Udupi: Strengthening Relations between Roman and Syrian Catholics – Bishop Gerald inaugurates Bible Convention

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Udupi: The Three day annual ‘Brahmavar Bible Convention’ was organised by St Mary’s Syrian Orthdox Cathedral at the Cathedral premises here on Wednesday March 25.

The inaugural function began with an invocation by Fr Lawrence D’Souza. Fr C A Isaac, Vicar General of the cathedral welcomed the gathering. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo Bishop of Udupi Catholic Diocese inaugurated the convention by lighting the lamp.

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In his message the Bishop called upon the faithful to live the true experience of Lenten season by repentance, fasting and Charity. Jesus began his public ministry with a message “Repent for the Kingdom of god is at hand”. That is the reason, we wear, ash on our foreheads as we begin the Lenten season. In the Gospel of St Mathew, we learn three basic things of the Lenten season they are Prayer, Repentance, Penance and Charity.

We know the importance of prayer in our lives—as individuals, as families, and as a community. Prayer is especially important during Lent. The Lenten season is a time for reflection, evaluation, and repentance. It calls us to a personal conversion and renewal—to a recommitted life in Christ so that we might not just celebrate Easter for forty days, but also feel the risen Christ alive in us and in the world throughout. This means prayer. During Lent we set aside time for prayer that is reflective in nature and reveals places where we have failed to open ourselves to God. Fasting and abstinence are not sacrifices for the sake of pain or vain discomfort. Sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice is not a Christian virtue. We are asked by the Church to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and not to eat meat on the Fridays of Lent he said.

Finally the bishop appealed the faithful that everyone should have a copy of the Bible, at all times, so that we may be able to meditate and pray, as and when possible.

Fr Dr Reji Mathew’s Prof. Old Seminary, Kottayam is the main preacher for the three day long Bible convention. After assuming the charge of Udupi Diocese Bishop Gerald participated in the Syrian Orthodox community programme which was highly praised by the faithful. The visit of the Catholic Bishop was of great historical importance, which will benefit in strengthening relations between both the communities.

Fr V C Jose, Fr Lawrence D’Souza, Fr David Crasta, Fr Abraham Kuriakose, Fr Noel Lewis, Trustee Anil Rodrigues and Secretary Wilson Lewis, were present. More than 800 faithful participated on the first day of the function.

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