All India Catholic Union

Founded in 1919, Registered under Societies Registration Act 1860
Representating the Catholic Laity of India through 120 Diocesan Units Nationwide

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Catholic Sabha Mangalore Women's Day Celebration

Catholic Sabha Mangalore celebrated International Women's Day on March 12 at Bishops House, Mangalore. The programme was inaugurated by Rev Fr. Mathew Vas, spiritual director of Catholic Sabha and presided over by Anil Lobo. Role of men in empowerment of women's in society was the topic and Dr Rajesh Dsouza, Principal, Yenapoya Engineering College was the guest speaker. Mrs Hilda Alva, Mrs Theresa Sequiera and Sr Agnitia Frank were felicitated for their service to society. The programme was well attend by 165 ladies and equal number of men. Assumpta Crasta, coordinator of women's cell, welcomed the gathering and Mable DSouza thanked. The programme was compered by Walter Monis, felicitation song was sung by women's group and Catholic Sabha Valencia unit presented a skit to entrain all. National President AICU, Lancy D’Cunha, and prominent leaders of Catholic Sabha were present. The programme concluded with lunch.

Catholic Association of Hyderabad RELEASE of REV. Fr. TOM UZHUNNALIL

t may be noted that Rev. Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil who is an Indian Priest serving the community in Yemen was abducted and held in captivity for several months by the ISIS module of Yemen. Several requests have been made to the Government of India for his release from the captors. Most of our efforts have gone unnoticed. In this regard the All India Catholic Union has called for a Nationwide Prayer and Fasting on 10th March-2017. The Catholic Association of Hyderabad a Local unit of AICU called for a Fasting and Prayer Service that was attended by large number of Christians including Religious Priests and Nuns, between 1 P.M to 3 P.M at St. Mary’s Basilica Secunderabad. This event was attended by Mr. Martin Michael State President of AICU, Mr. S. Anthony Minorities Affairs of AICU, Mr. John Bosco President of the Catholic Association of Hyderabad, Mr. Leo Lewis General Secretary of Catholic Association of Hyderabad along with senior leaders of the Catholic community. The AICU and CAH has requested the Government of India to take necessary steps for a speedy release of Rev. Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil in their general Address.

A day of Prayer & Fasting - Rev Fr. Tom Uzhunalil.

A day of Prayer & Fasting - Rev Fr. Tom Uzhunalil.

APCA visit to MIAO

The Arunachal Pradesh Catholic Association (APCA) held a meeting cum awareness programme at St. Mary’s School on February 28 under the chairmanship of Rev P. K. George, Bishop of Miao. Presenting the financial report of APCA, Takam Mazing, finance secretary, APCA spoke about the necessity to conduct Catholic population census to strengthen the organization. Muntang Mosang, president APCA, Miao Diocese, while lauding the APCA Central team for the good leadership called upon all members to work for the welfare of all sections of people. The Bishop of Miao, in his speech, appreciated APCA for its untiring efforts and called upon the leaders to be “light and salt” for all community and urged to work further for all-round development of society. Jiten Dai and Namchai Wangsa, president and secretary respectively of APCA, Namsai District Unit resolved to work united for the upliftment, peace and progress of the people of Arunachal in general and Catholic community in particular. The APCA team led by its president Taw Tebin also participated in the Annual Day celebrations of St. Mary’s School, Samoguri in which Apur Biten, DIGP, Namsai graced the occasion as chief guest. In his address, the DIGP exhorted the staff and students present to cooperate with school administration and work for welfare of the students.

Rajkot Catholic Association's prayer service

Rajkot Catholic Association prayer service to the Catholic Students who are going to write their Board Exams. Parish Priests also took part in this prayer service and offered prayer and blessing. RCA presented flower, set of pen and sweets to the students. . This year there were 26 students from 2 parishs. The visit took place o Produce worthy citizens for the nation

Dalit Policy of CBCI launching programme on 14th February at Bangalore

National President Mr. Lancy D Cunha receiving a copy of much awaited Dalit Policy of CBCI on 14th February at the launching of the same in Indian Social Institute –Bangalore from Rev. Fr.Devasagayaraj Executive Secretary of CBCI Commission for SC. Our President’s enthusiastic participation in this program was a significant sign of AICU’s commitment towards securing Justice to the Dalit Christians in par with other Dalits. As AICU’S coordinator for Dalit Affairs and as well as Joint Secretary- SC/ST/BC Commission of Karnataka Regional Catholic Bishop’s Conference, I whole heartedly appreciate and thank all who made it possible to be present for this historic event and making it a grand success. The Programme was well attended by 3oo delegates including 8 Bishops from all over India. It may recall in 1951 AICU initiated Dalit policy.



Men's Day

Dear Friend, May I take this opportunity to remind you that Saturday 19th March, the feast of St Joseph is Men's Day. Could you take this opportunity to remind your organisations to celebrate Men's Day in a befitting way and I would appreciate if you could forward a report afterwards? The officers of Unum Omnes would also appreciate if you could promote Men's Day more widely. Kindest regards Seamus Mc Donald Seamus Mc Donald KSG Secretary General, FIHC Unum Omnes. Palazzo San Calisto 00120 Citta del Vaticano Italy



Women Strike!

