Archive for: December 2013

Season of giving: This Christmas be a Santa for someone

Chennai: It’s easy to miss the message for the sales pitch; Christmas has after all, becomeoneof the market’ssweet seasons. But rising determinedly above store calls to self-indulgence and pampering one’s family with inessentials, can be heard a quiet appeal to reach out also to one’s community. It’s a message sent out by churches and organisations in Chennai, intent on returning to the originative values of the festival like charity and kindness.


At St Theresa’s Church, Nungambakkam,for example, parish priest Fr Lawrence Raj hasbeen entreating parishioners to contribute to the annual Christmas hamper effort they’ve been running for five years. Each hamper – containing a live hen, rice, lentils and other comestibles–sells at 500 and will be offered to a impoverished family of any faith. “The Society of St Vincent de Paulidentifies around300families and we supply them the hampers on December 24 morning so they can prepare a Christmas meal the next day,” saysFr Lawrence.

The church also collects packets of food cooked by parishioners on Christmas morning – a portion of eachfamily’s own feast – and the church youth fan out, delivering the food to the homeless. “Each year wecollectbetween 1,000to 1,500 packets,” Fr Lawrence says, pointing outthatthiswill help people remember that Christmas is the feast of sharing, notjustconsuming.

St Mathias Church at AshokNagar hashitupon an innovative campaign, ‘Be a Star this Christmas’. The parish Christmas tree will be mounted with dozens of stars, each inscribed with particulars of items neededby the poor ofthe parish, from food to stationery or clothes.People areinvitedto pick a star and donate the itemslistedon it. “Stars arethe need of the season,” says Fr Anthony Das, parish priest of this Capuchin order, calling to mindthe Star of Bethlehem.

Social outreach has long been central to the Christmas programme, in both religious and secular circles with parties and gift-giving organised in socialinstitutions.However, efforts that rally a community or neighbourhood to partake in collective outreach have yet to pick up. While most of these initiatives are taken up by churches,some are alsofielded by community organisations like the newspaper ‘Mylapore Times’.

Aboutfive years ago,editor Vincent D’Souza established a tradition which, by nature of its practice, became a vehicle for aid. He brought Santa Claus back to Mylapore. “We wanted to rekindle the simple joys of gifting; despite the age we’re in, people still believe in Santa Claus,” says D’Souza. This is how it plays out: on December 21 and 22, ‘Mylapore Times’ takes Santa Claus aroundthe neighbourhood, accompanied by three young members from St Bede’s Band who strike up a medley of festive tunes. The entourage drops off gifts (that had been deposited at the ‘Mylapore Times’ office the previous week) to children and adults. They venture into bylanes and up anddown buildingstodeliver the goods,someof which are marked out for residents of old age homes and other disenfranchised quarters of society, all anonymously sponsored. “We used to make our rounds from 5.30pm to 10pm in an open-top car, but then drunks would invariably want to join the party,” says D’Souza, adding that they’ve switched to safer modes of transport. As the editor emphasises, when youwantto pulloff something nice, youhavetoworkfor it.

Source: Times of india | Joeanna Rebello Fernandes TNN | Dec 22, 2013

How Francis became THE POPE OF HOPE

The Vicar of Christ is preaching the Gospel, in word and deed

He is everywhere. The Pope, that is. On the cover of magazines. As Person of the Year. As the subject of street corner discussions. As longform magazine stories. On meme boards. You get the idea.

The Pope’s mystique started on the night of his election, when he took a bus with the other cardinals, refusing to travel in the papal limousine. His plain white robes stood in stark contrast to the opulent trappings favoured by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. In his first media conference, he said that he wanted a “poor church, for the poor.”

When Time magazine pronounced Francis as the person of the year, Howard Chua-Eoan and Elizabeth Dias wrote, “But what makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all… In a matter of months, Francis has elevated the healing mission of the church – the church as servant and comforter of hurting people in an often harsh world – above the doctrinal police work so important to his recent predecessors. John Paul II and Benedict XVI were professors of theology. Francis is a former janitor, nightclub bouncer, chemical technician and literature teacher.” Ron Fournier writing at The Atlantic looked to the Pope as a way for the American Republican Party to understand the virtues of “openness, populism, humility, and courage.” His pro-poor message was not a change in direction for the church, away from cultural issues like gay marriage, abortion or contraception, but a return to the core values of Christianity, argue several observers. And at a time when atheism has gained ground rapidly in the world, he has made Catholic Christianity cool again, writes Jeremiah Jacques at

He’s now the most discussed person on the Internet. Reddit loves him. Francis memes have exploded since his papacy began. And his name is the most popular in Argentina for baby boys.



The pope condemns trickle-down economics and warns against the “idolatry of money”

The pope washes the feet of prisoners, including women and Muslims

Francis stuns the world when he tells a reporter “Who am I to judge them?” when asked about gays. Gay rights magazine The Advocate named Francis Person of the Year

APOSTLE OF CHANGE: Leading by example, words and actions

Source: Times of India | December 22, 2013   Photo Courtesy: Corbis

Our Lady of Assumption Church, Kamanayakkanpatti, Tuticorin

All are welcome at Our Lady of Assumption Church, Puthumainagar, Kamanayakkanpatti.

