Pondicherry Archdiocese

Our Life’s Priority is to the Poor, Neglected, the Downtrodden and the Upliftment of the Girl Children

 Dear Friends,

I would like to pick up some of the important events that come in the month of September. On 5th September we celebrate “Teachers Day”, the feast of St. Theresa of Calcutta and on the 8th of September the Birthday of our Blessed Mother Mary because they are very relevant to the present day context.


The feast of St. Teresa of Calcutta on 5th September has a great message for us today. When I look at St. Mother Teresa, the first and the most striking point that comes to my mind is her spirituality. I am sure that it is not merely the works of charity that she did and her Sisters continue to do throughout the world that make her a Saint but the spirit behind all that she did. No doubt that there are many other Religious groups, NGOs and also the individuals committed to humanitarian service and they may do much greater service then Mother Teresa and her Sisters; but the striking difference in the case of Mother and her Sisters is, ‘all that they do, they do it for Jesus’. Once when a visitor to, ‘Nirmal Hriday’ home for the dying destitute at Kalizhat, saw Mother and her Sisters cleaning the sores of a dying person reclaimed, “I would not do that for a million dollars!” “Neither Would I” replied Mother, we do it for Jesus” For the Lord says, when you do it for the least of my brethren you do it for me” (Mt. 25:39) what makes Mother so special is that she was being filled and led by the Spirit of Jesus. As a result she could see in everyone Jesus. Besides Mother encountered her Eucharistic Lord in every person whom she met; whether he/she is lying in a gutter, dirty filthy, stinking, unapproachable, half-dead, eaten by maggots (worms). In fact Mother was being inspired by the first chapter of Genesis. This message always remained a source of her holy life and the formation of her mission, “God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27) then every person is God’s image and everyone is equal. That is why Mother could reach out to meet Jesus in everyone without any distinction of caste, creed, language and ethnicity. Looking down upon people, practicing caste system where one considers the other as untouchable is against the basic spirituality of a person, which is living the first chapter of Genesis.


Similarly when we do not live spirituality of a person then we distinguish between genders and consider girl children as unequal. On 8th September we celebrate the feast of a girl child Mary. The Catholic Church in India has designated 8th September, the birthday of Mary Our Blessed Mother, as the “Girl Child Day” for the church in India to express the church’s concern for the plight of the neglected girl children of the country. It is an occasion to raise the church’s awareness of the discrimination and violence inflicted on girl children and the many kinds of violations of their human rights that continue to happen around us.


God sends every child into the world as a part of his loving plan. Every family should whole heartedly welcome every new born child with joy, love and hope. Every person is precious and created in the image of God. Yet there are many who treat the girl child as an unwelcome guest and we are aware that ill-treatment and discrimination against the girl child are wide spread. Many girls are subjected to injustice and cruelty by their own parents and siblings. God alone knows how many girls, destined to become great like St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St. Jon of Arc, St. Teresa of Avila or St. Clare of Assisi, have not been allowed to see the light of the day? God forbid that any of us ever be a partner in such a crime.


May this day inspire us, individually and collectively, to devise ways and means to appreciate and affirm every girl child in the home, the community, the different institutions and the larger society.


Let us take an oath that we shall protest and help the girl children in their overall development. Let us pray earnestly for the girl child. Let us ask Mary, the greatest girl child ever born on this earth, help all to understand the value and beauty of every girl, and to guide us in nurturing and educating every girl child in the spirit of equality, justice and love.


As we are celebrating the Teacher’s day, I wish all the teachers working in the schools and colleges of our diocese as well as those of the religious congregations, a very happy Teachers Day. You are the second parents to the children find in your class room. Show to them as much of love, concern, affection, compassion and comprehension as you show to your children. And God surely will bless you, your parents, your children and your generation.


May God bless you all.