BIS #7073 Sacred Heart Parish interacts with Archbishop Menamparambil

By Ms Pearl Fernandes for BISMumbai

On 23 September 2023, Sacred Heart Parish, Pune, witnessed an interaction with His Grace Thomas Menamparampil, Archbishop Emeritus of Guwahati, on the theme ‘Being a Peacemaker’. Archbishop Menamparambil was the recipient of the Ambassador for Peace Award 2019 by the International Human Rights Council 

The evening began with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist which was presided by the Archbishop, and concelebrated by the Salesian community. Parishioners and students from Don Bosco Edu-Complex, Yerwada, and aspirants from Don Bosco, Lonavla, participated in the celebrations.  In his homily, the Archbishop encouraged everyone to respond to God's call in their daily lives stressing the fact that God knows what is best for his people.

Following the Eucharist, Archbishop Menamparambil was given a warm welcome and felicitation by Mr Victor Zuzarte - the Vice President of the Parish Council, and Mr Pankaj Dushing - President of the Parish Youth Group.  Fr Alex Carvalho introduced the Archbishop to the gathering and thanked him for his presence.   

In his address, the Archbishop described the various situations he encountered in various areas that caused disturbances and conflicts. Along with his personal experiences, he spoke about peacekeeping measures. He went into detail about the Joint Peace Team, a special organisation that works to put an end to conflicts by being compassionate to those who have been affected.  In order to contribute to the process of bringing about peace, the Archbishop urged both the young and the old to promote peace among family and friends, communities, the country, and the world at large.

After the address, Archbishop Menamparambil responded to the audience's questions during the interactive session and offered some insightful recommendations. “'Archbishop Thomas mesmerised me with his words, and I loved when he told us to see a peaceful person in an angry person, to find goodness in something bad, and to find wisdom even in the foolish”, said Mr Ulrich Lokhande. Vice-president of the Parish Youth Group, Ms Alisha Khemali, expressed her appreciation and acknowledged that the parish's youth will undoubtedly play a crucial part in advancing peace and harmony in society. 

With his fruitful interaction, the Archbishop opened the hearts and minds of the participants, demonstrating how peace can be brought about with just a few kind words and expressions of sympathy, as well as how bridging differences and fostering harmony can contribute to the creation of a peaceful and loving world.

Archbishop Menamparampil has played a significant role in bringing about peace in Northeast India, particularly among the various ethnic groups in Assam. He believes that the best way to evangelise is to mediate between different points of view and cultures, encouraging genuine dialogue between the parties based on mutual understanding, respect, and a "pinch of sympathy in the heart."