As per 2017 Directory
Director : Rev. Fr Franklin Philiph D’Souza
Centre for Social Action
Alkola Circle, Sagar Road
Shimoga - 577 205
Cell : 9845256538, 9013905078
Christ's prayer ut unum sint, reminds us that the gift of unity needs to be received and developed ever more profoundly. His prayer is a binding imperative and a salutary rebuke for our slowness and closed heartedness. "It is on Jesus' prayer and not on our own strength that we base the hope that even within history we shall be able to reach full and visible communion with all Christians" (NMI 48).
That all may be one.
Promoting communion and collaboration among Christians
Mutual Trust and respect among Christians.
Christians pray and serve together and bear united witness before the world in a strong United Christian Forum.
A strong Catholic community spiritually equiped to enter into ecumenical relations.
Christ's prayer ut unum sint, reminds us that the gift of unity needs to be received and developed ever more profoundly. His prayer is a binding imperative and a salutary rebuke for our slowness and closed heartedness. "It is on Jesus' prayer and not on our own strength that we base the hope that even within history we shall be able to reach full and visible communion with all Christians" (NMI 48). The division among Christians is seen as a counter witness to Christ by many who are searching for harmony and unity through their own religions and cultures. Therefore the Catholic Church feels especially impelled to work for unity with other Christians, realising that the search for full communion demands from everyone charity, discernment, courage and hope.
The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Church. Christ the Lord founded only one Church. However, many Christian communities present themselves to men as the true inheritors of Jesus Christ. All indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but they differ in mind and go their different ways as if Christ himself were divided (I Cor. 1:13). Certainly such a division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalises the world and damages the most holy cause i.e., the preaching of the Gospel to every creature. Ecumenism requires certain fundamental dispositions on the part of the Christian faithful: "in the first place, charity that shows itself in goodness and a lively desire to cooperate wherever possible with the faithful of other Churches and Ecclesial Communities; secondly, fidelity towards the Catholic Church, without however ignoring or denying the shortcomings manifested by some of her members; thirdly, a spirit of discernment in order to appreciate all that is good and worthy of praise. Finally a sincere desire for purification and renewal is also needed" (EA 30).
The ecumenical movement calls for those activities and enterprises organised to foster unity among all Christians and calling for a dialogue between competent experts from different Churches and Ecclesial Communities. In this meeting each one explains the teaching of his communion in greater depth and brings out clearly its distinctive features. Thus everyone gains a true knowledge and appreciation of the teaching and religious life of each communion. In this way all are led to examine their own faithfulness to Christ's will for the Church and wherever necessary undertake with vigour "the task of renewal and reform" (UR 4).
Commission Action Plan
- Common gatherings and activities like social service and collaboration in education and health care services could be undertaken to strengthen the unity between various Churches.
- Promotion of communion and collaboration among Christians, to promote mutual trust and respect, to pray and serve together is needed and is to be encouraged by all. Common celebrations during the central events of our faith, celebration of feasts like Christmas and Easter ought to be promoted.
- The prayer for unity during the Unity Octave, common thanksgiving or petition prayers are to be organised. Sharing in prayer and Bible services strengthens mutual relations between various Churches in the Diocese.
- Joint celebration of Bible Sunday and Bible Weeks, exhibitions, lectures and seminars could be the areas for our joint venture in mutual collaboration at the parish, deanery and the diocesan levels.
- Catholic Church and other Churches come to one another's aid especially during times of socio-religious and political atrocities.
- The Diocese must have a Christian Council or United Christian Forum to discern and find common solutions and action plans against religious, political and social challenges which the Christian community faces from time to time.