We, as the devotees of Holy Mary & faithful followers of Jesus Christ, create, nurture, and maintain a community of love through worship, reconciliation, healing, formation, education and service.

Through Chronological liturgical and Eucharist, we seek the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit, embracing the love of our Creator in each thought, word and action.

As humble servants of God, we remain faithful to the teachings of the Holy, Roman Catholic Church; waiting in joyful hope for our Lord’s coming.

Our Lady of Assumption Church


Kamanayakkanpatti played an important part in the former Madurai Mission and might be considered as the Mother Church for the southern region. It was also the center of evangelization in the Tirunelveli inland territory at the end of the 17th and 18th centuries. It had covered up Srivilliputhur (north-west), Vadakkankulam (south), Tenkasi (South-west) and the inland areas in the East.

In 1664 Fr. Freyre visited this area and found that there were Christians already here. In 1684, a small church was built by Rev. Fr. John De Britto, when he visited and made this place as the center for the missionary activities. Fr. Xavier Porgheese was the first parish priest who resided here and administered the Sacraments.It was the first time that K.N.P. was mentioned in the records of the history.Around the year 1690, it is said that a girl fell into an open well and died, while the parents and the villagers pleaded to Our Lady, she was miraculously brought back to life. Fr. Beschi came over during 1712-1715 and stayed here to learn the local language. It was at this time that he inculturated the Christian faith into the Indian culture. It was at his time that the Church was named as the Our Lady of Assumption.

In 1728 the Church was several times visited by thieves and plundered the village. It is said that a thief, stealing the image of Our Lady and was about to carry it away, when all on a sudden, he became blind. Around 1748 the old Church of K.N.P. was completely burnt down by some evil forces against the Christian faith, yet the statue of Our Lady remained unstained and was saved. Though it was a time of severe famine, the Christians rebuilt it against the thought of their enemies and with divine providence. Fr. Lawrence de Almeyda in charge of Mannargudi or Mannarcoil, falling sick on his way to the Coast, died at K.N.P, on the first of February 1748 after receiving the last sacraments. He was known as Rajendra swami, and his tomb can be seen even today at K.N.P.

There was an interval of 82 years from 1756 to 1838. During this time there were no priests, sacraments, Eucharist.etc, yet people stood firm in their faith by their popular devotion to Our Lady, with the help of the local catechists. Then Fr. Alexander Martin, known as Visuvasanandarswami accompanied by Fr. Mousset M.E.P., was the first Jesuit to visit K.N.P. Both celebrated the feast of the Assumption in 1838. Fr. Alexander was firm in removing the discrimination on the basis of caste and getting settled in the beginning of the twentieth century. After him Fr. J. Maria Dass extended the Church and built the present one with much elegance and style. It has a beautiful sanctuary, altar and stands on twelve pillars signifying the twelve apostles.

As the beginning of the jubilee year (325) and an honor to Our Lady, the ROSARY GARDEN was built with leading of Rev.Fr. Arulambrose (2005-2010) and it is convenient for people to pray the rosary at all times. It is slowly gaining its lost importance. This parish is known all over for its significant and unique devotions to Our Lady called “Kumbidu Sevai”, which tells the emptiness of human before God. This has got very many cultural impacts among the people and still holds the faith of the people. This is the first place where the practice of Car procession was introduced by Fr. Beschi.

Now many people flock to this place of grace and also experience the hand of God in their prayers and give thanks to God the Almighty through Our Lady. Last year, this mission has celebrated 325th jubilee year, many are visiting and honoring Our Mother. People from all over the country come over here through out the year and worship Our Lady.


Liturgical Timings:

Daily Services:
6.00 am – Morning Prayer and Holy Mass
7.00 pm – Rosary and evening Prayers

Weekly services:
All Saturdays:
12.30 am – Holy Mass for pilgrims.
7.00 pm – Rosary and Novena prayers
7.30 pm – Holy Mass, Benediction
All Sundays:
8.00 am Holy Mass, Benediction

Monthly Services:
First Friday:
7.00 pm – Rosary, Holy hour, Holy Mass, Adoration
IInd, IVth Sunday:
5.30 am – Holy Mass,
10.30 am – Holy Mass for Children (IInd Sunday only)
IVth Saturday:
7.00 pm – Rosary, Novena prayers at Rosary Garden
7.30 pm – Holy Mass at Rosary Garden
8.30 pm – Car Procession from Rosary Garden to Shrine
9.00 pm – Benediction
10.00 pm – “ Muzhu Nizhavu Vizha” at Rosary Garden
12.00 pm – Holy Mass at Rosary Garden

Our Lady of Assumption Church,

Duraiyur (Via),
Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) – District,
Tamilnadu, India.
Pin code – 628720.
Tel: +91 4632 244229, +91 4632 244230

For more information please visit: