Latin-rite bishops to seek ways to revitalize families

Bishops from 132 dioceses will attend the nine-day plenary assembly

By Matters India Reporter

Bengaluru: Indian bishops belonging to the Latin rite will seek ways to revitalize the Church’s works among families.

The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) is the national body for 182 bishops and 132 of the 171 dioceses in India. It is the largest bishops’ conference in Asia and the fourth largest in the world.

The conference will hold its 29th plenary assembly at the Pastoral Centre, Ashaniketan Campus, Bhopal, capital of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

The January 31-February 8 assembly has chosen the theme “Promoting the Joy of Love in Our Families.” The meet is expected to chalk out programs and plans to revive family apostolate at diocesan and parish levels, says a press release issued from the conference’s headquarters in Bengaluru, southern India.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the conference, will lead the inaugural Mass and preside over the opening meet on January 31.

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops based in Rome, will be among the dignitaries attending the assembly, says the press note signed by CCBI deputy secretary general Father Stephen Alathara.

Fr Stephen, Secretary CCBI

Bishop Lawrence Pius Dorairaj of Dharmapuri, chairperson of the CCBI Commission for Family, Donald and Maureen Xavier from Hyderabad; P. A. Edwin and Nimmy Marteena from Chennai; Colin Camiano from Bangalore; Elias and Catherine Lyngdoh from Shillong; Ishwar and Penny Bajaj from Mumbai; Biju Cheriyath from Bangalore; Patrick and Christina Ganawa from Jhabua; Joseph and Assunta Minj from Bhopal and Fr. Jomy Jacob from Jabalpur diocese will address the bishops on various aspects in “Promoting the Joy of Love in Our Families.”

The assembly theme is the follow up of the “Pastoral Plan for the Church in India,” promulgated on December 8, 2013. The plan identifies safe-guarding family as among pastoral priorities of the Church in India. The recent apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia is the fruit of Synods of Bishops on family held in Rome in 2014 and 2015. The papal exhortation stressed the need to revitalize the family ministries at the parish and diocesan levels.

The program also includes a one-day recollection for bishops, directed by Emeritus Archbishop Thomas Menamparambil of Guwahati. A mission exposure program is also planned for the bishops. The participants will visit various mission stations of the Archdiocese of Bhopal.

The assembly will also elect the new office bearers of the conference. The new president will lead the concluding Mass on February 8.

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