All India Catholic Union

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

About Us

All India Catholic Union was established in 1919, registered under Societies Registration Act 1860 and it is the representative of the Catholic Laity, of India with affiliated units nationwide.

AICU is a democratic federation with affiliated Catholic Associations across the Diocese/Districts in India. It is a non political body, and it seeks to represent and strengthen the Catholic Community and country, in the socio-religious, political, and economic fields.

Recent Updates

12


Dec

Jesus or Santa: Who gives the Better Christmas?

Christmas is often a time for families to gather together. Emotions often run high, from everything from joyous love to stressed annoyance!

Christmas has become many things to many people. For some, it is a time for family, giving, and fun traditions such as putting up a Christmas tree, hanging stockings on the fireplace, and looking at Christmas lights. For others, it is a stressful holiday where they feel compelled to spend more money than they should on gifts, food, cards, and events in order to fulfill what is "expected."

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it may interest you to know the story behind CHRISTMAS. There are various theories about the accuracy of the date, where some traditions come from, and whether certain practices actually celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. But many would agree that Christmas is due to the birth of Jesus Christ.

The story of the birth of Christ is found in the Bible. In the book of Luke, chapter two, there are several details given. Jesus was born on Earth to Mary and Joseph and that God sent Jesus to be the Savior of the world. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, where Mary and Joseph had gone to participate in a census. When they got to the crowded city, they had a hard time finding a room. At one inn, the owner offered shelter in the barn with the animals. Jesus was born that night, and Mary laid him in a manger, which is a feeding trough for animals.

They were not "kings" from the east and there weren't three of them. And when they arrived in Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary and Baby Jesus were not still in the stable, but in a house, contrary to half the Christmas cards that will be arriving at your house. And there's no indication there were cattle in that stable or anywhere nearby. In fact, the only thing that leads us to believe Jesus was born in a stable is that Luke 2:7 tell us Mary laid the Baby in a manger, a feeding trough

If you understand everything from the beginning you get a great story. If you make no effort you will probably only see and hear variant Santa stories this Christmas like this one - Hundreds of years ago in Lapland, a little boy named Nikolas loses his family in an accident. The villagers decide to look after the orphaned boy together. Once a year - at Christmas - Nikolas moves to a new home. To show his gratitude, Nikolas decides to make toys for the children of the families as good-bye presents. Over the years, Nikolas's former adoptive families become many, and soon almost every house has presents on its doorstep on Christmas morning. At thirteen, Nikolas is sent to live and work with Iisakki, a grumpy old carpenter, who forbids Nikolas to continue making presents for Christmas. Gradually, however, Nikolas wins Iisakki's trust. Together they begin to look after the Christmas traditional that Nikolas has begun. When the aged Iisakki has to leave Nikolas and move away, the tradition of Christmas presents is once again at risk. Thankfully, Nikolas comes up with a solution that brings children joy every Christmas, even continuing to today.

Christmas has traditionally been about celebrating the birth of Jesus. The Gospel accounts of a virgin birth, angels appearing to shepherds, and wise men traveling from afar to see the baby Jesus in a manger. Our great-grandparents generation added symbols such as manger scenes, Christmas trees, lights, music and drama (ex. Dickens’ Christmas Carol) to give Christmas the festive foundation so it would become the juggernaut of celebrations that it is today.

In Mathew 2:3, all Jerusalem was abuzz with talk about the foreign visitors who had arrived in town, naively inquiring at every service station and convenience store, "Well? Where is He? Where is the One born King of the Jews?"

They figured that this wonderful news would be the talk of the city. Instead, no one else seemed to know anything about it. Then, when Herod called the religious leaders to ask where the Messiah was to be born (Mathew 2:4), these doctors of theology informed him that the Old Testament prophet Micah had said Bethlehem was the place.

What we wonder is why they didn't go to Bethlehem. It's not like it was in the next hemisphere. Bethlehem lies some 5 miles south of Jerusalem, an easy walk for a healthy person. The clear conclusion is that these religious leaders had the Bible knowledge but no real interest in God or the promise of Scripture.

People knew that all of this was predicted through the centuries by God's prophets. We particularly treasure the promises of Isaiah 7:14 ("Behold a virgin shall conceive....") and 9:6-7 ("For unto us a child is born...."), as well as Micah 5;2 ("Bethlehem...out of you shall come forth One to be Ruler over Israel..."). And people knew that, contrary to the Christmas hymn "The First Noel," the shepherds in Bethlehem's fields did not "looked up and saw a star shining in the East beyond them far" (modern hymnals have revised that line to read "For all to see there was a star....").

Notice the crossing of human lines and barriers in the story of the birth of Jesus. We have the young and the old (Mary, Joseph, the Baby, and Simeon and Anna in the temple. Luke 2). We have the rich and the poor (the Magi and the young family. Matthew 2). We have the Jews and the Gentiles (the Magi were the non-Jews). We have the highest (angels) and the lowest (shepherds). This wonderful story of the birth of Jesus is clearly for "whosoever" and "the entire world," as John 3:16 inform us.

But since then, perhaps because of our increasing secularization and modern doubt over the story of the birth of Jesus, we have culturally swapped that story for Santa and his mission to give gifts to boys and girls who have managed to stay off the naughty list. It is a great story for kids, and it can safely be discarded when we get older since it never claims to be true – just safely fun. It seems a better story in our modern world when we can take a needed break from the harsh realities of real life and experience, with our kids, a fun story. So Santa dominates our radio and television and ‘Happy Holidays’ is becoming the Christmas greeting of choice. It is safer for a modern world steeped in doubt, anxious to avoid offending, and happy to have a season to pretend.

It was when I looked again; to before the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth that I started to see that it was a great story, with a plot and a depth that rival all classics. Even taken purely as story, it beats the Santa replacement story just about any way you look at it. But to see this, you need to grasp this great story as it was meant to be understood – as one chapter in a long epic, spanning the entire universe and enveloping the entire human race.

There is plenty of evidence that this is a facts-on-the-ground true story. Unlike Santa Claus, for whom we do not even try to seek verification in the North Pole, or on his sleigh in the sky, or find witnesses who have seen him stuck in a chimney, there is historical Corroboration for Jesus – even the virgin birth part of the story. Roman and Jewish historians outside of the Bible refer to him. The places where all the riddles were spelled out and where Jesus walked are terra firma real. There is a Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Mount Moriah. Since we have the story written out for us before it happened we have evidence that there is one Author in this story. The fact that Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Daniel and the others could specify hundreds of years beforehand the events of Jesus’ birth, life and death is evidence that the Creator – who alone knows the future – has authored this Story, as an invitation for you and me to join Him in it.

The story of Jesus birth is such a poignant message to humanity of our freedom to choose a personal path – beyond the seeming ‘power’ of external circumstances. That outer ‘power’ is a lie / maya / projection. Love is the all-encompassing nature of human reality / consciousness and its source lies within each divine human presence. Look to the children – baby Jesus - for its pure example – no past no future – simply an innocent openness to each and every moment. Bless the child within and all is well with us in this wondrous life.

