Papal Intention for September: Papal Intention for September: The Pope invites the whole Church to pray for the people living on the margins of society,
in inhumane life conditions so that they may not be overlooked by institutions and never considered as of lesser importance.
Today, more than anything, a large number of people live on margins of society, due to injustice, poverty, and oppression by their own fellow beings. Some humans seem to be very cruel to their own kind, but there are those who brighten up the lives of many who would have been lost otherwise. Shall we not place ourselves on the side of those who are empathetic towards the marginalised? May our hearts vibrate with those who suffer injustice and deprivation. Let preferential option for the poor, which is close to the heart of the Church, be our own personal option too
Season of Creation:Between September 1 and October 4, the Universal Church celebrates “Ecumenical Season of Creation” with the theme: “Let justice and peace flow” (cf. Amos 5: 24). The Holy See, along with its ecumenical partners, has prepared some resources that will be useful for all of us to celebrate this month-long event. Material is available in various languages at this website: https://seasonofcreation.org/resources/ I recommend that you download the following document: Invitation to celebrate ‘Season of Creation’ 2023. In his message for the World Day for Prayer for the Care of Creation, from September 1, Pope Francis says: “We can and we must prevent the worst from happening.” Truly much can be done (Laudato Sì, 180), provided we come together like so many streams, brooks and rivulets, merging finally in a mighty river to irrigate the life of our marvellous planet and our human family for generations to come. So let us join hands and take bold steps to ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow’ throughout our world”. Let us join the Pope, who invites us to restore to ecology its balance, by making every effort towards conversion of hearts, lifestyles and policies: “During this Season of Creation, let us dwell on those heartbeats: our own and those of our mothers and grandmothers, the heartbeat of creation and the heartbeat of God” (Pope Francis’ Message). Even the little we do towards the conservation of creation and especially people, will have its lasting effects on the world and on human hearts.
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary: In this feast, our focus is on threefold celebration. That is, the freshness of the human life in the birth of Mary and consequently the newness of the birth of a girl child, the freshness of the new crop, and the freshness of the unity of our families. The whole creation is exuberant with greenery and invites everyone to drink deep into its freshness. Mary brings freshness into humanity by being born as a unique child with no stain of sin. She is destined to generate new life in us and fill newness in families. Let us take Mother Mary with us, as St John did and may she intercede for every family. Let the remaining time of the year of the family be fruitfully used in the company of Baby Mary.
The Profession of Faith: Some of Christ’s faithful have been asking me to reintroduce the recitation of the Profession of Faith (also known as the Symbol or Creed) during Sundays and Solemnities, as given by the two Councils, Nicaea (325 AD) and Constantinople (381 AD). This Creed is called the NicenoConstantinopolitan Creed, or popularly known as the Nicene Creed. It is a long-standing tradition to use this Creed at the Eucharist. Even today, most countries, continue to use this Creed during Sunday Mass and Solemnities.
“The purpose of the Creed is that the whole gathered people may respond to the word of God proclaimed in the reading taken from Sacred Scripture and explained in the Homily” (GIRM 67). The Creed is sung or recited by the Priest together with the people (GIRM 68). “At the words et incarnátus est, etc. (and by the Holy Spirit…and became man) all make a profound bow; but on the Solemnities of the Annunciation and the of the Nativity of the Lord, all genuflect” (GIRM 137). The Creed is the story of salvation given in brief, and as we recite or sing it, we join together in thanking and praising God for his great plan of salvation for us.
We admit that the revised Roman Missal provides the option to use either the Apostles’ Creed or the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed during the Eucharist on Sundays and Solemnities. It provides the text of both Creeds. It says: “Instead of the Nice noConstantinopolitan Creed, especially during Lent and Easter Time, the baptismal Symbol of the Roman Church, known as the Apostles’ Creed, may be used” (OM 19). However, the normal routine is to use the Nicene Creed most of the year and the Apostles’ Creed during Lent and Easter. This is because the Apostles’ Creed is more associated with baptism. During Lent and Easter, the catechumens prepare for baptism, and many will be baptised at the Easter Vigil. The Nicene Creed is more associated with the Eucharist and the Ecclesial Assemblies (Synods and Councils) as it summarises the deeper reflection of the early Church. As the Roman Missal favours the use of the Nicene Creed throughout the year, other than Lent and Easter season, we should recite the Nicene Creed lest we forget the deeper, more precise and profound expressions of faith as contained in the Nicene Creed.
Therefore, I request the Parish Priests to prefer the use of the Nicene Creed during the Liturgy on Sundays and Solemnities, except for Lent and Easter. With the availability of digital appliances, it is easy to project it until the people memorise it. This Creed has greater explanations within itself, which we need to know regarding our faith. The Solemnity of the Nativity of Mary is a good occasion to begin the recitation. The mystery of the Word made flesh, and Mary’s role in it are elaborated on. Let us make an effort to recite the Symbol of our faith slowly, with adequate pauses, to participate in the central mystery of our faith, revealed precisely for our salvation.
Anti-Drug Movement: On September 3, we shall inaugurate in our parishes the drive against drug trafficking and its consumption. We shall involve the Parish Pastoral Council and all the Apostolic Associations to create awareness and conscientise people, especially the youth and students. Drug trafficking is the largest network around, and because of this, many families are devastated. Children lose their physical and mental capacities by becoming addicts even before they ever realise what they are consuming. Peddlers use chocolates, sweets, chewing gums, stamps, tablets, powders in soft drinks, ice creams, etc., to sell drugs. A few are caught, and yet many continue their trade unhindered. It is a known fact that the victims themselves then become peddlers for small benefits. Life is endangered, and families are hit hard. The deadening of the conscience of a few has destructive consequences. Let us “Say NO to Drugs” and protect our youth and families. If we do not act now, we will also be held responsible for perpetuating the evil and for the loss of our future generations. Wish you all a Happy Monthi Fest. May Mother Mary intercede for us. X Peter Paul Saldanha Bishop of Mangalore
Peter Paul Saldanha
Bishop of Mangalore