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Mission Congress Aims to Create Awareness of Spreading Good News

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MUMBI, OCT. 09: Prabhu Yesu Mahotsav (National Mission Congress) will be held from October 14 to 18, 2009 at St. Pius Seminary, Goregaon. This historic meeting, the first Mission Congress of its kind, is expected to have 1,500 participants from all over the country, including 120 Bishops. The Congress will be inaugurated on October 14 evening by the Papal Representative, Most Rev. Pedro Lopez Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio to India. The idea of having such Congresses was first suggested by the late Pope John Paul II who asked every continent to have such a meeting. Thus in October 2006, an Asian Mission Congress was held in Chang Mai, Thailand. 50 delegates attended the Congress from India. On that occasion the delegates from India decided to have an Indian Mission Congress as a follow up. Preparations for this meeting have been going on for over a year, with a Local Organizing Committee under the Chairmanship of Bishop Agnelo Gracias. The National Organizing Committee, with Fr. Vijay Shantiraj as its Secretary, has been giving the overall policy and direction for the Congress. “The purpose of the Congress is to joyfully share our faith in Jesus Christ, to express the joy of believing in Him, to exchange our experiences, and to inspire others to continue to work in the spirit of the Gospel,” explained Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Prabhu Yesu Mahotsav organizing committee, at a media conference to announce the Mahotsav. “It is hoped that as a result of this Congress, the participants and the whole Church in India will have a deeper awareness of what it means to be a Christian, a greater consciousness of our calling, and a more sincere commitment to live as Christians,” added His Eminence. “This is a historic moment since the Prabhu Yesu Mahotsave is being organized in India for the first time,” said Fr. Vijay Shantiraj. The Key-message of the Gospel of Jesus is Love and Service; love of neighbour as of oneself and this love is to be shown in service. Inspired by this teaching of Jesus, we were privileged to have a Mother Teresa, and have tens of thousands of religious sisters and thousands of priests working all over the country. Besides taking care of the spiritual needs of our own people, a big area of operation of the Church is in the field of education. The Catholic Church, through its priests, brothers and sisters, runs a huge network of schools all over the country. After the Government of India, the Catholic Church is the largest provider of education in the country. The purpose of our educational institutions is to give an all-round formation to the students, so that students coming out would make an effective contribution to society and to the country. Another big area of work is in the field of Health. The Church has a large network of Health Care Institutions all over the country. Many of these are situated in the unserved rural areas. We also have 5 Medical Colleges which produce doctors to serve our people in the field of health. There are also many Nurses Training Institutes. During the Prabhu Yesu Mahotsav - the Indian Mission Congress - there will be an exchange of experiences in these fields and in many other areas of work. The Theme of the Congress is “LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE”. The light of God which is in us should shine brightly by our lives of love and service. Besides the talks and the exchange of experiences, each Region of our country will present cultural items, displaying their experiences of the faith. While the participation in the Congress will be restricted to delegates, the closing Ceremony on Sunday, October 18, 2009 will be open to all. There will be a solemn con-celebrated Eucharist with over 100 Bishops participating. For more information kindly log on to www.indianmissioncongress.com

 
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