The Religious (CRI), the Catholic Media association (SIGNIS) and India’s oldest Catholic lay association (CAB) of Calcutta archdiocese have initiated a number of steps to express solidarity with the victims of dastardly crimes in Orissa and elsewhere in India. Salesian Archbishop Lucas Sircar of Calcutta has endorsed the following action plan spread out in October-November.
1. An Audio Visual (AV) presentation has been compiled by SIGNIS West Bengal, based entirely on media reports. This will help us understand better, the chain of events that originated in Kandhamal, Orissa on 23 August 2008 that spread to five more states and is still continuing today. This 20 minutes AV presentation may be screened during all major Sunday masses in October, preferably after the penitential rite. The homily may be suitably modified to reflect on the violence and to formulate a Christian response to the same, bearing in mind “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. For screening in your parish please call Sunil Lucas (SIGNIS) 98300 23564, or Alexander Anthony (CAB) 98310 12962.
2. Continuous adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in all parishes on Sunday 26 October 2008 from 8 AM to 8 PM.
3. The same day (Sunday 26 Oct) shall be observed as a Day of Prayer and Fast in all the parishes. You could encourage the laity and the communities in your parish to turn to the power of the Blessed Sacrament to restore peace in the hate filled regions of the country. The various parish groups like SVP, Legion of Mary, Parish Council, Youth groups, etc may also be motivated to participate in large numbers to express solidarity with the unfortunate victims of this senseless violence. The proceeds from the fast could be forwarded to Archbishop House to be sent for the grieving families in Orissa. For further details please call Fr. Reginald Fernandes (SKC) 98300 29752, Sr. Vianey (SCCG) 64569069 or Sr. Celine Anthony (FMM)
4. Relay Fast led by Bishops at the Metro Corridor, from 8 am Friday 07.11.08 to 5 pm, Sunday 09.11.08. The purpose of this public demonstration of solidarity with our suffering brethren is to reassure them that their leaders are resolutely with them in their hour of crisis. We are trying to ensure participation of as many Bishops as possible and other Christian denominations are also lending their support to this endeavour. The active support of our own organisations and groups like CAB/ CRS /DBDOC/ SKC/ ABCD/ CTG/ AFJ/ etc is solicited. Please make it a point to personally lead your flock to the venue on all 3 days so that large turnout may force the powers that be to notice and take necessary action. CRI West Bengal will be spearheading this effort and their president Fr George Pattery sj will be the convenor for this event assisted by Mr Sunil Lucas (SIGNIS) 98300 23564 and Fr Reginald Fernandes (SKC) 98300 29752. Any assistance / cooperation extended to them will be highly appreciated.
5. Human Chain on 09.11.08, the last day of the Relay Fast, from 5.00 pm to 5.10 pm starting from the fast site stretching as far as possible. As we join hands with one another let us pause for a moment and remember the sufferings of those innocent victims and pledge to ensure that another Kandhamal never happens again. We need to create a mass movement of all right thinking people to stand up and condemn mob attacks. All those who are not near the fast site will gather near parishes or schools and join hands to form a human chain for 10 minutes.