I wish you a joyous Christmas celebration – we are all one family when we make that choice. I pray we choose compassionately and wisely as well as experience a magical Christmas time and joy and fulfillment this season, blessings to you and your loved ones. And A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!!!!!

6


Dec

Attacks on Christians see steep rise across India

Attacks on Christians see steep rise across India
Published on: 1:01 pm, December 5, 2017 by: mattersindia.com


By A C Michael
New Delhi: There is a clear pattern of rising religious intolerance across the country, especially against the minorities.

According to the World Watch List 2017, India is now ranked 15th in the list of countries where the practice of the faith is a high-risk activity. We were ranked 31 only four years ago.

Out of 29 states in India, at least 19 regularly witness attacks on Christians. Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh tops the list with 36 incidents as on October 30, followed by Uttar Pradesh (26), Madhya Pradesh (21), Maharashtra (16).

Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand and West Bengal are the other states.

More than 700 cases of attacks on Christians were reported on the United Christian Forum (UCF) toll free helpline number 1800-208-4545 since 2014. Last year, 216 incidents were recorded and 203 incidents have already been reported by the end of October this year.

The happenings in Madhya Pradesh are suspected to be politically motivated attacks. On three separate occasions, Christian children traveling in a train for a Christian camp were taken into custody at railway stations by the Railway Police on the grounds that the children were being “kidnapped to be converted.”

On May 22 and 23, nine elders and a minor were arrested by the Railway Police when they were accompanying 71 Christian children for a summer Bible camp to Nagpur from Indore. On June `3, a Catholic nun and four girls were detained at the Satna railway station. On October 21, two elders and seven children going for Bible Studies were detained and not allowed to meet the parents.

There are various kinds of incidents against Christians. Most common among them is the Hindutva activists forcefully conducting Ghar Wapsi (drive to convert people back to Hinduism) ceremony. Some who refused to cooperate were beaten up and subsequently booked by the police under falsely-framed charges. Other ways of harassing the Christian community include:

• Refusal to grant permission to establish and run places of worship
• Allegations of use of loud sound systems
• Restrictions of the free distribution of gospel tracts
• False accusation of forceful and fraudulent religious conversions
• Physical and verbal assault on Church pastors and members
• False and divisive propaganda
• Damage and desecration of places of worship and arson
• Disruption of prayer services
• Restrictions on religious gatherings

The Christian community in the country has started to feel that none of the political parties are interested in speaking out for the community, as they continue to maintain a deafening silence on these incidents. Sometimes even the media fails to report these incidents.

The only alternative left to the community is to take them up in courts of law. More than 80 cases are now pending in various courts including over 30 in the Supreme Court and various High courts.

Some cases pertain to ‘discriminatory laws and policies’ that violate the freedom of conscience and the freedom to practice, profess and propagate religious beliefs:

1. 1950 PRESIDENTIAL ORDER: Dalits who convert to Christianity or Islam are denied special benefits and protections guaranteed to other Schedule Castes
2. ANTI CONVERSION LAWS: The Freedom of Religion Acts are used to harass and abuse the right of Christians who share the good news in the exercise of their fundamental right to profess, practice and propagate their faith. In 2012, rules framed under the anti-conversion law in Himachal Pradesh that required persons to declare beforehand to the District Magistrate any intent to embrace a certain faith was struck down by the High Court of Himachal Pradesh at Shimla.

3. NO ENTRY FOR CHRISTIAN PREACHERS: In 2014-2015, several Panchayat resolutions were passed in Chhattisgarh to ban Christian preachers’ entry into certain villages. These resolutions were withdrawn by the government following a challenge to them before the High Court of Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur.

4. RESTRICTIONS ON CHURCHES AND PRAYER HALLS: Across the country, Christians are being restricted from conducting private prayers peacefully inhome churches and community halls. Even family prayers have been restricted in some cases.

5


Dec

AICU condemns Election Commission notice to GUJARAT ARCHBISHOP MACWAN FOR HIS CAUTION AGAINST FORCES COMMUNALISING INDIA,

AICU condemns Election Commission notice to GUJARAT ARCHBISHOP MACWAN FOR HIS CAUTION AGAINST FORCES COMMUNALISING INDIA,


WHY WAS POPE FRANCIS NOT INVITED TO INNDIA IN HIS SOUTH ASIA TRIP, ALL INDIA CATHOLIC UNION ASKS MODI GOVERNMENT ASKED

GST on Coffins, Crosses shows thoughtlessness. Withdraw GST on such items. AICU also supports demand of women against GST on items of personal hygiene, health of babies and the girl child


PRESS STATEMENT
TRICHURAPALLI, DECEMBER 2, 2017

[The following press statement was issued at a press conference in the Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu by Mr Lancy D Cunha, the National President of the All India Catholic Union, and Dr John Dayal, Official Spokesman and former President. The 98 year old AICU celebrates its 100 years in 2019 and is holding its Working Committee meeting in Trichy.]

The Christian community in India is aghast at the manner in which state and non-state actors are harassing the Archbishop Thomas Macwan of Gandhinagar, Gujarat, for his call that people pray that narrow nationalist forces do not overwhelm the secular and democratic character of India. While the Election Commission of India has served him a notice, fundamentalist and religious nationalist groups have launched a media campaign against the Bishop and against the Catholic community.

Archbishop Thomas Macwan has replied to the EC notice. AICU however wants to know if the Election Commission gave similar notices on prominent priests of various other religions in Gujarat. Some head priests have directly told people to vote for the ruling party and the Prime Minister.

The Catholic Union has consistently decried the growing misuse of religion, religious symbols and places in the political discourse. Religious heads must educate their communities and the citizens large on strengthening the democratic traditions, including religious freedom and human rights, participation in the electoral. Religion must infuse Truth, Morality, Ethics, in the body politic, and not be divisive, incite violence or polarize people.

The Catholic union has questioned the government on why the Pope was not invited to visit India during his south Asia tour.

As the largest and oldest movement of lay Christians in the country, the AICU is deeply concerned at the government’s failure to condemn and contain the threats to freedom of expression in the country. The ugly controversy over films and the open threats to kill the artistes and director of the period drama film Padmawati, writer Prof Kancha Iailiah, and social media threats to activists Kavita Krishnan, Kavita Srivastava and others, reflect a speedy breakdown in the rule of law.

We are shocked that elements of the ruling party are also issuing such threats. The lynchings of Muslims and Dalits in the name of the cow, are a shame for the nation. Religious minorities are being coerced, threatened and targeted by self styled cultural-nationalists.

The Catholic Union has heard Central tourism minister Alphons Kannanatham saying that no Christian has been persecuted in the Modi regime. Ministers have their compulsions. He will have to answer his own conscience. Christians and Muslims are routinely persecuted in most states, with the police and political elements complicit in the crime. Government has admitted this in the Lok Sabha. Complaints have also been filed with the National Commission of Minorities, and the United Nations Human Rights Council. AICU calls upon the government, and the National Crime Records Bureau to publish this data and not minimize it by registering targeted and communal violence under “other” heads.

