Bellary Diocese

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Retreat, a Call to Conversion

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The pastoral clergy of the Diocese will commence their annual retreat on Sep. 21. It’s a privileged time of grace for priests personally and for the entire diocese.

Retreat is a time of conversion, a time of return to God. Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:15)
Jesus’ call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets of the Old Testament, does not aim first at outward change of behavior using sackcloth and ashes, fasting and penance, but at the conversion of heart, an interior change of heart. Without a change of heart involving a “new heart and a new spirit”, mere outward actions remain sterile and shallow. However, an interior conversion demands visible signs of a radical change, manifested through a life of prayer, charity and service.
Interior conversion is a radical reorientation of one’s entire life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end to sinful life, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed. At the same time it entails the desire and resolution to change one’s life, with hope in God’s mercy and trust in the help of His grace. (Catechism of the Catholic Church: 1430-31)
God's call to conversion is an all time, all season invitation; it demands an on going, ever deeper change of heart! 
May the annual retreat be a time of out pouring of divine love “lavished upon us” (Eph. 1:8). May it be a new Pentecost, ushering in a new life in the Spirit.
Let us lift up all our priests to God in prayer and supplications.
Sep. 20, 2009                                                                 + Henry D’Souza
                                                                                          Bishop of Bellary

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 Number of people affected : 151,934
Loss of life : 72
Villages affected : 1,296
Houses destroyed/damaged : 118,833
Relief being distributed to : 3,500 families
No. Catholic houses lost: 560
Number of medical camps held : 22