Pastoral Message - January 2020

Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,

I wish you all a very Happy New Year 2020. May the birth of Christ fill our life and land with joy, peace and love. May the Mother of God and Mother of the Church be our protection and guide.

We thank the Lord for the wonderful year 2019 and many graces that were showered upon us and our diocese. God’s marvellous look was upon us. Now we entrust our new year to the presence of the same Lord. I would like to thank the CRI – Vellore for their prayers and wishes. Their precious gifts have reached almost all parts of the Diocese. May their generosity be abundantly blessed by God.

Let the celebration of Pongal bring unity, joy and happiness to the land of Tamil Nadu. We thank the Lord for the good rain, good harvest and the gift of cattle. May the prosperity 1of the harvest bring peace to our people. Let us recognize the nature is given to us and let us preserve them and make them an offering to God.

The call of the Church and of the Holy Father for the New Year: Sustain each other within the family just as Jesus, Mary and Joseph did. Looking at the Holy Family, Pope Francis began by analyzing Mary, describing her “docility” at the action of the Holy Spirit. “How can one not remain amazed by it?” he asked. Mary, like so many young women, was “about to solidify her plan for her life through a profound communion with her spouse”, he explained. However, when she became aware of the mission to which God was calling her, “she did not hesitate to proclaim herself ‘servant’”.

Turning then to the figure of Joseph, “the Gospel does not report a single word” on him, said the Pope. Joseph “does not speak, but obeys through his actions”. Pope Francis used the “delicate moment” in which he wanted to secretly send Mary away because she was pregnant as an example. “His choice”, said the Pope, was made so as not to be “an obstacle in God’s plan”, and so as to “allow Mary to be free to adhere to the divine will”.

Finally, the Pope looks at Jesus, the third member of the Holy Family of Nazareth. He is the “will of the Father”, 2said the Pope. St Paul says that in Him there was not a “yes” and a “no”, but only a “yes”. This, continued the Pope, manifested itself “in so many moments during His early life”: “The episode in the temple when, to his parents who searched anxiously for him, he responded: “Did you not know that I had to be about my Father’s business?” (Lk 2,49); He repeated continually: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me” (Jn 4,34); His prayer in the Garden of Olives: “My Father, if this chalice cannot be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done” (Mt 26,42).”

All these events, said the Pope, are the “perfect realisation of these words of Christ, who said: Sacrifice or offering you did not desire [...]. Then I said: ‘Behold, I come [...] to do your will, Oh God’.” Pope Francis concluded his address by saying that this Family represents a “choral response” to the will of the Father. The three components helped each other endlessly to “discover and fulfill God’s plan”. The Pope prayed that the family be a model, so that parents and children might mutually sustain each other in adhering to the Gospel, “the foundation of the holiness in the family”.

Let us pray for all our families. They may be faithful to their call. Let there be peace and harmony among the 3parents and children. May the New Year be a gift of peace and understanding in the families.

May our Mother protect us.

Yours in Christ Jesus



+ Most Rev. Dr. P. Soundararaju, SDB.,

Bishop of Vellore