This does not augur well for the freedom of religion in India. The situation is aggravated by several recent steps taken by the government, including the enforcing of the NEET admission tests which deeply impact the future of minority students seeking admission in professional education institutions. The proposed National Education Policy continues as a threat with reports of rewriting curricula, and the corporatization of education.

A small example of government’s indifference to the sentiments of religious minorities is the 12 % tax imposed on Coffins, Crosses and Rosaries, the prayer beads used by Catholics as part of their religious practices. We demand the GST be removed on all religious artifacts. On GST, we also support women’s demand on Zero Tax on items of personal hygiene.

The Catholic Union has been in the forefront of the rights of Dalits and Tribals, specially those professing the Christian faith. AICU has filed a writ in the Supreme court together with others demanding Scheduled Case rights for Dalits professing the Christian Faith. We hope the courts will take a decision at an early date as this impacts the civic and human rights of a large number of people in the community.
——
Released to the Media by the official Spokesman, Dr John Dayal. He may be contact at +91 9811021072 and john.dayal@gmail.com

1


Dec

“GOD & CAESAR” - A REPORT on AICU CENTENARY SYMPOSIUM

The Maharashtra Chapter of the All India Catholic Union joined the count down to the Centenary Celebrations of AICU by organising a thought provoking Symposium on the subject ‘God and Caesar – Evolving Community Focus’ at Bandra Gymkhana, Mumbai on November 19, 2017. The galaxy of speakers led by none other than Rt. Rev Bishop Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Pune, Retd. Chief Justice Ferdino Rebello of the Allahabad High Court, Dr. John Dayal, eminent journalist and social activist and Mr. Albert W. D’Souza, renowned businessman and educationist provided an eclectic mix of religion, legal, lay and business perspectives to create a wonderful fusion of insights bringing to the fore various nuances on the highly seminal topic of discussion.
‘Caesar’ is eponymous for the political and administrative system ever since Jesus spoke the famous words ‘Give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar….’ (Matthew 22:21). The All India Catholic Union has taken on the mantle to empower the laity to be involved with the Socio-Spiritual, Political, Administrative and Economic spheres and stand up for their rights through a strong laity organisation.
The seeds of this organisation were sown at the First All India Catholic Conference in 1919 which was held under the eminent leadership of Prof. A. Soares, Mr. F.A.C. Rebello and Prof. C.J. Varkey. Mr. F.A.C. Rebello, a visionary is particularly known for starting so many Catholic Banks, Gymkhanas and Societies that are now celebrating their centenaries in Mumbai and other places. The organisation particularly got a fillip when Mr. George Menezes became its president in 1986. The AICU has been growing from strength to strength as a democratic federation with affiliated Catholic Associations across the States, Dioceses and Districts in India. The AICU in turn is affiliated to the CBCI and dialogues with it on laity empowerment issues.
The Chairman of the Centenary Celebrations Committee Mr. Eugene Gonsalves who had come from Kolkatta while praising the organisers said that Mumbai always organises the best of events for AICU. They had a five-year plan to bring in the Centenary of AICU and the first of the programs was an Inter-Religious Dialogue at New Delhi that was presided over by Ms. Najma Heptulla, Minister of Minority Affairs in Sept. 2015. Ever since programs have been held in Mumbai, Goa, Kolkatta, Hyderabad and other regions by its affiliates. Mr. Lancy D’Cunha National President of AICU apprised the audience of its current activities. Mr. Raphael D’Souza State President of AICU Maharashtra thanked its affiliate the Bombay Catholic Sabha for collaborating with the AICU in organising the program that had the involvement and presence of Catholic Associations from Pune, Vasai and Nagpur.
Ms. Rita D’Sa, president of the BCS read out the message from H.E. Cardinal Oswald Gracias who wished the Symposium much success. Mr. Raphael D’Souza read out the message from Rt. Rev. Theodore Mascarenhas, Secretary General CBCI, who sent his best wishes for the Symposium and wrote, “ It is also my desire that the CBCI and the AICU work ever more closely for the benefit of the Church and for the Glory of God”. Mr. Don Aguiar, Maharashtra State Secretary of AICU proposed the vote of thanks. The entire programme was deftly anchored by Gordon Dsouza, immediate past President of the BCS.
Bishop Thomas Dabre who set the ball rolling, with his inimitable wit and candour first traced what Indian Catholics have given to GOD in the form of saints, cardinals, bishops, priests and religious to work in His vineyard. He then traced the historical contribution of the Catholic church in India in various spheres related to education, health and social emancipation, highlighting the fact that the Church had more than given to Caesar what belonged to Caesar. The idea of a secular and pluralistic society is being eroded, he lamented and alluded to the growing intolerance towards religious freedom and freedom of expression. Having imbibed the essence of spirituality through his vast research and study of the sacred scriptures of various religions, he expressed the need for a deeper understanding of the commonality of our religious identities.
In the same vein, Justice Rebello, recalling the Tryst with destiny speech of Nehru at the eve of Independence, decried the threat of persecution and targeting of minorities and advocated the strong rule of law to counter this growing menace. The Constitution of India, he assured the gathering, guarantees our freedom….the right to privacy and the right to practice and propagate our faith and also to change our faith. He highlighted three broad challenges: Common civil code, Conversion bill and the safeguarding of one’s rights after conversion. We need to continue to have faith in a Judiciary that is free and fearless, he concluded.
Dr. John Dayal in his forthright and hard hitting style, posed a frightening question: Who can guarantee that there will be a constitution in 2020?. He painted a grim landscape of the alarming reality of what the future holds for the community in particular and the minorities in general with the changing face of Hinduism tilting more towards militancy, minority quotas in our institutions at stake and the threat of FCRA controls. He exhorted the gathering to introspect whether we as a community were working to face the challenges of the future given our limited resources and outreach.
Mr. Albert W. D’souza from a business perspective bemoaned the lack of initiative from the Catholic community with a very limited footprint in the business arena with just 5 Christian companies nationwide in the Rs. 500 plus crores turnover category. He stressed on the need for us to enhance the economic power of the community and pointed out the brain drain from the community to greener pastures in foreign lands that is responsible for the pathetic state of affairs vis-à-vis our community. We must, he emphasised shore up our dimensional knowledge, develop an appetite to change from ‘employee’ attitude to an “employer attitude” and also the appetite for risk taking and build up our financial muscle if we have to make a significant impact as a community
The very animating Q&A session that followed brought out some more thought provoking insights that added further value to a very enriching and stirring symposium
Mr. Thomas Lobo, who moderated the symposium, very ably and competently managed the proceedings with his apt summarizations and interjections that further enhanced the value of a very absorbing evening programme. The event surely has left an indelible mark on over 200 strong participants, which included priests, nuns, professionals, businessmen and lay people, as they grapple with the question: Between God and Caesar whom do we render what?
Raphael D’Souza
Maharashtra State President - AICU

20


Nov

CATHOLIC UNION CONDEMNS THREATS TO ARTISTES, WRITERS AND INTELLECTUALS

CATHOLIC UNION CONDEMNS THREATS TO ARTISTES, WRITERS AND INTELLECTUALS

AICU deeply concerned at unabated lynchings, hate speeches inciting violence, and government’s failure to check communal polarization

PRESS STATEMENT

MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 20, 2017

[The following press statement was issued at a press conference in the Mumbai Press club by Mr Lancy D Cunha, the National President of the All India Catholic Union, and dr John Dayal, Official Spokesman and former President. The press was also addressed by Mr Dolphy D’Souza, Former National vice president and former President of the Bombay Catholic Sabha and Mrs Rita D’Sa, president of the BCS. The 97 year old AICU celebrates its 100 years in 2019.]

