Message from Oswald Cardinal Gracias on the Feast of the Pentecost 2021
A message from His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, to the Priests in the Archdiocese of Bombay, on the feast of the Pentecost.
My Dear Fathers,
A very Happy Feast of Pentecost. May the Holy Spirit come down on each one forcefully and dwell within us. We pray for each other
I am very happy to connect with you once again. This is generally a very hectic time for all parishes because of transfers. I have just finished this year’s transfers. This is unusually late; the lockdown prevented us from having our transfer meetings regularly. I regret very much that I could not meet you personally and had to give you the transfers on the telephone. I assure you I will meet you personally when possible and convenient to discuss your new appointment and other matters. I hope this will be soon. I remind you that I have exempted all Parish Priests from the obligation of taking the Oath of Office and making the Profession of Faith publicly. All the Deans are delegated by me to be the official witness of the above juridical acts. I am bringing this up because till you do so canonically you will be acting Parish Priest in the new posting. I also draw your attention to civil formalities, that have to be completed soon: register with the Charity Commissioner etc.
I have been meeting my Disaster Management Committee regularly to assess the ground situation and plan for the future. The medical situation seems fairly under control in the area of our Archdiocese. The Church is much involved. At a couple of places there are Vaccination Centres in our premises. I hope to make more premises available depending on the feedback I receive. At the diocesan level: I know Bishop Barthol has been asking SCC Coordinators to see if any parishioners need assistance. I am reinforcing this request of Bishop Barthol to all SCC leaders. Make sure no one is in distress i.e. for lack of food, payment of school fees, etc. You can give the feedback to Bishop Barthol or to your Zonal Bishop and we can examine how we can help. Please reach out so that no one is in distress. So far all the relief is organized at the parish level, which has proven effective.
Because of the large number of priests and religious who have recently been victims to the second wave of Corona Virus, a group of Doctors, all ex- students of St. John Medical College have prepared guidelines for us during the COVID 19 situation. I have already forwarded this to all bishops in the country. Tomorrow I will send it to all our parishes and institutions. Do follow these guidelines. But this does not take the place of consulting your Doctor. I am also encouraging all of you to get yourself Vaccinated.
I know that many of you are only waiting to exercise some Pastoral Ministry. I will soon have a meeting with the Deans and later with our Priests Council to discuss the possibility of some limited pastoral work in our circumstances
Do pray for me as I do for all of you. Keep well and do not forget to follow all COVID Appropriate Protocol.
+ Oswald Cardinal Gracias
Archbishop of Bombay
May 21, 2021