Papal Intention for April: Pope Francis invites everyone to pray in order to uphold the dignity and immense value of women and to end all sorts of discrimination. God has created male and female in his image and likeness. To disrespect human dignity is to disrespect God the Creator. Discrimination is rampant in many ways, especially in the way we treat the girl child in our own land. On 10 March 2024, after the Angelus, Pope Francis, in his greetings, mentioning about the International Women’s Day, said: “There is still a lot of work that each one of us must do in order for the equal dignity of women to be genuinely recognized… offering to women, the bearers of life, the necessary conditions to be able to welcome the gift of life and assure their children of a worthy existence.” May we become an enlightened society to protect women and their dignity.

Recitation of Apostles’ Creed: I had mentioned the importance of the Nicene Creed in the Inter Nos of September 2023, and in the wake of the possible abandonment of the Nicene Creed in favour of the Apostles’ Creed, which is shorter, I had directed that the Nicene Creed be recited during the Eucharistic celebrations on Sundays and Solemnities. I am pleased to see that this is being well observed throughout the Diocese. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Roman Missal also offers an option for certain seasons. It says: “Instead of the Niceno- Constantinopolitan Creed, especially during Lent and Easter, the baptismal Symbol of the Roman Church, known as the Apostles’ Creed, may be used” (OM 19).

Apostles’ Creed is presented as the preferred Creed to be used during Lent and Easter time. Easter is the ideal day and season for celebrating Baptism because Baptism makes us participate in the Resurrection of Christ. The Apostles’ Creed has direct links to the baptismal promises. During the Easter Vigil and on Easter Sunday (but not on other Sundays of Easter Season), the renewal of baptismal promises and sprinkling with holy water replaces the Creed. This is to emphasize the traditional connection of Easter Sunday with baptism and because the profession of faith is included in the baptismal promises. Therefore, during the Easter season (from Easter Sunday to Pentecost), I recommend the recitation of Apostles’ Creed. After the Easter season, however, you should start reciting the Nicene Creed.

Divine Mercy Sunday (7 April): From ancient times, the Second Sunday of Easter is celebrated as Sunday in White (Dominica in albis) because the newly baptized wore their white garments to Mass on this Sunday. This is also called Low Sunday,   “low” in comparison to the greatest feast of all, Easter. Pope John Paul II, heeding to the private revelation given by Our Lord to Sr Faustina Kowalska, the Apostle of Divine Mercy, called it as Divine Mercy Sunday. In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that “throughout the world, the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come.” May the Lord have mercy on us and on the whole world, especially in these days of prejudice, conflicts and trials.


Feast of Annunciation (8 April): The solemnity of the Annunciation of our Lord is celebrated on 25 March, exactly nine months before the birth of Jesus at Christmas. However, this year, the solemnity is transferred to Monday, 8 April. The feast is transferred to a different date if it falls on a Sunday of Lent, during Holy Week, or during the Octave of Easter. This solemnity commemorates the most sublime moment in the history of time, the moment when the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity assumed human nature in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Thus, it is a feast of the Lord, even as it is of Mary, although the Liturgy centres wholly around the Mother of God.

Invitation to Priestly Ordination (11 April): Three  of our Deacons – Norman John Mathias, Lanson Maxim Pinto, and Pradeep Clarence Rodrigues – will be ordained on 11 April at 3.00 p.m. in the Cathedral. I cordially invite you all to the celebration of the Priestly Ordination. Our prayers will help  the candidates spiritually to live their commitment fully. Our presence
will give them the assurance that we lovingly welcome them into the priestly brotherhood. We thank the Lord for giving us three new priests.

Priestly and Religious Vocations
Sunday (21 April):
The whole Church prays for the vocations for priesthood and religious life. The Lord himself says that the harvest is in abundance, but the labourers are few, and he asks us to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more labourers. In
concurrence with the will of
 the Lord, we pray for vocations for our Diocese and for the whole Church. Various Congregations in
our Diocese celebrate
 the Final Profession in this month. This is also an opportune time to pray for vocations to religious life and priesthood so that the Lord inspires many a young man and woman to respond to his call.

General Election and Our Responsibility (26 April):

 As declared by the Election Commission, we shall have the Election to the Parliament on 26 April. Please encourage the
parishioners, especially the youth, to help the elderly, the differently able and all those who are in need of assistance, to go to the polling booth/ station to vote. In the meantime, we pray that the Lord may give us a Government that is truly interested in protecting the rights of the citizens. Let us choose those who do not make any discrimination based on caste and religion but respect the rights
of every citizen.

Increasing Temperature and Water Conservation: We already
sense the rise of heat and evaporation of groundwater. The summer is at hand. The city already senses the lack of water.
Let us be conscious of the value of water and use it economically. It is necessary that we find creative ways to conserve water and make concerted efforts towards harvesting it.

A Word of Gratitude: I am sincerely grateful to all the priests for their active participation in the Pastoral Consultation held on 20 and 21 March, which was concluded with the Chrism Mass. Various issues were presented during the discussions, which require further reflection. With the help of Consultors and the Council of Priests, we shall give proper directions for further action. I thank the Secretary of the Council of Priests, the Director of St Antony Charitable Institutions, the Preacher of the Recollection, the Rector of the Cathedral and all those who helped us in one way or another for the smooth functioning of the activities of both the days. May the Risen Jesus bless you all.

􀀁  Peter Paul Saldanha

 Bishop of Mangalore