The All India Catholic Union, the country’s largest movement of lay Christians, is deeply concerned at the government’s failure to condemn and contain the threats to freedom of expression in the country. The threat to the the life to the artistes and director of the period drama film Padmawati, to the OBC writer Prof Kancha Iailiah, and the social media threats to activists Kavita Krishnan, Kavita Srivastava and others reflect a speedy breakdown in the rule of law.

The continuing hate speeches by leaders of the Sangh parivar, among them senior members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and the total impunity have triggered the lynchings of Muslims and Dalits in the name of the cow in states stretching from Assam to Rajasthan and Gujarat. Religious minorities are being coerced, threatened and targeted by religious and cultural-nationalists.

The recent double episode in Madhya Pradesh where the police dragged out Christian children from trains and arrested their trip escorts is evidence of how state police and justice systems are targeting the Christian community. In both these cases, false cases of forcible conversion were made.

Such incidents do not augur well for the freedom of religion in India. The situation is aggravated by several recent steps taken by the government, including the enforcing of the NEET admission tests which deeply impact the future of minority students seeking admission in professional education institutions. The proposed new National Education Policy continues as a threat with reports of rewriting curricula, and the corporatisation of education.

A small example of government’s indifference to the sentiments of religious minorities is the 12 % tax imposed on Wooden Crosses and Rosaries, the prayer beads used by Catholics as part of their religious practices. We demand the GST be removed on all religious artifacts.

The Catholic Union has been in the forefront of the rights of Dalits and Tribals, specially those professing the Christian faith. AICU has filed a writ in the Supreme court together with others demanding Scheduled Case rights for Dalits professing the Christian Faith. We hope the courts will take a decision at an early date as this impacts the civic and human rights of a large number of people in the community.

The AICU executive is meeting in Trichy in December to further refine its programme to celebrate its centennial in 2019.

——

Released to the Media by the official Spokesman, Dr John Dayal. He may be contacted at +91 9811021072 andjohn.dayal@gmail.comJohn Dayal

19


Nov

GOD AND CAESAR SYMPOSIUM

AICU – GOD AND CAESAR SYMPOSIUM – 19TH NOVEMBER 2017 AT MUMBAI
Don Aguiar

God represents spirituality and not religion as most of us are prone to think. Caesar represents life in all its facets be it civic, political, social human rights and justice. Christ has not discarded the Caesar effect when he said, “Give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God”. But given it’s due importance.

Religion and politics should be separate. But by religion we mean the narrow belief and groups (followers) that are formed around it. Politics cannot be separated from spirituality or there would be chaos. We are against a theocratic state and expect all religions to be treated equally

How do we respond to this challenge is a complex issue that confronts the community in India? Perspectives and responses vary not just per denominations or Rites or regions but by social and economic standing of the community or the victim.

Are there other ways of responding to the challenge from a perspective of the citizens of a democratic republic, basing resistance and cooperation on the Constitution and the rule of law? How does the community fulfill its obligation to the government and to fellow citizens, especially vulnerable religious minorities?

Four distinguished speakers who have excelled in their field showed the way of evolving community focus on this topic. -

Bishop Dabre the Bishop of Pune dwelt at length on the contribution of the Catholic community in various areas of social emancipation, health and education. He gave examples of Gonsalo Garcia, Rani Maria.....to render to God one must know the history of the catholic church in India....6 cardinals, 90000 nuns and 30-35000 priests. Allan Hume founder of the Indian National congress was a catholic. Catholics have served in the Armed forces, civil services, legislature’s courts etc. we also have an example of Fr. Jerome D’souza....

Justice F.L Rebello the ex-Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court dwelt at length on why are we facing the brunt of persecution? and cautioned all that if freedom is threatened everything will be lost. Although there is a Fearless judiciary there is a need for a strong rule of law. Art 14-23 of Constitution provides us our fundamental rights. However there are still 3 broad challenges: common civil code, conversion bill and right of communities after conversion which requires to be dealt with by taking all communities into confidence, consultation and debate in order to arrive at a mutually acceptable law concerning these challenges.

Mr. John Dayal a Social Activist review of the present governments treatment and attitude towards the minorities and their communal leanings resulting in the victimization of the minorities was an eye opener and then dwelt at length on who will guarantee that there will be a constitution in 2020 by taking into consideration the present governments policies that favor Hinduvta against all the other religions being practiced in India. He gave the audience the pros and cons with examples on - Can we follow God under some form of Caesar? And posed the question - Are we as a community working to face the challenges of the future?

Mr. Albert D’souza Chairman of Model Bank and an educationist traced the historical background of the founder, F.A.C Rebello and the business contribution of various Christians and informed the audience that there was only one catholic company in the +2000 turn over group followed by a handful in the +500 turnover group with a little improvement in the +100 turn over group and quite a few in the +10 crores group while from the other communities there were many in the +2000 to +500 crores turn over group. We need to take calculated risk in order to be positioned in the +2000 to +500 crorers group turnover. He explained the need on how do we enhance economic power of the catholic community as most of our highly qualified and skilled members are migrating to western countries to work in large MNC which is kind of feeling safe rather than staying in India and starting a business which amounts to Catholic brain drain rather than taking a calculated risk in opening a business back home in India and developing it into a large turn over and for this we need to reverse brain drain or this trend and ensure that after completing their studies in western countries they should return to India to either continue and develop their family business or start a business for which the Catholic banks are willing to assist at every step.
This was followed by a question and answer session which was well taken by both the audience who had many queries and speakers who responded patiently and professionally.

With this centenary program of AICU Mumbai partnered by BCS we have made sincere efforts to enhance the quality of evolving community focus on these issues and hope that it will provide a platform to share knowledge and expertise and critical review of these issues leading to a define goal for our community.

MOTHER TERESA: THE EPITOME OF COMPASSION

Mother Teresa was the epitome of compassion. If ever one would dare to give a core competency to her, it is this single characteristic of being a compassionate person. She radiated this quality, when on earth, in a way, few humans could ever do; her love for the marginalized and the vulnerable and particularly for the poorest of the poor and the dying destitute was boundless. She was able to give and not to count the cost. Her ability to be compassionate towards others motivated her to found the Missionaries of Charity. She was effusive in her compassion for the “least of our sisters and brothers” and did not try to hide this fact.

