th February in both Beldangi and Sanischare camps. Orientation to
the Mentors and inauguration of Mentor-Mentee programs were organised between 13th and 20th February 2015.
Mr. Koen Versavel, an EU Independent Consultant, visited the
Bhutanese refugee camps and programs, from 25th – 30th January 2015
to evaluate the camps and programs. He met the Heads of agencies,
had focus group discussions with different groups of refugees, visited
the most unexpected sites in the camps focusing on the maintenance
of sanitation facilities and waste management, etc.
The 4th Round Table Meeting of all the stakeholders in the Bhutanese
refugee operation took place on 30th January 2015. As of December
2014, 94,565 people from the Bhutanese refugee camps left for the resettlement, while 23,059 persons are remaining in the camps. Hopefully, 6000 will be resettled during 2015, and another 4500 by the end of
2016. Although a trickling number will be leaving for resettlement, the
number will be smaller and the pace of departures, slower from January 2017 onwards. As for the registration of those who were non-registered, and the re-registration of those who missed in 2012, the
prospects do not seem bright at all. It was also made clear that the
voice of the individual refugees for repatriation is very vital in the
context of taking further concrete steps towards advocacy and mediation with the Government of Bhutan. This Round Table meeting was
significant in the sense it was made very clear that after 2 years, there
will be changes in the services to be provided. The preparations for
the changes planned are under way. It was also communicated that as
efforts for durable solution for the remaining refugees will be contin-
ued, the refugee community is expected to play a greater role in the
services to be carried on.
The Camp Management committee elections were held on 2nd February. Most probably this would be the last of the elections to have
been conducted. At present, all the Agencies are busy taking part in
Country Operation Project Planning. Unlike the previous years, all the
agencies are asked to prepare plans for 2 years – 2016 and 2017. It is
becoming more and more difficult for all the agencies to carry on with
services efficiently and effectively, mainly because of lack of qualified
human resource in the camps. This is our challenge and we count on
the support of your prayer to help us to carry with our mission.
Sr. Lourdu mary Thumma
Catechists and Leadership Seminar
Immaculate Conception Church - Damak
6th Feb- 9th Feb 2015
On the 6th of February 2015 the church leaders and catechists seminar
was held at Immaculate Conception parish Damak. Practically all the
participants arrived by 11.00. a.m. There was a slight delay in arriving
due to the thick fog on that day. However the program started by
11.30 am. Our Bishop Paul Simick inaugurated the seminar by welcoming all the participants and especially all the parish priests and the resource personnel. The main resource personnel for the first two days
were Mr. Rajen Banarjee and Dennis Lepcha, both from Darjeeling
Diocese, who very enthusiastically kept the 90 participants with great
Participants with the Bishop and the Resource persons
The whole program was very meticulously planned by our Bishop Paul
and his helpers. Though the great crowds came from the East Nepal
Deanery, they were enriched by the presences from Banyatar, Tipling,
Sindupal chowk, Kohalpur, Naranyanghat. All felt very free and there
was a good and pleasant atmosphere of unity and brotherhood.
On the 3rd day the stage was taken by youthful performance of Fr. Pius
Marcus from Kalingpong. The main topics expounded by all the three
were on: The Christian the salt of the earth and light of the world. The
qualities of Christian leaders and the progress of the church in the
modern world.
On the last day there was an evaluation of the whole program and
practically all felt the need to have more of these training sessions
and longer periods. The program was concluded by the Bishop who
along with other priests offered the Eucharist at 6.30 PM and after the
Eucharist the Dean of East Nepal thanked the Bishop for his time and
availability on all the days which encouraged all the participants
present, thanked the resource personnel and the parish priests and
the participants.
Rotary Peace Conference, Lumbini
Rotary international organized a Peace conference in Lumbini from
7th February to 9th February. The Rotary members from Nepal,
Bangladesh, India, Bhutan and Taiwan participated in this program. Inter - Faith approach to peace building was one theme and religious
leaders from Hinduism,
Buddhism , Islam
Christianity were invited
for this gathering. All religious leaders highlighted
important role
can play bring about
peace and harmony in society. Tolerance was one
key word talked often. Religious leaders talked
about how their religions
also talks about tolerance
and peaceful coexistence.
They all agreed to promote religious harmony and to show respect for
other’s religions.
Kanchanpur Mission:
In the far west part of
Nepal the CMI Fathers
have been living and
working among our
people . Finally they
have built their own
residence and a Chapel
for faithful to come together for worship. The Inaugural ceremony
was held on 5th of February and Fr. Silas Bogati represented Bishop
Paul Simick. Thank you CMI Fathers for your work among our people
and congratulations on inauguration of new residence and Chapel.
Please pray for their work.
Pioneering New Missions
Fr . Alfaro
Fr .
Silas went
exp l o r e d
Tansen a
hill country
Nepal and
visited Chinchu and Jajarkot along also with Fr. Jomon James in western Nepal for possible expansion of our Mission work. We visited Khalanga the district head quarters of Jajarkot district. There has been
promise of donation of some free land for our Mission work. Let us
see how God leads us….please do pray for our new Mission work.
Bishop’s Program for March:
March 2-5: F.A.B.C. Meeting on Climate Change Regional Seminar: Mumbai
March 5-7: Morning Star College, Barrackpore, Kolkata: Meets Vicariate
March 8: Back to Kathmandu
Chrism Mass: 26th March 2015 at Assumption Church: 5 p.m.
Lenten Spiritual Recollection: Vicariate Priests to join the Lenten program
organized by CRN
Prayer Intention of the Holy Father :
Universal: Scientists
That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole
human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women
That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.
Please send your news, views, comments and suggestions to: Fr. Silas Bogati Email:
[email protected]