Glory to God in the highest, Amen!
My dear and Reverend Fathers, Sisters and beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,
The liturgical season of Annunciation is a time of joy and hope as it proclaims the Good News from the Lord. The Good News is about the birth of two babies; John the Baptist and Jesus and the joy it radiates. This joy is the joy of Life; the human and the divine life. We witness to the “care and respect” given to the new lives by the divine and the human. We experience this joy in the “care and respect” given through the “warmth and tenderness” of persons, spouses, families, communities, the whole world and the heavens.
This liturgical season thus exhorts and invites to be partners in “caring and respecting” life. “All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, (and) warmth... To give life is to open (our) heart, and to care for life is to (give oneself) in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in my heart for others. ... Caring for life from the beginning to the end: What a simple thing, what a beautiful thing! ... So, go forth and don’t be discouraged. Care for life. It’s worth it.” (from a homily in 2005 by Cardinal Bergoglio celebrating Aug. 31 feast of St. Raymond Nonnatus, patron saint of expectant mothers, newborns)
4LIFE is the ministry of our diocese to respond to this call of “caring and respecting” human life. Jesus Youth USA has initiated this ministry three years ago and it has grown to an official ministry of the diocese now.
The month of January is very special as our nation is responding in various ways to the call of St. John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae: “What is urgently called for is a general mobilization of consciences and a united ethical effort to activate a great campaign in support of life.” Our diocese too is joining hands with the American church to “mobilize consciences ... in support of life” through 4LIFE ministry. I urge all of you to participate and encourage the following programs organized by 4LIFE.
1. CAMPAIGN FOR LIFE
All the major cities of America are organizing campaigns with different names. I urge all our parish and mission communities to participate in those campaigns. 4LIFE is ministry is focusing on the following campaigns at our different regions.
a) MARCH AND RALLY FOR LIFE - January 16, 2016 at Dallas: for the Southern Region (parishes and missions of Dallas forane). For details visit: http://www.dallasmarchforlife.com
b) MARCH FOR LIFE - January 16, 2016 at St. Augustine Florida for Southeast Region (parishes and missions of Coral Springs forane). For details visit: http://www.marchforlifestaugustine.com
c) MARCH FOR LIFE - January 17, 2016 at Chicago: for the Midwest Region (parishes and missions of Chicago Cathedral forane). For details visit: http://illinoisrighttolife.org/march-for-life-chicago
d) MARCH FOR LIFE - January 21-22, 2016 at Washington DC: for the Northeast and MidAtlantic Region (parishes and missions of Bronx, Somerset, Atlanta and Philadelphia foranes). For details visit: http://marchforlife.org/mfl-2016
e) RALLY FOR LIFE - January 23, 2016 at Austin TX: for the Southern Region (parishes and missions of Houston forane). For details visit: http://www.texasrallyforlife.org
f) WALK FOR LIFE - January 23, 2016 at San Francisco: for the West Region (parishes and missions of Santa Ana forane). For details visit: http://www.walkforlifewc.com
g) Knanaya parishes/missions are also expected to join this important ministry in respective areas.
2. ViVO 2016 - January 23-24, 2016
VIVO is the Annual National ProLife Gathering organized by the 4LIFE ministry. ViVO 2016 is coupled with March for Life at Washington. ViVO will be on January 23-24, 2016 at St. Jude SyroMalabar Catholic Mission, Northern Virginia.
3. 4LIFE WEBINARS
4Life webinars are organized to mobilize the Gospel of life. The series address various life related issues in an authentic and systematic way. Two webinars are done every month. One focused more on youth and young adults and the other on family. Some of the past webinars were “Engaging the Culture”, “Home of the Wounded Heart”, “Spirituality of Marriage”, “Same Sex Marriage: Why Do We Care”, “Holy Mass the Greatest Miracle”, “Theology of Body”, “Love is our Mission”, “Feminine Genius” and so on. All the past webinars are available at http://4life.jesusyouth.org/?page_id=371 and in YouTube
4. LIFE SUNDAY
Our diocese is celebrating February 07, 2016 as the LIFE SUNDAY of the year. Each parish and mission is invited to celebrate this day in a meaningful way in response to the call of Holy Father Saint John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae, “The celebration of this Day should be planned and carried out with the active participation of all sectors of the local Church. Its primary purpose should be to foster in individual consciences, in families, in the Church, and in civil society a recognition of the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. Particular attention should be drawn to the seriousness of abortion and euthanasia, without neglecting other aspects of life which from time to time deserve to be given careful consideration, as occasion and circumstances demand."
4LIFE ministry and Diocesan Family Apostolate are planning resources and teams to “mobilize consciences” of our parish and mission communities to become “people of life and people for life” as St. John Paul II exhorted in Evangelium Vitae.
In this Great Jubilee Year of Mercy let us join our hearts and hands to “to cherish, to protect, to sustain, and to nurture human life, especially the most vulnerable.”
May the good Lord bless you all, Yours sincerely in the Lord
Mar Jacob Angadiath
Prot. No.: 2346/2015
Circular Letter: 34/2015
Note: This circular letter is to be read/communicated during the Holy Qurbana on December 20, 2015 and to be made available to all the faithful through the communication media/channels.