In a fitting tribute to Mother Teresa the United Nations in 2013, declared every September 5th (her death anniversary) as the ‘International Day of Charity’ inviting “all Member States and all international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to commemorate the Day in an appropriate manner, by encouraging charity, including through education and public awareness-raising activities.”

The world desperately stands in need of compassion today! A compassion, which reaches out to the unloved, the ostracized, the marginalized and the vulnerable. A compassion, that takes a stand for the poor, the victims of injustice, the refugees and the displaced. A compassion, that is able to negate and overcome the hate and divisiveness; the racism and communalism; the xenophobia and the exclusiveness that has gripped our world as never before. We need the compassion of Mother Teresa as never before.

On September 4th 2016, in a very special ceremony at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican, Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa as a Saint of the Catholic Church. In his homily he reminded the world of the need and importance to live the values which St Teresa of Kolkata embodied, “May this tireless worker of mercy help us to increasingly understand that our only criterion for action is gratuitous love, free from every ideology and all obligations, offered freely to everyone without distinction of language, culture, race or religion. Mother Teresa loved to say, “Perhaps I don’t speak their language, but I can smile”. Let us carry her smile in our hearts and give it to those whom we meet along our journey, especially those who suffer. In this way, we will open up opportunities of joy and hope for our many brothers and sisters who are discouraged and who stand in need of understanding and tenderness”.

Mother Teresa died twenty years ago on September 5th 1997. Strangely and symbolically, September 5th is also observed as ‘Teachers Day’ in India in memory of our visionary late President Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who besides being a great educationist and philosopher, also believed that education is the key to India’s inclusive development. .

Mother Teresa was also a teacher, having taught in a Bengali Medium Girls School for several years before she founded the Missionaries of Charity. During her lifetime, she taught the world several important and valuable lessons. Compassion however, was her hallmark! We need to do our best to imbibe these values in whatever way we can. She would say, “In this life we cannot do great things; we can only do small things with great love!”

As we celebrate on September 5th, God’s great gift to mankind in the person of Mother Teresa, let us also pray to her, this great ‘Saint of the gutters’ to give us a compassionate heart, the courage to reach out in love unconditionally and the commitment to give and not to count the cost!

St Teresa of Kolkata pray for us!

: Prathiba Puraskar -2017

Catholic Sabha Mangalore Pradesh (R) City Varado and Bondel unit organized Prathibha Puraskar- 2017 for the meritorious students of the 12 parishes of city denary for X std , II PUC, degree and Post-graduate and specially talented category on 3rd September at Bondel parish hall under the presidentship of Rev. Fr. Victor Machado, Vicar Vara of City Denary .
The programme was inaugurated by Rev. Fr. Andrew D Souza, Parish Priest of Bondel Church. 139 meritorious students of 12 parishes ware honoured by Rev. Fr. Austin Peres, Spiritual Director of City Catholic Sabha.
Mrs. Vijetha Pinky D’Sa and Dr Ajith D’ Souza were guest speakers who addressed the students about different opportunities for valuable and successful life.
Denis D’ Souza, Varado President, Flavia D’ Souza, Secretary, all the unit presidents and other Catholic Sabha members, along with parents of meritorious students, were present. Lancy D’ Cunha, National President of AICU, was the convener for this programme . Wilfred Alvares, President, Bondel Unit, compeered and Secretary Anitha D’ Souza proposed the vote of thanks.

PRESS STATEMENT OF ALL INDIA CATHOLIC UNION ON PRIVACY LAWS, NEW WRIT ON DALIT CHRISTIANS.

Supreme Court issues notice to Government on AICU application that Article 341 Part 3 is used in Sangh Parivar’s Ghar Wapsi campaign against Minorities

AICU welcomes ruling upholding Right to Privacy

Jharkhand CM being sued for targeting Christians



PRESS STATEMENT



[The following is the text of the statement issued today at a Press Conference at the Bengaluru Press Club by Mr Lancy D’ Cunha, the National President of the All India Catholic Union, and AICU official spokesman Dr John Dayal.]



The All India Catholic Union [AICU] has welcomed the Supreme Court ruling upholding Privacy as a fundamental right of all citizens. The ruling will have widespread impact on all persons, and specially on religious and other minorities. The AICU is studying the full ramifications of the ruling, as also that of the recent majority judgement outlawing Instant Triple Talaq in Muslims. AICU is in solidarity with women in their struggle for equal rights.



“We also express gratitude to the Supreme Court Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud who recently issued notice to the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on a petition filed by AICU and its past president, Dr. John Dayal, challenging the validity of Article 341 para 3 of Constitution. This Article, which was once known as the President’s Order of 1950, denied Dalit Christians and Muslims reservation and other benefits,” AICU president Mr. Lancy D’ Cunha said.


AICU’s lawyer, Mr P I Jose, told the Supreme Court that this provision was being misused by Hindutva organizations like the RSS and VHP to indulge in Ghar Wapsi, that is re-​conversion​n of Christians and Muslims into Hinduism. The RSS and its affiliates are misusing the delay in not hearing the original 2004 public interest petition on this issue, by engaging in Ghar Wapsi etc. and therefore there is a need to hear the matter early, even though the government of India is delaying it by not filing a reply, Advocate Jose told the Court.



As per para 3 of Constitution (scheduled castes) order 1950 which the petition has challenged, “no person who professes a religion different from the Hindu, the Sikh or the Buddhist religion shall be deemed to be a member of a scheduled caste”. Bodies like the RSS and VHP are capitalizing on the delay by luring Dalit Christians to re-convert by promising them Scheduled Caste rights and other incentives. AICU, which represents the Catholic Laity in the country, is deeply concerned over ‘Ghar Wapsi’ or the re-conversion programme and ether coercive and violent actions indulged in by Hindutva right wing outfits, and had moved a fresh petition for scrapping of the clause.



It is important to mention that on the one hand the poor Christians of Dalit origin are deprived of their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of faith and worship, on the other hand large groups of politically and institutionally patronised narrow fundamentalist religious bigots openly come out with violent intimidatory programs like “Ghar Wapsi” and other like programs depriving the poor Christians of Scheduled caste origin their basic human rights of peaceful living. The existing laws seem to legitimise Ghar Wapsi, while making it prohibitive and punitive for any Dalit to exercise his or her freedom of faith and convert to Islam or Christianity. Conversions to Buddhism and Sikhism do not invite this punishment.



The AICU was among the first ones to challenge the Presidential Order when it was issued in 1950. It has now decided to take legal recourse apart from its normal advocacy and mass mobilisations to seek the protection of the rights of religious minorities.