March 8th dawns every year! As the world observes International Women’s Day (IWD), there will be the usual round of cosmetic programmes, with speaker after speaker using the politically correct words and with the typically patronising attitude towards women. The sad and cruel reality is that precious little seems to change. In India and in several other parts of the world, most women continue to be condemned to live as second-class citizens in patriarchal and male-dominated societies. Gurmehar Kaur, a 20-year old peace activist and student of the Delhi University, has over the last few weeks, emerged as an icon. She has courageously and brazenly taken on the fascist forces that are doing their best to destroy the fabric of India. The message she wants to convey is simple: she wants peace in the sub-continent. Her father who was in the Indian Army was killed in the Kargil war, when she was just two years old. However, several men in India (including some so-called ‘celebrities’) are still unable to respect Gurmehar’s audacity and forthrightness. They have been trolling her, spewing hate and threatening her with violence and rape. In doing so, the men prove a point that they are still unable to accept the Gurmehars of our world! Gurmehar’s courage, finds resonance with the theme for this year’s IWD Campaign #BeBoldForChange that challenges one for “ground-breaking action that truly drives the greatest change for women. Each one of us - with women, men and non-binary people joining forces - can be a leader within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity. Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over”. Very significantly, on March 8th, in the US and across the globe, women (supported by their allies) will find common cause and will act together for equity, justice and human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity. The plan is to remove themselves from the economy to protest societal barriers that keep all women from achieving true equality. Though two events are being held—A Day Without a Woman(#DayWithoutAWoman), organized by the ‘Women's March’, and the International Women's Strike(#IStrikeFor), a grassroots endeavour founded by a team of activists, feminists, and scholars—organizers are working together in solidarity to create a united message that represents women from all walks of life. They want to combat decades-long socioeconomic inequality by calling for marginalized communities—working women, women of colour, Native women, immigrant women, Muslim and other minority women, disabled women, and lesbian, queer, and trans women—to come together and make their voices heard. The ‘Women’s Strike’ is intended to become the most impacting global movement. This is not an impossibility given the fact that women organised the ‘Women’s March’ on January 21st, which brought out millions of women not only in Washington, but across the United States and in several Capitals across the globe – to protest against the anti-women rhetoric of the newly- elected US President. On March 8th this year, all (particularly those women who cannot go on ‘strike’ for obvious reasons!) are encouraged to wear red, which is the colour of love, revolution energy and sacrifice- as a sign of solidarity. Since 2013, February 14th also has a newer meaning with the ‘One Billion Campaign’, which has been fighting against the sexual and physical violence against women... This year, the One Billion Rising Revolution gave sharper focus and visibility to the exploitation of women and has tried to harness even stronger global solidarity to demand an end to violence in all forms. ‘Rise! Disrupt! Connect!’ are the catchwords today for this significant campaign. The ‘Nirbhaya’ reality in India was not a once-and-for-all. It is a painful reality to which the average Indian woman is subjected to – in the private precincts of one’s home, at the work place and even in open, public places. Women, in general, continue to be demeaned and even dehumanised. A few days ago in New Delhi at a programme REMEMBERANCE – highlighting the fifteenth anniversary of the Gujarat Carnage there were several extraordinary women present. There was Zakia Jafri and Nishrin Jafri, the wife and the daughter of Eshan Jafri who was brutally murdered during that carnage. Teesta Setalvad, Shabnam Hashmi and others who have relentlessly championed the cause of the victim-survivors. Painful memories were shared. No one will easily forget the horrors and the brutalities, which several hundreds of women had to face during those terrible days of Gujarat 2002. India has several other outstanding women today in every possible field. Fresh in our memory are the eight “rocket women’ of India, who recently were responsible for the launching of 104 satellites in one go. A historic scientific feat indeed; and as if on cue, it is the male politicians of India who want to take credit for the work of these women. All of us can easily find and cite several other examples of selfless and courageous women, including our own mothers and sisters, who have helped make our country and our world a better place. Another stellar example is Savitribai Phule, widely regarded as the country’s first woman teacher. On March 10th, we observe her 120th death anniversary .She is credited with laying the foundation of education opportunities for women in India and played a major role in the struggle for women's rights in the country during the British rule. She was a poet too; her poems were against discrimination and of the need for education. For most of her life, she campaigned vigorously against untouchability, the tradition of sati, child marriage and other social evils, which affect women. In one of her poems she writes, “end misery of the oppressed and forsaken…break the chains of caste.” From Savitribai to Gurmehar , there has certainly been plenty of change.Sadly, the plain truth remains- that it is not easy for women today- in India and elsewhere. Men have first to change their mind-sets and their behaviour towards women: to treat them as equals, to give them the dignity they need. This is certainly a tall order; however, the bugle to be bold for change has been sounded: “WOMEN STRIKE!”



A day of Prayer & Fasting - Rev Fr. Tom Uzhunalil.

Dears, All are aware that Rev. Fr. Tom Uzhannalil of salesean congregation was kidnapped by Islamic militants several months ago and is yet to return, safely. At the last working committee meeting of All India Catholic Union, held at Vaizag on 18/19 February, it was unanimously resolved to observe 10th March, 2017 (second Friday of lent) as a day of *prayer & fasting* for the safe return of Rev. Fr. Tom Uzhannalil. AICU has asked all State Presidents /State Secretaries to request all Catholic Associations/Sabhas in their respective States to encourage their local units to observe 10.3.2017 as a day of prayer and fasting and collate reports and sent to AICU. As National President, AICU along with POB's make a sincere request to conduct prayer meetings at every unit/parish level for safe return of Rev. Fr. Tom Uzhannalil . Lets all storm heaven with our prayers and demand from our loving and merciful heavenly father the safe return of Rev. Fr. Tom Uzhannalil. Lancy D Cunha National President All India Catholic Union