Indian Priests Sisters and Brothers Hold Christmas on Hope Theme

ROME, 9th Dec, SAR News – About 500 Indian Priests and Religious kept traditional preChristmas gathering at The Angelicum Congress Centre, Rome 9 th December. The central theme of the celebration was HOPE taken from the Pope’s latest encyclical Spe Salvi. The Indian Priests, Sisters and Brothers Union (IPSBU) organized the event.


Mr. Rajiv Dogra, Indian Ambassador Attends

“The primary objective of IPSBU is to bring together all Indian priests and religious living in Rome for intellectual, cultural and national purposes,” said the IPSBU president Fr Ajay Kumar Sabhsundar in his welcome speech.

“It is our aim ‘To Serve God and India,” he reminded the members.

“We need to re-commit ourselves to the traditional Indian values of tolerance and non-violence,” said IPSBU vice-president Fr Thomas Vazhakala, OCD in his Christmas message inviting members to be “Stars of Hope” in the midst of growing number of religious intolerance and violence committed against the Christian community in India.

“There will always be people who are not gracious,” said the chief guest Indian Ambassador to Italy Mr. Rajiv Dogra alluding to violence and religious fundamentalism. He reminded the audience that it is tough to run a country of over one billion people according to a “secular” constitution which the Indian nation can proudly claim.Directory

Guest of Honour Indian Archbishop Peter Prabhu former Vatican Ambassador to Zimbawe released the 96-page Directory of the IPSBU. The highlights of the directory include name, address, email id and phone number as well as the study/occupation of each member according to their institutions and congregations.

There are 1,370 ISPBU members. Of them, 750 Sisters from about 150 institutions belong to 132 congregations. Men religious come from about 100 institutions consist of Brothers (150) and Priests (470) and belong to 32 Congregations.

Three hour programme included speeches and vibrant dances, and melodious tunes and creative presentations on the themes of Hope and Christmas. In a creative presentation in Italian language Jesus Youth Rome rendered a guest performance on the Christmas theme.

Background

IPSBU founded in 1950 has Vatican veteran His eminence Simon Cardinal Lourdusamy as the IPSBU patron. Ill health and bad weather prevented him from atatending the programme on a day blessed with heavy down pour.

All ecclesiastics from India, who find themselves in Rome, either for studies, or for some mission in the social, educational, archeological or social communications field are eligible for IPSBU membership.

Besides the students, many of its members are distinguished professors and teachers in different Ecclesiastical Universities and catholic schools, while others are working as formators in Seminaries and Convents, or rendering important service to their respective Congregations as general Councilors, Superiors or Generals. Quite a few are also serving in the Vatican Secretariat of State, in different Pontifical Councils of the Roman Curia and in the Vatican Radio or are engaged in pastoral activities in the Rome parishes.

C. M. Paul SDB

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