The AICU has also, therefore, decided to take legal action against the chief minister of Jharkhand, Mr Raghubar Das, and his government who recently pushed an anti-religious conversion bill in the state legislature. The chief minister then added insult to injury by using public money to issue an outrageous newspaper advertisement which uses a garbled statement of Mahatma Gandhi made before Independence to target Christians. Our lawyers are currently in the process of finalising our petition, Dr John Dayal said.



AICU has also noted the hate speeches that have emanated from the recent session of Sangh Parivar organisations in Goa. These have further vitiated the surcharged atmosphere, and aggravated the communal polarisation in the country. Sadhvi Sarasvati’s call for death to beef eaters is the type of targeting that has led to the rash of the large number of lynching of Muslims and Dalits ins several states in India.



AICU has called on the new President of India, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, to order exemplary action against such hate mongers. Although government has sought to appease Christians in Goa and the north east by keeping the states out of the ban on beef, the politics of the cow has targeted Muslims and other communities whose food habits and economy depended on the trade in bovines. Its ramifications have not been fully understood, and AICU fears they will irretrievably damage the economic health of the farmers and the poor.



The Catholic Union is alarmed at the serial attempts by the Central and State governments to saffronise all levels of education in the country by direct changes in academic curricula, text books and teaching. The warped interpretation of history, archaeology and social sciences will make children misfits in a modern world and will unravel the progress made in the decades since Independence.



In Karnataka, the AICU demands that the state government immediately set up a Christian Development Corporation by elevating existing the existing board, which has inadequate powers. We also demand that other states other states in the country which do not have Minority Commissions or development corporations set them up soon.



We also call upon political parties Karnataka to ensure that the Christian community is represented in their party structures, and in the candidates, that they chose for the state assembly and other elected bodies. It is a matter of concern that at present there are just two Christians in the State assembly although the population is over 10 per cent

The Union also backed the Catholic community in various parts of the country which have been fighting the desecration of Crosses, and their arbitrary demolition despite authentic documentation of their antiquity. The community in the past had often voluntary shifted holy Crosses if they felt it was in the national cause. It was in line with the Christian community giving up a church so that India’s rocket and space sciences could have their first base in Kerala.





Released to the media by Dr John Dayal, past president and Official Spokesman, Dr John Dayal. Contact: john.dayal@gmail.com; +919811021072

The Poona Catholic Association

The Poona Catholic Association submitted a memorandum to the District Collector for alloting cemetery to Christians. The photo has President Joe Kasbe submitting the memorandum to the Collector

15


Aug

AICU Poster Competition – 2017

AICU Poster Competition – 2017


The rules and regulations of this poster competition will be as follows:

A. The poster competition will be organized at 3 Levels:

1. Diocesan Level
2. State Level (with participation by at least 3 dioceses)
3. National Level

B This competition will be for catholic students 8th to X std

C. Competition to start from 1st September 2017 and end on 31st December 2017

D. Prizes will be awarded for winners at different levels

1. National Level

1st prize - Trophy + Certificate + Rs. 10000 cash
2nd prize - Trophy + Certificate + Rs. 5000 cash
3rd prize - Trophy + Certificate + Rs. 3000 cash

2. State Level (minimum 3 dioceses to participate)

1st prize - Trophy + Certificate
2nd prize - Trophy + Certificate
3rd prize - Trophy + Certificate

3. Diocesan Level

1st prize - Trophy + Certificate
2nd prize - Trophy + Certificate
3rd prize - Trophy + Certificate



E. Subject for the painting competition:

2. Class 8 to 10 std - Kingdom Values of Christian’s Service in India

Rules & Regulations

1. This poster competition is only for Catholics residing in India.
2. Proof of age / the class of studying, certified by the School / Parish is required.
3. Participants to bring their own white drawing / chart paper in A3 size (11" x 17") and colors preferably water colors, etc.
4. Time duration for the competition is 3 hours.
5. 10 Marks each will be given for the following: Total 50 marks.
a) Creativity b) Neatness c) Beauty d) Accuracy with topic e) Overall quality
6. Competitions will be judged at 3 different levels. However the participants have to paint drawing only once at the Diocesan Level
7. It is compulsory to have minimum 10 participants in each category for the competition to be held for that category.
8. 5 best paintings in each category will be sent for the next level of judging. However, only 3 best paintings will be awarded.
9. Diocesan level competition will be conducted with the help of the diocesan associates.
10. Prize winning posters may be used for the AICU Official Calendar
11. All Posters will be the sole property of AICU and would be displayed during exhibition and in AICU web site & will not be returned.
12. Organizers decision will be final and binding on all.
13. Diocesan units may arrange gift vouchers, prize & light refreshment for the participants
14. Entry fees of not more than Rs.50/- should be charged. However, we recommend no entry fees.
15. Organizers’ have the right to cancel the competition
16. Local organizers will announce the date and venue along with rules and regulations and will provide Entry form to the participants.
17. Participants are requested to write caption for the drawing and explain the drawing in max 3 sentences.

Lancy D Cunha Flavy D Sousa A Chinnappan
National President National Secretary/convener Secretary General
7259020989 9964319065 9990202102

1


Aug

Catholic Union denounces hate speeches at Goa Hindutva meet; BJP’s beef politics targets Muslims, Dalits and agro economy

Catholic Union denounces hate speeches at Goa Hindutva meet; BJP’s beef politics targets Muslims, Dalits and agro economy

Chief Justice urged to name Constitution Bench on Dalit Christians’ rights

Union slams moves to nationalize Goa rivers; demands Minority Commission, Catholic University in State

PRESS STATEMENT
Panaji, Goa, 31 July 2017

[Statement released at a Press conference in Panaji, Goa, by All India Catholic Union National President, Mr. Lancy D Cunha. The press conference was also addressed by Past National President and Spokesman, Dr. John Dayal. The All India Catholic Union, which celebrates its centenary in 2019, is the oldest and largest Laity organisation in Asia. The AICU held two-day special consultations on issues impacting the Christian community in the country.]

The All India Catholic Union has denounced the hate speeches that emanated from the recent session of Sangh Parivar organisations in Goa. These have further vitiated the surcharged atmosphere, and aggravated the communal polarisation in the country. Sadhvi Sarasvati’s call for death to beef eaters is the type of targeting that has led to the rash of the large number of lynching of Muslims and Dalits ins several states in India.

While congratulating Mr. Ram Chandra Kovind, a Dalit, on his becoming the 14th President of India, the AICU has called upon him and Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, to order exemplary action against such hate mongers. Although government has sought to appease Christians in Goa and the north east by keeping the states out of the ban on beef, the politics of the cow has targeted Muslims and other communities whose food habits and economy depended on the trade in bovines. Its ramifications have not been fully understood, and AICU fears they will irretrievably damage the economic health of the farmers and the poor.

The Catholic Union is also alarmed at the serial attempts by the Central and State governments to saffronise all levels of education in the country by direct changes in academic curricula, text books and teaching. The coming generations scientific reasoning and the pursuit of knowledge to a warped interpretation of history, archaeology and social sciences that will make children misfits in a modern world and will unravel the progress made in the decades since Independence.

