“Blessed James Alberione’s spirituality stands on two pillars: passion for the Word of God and Prayer,” said Bishop John Rodrigues, Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay during his homily, preached to the Pauline Family in India on 28 November 2021 at Bandra, Mumbai. The occasion was the Feast of Blessed James Alberione and the grand finale of the Biblical Year, celebrated jointly by all the members of the Pauline Family in India.Those in Mumbai and around gathered together at Alberione Hall of the Society of St Paul, Bandra, while others joined the function online through livestreaming.
Bishop John presided over the solemn Eucharistic celebrationthat was begun with a solemn precession and the enthronement of the Holy Bible. His homily was a meaningful blend of the theme of Advent and the life and message of Blessed James Alberione. “Advent invites us to watch and pray with eager expectation for the Son of Man to come. And Blessed Alberione was a man who watched for the signs of the times, actively engaged himself in the society, and prayed continuously for the new century,” said Bishop John.
The Holy mass was followed by a family gathering. Fr Joe Eruppakkatt SSP, the Coordinator of the Programmes for the Biblical Year welcomed the gathering, with a keynote address. He gave an overview of the programmes and activities in the Pauline Family during the Biblical Year.The year was well spent with several webinars, lectures, contests and activities organised by the central committee. Besides these, the local communities of the Pauline Family organised or launched several programmes like free distribution of Bibles in local languages, Bible Study Videos, webinars, creation of God’s Word App, ready-text for Children’s Bible, Alberione Bible Quiz (ABQ), creation of Audio Bible, etc.
Others who spoke on the occasion were Fr Varghese Gnalian, the Provincial superior of the Society of St Paul, Sr Arul Mary Susai, Provincial Superior of the Daughters of St Paul, and Sr Celine Cunha, Provincial superior of the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master.
All three of them appreciated the year-long programme of the Biblical Year which was characterised by team work, planning and participation, according to them. “Let the same spirit continue amidst us and we shall achieve greater things in many areas of our apostolate,” said Fr Varghese Gnalian.
Bishop John also formally launched ‘Alberione Bible Quiz’ (ABQ), a new programme planned and designed bySt Pauls Biblical Centre, New Delhi. This national level Bible Quiz programme is intended to encourage and motivate people to read and study the Word of God systematically.
The day’s programme was capped with a festive family agape, participated by all Paulines present.