In its review of the situation in Goa, the AICU expressed its solidarity with the demand of the Catholic Association of Goa for the setting up of a Minority Commission in the state. It noted that the Human Rights and other bodies meant to safeguard constitutional rights were dysfunctional. There was lack of transparency in government recruitment in the absence of a state services board or commission. This had created anarchy in the selection of candidates who were now being chosen at the whims and fancies of officers on interview boards.

A major fear of the people is of moves to nationalize rivers of Goa to open them to the corporate sector as transport routes for coal. Any proposal to make a coal transport hub poses serious threat to the health of the rivers and its ecology which has barely recovered from the ravages by the ore shipping trade.

The Union also backed the Catholic Community of Mumbai, the capital of neighboring Maharashtra, which has been fighting the desecration of Crosses, and their arbitrary demolition despite authentic documentation of their antiquity. It noticed that the people had often voluntary shifted holy Crosses if they felt it was in the national cause. It was in line with the Christian community giving up a church so that India’s rocket and space sciences could have their first base in Kerala.

AICU notes the mischief inherent in efforts by the Mumbai authorities in evolving development plans for the city without acknowledging the presence of churches and other Christians institutions. This makes them venerable to demolition in the future. The government must take remedial action immediately, the Union said.
-----
[Released to the Media by Dr. John Dayal, Official Spokesman, All India Catholic Union. For further information, please contact catholicunion@gmail.com; +919811021072


5


Jul

The 4th Working committee meeting notice

Dear Member of AICU Working Committee, Dated: 5 july, 2017
The 4th Working committee meeting of the All India Catholic Union (2016-2018) will be held on friday 25th aug 2017 at –NBCLC Bangalore , Hutchins Road, 2nd cross, St Thomas Town P.O Bangalore 84. to transact the following Agenda:
Agenda:
1. Sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist.
2. Welcome address by Host
3. Address by AICU National President.
4. Address by AICU National Vice President.
5. Confirmation of the Minutes of the Working Committee Meeting held on the on the 17th june, 2017 at Puri orrisa
6. Statement of Accounts for the past Quarter.
7. Report on AICU Benevolence Foundation & Corpus Fund.
8. Sharing Information on AICU Centenary Celebrations.
9. Proposals and Action plans by Committee Members including Fund raising activities.
10. Update on AICU website.
11. Revival of units. Presentation of written reports by NS, NC, SP,SS
12. Discussion on Newsletter and sharing of information.
13. CBCI – AICU Interaction
14. Resolutions.
15. Any other matter with the permission of the Chair.
16. Vote of thanks and closing prayer

Kindly make it convenient to attend the meeting.
Please confirm your presence at the earliest in order to make necessary arrangements.

Sd/
A Chinnappan
Secretary General

5


Jul

Notice & Agenda for the 63rd Annual General Meeting

Notice & Agenda for the 63rd Annual General Meeting July 5, 2017
1. Affiliated Units of All India Catholic Union
2. Working Committee Members
3. Benefactor and Life Members of AICU


The 63rd Annual General Body Meeting of All India Catholic Union will be held on Saturday and Sunday 26th and 27th August 2017 NBCLC Bangalore , Hutchins Road, 2nd cross, St Thomas Town P.O Bangalore 84, to transact the following Agenda::

Sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist at 9.00 am
1. Welcome by host
2. Address by the National President Mr. Lancy D Cunha
3. Address by the National Vice President Mr. Elias Vas
4. Presentation of the Annual Report by the Secretary General A. Chinnappan
5. Launching new projects
6. Keynote address by the Chief Guest.
7 Confirmation of Minutes of the last AGM held at Kolkata
8. Presentation of Audited Accounts for the year ended 31.3.2017 by HT – Mr. Alexander Anthony
9. To receive and adopt the Budget proposal for the year 2017-18.
10. To appoint Auditors for the year 2017-18
11. Report on AICU Centenary Celebrations.
12. Reports of National Secretaries, National Coordinators, State Presidents / State Secretaries to be presented in writing
13. Discussion on State wise issues/ Reports/Interaction with Units.
14. Report on AICU Benevolence fund & AICU Newsletter.
15. Open House./ Resolutions.
16. Any other matter with the permission of the Chair.
17. Vote of thanks and adjournments of meeting.

Yours sincerely
For ALL INDIA CATHOLIC UNION
Sd/-
(A Chinnappan )
Secretary General

Please Note :

1. Venue is 8 kms away from Bangalore Railway station (very near to Banaswadi Railway station ) . Bangalore Devanahalli Airport is about 25 kms away from venue. If you need any assistance then please inform your arrival and departure details to Mr. Alphonse Kennedy on Ph: 988630103 OR Ms. Clara Fernandes Mob no. 9449206308 or Mr. Lancy D Cunha & 7259020989.
2. The National Secretaries, State Presidents / State Secretaries will have to send TYPED WRITTEN Reports to Secretary General & the AICU Administrative Office on or before 15th August 2017.
3. Please note that all representatives of affiliated units wishing to discuss any matter pertaining to the functioning of the Unit/s must inform Secretary General on or before 15th August 2017.

Golden Jubilee Celebration of TDCA

The Golden Jubilee celebration of Trichy Diocese Catholic Association was celebrated on 1st May, 2017 at Arumkodai Illam, Trichy. The function was started by concelebrated Holy Mass by the Parish Priest of Cathedral, Rev. Fr. Lawrence and other well-wishers of CA. The flage of the association was hoisted by AICU National President Mr Lancy D Cunha, and lighting of Kuthuvilakku was performed by Most Rev. Thomas Paulsamy, the Bishop of Dindigul Diocese, Mr. Chinnappn, the Secretary General of AICU and office bearers of AICU(TN) Mr. Pichai, Adv. Arokiasamy, Adv. Amalraj Dhairiyam and TDCA. After that, unveiled the photos of departed leaders Dr.S.Arockiasamy, Prof. M.Marianallu, and Mr. Michael Durairaj as respect and paid homage to them all. The first session was chaired by Most Rev. Thomas Paulsamy. A welcome dance was performed and TDCA General Secretary Mrs. Bernadette Pichai welcomed all the dignataries and others. The inaugural address was given by Rev. Fr. Ambrose, the Spiritual guide of TDCA. Mr. P. Joseph Packiaraj SP(TN) gave his Golden Jubilee message. As a mark of TDCA golden Jubilee, Rs.200/ each was given to fifty poor families and it will be continued each month to each families by the generous help from Mrs. Emily Richard, Ex Chairman of Trichy Municipal Corporation, and one of the benefactor of TDCA.
The following awards were distributed by Most Rev. Thomas Paulsamy in this function. Award of Honour in the name of the First President of AICU Mr.Retinasamy was given to the present AICU NP, NSG, and TN State office bearers. Trichy Bishop , Patron of TDCA Most Rev. Antony Devotta Award was given to all the presidents of Parish CA of Trichy Diocese. Special awards to Mr. P. Lawrence, Mr.T. Jacob and Mrs. Bernadette Pichai were given by Most Rev. Thomas Paulsamy for their long standing dedicated service in TDCA and AICU. After that Most Rev. Thomas Paulsamy delivered his thought provoking and stimulating presidential address, which attracted everybody. The session was moderated by Mrs. Sheela David, the Treasurer of TDCA.
A pannel discussion was moderated by Dr. Asokan in What kind of spirituality should be the present day CA?, 1. Religious spirituality, 2. Social spirituality, or 3. Political spirituality. At the end he gave his observation that the need of the hour of CA is Political Spirituality.
After lunch break folk cultural programme was performed. After noon, session was chaired by TDCA Patron and Bishop of Trichy Diocese, Most Rev. Antony Devotta. All the dignataries and special invitees were welcomed by Mr. Kanagaraj, Organising Secretary. Rev. Msgr. Eugene, VG of Trichy Diocese felicitated TDCA for its fifty years of service to the church and society. Mr. T. Jacob President of TDCA gave a short history of TDCA. Mr.P.Lawrence, Ex SP(TN), introduced the Golden Jubilee Souvenier. Most Rev. Antony Devotta released the Souvenier and it was received by Mrs. Catherine Arockiasamy and NS Adv. Arockiasamy. Following that Pope Francis Award was given to those who have sacrificed their time and energy to the Catholic church and society by Most Rev. Antony Devotta. Felicitation were given by Swami A. Louis, of Anjali Ashram, AICU NP Mr. Lancy D Cunha, NSG Mr. Chinnappan. At the end Most Rev. Antony Devotta delivered his veledictory address and his blessings. Vote of thanks was given by Mr.Michael, Deputy Secretary of TDCA. The function came to an end by Papal Aunthem....

History

When the first All India Catholic Conference was held in 1919, under the eminent leadership of Prof. A. Soares, F.A.C. Rebello & Prof. C. J. Varkey, plans for the formation of this organization were laid down and in 1930 an organized union of the Catholic Laity the All India Catholic League was formed at a National Level and under it's patronage the first All India Catholic Congress was convened at Pune in 1934.

In 1940, this organized body was named Catholic Union of India and Prof. M. Ratnaswamy, the then Vice - Chancellor, Anna Malai University was the first National President and Prof. A. Soares was the first Secretary General.

In 1966 Catholic Union of India was registered at Chennai, under the Societies Registration Act (Act XXI of 1860). Subsequently the name was changed to All India Catholic Union

Roles Played

AICU is the forerunner in all legitimate causes for Catholics in India. Its prime aim is to protect national, political and social interest and rights of the Catholics. The united strength of the Catholics in India successfully fought under the leadership of Catholic Union of India (CUI) against Niyogi Committee Report, O.P. Tyagi Bill in 1978, Kerala Education Bill. Christmas satyagraha for justice, peace and national integration in 1990, Census awareness campaign in 1991, Dalit Christian Rally in the Capital in 1993 & 1996, litigation relating to the Supreme Court's 50% Minority Institutions Judgement in 1993. A recent cause taken by the Union is equal rights for the Dalit Christians, the Christian Personal Laws, and representation against the atrocities on Churches and Christian Institutions starting with Gajraula and Jogeshwari nuns incident, till date taking place in Orissa, Bihar, UP, MP, Gujarat and various other parts of the Country.

AICU now established a voice and presence with the "powers that be" across the Country. AICU works in the area of Human Rights and social justice. AICU's protests against atrocities on Minorities and Human Rights have been quoted in Parliament during the confidence motion debate in February 1998 and in India Today (August 15, 1998). AICU with the active involvement of CBCI has forged a National Christian Front of all mainline Churches to deal with protection and promotion of rights and interests.

Objectives

  • star Service in Unity
    Our Motto
  • star To represent and articulate the aspirations of Laity
    Our Mandate
  • star To be a powerful body in service of community and country
    Our Vision

The aims and objects of the All India Catholic Union shall be:

  • To spread the influence of Catholic ideals and principles in Indian public life through any medium of communication and to promote unity and solidarity among the people of India through Christian endeavour.
  • To be the exponent of Catholic opinion and to make representations to authorities and public bodies in all matters affecting Catholics.
  • To rouse the civic, social and national consciousness of Catholics, to help them to play a useful and effective part in the public life of the country and to make their full contribution to national unity and welfare.
  • To promote unity and solidarity among Catholics of India, inter alia, by promoting the establishment of Catholic Associations/Sabhas/Unions where they do not exist and by co-ordinating their activities.
  • To safeguard by all lawful means the legitimate rights, liberties and interest of the Catholic Community particularly those guaranteed by the Constitution of India.
  • To promote measures to raise the economic, educational and social condition of Catholics including Catholics and to run or to assist in running economic projects, educational institutions or social welfare schemes.
  • To perform works of charity for those in need, irrespective of race, caste, community or creed.
  • To take over and manage the assets and properties, if any, belonging to the unregistered society of the Union functioning from the year 1945 or standing in the name of the Union and to continue the management of the affairs assets and properties of the Union as heretofore.
  • To hold and manage the assets and properties already acquired by the unregistered Union and to acquire hereafter by purchase, lease, mortgage, loan, gift, grant, legacy, bequest, exchange, right, privilege or otherwise from any person, company, society, government, or institution or any body whatsoever moveable or immovable properties of all description deemed necessary for the objects of the Union and to alienate by way of sale, exchange, hiring out, gift or otherwise the properties of the Union as may be necessary or appropriate for the achievements of the objects of the Union.
  • To borrow or raise funds in any manner the Union may think fit.
  • To receive any gift, whether money or property, moveable or immoveable, for the fulfilment of the objects of the Union.
  • To co-operate with other bodies or societies having similar aim or aims which are not inconsistent with the objects of the Union for the purpose of promoting or achieving the objects of the Union.
  • To organize symposium, seminars, regional, national, international conventions and congresses.
  • To affiliate itself to other International Catholic Unions and Organisations.
  • To do all other things necessary or incidental to carry out the aims and objects of the Union, and
  • To devote itself to promote renewal within the Church and foster relationship through dialogue, collaboration and service between the Church and Society in keeping with the spirit, vision, approach, values, policies and programmes of the Second Vatican Council.

Lancy D'Cunha

National President

Elias Vas

National Vice President

A. Chinappan

Secretary General

Alexander Anthony

Honorary Treasurer

Administrative Office

The Secretary General
All India Catholic Union
Administrative Office,
Office No 604A, 6th Floor,
Dempo Trade Centre ,
EDC Complex,
Patto Plaza, Panaji, Goa 403 001
Ph: 91 0832 - 2438725 / 91 0832 - 2490250
Email: aicufile@yahoo.com

National President

Mr. Lancy D'Cunha
Ph: 07259020989
Email: lancydcunha@hotmail.com

National Vice President

Mr. Engr. Elias Vaz
Ph: 09822153833
Email: eliasvaz@gmail.com

Honorary Treasurer

Alexander Anthony